Pronominal verbs in Italian are those verbs that change their meaning when combined with pronominal particles – ci, ne, la – or with reflexive pronouns.
They are commonly used in Italian, that’s why at some point during your learning journey it’s important to learn them.
So, today, I’d like to explain the meaning of seven common Italian pronominal verbs and how to use them. If you’re interested in other articles about pronominal verbs you can check Let’s learn Italian pronominal verbs and Farcela – What it means and how to use it.
Italian pronominal verbs
Cascarci means to fall for a trick or a prank.
a. Ho finto di essere un poliziotto e lui ci è cascato in pieno
a. I pretended to be a cop and he fell for it
b. Ma come hai fatto a cascarci? Era ovvio che era uno scherzo!
b. How could you fall for that? It was obvious it was a trick!
Finirla means to stop doing something. It’s generally used when someone is pissing us off with their behavior and we want to tell them to stop.
c. Finitela di urlare!
c. Stop shouting!
d. Finiscila di dire bugie!
d. Stop telling lies!
Fregarsene is used in informal Italian to say that we don’t care about something.
e. Me ne frego se non si può fare! Io lo faccio lo stesso!
e. I don’t care if it’s not allowed! I’ll do it anyway!
f. Tu te ne freghi dei miei problemi!
f. You don’t care about my problems!
Piantarla in informal Italian is a synonym of finirla and it means to stop doing something. Again, it’s generally used when someone is pissing us off with their behavior and we want to tell them to stop.
g. Piantatela di urlare!
g. Stop shouting!
h. Piantala di dire bugie!
h. Stop telling lies!
Spassarsela is an informal Italian verb that means to have fun.
i. Com’è andata? Ce la siamo spassata!
i. How did it go? We had a lot of fun!
l. Ve la siete spassata in vacanza?
l. Did you have fun during your holiday?
Spuntarla is an Italian pronominal verb that means to achieve the aim or the result you wanted after you have overcome difficulties and obstacles.
m. I miei non volevano comprarmi una nuova auto ma alla fine l’ho spuntata io.
m. My parents didn’t want to buy me a new car but in the end I won (I succeded in convincing them)
n. Sembrava stesse vincendo Francesco ma alla fine l’ha spuntata Marco per un soffio
n. It looked like Francesco was winning but in the end it was Marco who won by a whisker
Tirarsela is another Italian pronominal verb that is used informally. It means that someone thinks that s/he’s better than everyone else, basically it means to get above oneself.
o. Non sopporto suo fratello, se la tira un casino!
o. I can’t stand his brother, he thinks he’s better than anyone else!
p. Io non me la tiro! Tu, te la tiri!
p. I don’t think I’m better than everyone else! You do!
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Original image by allanlau2000