Italian modal verbs – Difference between sapere and potere

Italian modal verbs – Difference between sapere and potere

Potere and sapere are two Italian modal verbs that are widely used. So, knowing how to use them is essential to communicate clearly and effectively. If some of the uses of sapere and potere are quite simple to grasp, some others can be confusing at first. Let’s start from the explanation on how to use the verb sapere and potere and then we’ll move on to their differences. I’m going to use an extract of my Italian grammar for this explanation. Potere Potere is usually followed by a verb in the infinitive. Potere can be generally used to: a. Express…

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Let’s learn Italian pronominal verbs

Let's learn Italian pronominal verbs

In Italian there is a group of verbs called pronominal verbs. Italian pronominal verbs are verbs that change their meaning when combined with pronominal particles – ci, ne, la – or with reflexive pronouns. Sometimes this change is small, some others it’s rather deep. So, today you’re going to learn seven very common Italian pronominal verbs. FARCELA Farcela in Italian means to succeed in doing something or manage to reach a goal. Ex: Ce l’ho fatta! Ti ho battuto! I did it! I’ve beaten you! Another common meaning of the Italian pronominal verb farcela is to be tired, fed up…

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How to use Italian passato remoto

How to use Italian passato remoto

Sometimes students have troubles understanding when and how to use the different tenses the Italian language has. This is often because the use of Italian tenses can be different from the use the same tenses have in their native language or even because some Italian tenses do not exist in their native language. As you might already know, in Italian there are different tenses you can use to talk about the past. You can talk about the past using passato prossimo, you can talk about the past using imperfetto, and you can also talk about the past using passato remoto.…

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Difference between Italian imperfetto and passato prossimo

Difference between imperfetto and passato prossimo

One of the most difficult Italian topics for English speakers is understanding the difference between imperfetto and passato prossimo. These two tenses are very different compared to how English speakers use simple past and present perfect, so at the beginning, imperfetto and passato prossimo are usually felt as very confusing topics. So, today I’m going to explain all the main differences between the Italian imperfetto and passato prossimo. DIFFERENCE BETWEEN IMPERFETTO AND PASSATO PROSSIMO IMPERFETTO Imperfetto is used to talk about past habits or past repetitive actions. Example: Quando ero bambino il sabato andavo sempre a catechismo When I was…

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The imperfect tense in Italian

Italian verb tenses are one of the areas where learners struggle the most. One of the main difficulty is talking about the past correctly in Italian. Indeed, in Italian there are many verbs that can be used to refer to the past. Two of the most used verbs in standard Italian to talk about the past are passato prossimo and the imperfect. I already explained how to form passato prossimo and when and how to use it in another article: Learn the Italian past tense passato prossimo. In this article, instead, I’ll focus on the imperfect tense. IMPERFECT Imperfect is…

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