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1B.1 Subject pronouns and the verb essere

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1B.1 Subject pronouns and the verb essere
Punto di partenza
In Italian, as in English, a verb is a word denoting an
action or a state of being. The subject of a verb is the
person or thing that carries out the action.
SUBJECT
VERB
La professoressa
The teacher
parla italiano.
speaks Italian.
© and ® 2011 Vista Higher Learning, Inc.
1B.1-1
•
Subject pronouns replace a noun that is the subject
of a verb.
SUBJECT
PRONOUN
VERB
Lei
She
parla italiano.
speaks Italian.
© and ® 2011 Vista Higher Learning, Inc.
1B.1-2
•
As in English, Italian subject pronouns are divided into
three groups of singular and plural forms: first person,
second person, and third person.
© and ® 2011 Vista Higher Learning, Inc.
1B.1-3
•
Unlike I in English, io is not capitalized unless it begins
a sentence. Also note that in Italian, it and they are
seldom expressed when referring to animals or objects.
Studio l’italiano anch’io.
I study Italian, too.
© and ® 2011 Vista Higher Learning, Inc.
È un cane.
It is a dog.
Sono libri d’italiano.
They are Italian books.
1B.1-4
•
The English you has multiple equivalents in Italian.
When addressing one person, choose either tu or Lei,
depending on the degree of formality necessary.
Paolo, tu parli bene.
Paolo, you speak well.
© and ® 2011 Vista Higher Learning, Inc.
Signor Bruno, Lei parla molto bene.
Mr. Bruno, you speak very well.
1B.1-5
•
Write Lei (you, form.) with a capital L to distinguish it
from lei (she). In formal situations, use Lei whether you
are speaking to a man or a woman.
Che cosa studia lei?
What does she study?
© and ® 2011 Vista Higher Learning, Inc.
Professor Balli, Lei cosa insegna?
Professor Balli, what do you teach?
1B.1-6
•
Use voi to address a group of people in both formal
and informal settings. The formal second-person plural
form Loro is seldom used, and is presented here for
recognition only.
Voi siete bravi studenti.
You are good students.
© and ® 2011 Vista Higher Learning, Inc.
Signore, voi parlate inglese?
Ladies, do you speak English?
1B.1-7
The verb essere
•
Essere (To be) is an irregular verb because its
conjugation (the set of forms for the different subjects)
does not follow a pattern. The basic form essere is an
infinitive, meaning it does not correspond to any
particular subject.
© and ® 2011 Vista Higher Learning, Inc.
1B.1-8
•
Unlike English, Italian does not require subject
pronouns and, in fact, they are usually omitted. In the
case of è and sono, use the context of the sentence to
identify the subject.
Sono studente.
I am a student.
© and ® 2011 Vista Higher Learning, Inc.
Sono brave studentesse?
Are they good students?
1B.1-9
•
Rising intonation at the end of a sentence transforms
a statement into a yes-or-no question. To reply in the
negative, place non (not) directly before the verb.
Use no only as a negative response, equivalent to
no in English.
È un dizionario?
Is it a dictionary?
© and ® 2011 Vista Higher Learning, Inc.
No, non è un dizionario.
No, it’s not a dictionary.
1B.1-10
•
Note the differences in meaning in these statements.
È un esame.
It is an exam.
© and ® 2011 Vista Higher Learning, Inc.
C’è un esame.
There is an exam.
Ecco un esame!
Here is an exam!
1B.1-11
Choose the correct subject pronoun in
each sentence.
1. (Tu / Voi) siete americani.
6. (Noi / Tu) sei un attore.
2. (Lui / Loro) è in biblioteca.
7. (Loro / Lei) sono a casa.
3. (Io / Noi) sono generoso.
8. (Voi / Tu) siete dottori.
4. (Io / Tu) sei in Italia.
9. (Lui / Noi) siamo timide.
5. (Io / Voi) sono alla mensa
alle due.
© and ® 2011 Vista Higher Learning, Inc.
10. (Tu / Lei) è una ragazza
simpatica.
1B.1-12
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