How to Learn Pronouns in Italian

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There are several approaches to learning a foreign language. All with both success and failure depending on the previous pedagogy of the learner. One method is learning important chunks of that language. Here you might be interested in learning pronouns of Italian language, through this How to.

Steps

Preliminaries

  1. Learn Italian pronounciation. It is recommended to learn Italian pronunciation at How to Pronounce Italian Words
  2. Learn these Italian words.
    • Pronoun : pronome (/pro-no-me/)
    • Subject : soggetto (/sog-get-to/)
    • Subjective : soggettivo (/sog-get-ti-vo/)
    • Object : oggetto (/og-get-to/)
    • Objective : oggettivo (/og-get-ti-vo/)
    • Direct Objective : complemento (/com-ple-men-to/, m) ogetttivo
    • Indirect : indiretto (/in-di-ret-to/)
    • Double : doppio (/dop-pi/)
    • Reflexive : riflessivo (/ri-fles-si-vo/)
    • Relative : relativo (/re-la-ti-vo/)
    • Possessive : possessivo (/pos-ses-si-vo/)
    • Adjective : aggettivo (/ag-get-ti-vo/)
  3. Avoid second person singular. A foreign learner should never use a second person singular such as tu, tuo, and so on, until he is very comfortable in using Italian. It could be insulting.
  4. Italian pronouns come in following sections

Subjective Pronouns

  1. Learn in Italian it is called, pronome soggettivo. They appear as the subject (soggetto) of the sentence.
  2. Drop subjective pronounts. Endings of the Italian verbs show the subject person and help to drop the pronoun. For example,
    • "I speak." in Italian, io parlo, becomes just parlo.
  3. Singular
    • I : io
      • Pronounced as /i-o/
    • You (familiar) : tu
      • Pronounced as just /tu/
    • You (normal polite) : Lei
      • Pronounced as /le-i/
      • Notice it is always capitalised in writting.
      • Verbs using this also come similare to verbs for the third person lei.
    • He : egli (becoming obsolete).
      • Pronounced as /-ʎi/
      • Is used only for emphasise and advanced learner.
    • He: lui
      • Pronounced as /lu-i/
    • He: esso (common for male human and masculine nouns).
      • Pronounced as /es-so/
    • She: ella (becoming obsolete).
      • Pronounced as /el-la/
    • She: lei
      • Pronounced as /le-i/
    • She: essa (common for female human and feminine nouns).
      • Pronounced as /es-sa/
  4. Plural
    • We : noi
      • Pronounced as /no-i/
    • You (familiar) : voi
      • Pronounced as /vo-i/
      • This is becomming more dominant in all modern occasions
    • You (very polite, informal): Loro
      • Pronounced as /lo-ro/
      • Notice it is always capitalised in writting.
      • Verbs using this also come similare to verbs for the third person loro.
    • They : loro (for humans only).
      • Pronounced as /lo-ro/
    • They : essi (common for male human and masculine nouns).
      • Pronounced as /es-si/
    • They : esse (common for female human and feminine nouns).
      • Pronounced as /es-se/

Possessive Adjectives

  1. Learn in Italian it is called, possessivo aggettivo.
  2. Learn usage. They modify a noun (nome) to show its owner.
    • Owner could be human or anything.
    • Possessed item could be human or anything.
  3. Grammatically they agree in gender and singular/plural with the possessed item not the owner of that item. For example,
    • In English they say "My book" and in plural again "My books", but in Italian it is said, "il mio libro" and "i miei libri", respectively.
    • In English they say "His book" and in feminine it changes to "Her book", but in Italian it is said, "il suo libro" and " il suo libro", respectively; both masculine since libro is a masculine (maschile) noun.
  4. Learn possessivo aggettivo for singolare maschile possessed items.
    • Usually the definite articles 'il' modifies them.
    • mio: il mio libro
    • tuo: il tuo libro
    • Suo: il Suo libro (polite singular second person).
    • suo: il suo libro
    • nostro: il nostro libro
    • vostro: il vostro libro
    • Loro: il Loro libro (polite plural second person).
    • loro: il loro libro
  5. Learn possessivo aggettivo for plurale maschile possessed items.
    • Usually the definite articles 'i' modifies them.
    • miei: i miei libri
    • tuoi: i tuoi libri
    • Suoi: i Suoi libri (polite singular second person).
    • suoi: i suoi libri
    • nostri: i nostri libri
    • vostri: i vostri libri
    • Loro: i Loro libri (polite plural second person).
    • loro: i loro libri
  6. Learn possessivo aggettivo for singolare femminile possessed items.
    • Usually the definite articles 'la' modifies them.
    • mia: la mia penna
    • tua: la tua penna
    • Sua: la Sua penna (polite singular second person).
    • sua: la sua penna
    • nostra: la nostra penna
    • vostra: la vostra penna
    • Loro: la Loro penna (polite plural second person).
    • loro: la loro penna
  7. Learn possessivo aggettivo for plural femminile possessed items.
    • Usually the definite articles 'le' modifies them.
    • mie: le mie penne
    • tue: le tue penne
    • Sue: le Sue penne (polite singular second person).
    • sue: le sue penne
    • nostre: le nostre penne
    • vostre: le vostre penne
    • Loro: le Loro penne (polite plural second person).
    • loro: le loro penne
  8. Note that loro and Loro never changed. All other possessive adjectives changed according to the number and gender of the modified nouns except loro and Loro

Reflexive Pronouns

  1. Learn in Italian it is called, pronome riflessivo. They are simplest to learn and they are object pronouns. Like oggetto indiretto, they appear as the indirect object (oggetto) of the sentence.
  2. Learn pronome riflessivo for singolare,
    • myself: mi
    • yourself : ti
    • yourself (polite) : si
    • himself and maculine itself : si
    • herself and feminine itself : ci
  3. Learn pronome riflessivo for plurale,
    • ourselves : ci
    • yourselves : vi
    • yourselves (polite masculine) : si
    • yourselves (polite feminine) : si
    • themselves (maculine) : si
    • themselves (feminine) : si

Direct Objective Pronouns

  1. Learn in Italian it is called, pronome del complemento oggetto. They appear as the direct object (oggetto) of the sentence.
  2. Learn complemento oggetto for singolare,
    • me: mi
    • you : ti
    • you (polite) : La
    • him and maculine it : lo
    • her and feminine it : la
  3. Learn complemento oggetto for plurale,
    • us : ci
    • you : vi
    • you (polite masculine) : Li
    • you (polite feminine) : Le
    • them (maculine) : li
    • them (feminine) : le
  4. This is called complemento since it supplies or completes expectation from the subject of the sentence. For example, "I called ..." will be completed by "her," as "I called her."
  5. Learn position of object pronouns in a sentence as,
    • Object pronouns come before a verb.
    • Object pronouns come after the infinitives and attach to their stems as should be learned in more advanced stage than this introductory.
  6. Learn rules of elisions. Direct object pronouns before certain verbs contract into those verbs. This is called elision.
    • mi + verbs begin with a vowel (or h) : Sometimes deforms into m'
    • ti + verbs begin with a vowel (or h) : Sometimes deforms into t'
    • Lo + verbs begin with a vowel (or h) : Almost always deforms into L'
    • lo + verbs begin with a vowel (or h) : Almost always deforms into l'
    • la + verbs begin with a vowel (or h) : Almost always deforms into l'
    • ci + verbs begin with e or i : Always deforms into c'
    • vi + verbs begin with a vowel (or h) : Sometimes deforms into v'
    • Li + verbs begin with a vowel (or h) : Never deforms into L'
    • Le + verbs begin with a vowel (or h) : Never deforms into L'
    • li + verbs begin with a vowel (or h) : Never deforms into l'
    • le + verbs begin with a vowel (or h) : Never deforms into l'

Indirect Objective Pronouns

  1. Learn in Italian it is called, oggetto indiretto. They appear as the indirect object (oggetto) of the sentence.
  2. Learn oggetto indiretto for singolare,
    • me: mi
    • you : ti
    • you (polite) : Le
    • him and maculine it : gli
    • her and feminine it : le
  3. Learn oggetto indiretto for plurale,
    • us : ci
    • you : vi
    • you (polite masculine) : Loro
    • you (polite feminine) : Loro
    • them (maculine) : loro
    • them (feminine) : loro
  4. This pronoun also is called complemento di termine since it showws whom the object falls on at the end. For example, "I give ..." will be completed by "book," as "I give a book ..." You ask "to whom?" Answer is, "to her." Hence, "I give a book to her." Here, (to) "her" is the indirect object. (Io le do un libro; I to her give a book.)
  5. Note that "to" is included in the indirect object pronouns. For example,
    • "her" is la, but "to her" is le
  6. Learn position of an object pronoun in a sentence.
    • Indirect object pronouns come before verb.
    • Indirect object pronouns come after the infinitives and attach to their stems as should be learned in more advanced stage than this introductory.
    • Both Loro and loro always come after the verb and do not attach to it.
  7. Note that here indirect object pronouns are discussed in sentences that the direct object is a noun. If the direct object is also a pronoun then one should learn to use double object pronouns.

Double Objective Pronouns

  1. Learn Italian phrase "il doppio oggetto" for double object sentences.
  2. Note that both direct and indirect objects are pronouns.
  3. Learn what is the direct object pronoun of the sentence. He gave a book to me. Now substitute "a book" by pronoun "it." He gave it to me. now this needs to be dealt with double object pronouns. In basic Italian discussed here, "to me" (indirect pronoun) should come first then "it" (direct pronoun) and at last "gave" verb that in Italian includes "he" as its ending. Hence, to me-it-gave; that is, me lo dà
    • Me is the new form of mi when used in a double object pronouns sentence.
  4. Remember that reflexive pronouns also have the role of object pronouns.
  5. Learn where the indirect object or refelexive pronouns should be modified to new forms when they appear before the direct pronouns.
    • mi + (lo, la, li, le) : mi becomes me.
    • ti + (lo, la, li, le) : ti becomes te.
    • Le + (lo, la, li, le) : Le becomes glie.
      • glie attaches to the direct pronouns it precedes. For example,
        • glie + lo becomes glielo.
        • glie + la becomes gliela, and so on.
    • gli + (lo, la, li, le) : gli becomes glie.
      • glie attaches to the direct pronouns it precedes. For example,
        • glie + lo becomes glielo.
        • glie + la becomes gliela, and so on.
    • le + (lo, la, li, le) : le becomes glie.
      • glie attaches to the direct pronouns it precedes. For example,
        • glie + lo becomes glielo.
        • glie + la becomes gliela, and so on.
    • ci + (lo, la, li, le) : ci becomes ce.
    • vi + (lo, la, li, le) : vi becomes ve.
    • Loro does not change and comes after the verb.
    • loro does not change and comes after the verb.
  6. Reflexive pronouns, mi, ti, ci, vi follow the same rules, and,
    • si + (lo, la, li, le) : si becomes se.

Possessive Pronouns

  1. Note that possive pronouns answer the questions such as, "Whose is this?"
  2. Learn in Italian, in contrast to English, there is no possessive pronouns.
  3. Know that possessive adjectives are used with the modified noun dropped and "definite articles" in front of them to convey the same meaning as English possessive pronouns. For example,
    • Di chi è questo libro? È il mio. (Whose is this book? It is mine.)

Relative Pronouns

  1. Learn relative pronouns are those that begin a "relative clause" and refer to a noun in the "subject clause." For example, "The boy who sits in the front row." Here relative clause is "who sits in the front row" and modifies the subject clause "the boy." In this sentence, who has the role of a pronoun.
  2. Note that there are other pronouns in the same category as,
    • Demonstrative pronouns, such as, "That is what I am talking about in an hour." By that he refers to a topic known by the audience.
    • Interrogative pronoun, such as, "Who is the boy sitting in the front row (showing John in front row)?" Hence, who is a reference to John.
    • Indefinite pronouns, such as, "Anybody could sit in the front row (among them John)." Here, anybody refers to John.
    • Reciprocal pronouns, such as "Teacher and students started arguing with each other." Again, each other refers to teachers and students.
  3. Note also that relative, interogative, and demonstrative pronouns have three cases depending on the noun that they refer to as,
    • Subjective
    • Objective
    • Possessive

Demonstrative Adjectives (Pronouns)

  1. In Italian, like English, demonstrative adjectives are used as demonstrative pronouns.
  2. In Italian, like English, demonstrative adjectives are dealt as definite articles. For example, the boy shows that boy, and vice versa.
  3. Learn demonstrative adjective (and pronoun) this
    • This (masculine) : questo
    • This (feminine) : questa
    • These (masculine) : questi
    • These (feminine) : queste
  4. Learn demonstrative adjective (and pronoun) that
  5. Adjective "that" (quello) is completely like the corresponding Italian definite articles in modifying nouns. Stem is quel,
    • Article il : quel
    • Article l' : quell'
    • Article i : quei
    • Article gli : quegli
    • Article lo : quello
    • Article la : quella
    • Article le : quelle

Relative Pronouns

  1. Note that some relative pronouns are invariable; that is they do not change when the referred noun is masculine or feminin or singular or plural.
    • che : who, that, which, whom
    • chi : who (one who)
    • cui : which, whom; in the sense,
      • a cui : to whom
      • con cui : with which (the company with which I have contract.)
      • di cui : to which
      • in cui : in which (where)
    • ciò che: what
  2. Variable relative pronouns change depending on gender and number.
    • Article il : quale (singular).
    • Article la : quale (singular).
    • Article i : quali (plural).
    • Article le : quali (plural).
    • if quello che (that which) is used in place of ciò che then quello changes as a demonstrative adjective, but che remains invariable.

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