How to Use Present Perfect Tense (Passato Prossimo) in Italian

Опубликовал Admin
5-05-2019, 09:00
If you have gone through some of the articles under the category 'Italian' then you will find that there are articles that will help you understand some of the basic grammar and can equip you to at least survive in Italy if nothing else. Now, this article deals with the usage of 'Passato Prossimo', i.e., the present perfect tense which will help you in strengthening your grammar even further so that you come to more fully enjoy the beauty of the language.


  1. Present perfect tense or passato prossimo refers to that action which has already taken place in the past but has still has its effect in the present. For example: I have eaten.
  2. Now, in Italian the passato prossimo is formed with the present indicative of essere or avere + the past participle of the main verb.
    • For example: Io ho mangiato (I have eaten)
  3. Many verbs have a regular form of the past participle.
    • ARE - cantare (to sing) - cantato
    • ERE - credere (to believe) - creduto
    • IRE - dormire (to sleep) - dormito
  4. Some of the common irregular past participle are :
    • aprire (to open) - aperto
    • bere (to drink) - bevuto
    • chiedere (to ask) - chiesto
    • chiudere (to close) - chiuso
    • dire (to say/tell) - detto
    • fare (to do/make) - fatto
    • prendere (to take) - preso
    • scrivere (to write) - scritto
    • tradurre (to translate) - tradotto
    • vivere (to live) - vissuto
    • vedere (to see) - visto (veduto)
  5. Also, there are certain rules that must be kept in mind. These can be called 'Past participle agreement'.
    • I.e., when 'essere' (to be) is used the past participle agrees with the subject, both in number (singular or plural) and gender (masculine or feminine).
    • For example: Gloria è andata in discoteca sabato sera. (Gloria went to the disco Saturday evening)
    • In the above example since Gloria is female, the past participle 'andare' becomes 'andata'. If it had been a male then it would have been 'andato'.
    • Another example: Siamo tornati dalle vacanze da poco e ora non abbiamo voglia di lavorare. (We returned from vacation recently and now we don't want to work)
    • In the above example since the past participle 'tornare' is in the plural form.
    • When 'avere' is used there is usually no need for past participle agreement.
    • For example: Cinzia ha ordinato una birra gelata. (Cinzia has ordered a really cold beer)
    • When past participle follows a direct object pronoun the agreement is optional.
    • For example: Vi hanno sentito/ti cantare giovedi sera a teatro. (They heard you sing at the theatre on Thursday evening)
  6. But there is an exception. When the pronouns lo, la, l', li, and le, are used with 'avere', then the agreement is necessary.


  • You must have a clear understanding of pronouns, verbs and basic grammatical constructions to be able to understand this.
  • Practice as much as you can. Search online for practice exercises.
  • If you are taking this language class then do ask for your teacher's help.


  • Don't get frustrated and quit altogether. Learning a language you are not at all aware of is a beautiful experience. Keep going.
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