Pronouns – Pronomi

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A pronoun (= pronome) substitutes a noun (= nome) (such as, in English the words “she or he” substitute for the name of a person and the word “it” substitutes for the name of a certain object). So, the pronoun is the particle of the discourse that takes the place of the name.

When you speak Italian, you normally do not use the pronouns, as the ending of the verb shows exactly which person is being talked about. Later in the course we will learn in which situation you may use the pronouns.

I Pronomi (= The Pronouns) are divided into:

1) Pronomi Personali (personal pronouns);

2) Pronomi Possessivi (= possessive pronouns);

3) Pronomi Dimostrativi (= demonstrative pronouns);

4) Pronomi Relativi (= relative pronouns); and

5) Pronomi Indefiniti (= indefinite pronouns).

1) PRONOMI PERSONALI: The personal pronoun indicates the person speaking (first person), the person to whom you speak (second person) and the person spoken of (third person).

A) Pronomi Personali – Forme Soggettive: (= Personal Pronouns – Subjective Forms)

Singular number

Io (= I) (first person)

Tu (= You) (second person)

Egli, Esso (= He) (third person)

Ella, Essa (= She) (third person) )

Plural number

Noi (= We) (first person)

Voi (= You) (second person)

Essi  (= They) (masculine)

Esse ( = They) (feminine)

B) Pronomi Personali Complementi (= Complements)

Singular number

Me (= me, myself) (first person)

Te (= yourself) (second person)

Lui (= him) (third person)

Lei (= her, “She” (third person) and “You” polite)

Plural number

Noi (= We) (first person)

Voi (= You) (second person)

Loro  (= “They”(third person) and “You” polite)

Essi (= They) (masculine)

Esse (= They) (feminine)

The Italian language is a very polite language; In Italian you cannot address in the same way the way you address your friends people you are not familiar with or are older than you are or who have a title. With those people you have to use the formal or polite form.

So, the formal form or polite-form, which is “Lei” and always capitalised (same for masculine and feminine) PLUS the verb in the third person is used to address people you do not know, those with a higher position (whether in business or in life) or elderly people.

As an exercise, please write multiple times on your notebook all the pronouns you have learned today, while you pronounce them correctly and aloud. For the correct pronunciation, please consult the alphabet.

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