Today it is time to focus on an important part of Italian grammar, namely pronouns! Let’s get started 😀
Pronouns (PRONOMI) are variable parts of speech, therefore they change in gender and number. They are used to avoid repetition and replace a noun. There are five types of pronoun: personal, possessive, demonstrative, relative and indefinite.
Let’s start with the easiest one:
PERSONAL PRONOUNS (subject) – PRONOMI PERSONALI SOGGETTO
IO – I
TU – you
EGLI/ELLA – he/she
NOI – we
VOI – you
ESSI/ESSE – they
In a sentences like: “Maria is very tired” you can replace the noun “Maria” with a personal pronoun and it becomes “She is very tired”. IN ITALIAN —> Maria è molto stanca = Essa è molto stanca.
Now, I have to tell you that we hardly ever use “egli/essa” and “essi/esse” because it is very awkward to tell the truth. After the language reform made by Alessandro Manzoni (Italian writer), it is accteped to use “LUI/LEI” and “LORO“. As you may already know, they are indirect object personal pronouns.
As for the above sentence, I would say (and it would sound more natural/Italian): LEI E’ MOLTO STANCA.
Marco is very happy – He is very happy = LUI è molto contento (not “egli”)
Marco and Maria are married – They are married = LORO sono sposati (not “essi”)
PERSONAL PRONOUNS (direct & indirect object) – PRONOMI PERSONALI COMPLEMENTO
Forma atona (unstressed): These do not have their own accent and are always pronounced before or with the verb.
Examples: Ti parlo (I talk to you) or Vieni a trovarci (Come to visit us).
Forma tonica (stressed): These pronouns have their own accent and they are usually put after the verb.
Examples: Penso a te (I think of you) or Cerco loro (I’m looking for them).
Here’s a chart to help you understand better:
|persona||funzione soggetto||funzione complemento|
|forma tonica||forma atona|
|3ª singolare||maschile||lui, (egli, esso)||lui, sé (stesso)||lo, gli, si|
|femminile||lei, (ella, essa)||lei, sé (stessa)||la, le, si|
|3ª plurale||maschile||loro, (essi)||loro, sé (stessi)||li, ne, si|
|femminile||loro, (esse)||loro, sé (stesse)||le, ne, si|
Examples of direct object: TI VEDO (vedo te) (I see you)
TI AMO (amo te) (I love you)
indirect object: VIENI CON ME (Come with me)
TI DO UN FIORE (do un fiore a te) (I give a flower to you)
Stay tuned for part II of this lesson, there is more to say about pronouns 🙂
Thank you for stopping by!