Passato prossimo

Italian Present Perfect

Passato prossimo
Share / Tweet / Pin Me!

Italian has several different past tenses, and the most important one is the passato prossimo. Just to make things interesting, it has three possible English equivalents:

1. ho visitato   I visited   simple past
2. ho visitato   I have visited   present perfect
3. ho visitato   I did visit   past emphatic

The passato prossimo is used when talking about:

Completed actions

Sì, ho visitato la Sardegna.   Yes, I did visit Sardinia.
È caduto ieri.   He fell yesterday.

Repeated actions

Ho visitato tre volte.   I’ve visited 3 times.
È caduto di nuovo oggi.   He fell again today.

Series of actions

Ho visitato la Sardegna e poi sono andato in Sicilia.   I visited Sardinia and then I went to Sicily.
Quando è caduto, ha iniziato a piangere.   When he fell, he started crying.

Very recent actions, with appena

Ho appena trovato l’hotel.   I just found the hotel.
È appena caduto di nuovo.   He just fell again.

Condition in likely situations (se clauses – lesson coming soon)

Se hai perso, devi congratularti con il vincitore.   If you lost, you have to congratulate the winner.

 The passato prossimo is often used alongside the imperfect, which can be very confusing for Italian students. I’ll compare and contrast these two tenses in detail in a future lesson.

 Related lessons

Learn Spanish En español

Learn French En français

 Share / Tweet / Pin Me!

Italian past tense

Virtual Italian Teacher at Lawless Languages | Website | + posts

Ciao! I’m Laura K Lawless, creator, writer, editor, and CLO (Chief Lawless Officer) of this free online Italian learning site.

Lawless Italian is an official Lawless Languages site.