ITALIAN PRONOUNS (pronomi)

THE PRONOUNS in ITALIAN

Pronouns are used, above all, to replace a noun as a way to avoid repetitions, but they can also replace adjectives,  verbs, other pronouns and even whole phrases.

 

Examples:

Pensavo che tu fossi cattivo e invece non lo sei (I thought you were bad but you are not)

Ha bevuto e lo racconta a tutti (He is drunk and tell this to everyone)

Dov’è la mia borsa? Non lo so  (Where is my bag? I don’t know)

PERSONAL PRONOUNS

Personal pronouns replace a noun without indicating or repeating it.

A personal pronoun may refer to:

a) The person / people speaking (first person)

b) The person / people spoken to (second person)

c) The person / people / thing(s) spoken about (third person).

Personal pronouns take the gender and number from the noun they refer to.

1. SUBJECT PRONOUNS

Subject pronouns are the doer of the action.

As Italian verbs contain already, in the verb ending, the subject of the phrase, the subject pronouns are often omitted and used only for emphasis or to avoid confusion.

SINGULAR
First personioI
Second persontu

Lei

you (informal)

you (formal)

Third personlui (egli)

lei (ella)

esso

essa

he

she

it (masculine)

it (feminine)

 

PLURAL
First personnoiwe
Second personvoi

Loro

you (informal)

you (formal)

Third personloro (essi)

loro(esse)

they (masculine)

they (feminine)

 

“Egli”, “ella”, “esso”, “essa”, “essi” and “esse” are very rarely used in the spoken language and have been replaced by “lui”, “lei” and “loro”.

Although the formal “Lei” and “Loro” have been listed in the second person, they take the third person of the verb.

By Arnaldo Colonna

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