In the last lesson we learned how to conjugate regular –are verbs — or as they are also known, first conjugation verbs. In this lesson we will learn verb usage when making Italian interrogative sentences, simply meaning asking questions in Italian and negative sentences. The rules regarding verbs in questions applies to all verbs, including the –ere and –ire conjugations, and irregular verbs. Let’s begin with forming questions.
Learning the Italian questions is very important because its structure is used in every day conversation. The more you practice the subject, the closer you get to mastering the Italian language. But first we need to know the role of verbs in questions in the structure of the grammar in Italian.
In Italian there are four ways of asking a question to get a yes or no answer, and they are the following:
• Verb: Unlike English, the auxiliaries do and does are not used. Parla lei/lui inglese? ? (Does she/he speak English?)
• Pronoun + verb: Only the intonation makes the sentence interrogative: Lei/lui parla inglese? (Does she/he speak English?)
• Verb +…+ pronoun. The pronoun goes last Parla inglese lei/lui? (Does she/he speak English?)
• Finally you can also make a question by adding a tag question to the end
of a statement. Lei/lui parla inglese, vero/non è vero? She/he speak English, correct/right?
Learning the Italian negation is very important because its structure is used in everyday conversation. The more you practice the subject, the closer you get to mastering the Italian language. But first we need to know the role of negation in the structure of the grammar in Italian.
Italian negation is the process that turns an affirmative statement (I speak Italian) into its opposite denial (I don’t speak Italian).
In Italian, negation can be made simply by placing “no” before the main verb. But sometimes a double negative is required. “Non” is the most common negative.
Non parlo francese. (I don’t speak French.)
Non comprano niente da fare (they don’t buy anything.) – Niente means nothing. Double negatives are OK in Italian.
Non lavo la mia macchina ogni settimana. (I don’t wash my car every week.)
Study these rules carefully. In upcoming lessons we will be learning –ere and –ire verb conjugations and then put it all together and do some written exercises to test your progress.