The books we read are interesting

addy

New Member
Australia english
Hi, How do you say in Italian? (The books we read are interesting.)
Thank you
Addy
 
  • shaula

    Senior Member
    Italy - Italian
    addy said:
    (The books we read are interesting.)
    I libri che leggiamo (present tense) sono interessanti

    or

    I libri che leggemmo (past tense) sono interessanti
    I libri che abbiamo letto (colloquial past tense) sono interessanti.

    :)
    Ciao
    shaula
     

    walnut

    Senior Member
    Italy - Italian
    Hi Addy and welcome to the WR Forums. :)

    I modified your thread's title to let other members rapidly identify the topic.

    Ciao! Walnut
     

    BklynGiovanna

    Senior Member
    USA English
    shaula said:
    I libri che leggiamo (present tense) sono interessanti

    or

    I libri che leggemmo (past tense) sono interessanti
    I libri che abbiamo letto (colloquial past tense) sono interessanti.

    :)
    Ciao
    shaula
    Ciao tutti!

    Can someone refresh my memory as to when it would be advised to use the past tense and when the colloquial past tense. When I'm in doubt I usually use the colloquial because I feel I can't be wrong.

    Does "leggemo" mean "we were reading"?
    How about "abbiamo letto"? That means we just read the books one time??

    Help!
     

    EricB

    Member
    US English
    I'm not sure if this what you're looking for, BklynGiovanna, but here's the way it's usually taught in Italian courses:

    "Leggemmo" is the passato remoto; it's generally used for events that happened a long time ago.

    "Abbiamo letto" is the passato prossimo, which is used for events that happened more recently, and that were definitely completed in the past. (There's an example coming up.)

    You might have also been thinking of "leggevamo", which is the imperfetto. It's used for events in the past which are (or were) ongoing, and also for states of mind, as well as a few other cases. The English equivalent is usually something like "we were reading."

    So "We were reading when John woke up" would be "Leggevamo [imperfetto, because it was an ongoing activity] quando John si è svegliato [passato prossimo, because it's a clearly defined event that happened and was completed]."

    Obviously, this is a very basic rundown, but does that help?
     

    shaula

    Senior Member
    Italy - Italian
    Everything you wrote, EricB, is correct. But we do not talk like grammar books :D

    People living in the North (like me) would always use passato prossimo:

    Stamattina ho letto il giornale (=as in grammar book)
    L'anno scorso ho letto il suo libro

    I have never used a passato remoto while talking. On the other hand I may have used it in school or writing a story.

    Ciao
    shaula
     

    BklynGiovanna

    Senior Member
    USA English
    Thank you to both. I like to learn all the ways eric, but now thanks to shaula I know if I get confused and don't want to say the wrong thing I won't be considered wrong if I use passato prossimo.

    Grazie un' altra volta!
     

    EricB

    Member
    US English
    I may be mistaken, but I think shaula was saying specifically that the passato remoto is not commonly used in spoken Italian, in Northern Italy. The passato prossimo is used instead. (This is generally not the case in the South, and in Sicily.)

    The imperfetto, however, is used in spoken Italian throughout the country.
     

    shaula

    Senior Member
    Italy - Italian
    EricB said:
    I may be mistaken, but I think shaula was saying specifically that the passato remoto is not commonly used in spoken Italian, in Northern Italy. The passato prossimo is used instead. (This is generally not the case in the South, and in Sicily.)
    Exactly, Eric :)
    EricB said:
    The imperfetto, however, is used in spoken Italian throughout the country.
    The imperfetto has a totally different idea than passato prossimo and remoto, so there is no way you can get it wrong (once you lnow how to use it, of course :D).

    Ciao
    shaula
     

    Silvia

    Senior Member
    Italian
    EricB said:
    the passato remoto is not commonly used in spoken Italian, in Northern Italy. The passato prossimo is used instead. (This is generally not the case in the South, and in Sicily.)
    Just to make it clearer, in the South they are wrong, too, in fact they overuse the passato remoto, this is even more evident when they speak in a dialect.
     
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