Italian Passato Prossimo Tense

The passato prossimo tense is used in the following situations:

  • an action which took place a short time ago.
  • an action which took place some time ago and the results of the action can still be felt in the present
  • an experience in your life
  • an action which has finished but the time period (e.g. this year , this week, today) hasn’t finished yet

The passato prossimo is formed in the following way:

 

present indicativo of the verbs essere or avere

+

past participle of the principle verb

Examples:

Dopo pranzo Marco ha letto il giornale. (The action took place a short time ago)

 

Marco read the newspaper after lunch.
Quest’anno siamo andati in vacanza a Barcellona. (This year is still continuing)

 

We have been to Barcelona this year.
Hai studiato all’estero? (An experience in your life)

 

Have you studied abroad?
Sono stata a Parigi due anni fa. (An experience in your life)

 

I went to Paris two years ago.

 

Oggi, Luigi e Simona hanno fatto la spesa. (Today hasn’t finished yet)

 

Luigi and Simona have been shopping today.
Sono uscita da scuola mezz’ora fa. (The action took place a short time ago)

 

I left school half an hour ago.
Sono sposato da 14 anni. (They are still married so the results of the action are still felt in the present)

 

I’ve been married for 14 years.

N.B Most verbs use the verb avere as the auxiliary verb, but for verbs of movement essere is used.

The passato prossimo tense of the verbs mangiare, credere and partire:

 

Mangiare (to eat)

Credere (to believe)

 io ho

tu hai

lui/lei/Lei ha

noi abbiamo

voi avete

loro/Loro hanno

mangiato  io ho

tu hai

lui/lei/Lei ha

noi abbiamo

voi avete

loro/Loro hanno

creduto

When the passato prossimo tense is formed with the verb essere, the past participle must agree with the subject:

 

Partire (to leave)

 io sono

tu sei

lui/lei/Lei è

partito/a
 noi siamo

voi siete

loro/Loro sono

partiti/e

The passato prossimo tense of the verbs essere and avere:

 

Essere (to be)

Avere (to have)

 io sono

tu sei

lui/lei/Lei è

stato/a  io ho

tu hai

lui/lei/Lei ha

noi abbiamo

voi avete

loro/Loro hanno

avuto
 noi siamo

voi siete

loro/Loro sono

stati/e