Simple Past Tense

Il Tempo Passato Remoto

Introduction Introduzione
Also known as the preterite, the Italian simple past tense describes actions that took place in the past and were completed in the past.

It is often confused with the imperfect tense, which describes on going, past events.

The examples below illustrate the difference with the verb mangiare (to eat):

Preterite
Egli mangiò.
He ate.

Imperfect
Egli mangiava.
He was eating.

The simple past tense can also be confused with a compound tense used more in Northern Italy, called the passato prossimo (close past). Combining the verb avere and the past participle, this describes actions having taken place recently, such as in the same day:

Close Past
Egli ha mangiato.
He has eaten.
Vocabulary Vocabolario
Play parlare
to talk to speak
Play dormire
to sleep
Play andare
to work to move to go
Play vivere
to live

Verb Conjugations

Coniugazioni verbali

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