Il passato prossimo
Il passato prossimo
The passato prossimo is used to talk about:
• Specific completed actions –
Ho viaggiato in aereo.
• An action in the past which happened at a
specific time –
L’estate scorsa sono andato in Italia.
The imperfetto is used:
• To give a description of a past experience –
C’erano migliaia di turisti dappertutto.
• To talk about a repeated action in the past –
Lavoravo per cinque ore al giorno.
• To express an opinion in the past –
Era fantastico!
Which tense?
Look at the following sentences in English and
decide whether you would use the passato
prossimo or the imperfetto to translate them.
1. I went to Italy with my friends in 2007.
2. Every day we walked for hours.
3. Last year my parents sold their car.
4. We received the postcard this morning.
Which tense?
5. Fortunately, I had my camera with me.
6. My sister went out an hour ago.
7. When I was younger, I liked playing tennis.
8. The hotel was close to the city centre.
9. Last weekend I went to the cinema.
10. The people were very friendly.
Present to Past
The following sentences are all in the present
tense. Put each one into both the passato
prossimo and the imperfetto.
1. Ci sono tre alberghi nel centro della città.
2. Viaggio a scuola in autobus.
3. Mangio con amici nel ristorante.
Present to Past
4. Vado a vedere tanti musei interessanti.
5. È una città molto interessante.
6. Durante l’estate, gioco a calcio con amici.
Now translate each sentence into English.
Does the meaning change with the tense?
Which version would be better in a Directed Writing
Would adding a time phrase make any of them better?
• Il passato prossimo
1. Stamattina, (io) _______ (alzarsi) presto.
2. Ieri pomeriggio, mia sorella _______
(giocare) a pallavolo con amici.
3. L’anno scorso (tu) _______ (lavorare) da un
parrucchiere per un mese.
4. La settimana scorsa (noi) _______ (vedere)
tre film al cinema.
• L’imperfetto
1. Il cibo in Italia _______ (essere) fantastico.
2. I miei genitori _______ (guardare) la
3. (Io) _______ (dovere) lavare tutti i piatti ogni
4. Ogni sera (noi) _______ (mangiare) nel
ristorante accanto all’albergo.
Which is best?
1. Durante le vacanze estive, sono andato /
andavo al mare ogni giorno.
2. Nel 2006, ci sono stati / c’erano tanti turisti
a Glasgow.
3. Sono andato / andavo in Italia l’estate
scorsa. È stato / era meraviglioso!
4. Purtroppo, è piovuto / pioveva ogni giorno.
Last year, you got a summer job in a hotel in
Siena. You stayed in a flat in the centre of the
city. You have to write an account of your
experience in Italy.
Translate the following sentences into Italian:
1. I travelled to Pisa by plane and then to Siena
by train.
2. The journey went well but I was very tired
when I arrived.
3. The apartment was small but comfortable. I
shared it with three Italian students.
4. Every day, I ate lunch at the hotel. In the
evening I cooked dinner with my flatmates.
5. I really enjoyed my time in Italy, although I
missed my family and friends a lot.
6. A typical day involved cleaning hotel rooms,
making beds and serving lunch in the bar.
7. I earned around 150 euros a week.
Unfortunately, I spent it all shopping in Siena
and Florence!
8. My experience in Siena was very positive, I
made lots of new friends and my Italian
improved greatly.

Il passato prossimo contro l`imperfetto