One of the most important tenses in Italian language is the imperfect tense. Students have to understand when it should be used and how to use it, so that they can make correct sentences. The imperfect tense is only one of the past tenses in Italian language: we have written a guide about passato prossimo and passato remoto that you should read.
When to use the imperfect tense in Italian
First of all you should understand when to use the imperfect tense. In Italian language this tense is used when it’s necessary to describe how a person felt in the past, what he was doing and also what things were like. Let’s see some example to discover when this tense is chosen in Italian sentences:
Faceva freddo -> It was cold
Lei aveva fame -> She was hungry
Ieri lui giocava a calcio -> Yesterday he played football
In Italian there is also the imperfect continuous, that you should use when you want to describe an action that was going on in the past. Let’s see some examples:
Lei non stava leggendo, stava scrivendo -> She was not reading, she was writing.
Che cosa stavi facendo settimana scorsa? -> What were you doing last week?
How to make this tense in Italian
Making the imperfect tense in Italian is very simple, all you have to do is removing -re from the infinitive form and adding -vo, -vi, -va, -vamo, -vate or -vano according to the person you want to use. For example the verb mangiare (to eat) at the imperfect tense is mangiavo, mangiavi, mangiava, mangiavamo, mangiavate, mangiavano.
There are also some irregular verbs, which don’t follow the grammar rule we have just explained. One of the most important verbs of this group is the verb to be: the verb essere at the imperfect tense is ero, eri, era, eravamo, eravate, erano.
Learning Italian with Clidante: how to join
If you want to learn Italian you should choose a renowned Italian school. One of the best schools in Italy is Clidante, which offers a lot of different language courses and gives also the opportunity to study Italian online. Italian teachers of Clidante will explain you all Italian verb tenses and will help you memorizing Italian grammar rules. If you have chosen to become a student of Clidante, you should read our guide about how to enroll in an Italian language school in Rome.