What you will learn
You will learn to use the imperfetto tense when recounting past events and to talk about your childhood.
What you need to know.
Here is a basic vocabulary list collaboratively. Make sure you keep adding to this all year.
L’imperfetto is another verb tense, also used to express actions in the past. The main difference between passato prossimo and imperfetto is that the passato prossimo is used for main events of a recount, whereas the imperfetto is used to express background information.
For example, when recounting a holiday, you would use the imperfetto to comment on or describe something like a hotel, a city or a monument use:
subject + era* + adjective
eg. L’albergo era elegante; La città era bellissima; Il Castello era magnifico. (The hotel was elegant; the city was beautiful, the Castle was magnificent)
Watch the video explanation below or, if you prefer, read these notes on imperfetto.
There are only a few irregular verbs in the imperfetto, derived from their ‘antique infinitives’.
|infinitive||Antique infinitive||Irregular imperfetto|
Plus ESSERE – ero, eri, era, eravamo, eravate, erano
The Imperfetto tense is also used to express habitual actions in the past, for example, things that you used to do when you where a bambina (child). Use this tense when answering questions about your childhood, such as “com’eri da piccola?”.
Eg. Da bambina ero birichina e molto vivace. Abitavo in una casa che aveva un grande giardino e una piccola piscina. Mi piaceva giocare in giardino con il mio cane, e passavo delle ore in camera mia a giocare con le mie bambole.
Also use this tense when describing a recent holiday to express what you would do daily or often during throughout the holiday, as in this example from our peer tutors:
- When talking about your childhood, open with
Da piccola/bambina ero + adjectives
Eg. Da bambina ero viziata e prepotente (as I child I was spoilt and bossy)
- Perhaps mention something about your house or suburb
Eg. Abitavo in una casa molto vecchia ma grande con i miei genitori e i miei nonni (I lived in a very old but big house with my parents and grandparents)
- Then express what you used to do in your free time, either with mi piaceva + infinitive or with the imperfect tense of the activity verb
Eg. Mi piaceva ascoltare la musica classica e ballare. Spesso, infatti, mi mettevo le scarpette da danza, accendevo la radio e ballavo per ore e ore. (I liked listening to classical music and dancing. Often, in fact, I used to put my ballet shoes on, turn on the radio e dance for hours and hours)
Make your language sound more authentic (& get higher marks) …
by using these idioms
Your to do list.
Have a better idea for a task? Go ahead and do it, as long as it meets that same purpose and that it can be documented.
||To build an extensive vocabulary list for the entire class to share, use as a reference list and personalise. To have a bank of vocab and expressions to use when preparing for the individual oral exam in Yr 12 and to use when completing IB writing tasks about holidays.|
||To drill and memorise all relevant vocabulary.|
||To develop your understanding of Italian phonetics and improve your pronunciation.|
||To drill and test your understanding of imperfetto verbs.|
|5.||To drill and revise conjugations of all tenses learned so far.|
||To see different ways of answering the question to enrich your vocab and discover new expressions. To have answers from native speakers to use as a model when planning your response and studying for the IB individual oral and Paper 2 writing tasks|
||To put all the language together, learn to identify and adapt useful expressions in authentic texts for your own writing tasks and develop writing skills for IB paper 2. To become familiar with the marking criteria for long writing tasks. To learn how to expand on simple ideas to meet the word limit and create relevant content by building on language from previous units. To work out when to use the passato prossimo and when to use the imperfetto in past recounts.|
||to put all the language together, learn to identify and adapt useful expressions in authentic texts for your own writing tasks and develop writing skills for IB paper 2. To become familiar with the marking criteria for long writing tasks. To learn how to expand on simple ideas to meet the word limit and create relevant content by building on language from previous units. To use a mix of tenses (presente, passato prossimo, imperfetto) depending on what you are trying to communicate.|
||To put all the language together and learn to manipulate and create meaningful responses on the spot, without writing out your response.To practise IB style oral questions for your individual oral exam.|
||to put all the language together, learn to identify and adapt useful expressions from native speakers for your own responses and create relevant content by building on language from previous units. To develop your speaking skills.|