Verb of the day 4

fare (to make, to do)
I make/do – (io) faccio, fo
you make/do (inf.) – (tu) fai
he/she/it makes/does, you make/do (pol.) – lui/lei/Lei fa
we make/do – (noi) facciamo
you make/do (pl. inf.) – (voi) fate
they make/do, you make/do (pol.) – (loro/Loro) fanno

This will take some learning. I was not familiar with this verb before now, but it’s another very common one. Looking at my Italian dictionary, this is a verb with a lot of complexity in Italian. Not only does it do double duty for the common meanings of “to make” and “to do”, it’s used in an awful lot of idiomatic expressions. I’ll just have to try and get the more basic usages down first.

One thing about Italian verbs that you might notice is that in the conjugation list I’m putting the Italian pronouns in parentheses. This is because, unlike in English, the conjugations are all different, so they indicate the subject of the verb without the explicit subject word actually needing to be there. So Italian speakers typically simply omit the pronouns:

Faccio pasta. – I make pasta.

You could say Io faccio pasta, but the Io isn’t necessary since the subject “I” is implied by the conjugation of the verb. This is in contrast to the closely related Romance language Spanish (a little bit of which I learnt last year for my trip to South America), where the pronoun is still needed, even though the verb conjugation has to match, and implies what the pronoun must be:

Spanish: Yo hago la pasta.

Here the hago means the subject must be Yo, but you still need to say the Yo. Knowing some Italian helped me with Spanish, because apart from this difference the sentence structures are almost identical, and many words are derived from the same roots, so look familiar. Disclaimer: I’m no expert on Spanish! This is my understanding – I may be wrong. (I’m no expert in Italian either, for that matter, but I’m a bit more comfortable with it.)

One Response to “Verb of the day 4”

  1. Chops says:

    Actually, you don’t need the pronouns in Spanish either. My wife and I each have several years of Spanish under our belts, and that’s how we were taught.

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