web analytics

Personal Pronouns

PERSONAL PRONOUNS

Subject Pronouns

A subject pronoun is a personal pronoun that is used as a replacement for the noun that is the subject of the sentence or clause.  Since Italian verb endings make it clear who is the subject of the verb (who or what is performing the action of the verb), subject pronouns are often omitted in Italian.  Subject pronouns are generally only used for emphasis, contrast or to avoid confusion.   

SUBJECT PRONOUNS

Formal:  Lei / Loro

I'm paying, I'll pay pago io
It's me!
Sono io!
I'm coming too!
vengo anch'io!
Are you eating too?
Mangi anche tu?
You ate everything!
Tu hai mangiato tutto!
You do what you like!
Tu fai come vuoi!
It's him!
È lui!
She is right, not he.
Ha ragione lei, non lui.
He looks happy.
Lui sembra contento.
We are Italian, you are French.
Noi siamo italiani, voi siete francesi.

Possessive Pronouns

Possessive pronouns indicate the person to whom something belongs.   Like personal (subject) pronouns, possessive pronouns have six grammatical ‘persons’ (my, your, his/her, our, your, their.).

In Italian, the ending of possessive pronouns agrees (in gender and number) with the noun they specify, not with the person who owns the object.  Loro does not vary.

Possessive pronouns are preceded by an article, except in a few cases (e.g. when specifying family members or parts of the body).

POSSESSIVE PRONOUNS

Formal:  Loro

Masc. Sing. Fem. Sing. Masc. Pl. Fem. Pl.
my
il mio lupo
la mia mela
i miei lupi
le mie mele
your (sing.)
il tuo lupo
la tua mela
i tuoi lupi
le tue mele
his/her
il suo lupo
la sua mela
i suoi lupi
le sue mele
our
il nostro lupo
la nostra mela
i nostri lupi
le nostre mele
your (pl.)
il vostro lupo
la vostra mela
i vostri lupi
le vostre mele
their
il loro lupo
la loro mela
i loro lupi
le loro mele

Direct Object Pronouns

A direct object pronoun is a  noun substitute that answers the questions whom? or what? In Italian, direct object pronouns can take two forms: weak (unstressed) and strong (stressed).  You will generally need to use weak (unstressed) pronouns.

Strong (stressed) pronouns are only used for:

  • special emphasis
  • after prepositions (e.g. con, di, per)
  • for comparisons

Weak pronouns are placed as close to the verb as possible, usually before the verb.  Strong pronouns usually follow the verb.

Weak form
Strong form

DIRECT OBJECT PRONOUNS

Weak (Unstressed) form

Formal:  La;  Li/ Le

DIRECT OBJECT PRONOUNS

Weak (Unstressed) form
he watches me
lui mi guarda
he watches you
lui ti guarda
he watches him/her
lui lo / la guarda
he watches us
lui ci guarda
he watches you
lui vi guarda
he watches them
lui li / le guarda

DIRECT OBJECT PRONOUNS

Strong (Stressed) form

Formal:  Lei;  Loro

DIRECT OBJECT PRONOUNS

Strong (Stressed) form
he watches me
lui guarda me
he watches you
lui guarda te
he watches him/her
lui guarda lui / lei
he watches us
lui guarda noi
he watches you
lui guarda voi
he watches them
lui guarda loro

Indirect Object Pronouns

Indirect object pronouns are used to indicate that the action of a verb is aimed at or to something or somebody else. 

They are used with verbs which take an indirect object, such as dare, mandare, telefonare. one common use is with the verb piacere.

INDIRECT OBJECT PRONOUNS

Formal:  Le

INDIRECT OBJECT PRONOUNS

lui scrive a me lui mi scrive
lui scrive a te
lui ti scrive
lui scrive a lui / lei
lui gli / le scrive
lui scrive a noi
lui ci scrive
lui scrive a voi
lui vi scrive
lui scrive a loro
lui gli scrive

Reflexive Pronouns

Reflexive pronouns are used when the subject and the object of the verb are the same person.  In other words, when the subject performs the action of the verb on themself.

Weak form
Strong form

REFLEXIVE PRONOUNS

Weak (Unstressed) form

Formal:  La;  Li/ Le

REFLEXIVE PRONOUNS

Weak (Unstressed) form
I am called (call myself)
io mi chiamo
you get up
tu ti alzi
he / she wakes up
lui / lei si sveglia
we sit (ourselves) down
noi ci sediamo
you stand up
voi vi alzate
they wash (themselves)
loro si lavano

REFLEXIVE PRONOUNS

Strong (Stressed) form

Formal:  Lei;  Loro

REFLEXIVE PRONOUNS

Strong (Stressed) form
I talk about myself
parlo di me stesso /-a
you talk about yourself
parli di te stesso /-a
he / she talks about himself / herself
parla di stesso /-a
we talk about ourselves
parliamo di noi stessi /-e
you talk about yourselves
parlate di voi stessi /-e
they talk about themselves
parlano di stessi /-e

Combined Pronouns

Sometimes you will need to use an indirect pronoun (mi, ti, gli, le, etc.) and a direct pronoun (lo, la, le, li) in the same sentence.  For example, I will give it to you.  In such cases, the word order in Italian is indirect pronoun + direct pronoun + verb.

For example: Te lo darò – I will give it to you. (Ti is the indirect pronoun, meaning ‘to you’; lo is the direct pronoun, meaning ‘it’.  When ti and lo are combined, they become ‘te lonotti lo‘).

Some pairs of pronouns (one indirect + one direct) are literally combined into one word.

For example: Glielo darò – I will give it to her. (Le is the indirect pronoun, meaning ‘to her’; lo is the direct pronoun, meaning ‘it’.  When le and lo are combined, they become ‘glielo‘)

lo la li le ne
mi
me lo
me la
me li
me le
me ne
ti
te lo
te la
te li
te le
te ne
gli
glielo
gliela
glieli
gliele
gliene
le
glielo
gliela
glieli
gliele
gliene
si
se lo
se la
se li
se le
se ne
ci
ce lo
ce la
ce li
ce le
ce ne
vi
ve lo
ve la
ve li
ve le
ve ne
gli
glielo
gliela
glieli
gliele
gliene

ci and ne

Ci replaces the prepositions “in” or “a” and their object:  

Vai a Roma?  No, non ci vado.

Ne replaces the preposition “di” and its object:  

Voi una di queste fragole?  Ne vuoi una?

You might be interested in …