How to say “after doing something”: Italian grammar lesson 191


Dive into the Italian language and master expressing actions that follow another! This guide breaks down the structure of “after doing something” in Italian, teaching you the ins and outs of past participles for both regular and irregular verbs. 🇮🇹✨

– To express “after doing something” in Italian, use dopo followed by avere or essere and the past participle of the main verb. It’s a handy structure for sharing sequential events!
– Regular verbs are a breeze! For –are verbs, swap the ending for -ato. Verbs ending in –ere and –ire change to -uto and -ito, respectively. So, mangiare becomes mangiato. Easy peasy!
– Irregular verbs? A bit trickier, but most end in -to or -so. Memorize these oddballs like aperto (opened) and bevuto (drunk). They don’t always play by the rules, but they’re worth the effort.
– When using avere, the past participle stays masculine singular, ending in -o, regardless of the subject. So, “after eating” is dopo aver mangiato, whether it’s one guy or a group of gals.
– With essere, the past participle must agree in gender and number with the subject. This means endings can vary: -o, -a, -i, -e. So, “after she left” is dopo essere partita, but “after they left” is dopo essere partiti.
– Remember, practice makes perfect. Start using these structures in your daily Italian conversations, and you’ll sound like a local in no time. Don’t be shy; even making mistakes is part of the learning journey! 🚀

My thoughts

What is the structure of after doing something in Italian?

The structure is pretty simple if you remember how to make the past infinitive which is made of either avere or essere and the past participle.

Here are the two possible options:

  • dopo + avere + past participle.
  • dopo + essere + past participle.

How to form the past participle of regular verbs?

The past participles of regular verbs are easy to remember because they follow a pattern:

  • the verbs that end in –are in the infinitive,  end in ato in the past participle.
  • the verbs that end in ere in the infinitive,  end in uto in the past participle.
  • the verbs that end in –ire in the infinitive, end in –ito in the past participle.

Have a look at some examples:

  • are: mangiare, ballare, and cantare become mangiato, ballato, and cantato.
  • ere: credere, cadere, and ricevere become creduto, caduto, and ricevuto.
  • ire: pulire, dormire, and sentire become pulito, dormito, and sentito.

How to form the past participle of irregular verbs?

Some verbs are irregular and don’t follow a pattern, so basically; you need to memorize them.

An easy way to do so is to remember they usually end in -to or -so. Here’s a list of the most common ones:

  • aprire (to open): aperto
  • bere (to drink): bevuto
  • decidere(to decide): deciso
  • essere(to be): stato
  • dire(to say): detto
  • fare(to do): fatto
  • leggere (to read): letto
  • mettere(to put): messo
  • perdere (to lose): perso
  • prendere (to get): preso
  • rimanere(to stay): rimasto
  • scegliere (to choose):  scelto
  • scrivere (to write): scritto
  • vedere (to see): visto
  • vivere (to live): vissuto

How to use dopo + avere + past participle?

After the verb avere, the past participle never agrees in gender and number with the subject so it always ends in -o.

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Here are some examples:

Dopo aver cenato, siamo andati a ballare.

After having dinner, we went dancing.

Dopo aver vissuto in Germania, voglio imparare il tedesco.

After living in Germany, I want to learn German.

Dopo aver fatto i compiti, mia figlia è andata a giocare fuori.

After finishing her homework, my daughter went to play outside.

Practice with Quizlet

Here's a set of flashcards and quizzes to practice this grammar topic.

How to use dopo + essere + past participle?

Remember when it comes to the verb essere, the past participle agrees in gender and number with the subject. Its endings are the following: -o, -a, -i, -e.

Let’s have a look at some examples:

Dopo essere andata in Spagna, sono andata in Francia.

After going to Spain, I went to France.

Dopo essere rimasti una settimana da loro, siamo tornati a casa.

After staying at theirs for a week, we came back home.

Dopo essere tornato in Italia, ho ripreso a lavorare.

After returning to Italy, I got back to work.

What gender is past participle in Italian?

When conjugating Italian verbs, the past participle which follows the verb "avere" will never change depending on the subject; it will always end in -o. However, when using the verb "essere", the past participle will agree in both gender and number with the subject, and can end with -o, -a, -i, or -e.

What is the meaning of "dopo"?

"Dopo" in Italian means after, afterward.

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Hai voglia di fare una passeggiata?
Do you feel like going for a walk?
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