Formal imperative with pronouns: Italian grammar lesson 206

To practice this grammar topic, take Lesson 206 of Ripeti Con Me!
Formal imperative pronouns Italian
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The imperative in Italian

In case you don’t know (or don’t remember), we use the imperative when we want to give orders and instructions.

Here are some examples in English:

  • Sit down!
  • Come back!
  • Open the door.

If you need to review the imperative, have a look at our lesson about giving orders and instructions.

In today’s lesson, we’re going to focus on the formal imperative with pronouns.

Here’s an example for you to start getting familiarized with it:

Me li porti in camera.

Bring them to me in my room.

Formal imperative with pronouns Italian

The formal imperative in Italian

We use the formal imperative when we’re addressing someone older, someone we don’t know very well, or someone in a formal context.

Here are the endings for the formal imperative:

  • Verbs in -are: -i
  • Verbs in -ere: -a
  • Verbs in -ire: -a or -isca

Here are the endings of some irregular verbs for the formal imperative:

  • Dare (to give): dia
  • Dire (to say): dica
  • Fare (to do): faccia

And here are some short examples in the formal imperative:

Aspetti!

Wait!

Prenda questo quaderno.

Take this notebook.

Beva questa caffè.

Drink this coffee.

Formal imperative with pronouns in Italian

Pronouns

Pronouns are short words such as me, him, it, us, and them.

In Italian, we have direct and indirect object pronouns.

We recommend reviewing our lesson about direct object pronouns and our lesson about indirect object pronouns.

Here is an example with a direct object pronoun to see what we mean:

Non trovo le mie chiavi. Tu le hai viste?

I cannot find my keys. Have you seen them?

Here is an example with an indirect object pronoun:

Gli ho detto quello che penso.

I told him what I think.

And here is an example with both pronouns:

Quello è il mio libro. Me lo puoi dare?

That’s my book. Can you give it to me?

Italian formal imperative with pronouns

Direct object pronouns with the formal imperative

Here’s a table with direct object pronouns:

Italian Translation
lo him or it (referring to a masculine singular noun)
la her or it (referring to a feminine singular noun)
li them (referring to a masculine plural noun)
le them (referring to a feminine plural noun)

Here are some examples with direct object pronouns with the formal imperative:

Lo faccia subito.

Do it straight away.

La chiami adesso.

Call her now.

Li compri.

Buy them.

As you can see, we place the direct object pronoun BEFORE the formal imperative.

Lei imperative with pronouns italian

Indirect object pronouns with the formal imperative

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Here’s a table with the indirect object pronouns that we use with the formal imperative.

Italian Translation
mi (to) me
gli (to) him
le (to) her
si (to) yourself (formal)
ci (to) us
gli (to) them

Here are some examples with indirect object pronouns in the formal imperative:

Mi dica tutto.

Tell me everything.

Per piacere, gli dica che non ci sono.

Please, tell him I’m not here.

Si accomodi.

Take a seat.

Again, we place the indirect object pronoun BEFORE the formal imperative.

Pronouns and formal imperative Italian

Practice with Quizlet

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

Direct and indirect object pronouns with the formal imperative

Here’s a summary of the combination of both direct and indirect object pronouns:

lo la li le
mi me lo me la me li me le
gli/le glielo gliela glieli gliele
ci ce lo ce la ce li ce le
gli glielo gliela glieli gliele

Let’s have a look at some examples:

Glielo dia subito.

Give it to him/her straight away.

Ce lo faccia sapere il prima possibile.

Let us know as soon as possible.

Per piacere, me la porti a casa.

Please, bring it to me at my house.

Needless to say, again, we place the combination of both pronouns BEFORE the formal imperative.

Italian formal imperative with direct and indirect pronouns

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