What is infinito passato in Italian?
The infinitive form of the verb (amare: to love, correre: to run, and dormire: to sleep) actually has a past tense in Italian called infinito passato, or infinito composto and corresponds to the past infinitive in English.
Have a look at the examples below, in which you will see the present infinitive and the past infinitive of some common Italian verbs:
- mangiare – aver mangiato
to eat – to have eaten
- andare – essere andato
to go – to have gone
- bere – aver bevuto
to drink – to have drunk
This form is very simple and it never changes: as it is still an infinitive form, it has no conjugation.
With the following tips, you’ll be using it correctly with no problems.
How to form the past infinitive with transitive verbs?
Transitive verbs are verbs that take a direct object.
|cantare (to sing)||avere cantato (to have sung)|
|ridere (to laugh)||avere riso (to have laughed)|
|leggere (to read)||avere letto (to have read)|
Dopo aver riso così tanto mi faceva male la pancia.
After having laughed that much my belly hurt.
Come ti senti dopo avere letto la poesia che ti ha dedicato?
How do you feel after having read the poem she dedicated to you?
How to form the past infinitive with intransitive verbs?
Intransitive verbs do not require a direct object, and they usually take the auxiliary verb essere (to be) followed by the past participle.
In this case, however, there is one more thing to pay attention to: the past participle must agree in gender and number with the subject described.
Mi dispiace essere andata a casa presto.
I am sorry to have gone home early. / I am sorry I went home early.
Ci siamo resi conto di essere stati maleducati.
We realized to not have been polite. / We realized we weren’t polite.
|andare (to go)||
(to have gone)
|essere (to be)||
(to have laughed)
|venire (to come)||
(to have come)
How to form the past infinitive with reflexive verbs?
With reflexive verbs, and all the verbs that behave like reflexive verbs, the construction is the same as with intransitive verbs: essere + past participle.
But we add the reflexive particle to the verb essere that becomes essermi, esserti, essersi, esserci, esservi, or essersi depending on the subject.
Remember also that the past participle must agree with the gender and number of the subject!
Quando mi accorsi di essermi persa, era troppo tardi.
When I realized to have been lost / that I was lost, it was too late.
Sei stato fortunato a non esserti ferito seriamente nell’incidente.
You were lucky not to have been seriously hurt in the accident.
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