Italian Gerund

 

Definition: Gerund is a verbal noun in Latin that expresses generalized or uncompleted action.

In Italian, the gerund has two functions:

  • Sometimes, the gerund expresses some types of subordinate clauses.

  • Sometimes, the gerund expresses a progressive action.

Gerunds tenses: In Italian, gerund has two tenses.

  • Present:  It is formed by adding:
    • -ando: for 1st conjugation.

    • -endo: for the 2nd and 3rd conjugation.

  • Past: it is formed by the gerund of the auxiliary avereor “essere” and the past participle.

The following table shows some examples:
 

Infinitive Gerund (Present) Gerund (Past)
mangiare mangiando avendo mangiato
leggere leggendo avendo letto
distribuire distribuzione avendo distribuito
amare amando avendo amato


Used of the gerund:

  • To indicate an action happening at the same time as the main verb, e.g:

    • Martha parla leggendo un libro --> Martha speaks reading a book.

    • Martha ha parlato leggendo un libro --> Martha spoke reading a book.

    • Martha parlerà leggendo un libro --> Martha will speak reading a book.


  • To indicate an action that took place before that of the main verb.
    • Avendo distribuito gli libri, Jose parla in spagnolo --> Having distributed the books, Jose speaks in Spanish.

    • Avendo distribuito gli libri, Jose ha parlato in spagnolo --> Having distributed the books, Jose has spoken in Spanish..

    • Avendo distribuito gli libri, Jose parlerà in spagnolo --> Having distributed the books, Jose will speaks in Spanish.


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