Chapter 13 - Simple Past Tense

The Simple Past Tense is used to describe an action which occurred at a specified time, and is now over.
The simple past tense is a completed action, such as I went to the storeI called my sister, and so on.  It is almost always accompanied by an expression of time.
For example, In 1492, Columbus sailed to the New World, Yesterday, I spoke to Helen.  On Tuesday, we ate at an Italian restaurant.
This tense is used to recount a story or an historical event.  In ordinary speech, it is seldom used.

The simple past tense is the most complex of the tenses in the Italian language, with many irregularities, and exceptions to general rules.
An attempt was made here to include many, but not all of the irregular verbs, as many verbs are merely compounds of base verbs.
For example, aggiụngere, congiụngere, disgiụngere, and so on are compounds of giụngere.
For the full list of verbs, the reader should consult the appendix.
The endings for this tense are added to the stems.  There are three sets of endings, one for each verb group.

Group 1 verbs end in -are.  The model for this group is the verb parlare, to speak; its stem is parl-.
The endings are shown in italics, and they are the same for all of the regular verbs in this group.
Often, accent marks are not used in written Italian, however, in this text, accent marks will be used when departures from the usual pronunciation rules occur.

I spoke, did speak Io parl + ai parlai (pahr-lAH-ee)
you spoke, did speak Tu parl + asti parlasti (pahr-lAH-stee)
he, she, who spoke, did speak Lei, lui, chi parl + ò parlò (pahr-lAW)
we spoke, did speak Noi parl + ammo parlammo (pahr-lAHm-moh)
you spoke, did speak Voi parl + aste parlaste (pahr-lAH-stay)
they, who spoke, did speak Loro, Chi parl + ạrono parlạrono (pahr-lAH-roh-noh)

In group 1, the following verbs are irregular in the past tense
dare, to give:  detti, dẹsti, dette, dẹmmo, dẹste, dẹttero
                Like dare                                                             ridare, to give back
                ristare, to stop, desist                                          stare, to stand
fare, to do, make:  fẹci, facẹsti, fẹce, facẹmmo, facẹste, fẹcero
                [the endings -ẹci, -acẹsti, -ẹce, -acẹmmo, -acẹste, and -ẹcero are added to the stems]               

Like fare: assuefare, to accustom, inure contraffare, to counterfeit
disfare, to undo liquefare, to liquify putrefare, to putrify
rarefare, to rarefy rifare, to do over, repeat sfare, to undo, to thaw, melt
soddisfare, to satisfy soprafare, to overwhelm strafare, to do too much, overdo
stupefare, to stupefy torrefare, to roast tumefare, to swell

Group 2 verbs end in -ere or -rre.  The model for this group is the verb credere, to believe; its stem is cred-.
The endings are shown in italics, and they are the same for all regular verbs in this group.

I believed, did believe Io cred +ẹi credẹi (cray-dAY-ee)
You believed, did believe Tu cred + ẹsti credẹsti (cray-dAYs-tee)
He, she, who believed, did believe Lei, Lui, Chi cred + è credè (cray-dEH)
We believed, did believe Noi cred + ẹmmo credẹmmo (cray-dAYm-moh)
You believed, did believe Voi cred + ẹste credẹste (cray-dAYs-tay)
They, who believed, did believe Loro, Chi cred + ẹrono credẹrono (cray-dAY-roh-noh)

Pronunciation in the simple past tense is shown in the group model, but in group 2 there are many exceptions.
Often, accent marks are not used in written Italian, however, in this text, accent marks will be used when departures from the usual pronunciation rules occur.

In group 2, the following verbs are irregular in the simple past tense
accẹndere, to light:  accesi, accendẹsti, accese, accendẹmmo, accendẹste, accẹsero
                [The stems are shortened, and the endings -si, -ẹsti, -se, -ẹmmo, -ẹste, and -sero are added to the
                [stems.  The reduced stem is shown in bold type.  Compound forms of a verb (for example,
                [aggiụngere, congiụngere, disgiụngere, which are compounds of giụngere ) have the same
                [irregularities as the root verb.  Some, but not all, of the compound verbs are listed here.]
NOTE  The infinitive of these verbs is stressed on the stem, and an accent mark was used to show the stress.

Like accẹndere:
acclụdere, to include accǫrgersi, to perceive aggiụngere, to add
allụdere, to allude appẹndere, to append apprẹndere, to learn
ạrdere, to burn ascẹndere, to ascend aspẹrgere, to sprinkle
assịdersi, to sit down attẹndere, to wait attịngere, to attain
attǫrcere, to twist avvǫlgere, to wrap, wrap up capovǫlgere, to overturn
chiẹdere, to ask chiụdere, to close cịngere, to gird
coincịdere, to coincide coinvǫlgere, to involve collịdere, to collide
comprẹndere, to comprehend conclụdere, to conclude condiscẹndere, to condescend
condivịdere, to share contẹndere, to contend contụndere, to bruise
cọrrere, to run cospạrgere, to sprinkle, strew costrịngere, to compel
decịdere, to decide decọrrere, to elapse delụdere, to delude
derịdere, to deride, mock detẹrgere, to wash off or away difẹndere, to defend
dipẹndere, to depend dipịngere, to depict disattẹndere, to disregard
discẹndere, to descend dischiụdere, to disclose discọrrere, to talk about
disgiụngere, to disjoin, sever disillụdere, to disillusion dispẹrdere, to disperse
dissǫlvere, to dissolve dissuadere, to dissuade distẹndere, to distend
distịnguere, to distinguish distǫrcere, to distort divẹrgere, to diverge
divịdere, to divide elịdere, to elide elụdere, to elude
emẹrgere, to emerge ẹrgere, to raise, lift up esclụdere, to exclude
esplǫdere, to explode estịnguere, to extinguish evạdere, to evade
fịngere, to feign frạngere, to break, smash fụngere, to act as someone
giụngere, to arrive illụdere, to deceive immẹrgere, to immerse
incịdere, to engrave incọrrere, to incur indụlgere, to indulge
infrạngere, to infringe intercọrrere, to elapse intrụdere, to intrude
invạdere, to invade mǫrdere, to bite mụngere, to milk
nascọndere, to hide occọrrere, to occur offẹndere, to offend
persuạdere, to persuade piạngere, to weep pǫrgere, to offer
precọrrere, to precede predilịgere, to prefer a thing prẹndere, to take
pụngere, to prick rạdere, to shave rẹndere, to give back
ricongiụngere, to rejoin rịdere, to laugh rimanere, to stay
rispọndere, to respond risǫlvere, to resolve scẹndere, to descend
sọrgere, to rise spạndere, to spread spạrgere, to disperse
spịngere, to push strịngere, to press tẹndere, to stretch
tẹrgere, to wipe tịngere, to tint, dye tǫrcere, to twist
trascọrrere, to pass, spend time uccịdere. to kill ụngere, to oil, grease
vịncere, to win vǫlgere, to turn

addurre, to adduce:  addussi, adducẹsti, addusse, adducẹmmo, adducẹste, addụssero
[the stems vary from ~du- to ~duc-, and alternate set of endings ( -ssi, -ẹsti, -sse, -ẹmmo, -ẹste, and -ssero) is used]

Like addure: condurre, to conduct, to lead dedurre, to deduce
indurre, to induce introdurre, to introduce produrre, to produce
reintrodurre, to reintroduce ricondurre, to bring back ridurre, to reduce
riprodurre, to reproduce sedurre, to seduce tradurre, to translate

 afflịggere, to afflict:  afflissi, affliggẹsti, afflisse, affliggẹmmo, affliggẹste, afflịssero
                [the stems are shortened, and the endings -ssi, -ẹsti, -sse, -ẹmmo, -ẹste, -ssero are added to the stems]
                [the reduced stem is shown in bold type; compound forms (compiangere, ritịngere, and so on) have ]
                [the same irregularities as the root verb.  Some of the compound verbs are listed here.]
NOTE  The infinitive of these verbs is stressed on the stem, and an accent mark was used to show the stress.
Like afflịggere:

affịggere, to affix annẹttere, to annex circonflẹttere, to bend around
circoscrịvere, to circumscribe concẹdere, to concede confịggere, to nail
connẹttere, to connect corrẹggere, to correct corrispǫndere, to correspond
crocifịggere, to crucify deflẹttere, to deflect descrịvere, to describe
discụtere, to discuss distrụggere, to destroy elęggere, to elect
figgere, to fix, stick frịggere, to fry infịggere, to drive, thrust
lęggere, to read inflịggere, to inflict prefịggere, to arrange in advance
prescrịvere, to prescribe proscrịvere, to proscribe protẹggere, to protect
rẹggere, to hold rescịndere, to rescind rielęggere, to re-elect
riflẹttere, to reflect rifrịggere, to refry rilęggere, to read again
rivịvere, to revive scịndere, to separate sconfịggere, to defeat, vanquish
sconnẹttere, to disconnect  scrịvere, to write   strụggere, to melt, thaw
trafịggere, to transfigure vịvere, to live

assụmere, to assume:  assunsi, assumẹsti, assunse, assumẹmmo, assumẹste, assụnsero
                [the stem varies, and the endings -si, -ẹsti, -se, -ẹmmo, -ẹste, -sero are added to make the verbs]
                Like assụmere:                       consụmere, to consume                      desụmere, to deduce, infer, gather
                presụmere, to presume          riassụmere, to resume
avere, to have:  ẹbbi, avẹsti, ẹbbe, avẹmmo, avẹste, ẹbbero
bẹvere, to drink:  bẹvvi, bevẹsti, bẹvve, bevẹmmo, bevẹste, bẹvvero
                Like bevere:         imbevere, to imbibe
cadere, to fall:  caddi, cadẹsti, cadde, cadẹmmo, cadẹste, cạddero
                Like cadere:    accadere, to befall                    decadere, to decay
                ricadere, to relapse, fall again                          scadere, to decline, deteriorate
cǫgliere, to gather:  colsi, cogliẹsti, colse, cogliẹmmo, cogliẹste, cǫlsero
                [the stem varies, and a different set of endings -si, -ẹsti, -se, -ẹmmo, -ẹste, -sero is used]             

Like cǫgliere: accǫgliere, to welcome disciǫgliere, to dissolve
distǫgliere, to withdraw equivalere, to be equivalent invalere, to catch on, become fashionable
prevalere, to prevail riaccǫgliere, to readmit someone ritǫgliere, to take away again
scẹgliere, to choose sciǫgliere, to untie, to loosen tǫgliere, to take away
valere, to be worth

conọscere, to know :  conọbbi, conoscẹsti, conọbbe, conoscẹmmo, conoscẹste, conọbbero
                [the stem varies, and a different set of endings, -bbi, -ẹsti, -bbe, -ẹmmo, ẹste, -bbero is used]
                Like conọscere:                    crẹscere, to grow                                 decrẹscere, to decrease
                disconọscere, to disclaim      incrẹscere. to regret                             riconọscere, to recognize
                rincrẹscere, to grow again
cuǫcere, to cook:  cossi, cocẹsti, cosse, cocẹmmo, cocẹste, cǫssero
                [the stem varies, and the endings -ssi, -ẹsti, -sse, -ẹmmo, -ẹste, and -ssero are used]
                Like cuǫcere:                                                   percuǫtere, to strike                           ricuǫcere, to recook
                riscuǫtere, to collect, draw a salary                 scuǫcere, to overcook                        scuǫtere, to shake
                stracuǫcere, to overdo
dirịgere, to direct:  dirẹssi, dirigẹsti, dirẹsse, dirigẹmmo, dirigẹste, dirẹssero
                [the stem is changed, and the endings -ssi, -ẹsti, -sse, -ẹmmo, -ẹste, and -sseroare used]
                Like dirịgere:      erịgere, to erect        neglịgere, to neglect
eccẹllere, to excel:  eccẹlsi, eccellẹsti, eccẹlse, eccellẹmmo, eccellẹste, eccẹlsero
                [the stem is shortened, and the endings -si, -ẹsti, -se, -ẹmmo, -ẹste, and -sero are used]
                Like eccẹllere:      divellere, to uproot                             svẹllere, to tear out
dolere, to suffer, ache:  dolsi, dolẹsti, dolse, dolẹmmo, dolẹste, dǫlsero
espẹllere, to expell:  espulsi, espellẹsti, espulse, espellẹmmo, espellẹste, espụlsero
                [the stem varies, and the endings -si, -ẹsti, -se, -ẹmmo, -ẹste, and -sero are used]
                Like espẹllere:                                                                      repẹllere, to repel
ęssere, to be:  fui, fọsti, fu, fummo, fọste, fụrono
fọndere, to fuse, smelt:  fusi, fondẹsti, fuse, fondẹmmo, fondẹste, fụsero
                [the stem varies, and the endings -si, -ẹsti, -se, -ẹmmo, -ẹste, and -sero are used]
                Like fọndere:     confọndere, to confuse                diffọndere, to diffuse
                                         effọndere, to pour out, effuse       infọndere, to infuse
giacere, to lie down:  giạcqui, giacẹsti, giạcque, giacẹmmo, giacẹste, giạcquero
                [the stem varies; and the endings -i, -ẹsti, -e, -ẹmmo, -ẹste, and -ero are used];

Like giacere: dispiacere, to displease piacere, to please
scompiacere, to be unkind soggiacere, to be subject to spiacere, to be sorry, to regret
tacere, to be silent

imprịmere, to impress:  imprẹssi, imprimẹsti, imprẹsse, imprimẹmmo, imprimẹste, imprẹssero
                [the stem varies, and the endings -ssi, -ẹsti, -sse, -ẹmmo, -ẹste, and -ssero are used]
                Like imprịmere:                                                   comprịmere, to compress                   decomprịmere, to decompress
                deprịmere, to depress                                         esprịmere, to express                         opprịmere, to oppress
mẹttere, to place, put:  misi, mettẹsti, mise, mettẹmmo, mettẹste, mịsero
                [the stem is changed, and the endings -si, -ẹsti, -se, -ẹmmo, -ẹste, and -sero are used]              

Like mẹttere: ammẹttere, to admit ammẹttere, to admit, to let in
annẹttere, to annex commẹttere, to commit compromẹttere, to compromise
connẹttere, to connect dimẹttere, to discharge dismẹttere, to discard
emẹttere, to emit estromẹttere, to exclude, to oust frammẹttere, to insert
immẹttere, to put in inframmẹttere, to interpose inframmettersi, to interfere, to meddle
interconnẹttere, to interconnect intromẹttere, to insert intromettersi, to intervene
manomẹttere, to tamper with omẹttere, to omit permẹttere, to permit
premẹttere, to state first promẹttere, to promise radiotrasmẹttere, to broadcast, to radio
riammẹttere, to readmit ricetrasmẹttere, to transmit and receive
ricommẹttere, to commit again riemẹttere, to re-issue rimẹttere, to put back
ripromẹttere, to promise again ritrasmẹttere, to rebroadcast scommẹttere, to disconnect, to wager
smẹttere, to stop, to quit sottomẹttere, to subjugate  teleradiotrasmẹttere, to simulcast
trasmẹttere, to pass on or down videotrasmẹttere, to broadcast on television; to telecast

muǫvere, to move:  mossi, muovẹsti, mosse, muovẹmmo, movẹste, mǫssero
                [the stem varies, and the endings -ssi, -ẹsti, -sse, -ẹmmo, -ẹste, and -sseroare added to the stems]
                                Like muovere:           commuǫvere, to move emotionally
                                promuǫvere, to promote          rimuǫvere, to remove
nuǫcere, to harm:  nǫqui, nocẹsti, nǫcque, nocẹmmo, nocẹste, nǫcquero
parere, to seem:  parvi, parẹsti, parve, parẹmmo, parẹste, pạrvero
pọrre, to put:  pọsi, ponẹsti, pọse, ponẹmmo, ponẹste, pọsero
                [the stem varies, and the endings -si, -ẹsti, -se, -ẹmmo, -ẹste, and -seroare used]               

Like pọrre: antepọrre, to place or put before appọrre, to append
compọrre, to compose contrappọrre, to contrast contropropọrre, to counterpropose
decompọrre, to decompose depọrre, to put, set, lay down dispọrre, to dispose
espọrre, to expose fotocompọrre, to photocompose frappọrre, to interpose
giustappọrre, to juxtapose impọrre, to impose indispọrre, to irritate; to annoy
interpọrre, to interpose oppọrre, to oppose pospọrre, to postpone
predispọrre, to predispose prepọrre, to place before presuppọrre, to presuppose
propọrre, to propose ricompọrre, to recompose ridispọrre, to rearrange
riespọrre, to expound again ripọrre, to replace ripropọrre, to repropose
scompọrre, to take apart, dismantle sottoespọrre, to underexpose sottopọrre, to place underneath
sovraespọrre, to overexpose sovrappọrre, to superimpose sovrimpọrre, to overlay
suppọrre, to suppose traspọrre, to transpose

riavere, to have again, recover:  riẹbbi, riavẹsti, riẹbbe, riavẹmmo, riavẹste, riẹbbero
redịgere, to edit:  redassi, redigẹsti, redasse, redigẹmmo, redigẹste, redạssero
redịmere, to redeem:  redẹnsi, redimẹsti, redẹnse, redimẹmmo, redimẹste, redẹnsero
rọmpere, to break:  ruppi, rompẹsti, ruppe, rompẹmmo, rompẹste, rụppero
                [the stem varies; and the endings -i, -ẹsti, -e, -ẹmmo, -ẹste, and -eroare used]
                Like rọmpere:            corrọmpere, to corrupt             dirọmpere, to brake
                erọmpere, to erupt    interrọmpere, to interrupt         irrọmpere, to burst, break into
                prorọmpere, to break or burst into
sapere, to know:  sẹppi, sapẹsti, sẹppe, sapẹmmo, sapẹste, sẹppero
spẹgnere, to extinguish:  spẹnsi, spegnẹsti, spẹnse, spegnẹmmo, spegnẹste, spẹnsero
tenere, to hold:  tẹnni, tenẹsti, tẹnne, tenẹmmo, tenẹste, tẹnnero
                [the endings -ni, -ẹsti, -ne, -ẹmmo, -ẹste, and -neroare added to the stems]               

Like tenere: appartenere, to belong to contenere, to contain
detenere, to detain mantenere, to maintain ottenere, to obtain
ritenere, to retain sostenere, to sustain trattenere, to restrain

trarre, to draw:  trassi, traẹsti, trasse, traẹmmo, traẹste, trạssero
                [the endings -ssi, -ẹsti, -sse, -ẹmmo, -ẹste, and -ssero are added to the stems]

Like trarre: attrarre, to attract astrarre, to abstract
contrarre, to contract detrarre, to detract distrarre, to distract
estrarre, to extract protrarre, to protract ritrarre, to retract
sottrarre, to subtract

vedere, to see:  vidi, vedẹsti, vide, vedẹmmo, vedẹste, vịdero
                [the stem varies; and the endings -i, -ẹsti, -e, -ẹmmo, -ẹste, and -eroare used]

Like vedere: antivedere, to foresee intravedere, to glimpse
prevedere, to see ahead provedere, to provide, look after rivedere, to see again
stravedere, to see things, hallucinate travedere, to be misled

vịncere, to win:  vinsi, vincẹsti, vinse, vincẹmmo, vincẹste,vịnsero
                [the stem varies; and the endings -i, -ẹsti, -e, -ẹmmo, -ẹste, and -eroare added to the stems]
                Like vincere:                                    avvịncere, to charm         convịncere, to convince
                convịncersi, to convince oneself      evịncere, to infer              stravincere, to win overwhelmingly
volere, to be willing, to want:  volli, volẹsti, volle, volẹmmo, volẹste, vǫllero
                [the stem varies; and the endings -i, -ẹsti, -e, -ẹmmo, -ẹste, and -eroare used]
                Like volere:                                       benvolere, to like someone                 disvolere, to stop liking someone
                malvolere, to dislike someone           rivolere, to want someone or something back

Group 3 verbs end in -ire.  The model for this group is the verb finire, to finish; its stem is fin-.
The endings are shown in italics, and they are the same for all regular verbs in this group.       

I finished, did finish Io fin + ii finii (feen-EE-ee)
You finished, did finish Tu fin + isti finisti (feen-EEs-tee)
He, she, who finished, did finish Lei, Lui, Chi fin + ì finì (feen-EE)
We finished, did finish Noi fin + immo finimmo (feen-EEm-moh)
You finished, did finish Voi fin + iste finiste (feen-EEs-tay)
They, who finished, did finish Loro, Chi fin + ịrono finịrono (feen-EE-roh-noh)

Pronunciation in the simple past tense is shown in the group model, and there are some exceptions.
Often, accent marks are not used in written Italian, however, in this text, accent marks will be used when departures from the usual pronunciation rules occur.
In group 3, the following verbs are irregular in the past tense
dire, to say:  dissi, dicisti, disse, dicimmo, diciste, dịssero
[the stem varies; and the endings -ssi, -ẹsti, -sse, -ẹmmo, -ẹste, and -sseroare used]

Like dire: benedire, to bless contraddire, to contradict
disdire, to retract interdire, to interdict, prohibit maledire, to curse
predire, to predict ridire, to repeat ribenedire, to bless again

venire, to come;  vẹnni, venisti, vẹnne, venimmo, veniste, vẹnnero
[a different set of the endings -ni, -ẹsti, -ne, -ẹmmo, -ẹste, and -neroare used]

Like venire: addivenire, to come to avvenire, to happen
circonvenire, to circumvent contravenire, to contravene convenire, to convene
divenire, to become intervenire, to intervene pervenire, to reach
prevenire, to prevent riconvenire, to reconvene ridivenire, to become again
rinvenire, to rediscover, recover risoveniresi, to recollect  rivenire, to come back
sconvenire, to be unbecoming sovvenire, to help svenire, to faint