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Italian pronouns are essential for effective communication in Italian, playing a crucial role in sentence structure and clarity. Understanding and using them correctly can greatly enhance your language skills, whether for personal, professional, or travel purposes.

Pronouns in Italian, similar to other languages, serve to replace nouns and avoid redundancy. They are pivotal in constructing meaningful and grammatically correct sentences. This article will guide you through the different types of Italian pronouns, including subject, object, possessive, and reflexive pronouns. Through simple explanations, tables for conjugation, pronunciation, and practical examples, you’ll gain a comprehensive understanding of Italian pronouns, making your journey into the Italian language smoother and more enjoyable.

Subject Pronouns

Subject pronouns replace the subject in a sentence. Here’s a table outlining Italian subject pronouns, their English translations, and pronunciation:

Italian English Pronunciation
io I EE-oh
tu you too
lui he loo-EE
lei she lay
noi we noy
voi you voy
loro they LOH-roh

  • Io sono Italiana, e tu? (I’m Italian, and you?)
  • Tu lavori o studi? (Do you work or study?)
  • Lui è mio fratello. (He’s my brother.)
  • Lei è mia cugina. (She’s my cousin.)
  • Noi studiamo filosofia. (We are studying philosophy.)

Note: Italian subject pronouns are often omitted as verb conjugations provide sufficient context.

Direct Object Pronouns

Direct object pronouns replace the direct object in a sentence. Here’s a table for Italian direct object pronouns:

Italian English Pronunciation
mi me mee
ti you tee
lo him/it loh
la her/it lah
ci us chee
vi you vee
li them lee (masculine)
le them leh (feminine)

  • Mi chiamerai tu? (Will you call me?)
  • Ti ho visto ieri. (I saw you yesterday.)
  • Lo incontro spesso per caso. (I often see him by chance.)
  • La sento bene. (I can hear her well.)
  • Ci chiamate voi? (Will you call us?)

Note: In the past tense, object pronouns agree with the past participle of the verb.

Indirect Object Pronouns

Indirect object pronouns replace an indirect object in a sentence. Here’s a table for Italian indirect object pronouns:

Italian English Pronunciation
mi to me mee
ti to you tee
gli to him llee
le to her leh
ci to us chee
vi to you vee
loro to them LOH-roh

  • Mi hai detto qualcosa? (Did you say something to me?)
  • Ti ha spiegato come funziona? (Did she explain to you how it works?)
  • Gli hai offerto qualcosa? (Did you offer something to him?)
  • Le hai detto che non adremo? (Did you tell her we’re not going?)
  • Ci hanno portato la cena. (They brought us dinner.)

Note: “Gli” is more common but “loro” is more grammatically correct.

Reflexive Pronouns

Reflexive pronouns are used with reflexive verbs, where the action reflects back to the subject. Here’s a table for Italian reflexive pronouns:

Italian English Pronunciation
mi myself mee
ti yourself tee
si himself see
ci ourselves chee
vi yourselves vee
si themselves see

  • Mi alzo sempre presto. (I always get up early.)
  • Ti lavi spesso? (Do you wash yourself often?)
  • Lui si lava. (He washes himself.)
  • Ci siamo svegliati alle 7. (We woke up at 7.)
  • A che ora vi siete alzati? (What time did you get up?)

Note: Reflexive pronouns can be attached to infinitives and imperatives.

Possessive Pronouns

Possessive pronouns in Italian are identical to possessive adjectives. Here’s a table for Italian possessive pronouns:

Italian English Pronunciation
mio mine MEE-oh
tua yours TWAH
suo his/hers SWOH
nostro ours NO-stroh
vostro yours VO-stroh
loro theirs LOH-roh

  • Questa tazza è la mia, quella è la sua. (This cup is mine, that one is hers.)
  • I giornali sono i nostri, non i vostri. (The magazines are ours, not yours!)
  • Quelle scarpe non sono le loro, sono le tue! (Those shoes are not theirs, they’re yours!)

Note: A possessive pronoun replaces a noun to avoid repetition.

Relative Pronouns

Relative pronouns connect clauses with a common element. Here’s a table for Italian relative pronouns:

Italian English Equivalent Pronunciation Usage
che that, who keh Subject/Object
cui whom, which kwee Indirect Object

  • La bambina che hai visto con Luca è mia sorella. (The girl that you saw with Luca is my sister.)
  • Questo è il bar di cui ti ho parlato. (This is the bar that I talked to you about.)
  • Giuliana, la cui figlia lavora con me, ha la mia età. (Giuliana, whose daughter works with me, is my age.)
  • Quel gatto, i cui padroni sono Arnaldo e Mara, da cucciolo era bellissimo. (That cat, whose owners are Arnaldo and Mara, was very cute as a puppy.)
  • La ditta per cui lavoro è chiusa per ferie. (The company I work for is closed for holidays.)

Note: “Che” replaces subjects or direct objects, while “cui” indicates an indirect object.

Indefinite Pronouns

Indefinite pronouns refer to non-specific things or people. Here’s a table for common Italian indefinite pronouns:

Italian English Pronunciation Usage
qualcuno someone KWAL-koo-no Singular/Masc.
qualcosa something KWAL-koh-sah Singular
nessuno no one NEH-ssoo-no Singular
niente nothing NYEN-teh Invariable

  • C’è qualcuno fuori. (There is someone outside.)
  • C’è qualcosa di strano. (There is something strange.)
  • Non c’era nessuno al cinema. (There was no one at the cinema.)
  • Oggi non c’era niente di buono da mangiare. (Today there was nothing good to eat.)
  • Qualcuno ha preso il mio libro. (Someone took my book.)

Note: “Qualcuno” is used for unspecified quantities of things or people and is always masculine in this usage.

Demonstrative Pronouns

Demonstrative pronouns point out specific persons or things. Here’s a table for Italian demonstrative pronouns:

Italian English Pronunciation Masculine Feminine
questo this KWES-toh questo questa
quello that KWEL-loh quello quella

  • Questo è il mio cappello. (This is my hat.)
  • Quella macchina è nuova. (That car is new.)
  • Prendo questi libri. (I’m taking these books.)
  • Quelle scarpe sono belle. (Those shoes are beautiful.)
  • Questo è quello che voglio. (This is what I want.)

Note: The pronoun must match the gender and number of the noun it replaces.

Combined Pronouns

Combined pronouns combine indirect pronouns with direct pronouns or the particle “ne”. Here’s a table for Italian combined pronouns:

Italian English Equivalent Pronunciation Example
me lo it to me meh loh Me lo dai?
te lo it to you teh loh Te lo mando.
glielo it to him/her JYEH-loh Glielo spiego.
ce lo it to us cheh loh Ce lo portano.
ve lo it to you veh loh Ve lo do.


  • Me lo dai? (Will you give it to me?)
  • Te lo mando. (I’ll send it to you.)
  • Glielo spiego. (I’ll explain it to him/her.)
  • Ce lo portano. (They are bringing it to us.)
  • Ve lo do. (I give it to you.)

Note: In combined pronouns, indirect pronouns “mi, ti, ci, vi” change the “i” to an “e” when combined.

This comprehensive overview of Italian pronouns will not only enhance your understanding of Italian grammar but also significantly improve your communication skills in the language. By mastering these pronouns, you’ll be well-equipped to handle various conversational contexts with ease.


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