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English translation of 'hanno accusato lei, non me'

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Tu come ti chiam i? What's your name?


Take a look at the following table which contains the corresponding pronouns in Italian. Note that lei can mean either she or the formal, singular you , which is used both for masculine and feminine subjects. In written Italian Lei , written with a capital L , is used to represent a formal you.

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Note also that, unlike in English, io used for the first person in singular is not capitalized. Subject pronouns io , tu etc. Thus, while in English we would say I sing , in Italian we would normally use canto rather than io canto. Essere and also stare is an equivalent of the verb to be in English. It is very irregular; the conjugation for the present indicative tense follows:.

When to use tu

On the contrary, from the point of view of native speakers, it says a lot about your level of politeness and your knowledge of social etiquette. You will also use it when talking to a person representing any authority or specific social position like police officers, bank employees, mayors, professors, doctors, etc.

BBC - Languages - Italian - Language notes - Formal - Informal

One note: it is always the older person or the one in the highest position to allow the use of tu. Here is an infographic that recaps all the most common situations where you need to make a choice between tu or lei , formal or informal. Sometimes the graphic medium is more effective than a lot of words, if you are the visual type, like me, you can appreciate some color to show you your way around things. Now that you know when you should use lei because the situation requires to be more formal, you need to learn how to say it correctly.

Indeed, the polite and formal lei is used for both men and women.

when to use lei

It takes a little mental effort to go past the initial difficulty of using the feminine for men and the third person instead of the second, but you can get familiar with it very easily. This is not wrong, just polite! Basically, we have just said everything you need to know grammar-wise: lei follows the same pattern of a feminine third person singular. So you will say: lei pensa , lei fa , lei crede , lei viene , etc.


I would like you to focus on a few more things that you can notice in this example look at the colored words and the italicized words. There are no doubts that it is important to be polite and to be formal in some circumstances, but more and more people in Italy prefer the informal tu over the lei even in situations where it is required to be a little more formal.

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  8. I have already talked about school, but even the workplace is now becoming less formal and ceremonious. Many supervisors or managers are happy to be in first name terms with their employees. It also very common to be greeted with a ciao in many shops, bars, etc. If you have Italian friends who are not yet over 50, try talking to them using lei. Yes, some people feel offended by the use of lei because it makes them feel old, so you may want to ask: ci diamo del tu o del lei? Just to avoid any misunderstanding about age. As with lei you need to make the verb agree with the subject, so voi dite , voi pensate , voi sapete , etc.

    Think of the French vous to understand how the voi works.