Past historic verb tense in Italian

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By aaron

Generally speaking in terms of language (not specifically Italian), the past historic tense of a verb refers to a completed event from the past. The details vary by language, and in English it is pretty much the same as just the past tense.

In #italian it is more complicated. The past historic verb tense is also called passato remoto, meaning "remote past". It refers to one singular and completed action that took place a long time ago in the past. This is in contrast to passato prossimo, or "close past", which refers to an event that took place recently in the past. For example, there are two ways to say "I ate" in Italian depending on how long ago it happened. In passato remoto form, you would say, "mangiai", or "I ate" a long time ago. In passato prossimo form, you would say "Ho mangiato", or "I ate" recently in the past.

To make matters more complicated, passato remoto is more common the further South you go in Italy, and in southern Italy the passato remoto is used for events that are more recent than it would be used for in the North.

#grammar #language

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