Everyday Italian Phrases: What I Asked (Part 2)

Kathryn for learntravelitalian.com
Kathryn Occhipinti, MD, for Learn Travel Italian.com

Do you want to speak Italian more easily and confidently by the end of 2017?

I believe that “commonly used phrases” are the key for how we can all build fluency in any language in a short time.

If we learn how to incorporate “commonly used phrases” when we speak Italian, we will be able to express ourselves more easily and quickly. We will be on our way to building complex sentences and speaking more like we do in our native language!

This post is the second in a series that will originate in our Conversational Italian! Facebook group. After our group has had a chance to use these phrases, I will post them on this blog for everyone to try.

Our second “commonly used phrases,” that will help us talk more easily will focus on  What I asked…”
leading into “I asked (to) you, (to) her, (to) him…” and so on. See below for how this works.

As we all master these phrases, so will you. Try my method and let me know how it works. What sentences will you create with these phrases?

Please reply. I’d love to hear from you! Or join our Conversational Italian! group discussion on Facebook.

This material and more on this topic are available in the Conversational Italian for Travelers pocket phrase book, Just the Important Phrases, on amazon.com and Learn Travel Italian.com.

The rights to purchase the Conversational Italian for Travelers books in PDF format on two electronic devices can also be obtained at Learn Travel Italian.com.

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What I Asked…

in Italian

Let’s review for a second before we go on to our topic for today. In our last blog post in this series, we learned the Italian past tense verb for “I said,” which is, “Ho detto.”

Let’s build on this! Besides saying or stating a fact, we often relay that we have asked a question of/to someone. And if we travel to Italy, we will certainly be asking many questions about all the wonderful places we visit!

In this second blog post in our series, we will use the same tables from our first blog post but substitute, “I asked,” which is, “ho chiesto,” for the passato prossimo form of the past tense. This Italian past tense verb also translates into the less commonly used English form “I have asked.”*  

Because the phrase “I asked” is frequently used in everyday conversation, we should commit the Italian verb “ho chiesto” to memory. We can then “build” on this simple, easy-to-remember verb to help us remember other, more complex phrases. Memorize one phrase and the others should be easy to remember as well. Soon all of these phrases will just roll off your tongue! See the following table for how this works.

Ho chiesto I asked
Ti ho chiesto I asked… (to) you 
Gli ho chiesto I asked… (to) him 
Le ho chiesto I asked… (to) her 

If you want to ask for something directly, think of the verb chiesto as meaning asked for,” because there is no need to use the Italian preposition per with this verb in this type of situation. An indirect or direct object (a/an or the) is used with the noun that follows, though.

If you want to add that you’ve already asked someone something, put the word “già,” which means “already,” between the two verbs we use for the passato prossimo past tense.

Notice that informazione is feminine and singular in Italian. It is used when you want only one answer to one question. Use the feminine plural informazioni if you’d like a more detailed explanation. In English, of course, the translation does not change.

Ho chiesto un’informazione. I asked for (some) information.
Ho chiesto il signor Rossi dov’è la piazza. I asked Mr. Rossi where the piazza is.
Ti ho già chiesto . I already asked you.
Gli ho chiesto. I asked him.
Le ho chiesto. I asked her.

Finally, I would say that the phrase I use most often regarding what someone asked of someone else, and the phrase that actually started this thread in my mind, is:

Mi ha chiesto… He asked (to) me…
  She asked (to) me…
  You (polite) asked (to) me…

Remember this last phrase, and I guarantee that you will use it every day!

*A quick note here: 

For conversational reasons, I’ve chosen the verb chiedere, with its irregular past participle, chiesto, to use in the past tense. But it should be noted that the verb domandare also means to ask/to inquire, and the noun domanda means question.

If you have a question to ask of someone, you might say, “Ho una domanda,” which means, “I have a question.”  

An investigator inquiring about something might say,

“Posso fare qualche domanda?” meaning, “May I ask some questions?” 

Or “L’ho fatto qualche domanda,” meaning, “I asked him some questions.”

(Notice how qualche is always followed by a singular noun.)

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7 thoughts on “Everyday Italian Phrases: What I Asked (Part 2)

  1. This should be required reading for any/all traveling to Italy. Whenever traveling abroad, people of the host country will appreciate your having taken the time to learn basic phrased in their native tongue.

    Liked by 1 person

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