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In my previous post we looked at how we use the irregular verbs dare (to give), dire (to say or tell), and fare (to do/make or let) in their imperative form, second person singular, followed by the direct or indirect object pronouns (you can revise them in part 1). Today we are going to look at two more irregular verbs: stare (to stay, to be) and andare (to go), which are built in the same way but are used slightly differently.
Here’s an Italian song from the 60’s to get you in the mood … then some examples:
a. using the verb stare (to stay, to be):
sta’ (stay) + le (her) = stalle, e.g.: vai con la mamma e stalle sempre vicino = go with mummy and stay near her all the time
sta’ (stay) + gli (to/from it) = stagli, e.g.: quel cane è aggressivo, stagli lontano = that dog is aggressive, stay away from it
N.B. the imperative of the verb stare is also used in some common idiomatic expression, such as:
stammi a sentire! = listen to me! … as in the song above (literally: stay to listen to me)
stammi a guardare = watch me/pay attention
statti buono! = be good!/ behave yourself!
statti fermo! = stay still!
stammi bene = take care (literally: stay well)
b. using the verb andare (to go):
va’ (go) + mi (me) = vammi, e.g.: vammi a prendere il sale = go and get me the salt
va’ (go) + gli (to him) = vagli, e.g.: dov’è Paolo? vagli a dire di venire a cena = where’s Paolo? go and tell him to come to dinner
N.B. the examples above illustrate that in these constructions we attach the personal pronouns to the imperative of the verb andare, rather than to the subordinate verb (prendere or dire in these cases), as would normally be the case. So, instead of the more correct “Dov’è Maria? vai a chiamarla” (Where’s Maria? go and call her) we can say “Dov’è Maria? valla a chiamare” (literally: go her to call).
The imperative used with combined pronouns
Now we’re going to look at the use of these irregular imperatives with Pronomi Combinati (combined pronouns). We combined two pronouns in the following way: first comes the indirect object pronoun, (mi, ti, ci, etc), then the direct object pronoun (lo, la, li etc.) Here’s how it works:
mi + lo, la, li, le or ne = melo, mela, mele, mene
ti + lo, la, li, li, le or ne = telo, tela, teli, tele, tene
gli or le + lo, la, li, le or ne = glielo, gliela, glieli, gliele, gliene
ci + lo, la, li, le or ne = celo, cela, celi, cele, cene
Here are some practical examples:
a. using the verb dare (to give):
mi serve quella penna, dammela = I need that pen, give it to me
ecco le chiavi di Giorgio, dagliele = here are Giorgio’s keys, give them to him
b. using the verb dire (to tell/say):
stasera non posso andare a teatro con Annalisa, diglielo tu = this evening I won’t be able to go to the theatre with Annalisa, you tell her
hai una bella notizia? diccela subito! = You have some lovely news? tell us immediately
c. using the verb fare (to do/make/let):
la nonna vuole il caffè, faglielo tu, per piacere = grandma wants a coffee, you make it for her, please
sto facendo i compiti, fammeli finire = I’m doing my homework, let me finish it
d. using the verb andare (to go):
questi bomboloni sono proprio buoni, vammene a prendere ancora uno = these doughnuts are really good, go and get another one for me
la cena è pronta. Dov’è Paolo? vaglielo a dire = dinner is ready. Where’s Paolo? Go and tell him