Italian Language Blog

Pronomi Personali Indiretti Part 1: Forme Toniche Posted by on Sep 4, 2009 in Grammar

The topic of pronomi personali indiretti (indirect personal pronouns) is a fairly large one, so I am splitting it into two separate blogs, each dealing with one of the two forms which you will encounter. At the end of part two I will explain how to work out when to use each form.  

Il pronome personale indiretto is used when the personal pronoun is not doing the action, i.e. it is not the grammatical subject of the sentence, but is the indirect receiver of the action. As an indirect receiver, the pronoun is preceded by one of the following prepositions: a, di, da, in, con, su, per, tra, fra (‘tra’ and ‘fra’ are two alternative spellings of the same preposition). As I have mentioned above, there are two different forms of pronome personale indiretto: forme toniche, which has a wider usage, and  forme atone, and in this article I will be concentrating on the former.

Forme toniche (lit: accented forms) often come after the verb, and are stressed, helping to give them more emphasis in the sentence. Here is a list of the forme toniche preceded by a (to) which is the most commonly used preposition:

a me (to me);

a te (to you, singular, informal);

a lui (to him);

a lei (to her / to you, singular, formal);

a noi (to us);

a voi (to you, plural);

a loro (to them).

Now let’s have a look at a few examples of how we use them: Giovanna, vieni con me al mercato? (Giovanna, are you coming to the market with me?); ho comprato questo regalo per voi (I bought this present for you); ho dato il libro a loro (I gave the book to them); il direttore ha fiducia in te (the manager has confidence in you); Maria: Giorgio, hai visto i nonni recentemente? Giorgio: No, vado da loro oggi pomeriggio (Maria: Giorgio, have you seen our grandparents recently? Giorgio: No, I’m going to them [to see them] this afternoon).

Finally, ‘le forme toniche’ are used without any preposition in idiomatic exclamations such as Beato te! (lucky you!); povero me! (poor me!); contento lui, contenti tutti! (If he is happy, everybody is happy!).

In my next post I’ll be looking at Forme Atone

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  1. Ellen Weber:


    Is there a previous post in the Direct Personal Pronouns. Your search engine isn’t working for me, but I assume there was a former post on this.

    Thank you,

  2. Ainsley:

    Hi Serena
    I’m a UK-based Italophile and regular reader of your blog.
    I’ve written a light-hearted piece about the intrusion of English into the Italian language and wondered if you would be interested in considering it for a guest blog?
    I’m a trained journalist and you can see some examples of my writing here:

  3. Serena:

    Salve Ellen, No this is the first post in the pronomi personali series, part 2 will deal with the forme atone. In fact I have just published it. So far I haven’t done one on direct pronouns. What problems are you having with the search engine?


  4. Serena:

    Salve Ainsley, I would certainly like to read the your article on ‘English in the Italian language’ and consider it for a guest blog. First of all though, you should check out my two blogs dealing with this topic: and

    If you feel that your article doesn’t repeat what I’ve already written I will have a word with admin as you would need to send it to them so that they can check it out and then forward it to me. Let me know what you think.

    A presto, Serena

  5. Gordon Jackson:

    Keep them coming

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