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The structure of Italian sentences

Learn the basic structure of Italian sentences to make statements, yes/no questions, open questions and negative sentences.

Structure of Italian sentences

A basic Italian sentence has a SVO order, that is first the Subject, then the Verb and then the Object. In order to ask a simply yes/no question, you don’t need to modify this order. You just need a question mark or a question intonation. The order is changed if you ask an open question, where the question pronoun has to be placed first. In a negative sentence the negation word non is placed bevor the verb.

Look at the following examples with the sentence Bruno abita a Bolzano Bruno lives in Bolzano.

StatementBrunoabitaa Bolzano.
Yes/No questionBrunoabitaa Bolzano?Sì/No.
Open questionDoveabitaBruno?A Bolzano.
NegationBrunononabitaa Roma.

No and non

No means no and it’s used as answer to yes/no question. Non is used to negate a verb and is placed bevor this.

Bruno abita a Roma? – No.Does Bruno live in Rom? – No.
Bruno non abita a Roma.Bruno doesn’t live in Rom.

Empty subject position

If your subject is represented by a pronoun, like io or noi, you don’t need to say it explicitly, so you can leave the subject position empty.

ØAbitoa Milano.I live in Milan.
ØNonabitiamoa Berlino.We don’t live in Berlin.

You can learn more about subject pronouns in our lesson Italian subject pronouns.

If you want to know more about questions and questions pronouns in Italian, read our lesson Questions and questions pronouns.

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