dontsaynothin. (upupabove) wrote in linguaphiles,


I'm a native English speaker, but right now I'm studying Italian and German at school (German for one year and Italian for two years). I also really, really want to study Hebrew, though the world seems against me for that one - the place I was going to take it at next year took the course away.

I have a friend who is a language nerd like me (she takes French and Chinese at school) and sometimes we'll sit around for awhile discussing different grammatical concepts. One topic that we talked about recently was about the passato remoto tense in Italian. I came across it when I was flipping through the appendix in the back of my book (yeah ..I do that in my spare time :P). The description in the book basically said it was a past tense that generally implied events that happened a long time ago, that was used mostly in writing. I asked my friend if there was something like that in French, which she didn't know, so she asked her teacher who told her that he wasn't aware there was anything like that in French, and that it was a tense that just Italian had. Well, a couple of weeks later my teacher ended up telling us what passato remoto was, and she said it was the equivalent of the simple past tense in English, and it was the most commonly used past tense in Spanish. So ...was my friends French teacher a little confused, or is mine? I'm inclined to believe that there isn't a verb tense that only Italian has, but I'm wondering if the equivalents my teacher gave were right.


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