Different types of questions - Easy Learning Grammar Italian
- Some questions can be answered by yes or no. They are sometimes called yes/no questions. When you ask this type of question your voice goes up at the end of the sentence.
- Is it raining?
- Do you like olives?
- You’re leaving tomorrow?
- Other questions begin with question words such as why, where and when and have to be answered with specific information.
- Why are you late?
- Where have you been?
- When did they leave?
1 How to ask yes/no questions in Italian
- If you are expecting the answer yes or no, make your voice go up at the end of the question.
TipIn Italian you can turn an adjective or a verb into a question simply by making your voice go up on the last syllable.
|Basta?||Is that enough?|
|Piove?||Is it raining?|
|Chiaro?||Is that clear?|
|Buono?||Is it nice?|
- If you are asking about a person, place or thing using a noun, put the noun at
the end of the question.
|È partita tua sorella?||Has your sister gone?|
|È bella la Calabria?||Is Calabria beautiful?|
|Sono buoni gli spaghetti?||Is the spaghetti nice?|
- If the English question has a pronoun such as you, they or he in it, you:
- keep to normal word order
- don’t translate the pronoun into Italian unless you want to stress it
|Parlano italiano?||Do they speak Italian?|
|Ha francobolli?||Have you got stamps?|
|È caro?||Is it expensive?|
|C’è tempo?||Is there time?|
|Fa l’avvocato?||Is he a lawyer?|
|Va bene?||Is that okay?|
- If you do want to stress you, he, they and so on, use a pronoun in Italian, and put it at the end of the sentence.
|Parla italiano Lei?||Do you speak Italian?|
|Viene anche lui?||Is he coming too?|
|L’hanno fatto loro?||Did they do it?|
- For more information on Pronouns, see Pronouns.
2 How to answer yes/no questions
- In English you can answer questions simply by saying yes or no. If this doesn’t seem quite enough you add a short phrase, using the verb that starts the question.
|Do you speak Italian?||Yes, I do.|
|Can he swim?||Yes, he can.|
|Have you been to Rome?||No, I haven’t.|
|Are they leaving now?||No, they’re not.|
- In Italian you can very often answer just with sì or no.
|Stai bene? – Sì.||Are you okay? – Yes.|
|Ti piace? – No.||Do you like it? – No.|
- If you don’t want to answer this sort of question with a definite yes or no you can use phrases such as:
|Penso di sì.||I think so.|
|Spero di sì.||I hope so.|
|Credo di no.||I don’t think so.|
|Spero di no.||I hope not.|
- If you want to answer more fully you have to repeat the verb that’s in the Italian question.
|Sai nuotare? – Sì, so nuotare.||Can you swim? – Yes, I can (swim).|
|Piove? – Sì, piove.||Is it raining? – Yes, it’s raining OR Yes, it is.|
|Capisci? – No, non capisco.||Do you understand? – No, I don’t (understand).|
- Note that there is no Italian equivalent for answers using short phrases such as Yes, I do; No, I don’t; No, they haven’t.
- Make your voice go up at the end of questions.
- Put nouns and stressed pronouns at the end of the question.
- If you want to answer more fully, repeat the verb that is used in the question.