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Italian Language/stato as past participle of both essere and stare


Hi Lauren,

Since "stato" is the past participle of both essere and stare, the following construction seems grammatically conceivable:

Io e mia moglie siamo stati a Shanghai, Cina, tre anni fa. Mentre lý, siamo stati in un hotel in Xin Za Road.

Would an Italian ever use "stato" in juxtaposition like this? Would it be incorrect, confusing, or simply inelegant? If so, is "abbiamo alloggiato" the appropriate alternative for conveying "we stayed"?

Lastly, in terms of translation practices, should the word road in "Xin Za Road" be translated? If so, how? Of course, I would also appreciate hearing about any other problems you see with the sentences in question.

Grazie Mille

Hi Jerrod,

Thanks very much for your question.

The answer is that yes, I believe that an Italian would use 'stato' in juxtaposition like this. However, I would say that it definitely would depend on the type of situation that they are in. For example, in an informal situation among family or friends, they would not be particularly analysing your speech and you would just be trying to explain or tell a story to them. Therefore, the repeated use of 'stato' is quite common as a colloquial marker.

However, if we were to transfer this level of speech to a formal situation then perhaps it could be deemed as slightly inelegant. In this situation, it is far more likely that you will be judged on use of language and have to think carefully about what to say and thus, as you point it, "alloggiato" seems like a much better option.

I am sure that there are many times in English when repetition of common verbs are used but in a formal situation, we would think more carefully about our choice of words.

In reference to the translation of Xin Za Road, usually the choice on whether to translate it or not is personal. If you were speaking to other people that also had a knowledge of English and would understand the meaning of 'road' then it would be perfectly acceptable to use. In fact, a word like 'road' is so common that many Italians that don't have a great knowledge of English will still be aware of its meaning. It is always difficult to translate words such as road, avenue, street etc into Italian as their real meaning gets lost in translation due to Italian tending to use one word to sum up the lot.

Hope this helps,
Kind regards,

Italian Language

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Lauren O' Hagan


Although not my mother tongue, I have spoken Italian fluently for more than 12 years so I am very confident to answer any questions about the Italian language. I am also competent in Roman Dialect if there are any questions relating to this.


MA Applied Linguistics First Class Honours in Modern Language Studies (Linguistics, Italian, Spanish) Received the top grade in the whole of UK for GCSE Italian, receiving a letter of congratulations from the Italian Consulate Completed my two-year A Level in 1 year with a grade A country. Carried out many translation jobs for a wide range of clients and topics including self-help, literature and exam papers. For personal reference, I have also translated Federico Moccia's Tre Metri Sopra Il Cielo and 2 of Francesco Totti's book.

El Pensador, University of Bristol

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