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Italian Language/Where were you born?


Hello again Paolin

When someone asks the above question, is it correct to say
"sono nato a" or should it be "nacqui a"?



Dear Joe,

both these expressions are correct in current contemporary Italian.
You are right: in traditional Italian the most grammatically proper tense would be the "passato remoto", "nacqui". Anyway, the current and most common expression used is the "passato prossimo", "sono nato". It is more fluent in the informal speech. In the end, it is fully correct in current contemporary Italian.
The "passato remoto" is obviously correct too, but it would sound quite uncommon. You will probably meet such an expression quite frequently in autobiographical texts or in XVIII/XX century Italian literature.
If you ask anybody "When were you born?" you will say "Quando sei nato" (passato prossimo) rather than "Quando nascesti" (passato remoto). The same tense will be used to answer: "Io sono nato nel[l'anno] xxxx" and not "nacqui [...]".

Please feel free to ask if you need more explanation or if you want some examples to practice on!
Good bye ant thank you for this question,


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I'm mother tongue; I graduated at Classic Lyceum (100/100), studying classic Italian language and classic Latin and Greek. The 5 years long daily exercise in translation from ancient Latin and Greek to modern Italian taught me to appreciate a correct italian translation and/or text composition. I graduated at University in Law studies and Jurisprudence, learning to appreciate deep differences between a strictly specific and technical language and other styles. I'm currently PhD candidate in Philosophy of Law. I read fiction, classic novels, philosophical books and papers, legal books and papers.

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Italian mother tongue; diploma at Liceo Classico (100/100; year 2001); Laurea at University (110/110 cum laude; year 2008); PhD in Law: Philosophy of Law and Sociology of Law

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