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Italian Language/passive past infinitive


Dear Lauren,

I have also been trying to understand how to form the “passive” past infinitive.  

Can you please tell me if it is true that to form the passive past infinitive that the infinitive of “essere” is used with the past participle of “transitive” verbs  and the past participle of  “intransitive” verbs.    (in other words - “avere” is not used with transitive verbs in the passive past infinitive)

If,  this is true,  would you please give me an example of the passive past infinitive of a  transitive  verb  and also an example of a  passive past infinitive of an intransitive verb.

This topic has truly been very confusing!

Thank you




Hi Rich,

I have a feeling that I have answered part of this question in my previous answer which I read before looking at this one.

Anyway, to confirm, the passive past infinitive will be formed by the infinitive of essere alongside the past participle of a transitive verb OR the past participle of an intransitive verb. As you are using essere, you must ensure that you agree the past participle with the subject. I can confirm that 'avere' will not be used.

To give you examples with a transitive verb:
La cartolina deve essere spedita da mia sorella(The postcard must be sent by my sister)
Gli esercizi devono essere corretti al professore (The exercises must be corrected by the teacher)

To give you examples with an intransitive verb:
Potrebbe essere caduto nel mare (He could have fell in the sea)
Vuoi essere telefonato da tua madre? (Do you want to be phoned by your mother?)

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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