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Italian Language/use of "tenere presente"


Dear Maria,

Can you please tell me if there is any special way to classify: “tenere presente” .

I understand that “tenere presente” means “to bear in mind” and that the verb “tenere” when used by itself means “to hold” and that the adjective “presente” usually means “present”.

But, what I am trying to understand is what to call, or how to classify, a verb (such as tenere) followed by an adjective (such as presente) that when used together (such as tenere presente) have a different meaning than when the verb and adjective are used separately.  This is especially hard for me to conceptualize because usually adjectives are not used to modify verbs.

Would this be considered an idiomatic expression?   Or, is there another term that is used to classify this type of expression that is composed of a verb plus an adjective?

Thank you very much.



Dear Rich,

the Italian expression “tenere presente che” (to bear in mind that ) composed of the verb “tenere” and the adjective “presente”, that  when used together have a different meaning than when the verb and adjective are used separately, can be classified as a figurative form as it belongs to the figurative language just like e.g. the following expressions:

-“essere presente a se stesso”, synonym of “essere cosciente/essere lucido”( to be clear-minded) ;

-“avere presente qualcuno o qualcosa”, synonym of “ricordare  qualcuno o qualcosa” (to remember/ to recollect / to know);  

-“tenere presente qualcuno o qualcosa”,synonym of “ricordare/ tenere conto di qualcuno o qualcosa” (to remember/to consider);  

-“far presente qualcosa”, synonym of “ proporre all’attenzione qualcosa” / “far notare qualcosa”/”sottolineare qualcosa”( to point out).

To sum up, all the above-mentioned expressions where the adjective “presente” is used together the verbs “tenere”, “avere”, “essere” , “fare” are idiomatic  forms that belong to the figurative language.

All the best,

Italian Language

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Italian is my mother tongue and I'll be glad to answer any questions concerning Italian Language.


Over 25 years teaching experience.

I received my Classics (summa cum laude) from Genova University (Italy).

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