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Italian Language/vocative case in italian


please verify if im right (combining an email reply with my own knowledge from my high school years): in Latin, i just drop the -re ending to make it vocative singular (e.g., audi), and to make it vocative plural (e.g., audite), which simply adds the -te to the voc. sing.

but in italian for -are verbs, the vocative is made by dropping the -re ending (e.g., mangia (Hey, you (singular), eat!). for -ere and -ire verbs, the vocative ends in -i (e.g., leggi and finisci). im trying to find a pattern so I dont need to memorize each vocative in italian 1 by 1.

and how is the vocative formed in spanish?


Hi Patrick,

Many thanks for your question. Yes, you are correct in what you said.

To clarify:
- The formation of the vocative in Italian follows a 'back-to-front' rule for the tu and Lei forms. In other words, -are verbs such as parlare generates (tu) parla and (Lei) parli
- -ere and -ire verbs behave in exactly the opposite way: (tu) prendi, (Lei) prenda.
- Voi simply adds 'ite' in all three verb forms

In Spanish, the rules are as follows:
- For ar verbs, with tu, you add you use the singular third person (e.g. habla) for positive and subjunctive tu for negative (e.g. no hables)
- With er and ir verbs, tu takes the subjunctive second person (e.g. comer - comas)
- For ar, er and ir verbs, Usted uses the subjunctive third person (e.g. hable)
- For ar, er and ir verbs, nosotros  uses the subjunctive first person plural (e.g. hablemos)

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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