Italian linguists might have to take a few grammar rules which Italians follow into consideration when they perform language translation services. Italian verbs have a consistent, complex system of forms that express categories such as mood, tense, person, and number; this system is called conjugation (coniugazione).
In grammatical terminology the word inflection indicates, in general, any process of modifying a root through the addition of affixes. More specifically, grammaticians speak of conjugation in relation to the processes of verbal inflection, and declension in relation to the processes of nominal inflection.
A speaker may present the matter expressed by the verb in different ways, each of which is a separate point of view, a different psychological attitude, a different communicative relationship with those who listen: certainty, possibility, desire, command, etc.
Sometimes, the use of a particular mood may also depend on stylistic reasons, on a choice of register or on a linguistic level. So, for example, when using verbs that express an opinion, the indicative (mi pare che ha ragione) is an expression more common than the subjunctive (mi pare che abbia ragione).
- MODI FINITI (DEFINITE MOODS)
- indicativo (io amo)
- congiuntivo (che io ami)
- condizionale (io amerei)
- imperativo (ama!)
- MODI INDEFINITI (INDEFINITE MOODS)
- infinito (amare)
- participio (amante)
- gerundio (amando)
While the definite moods determine the tense, person, and number, indefinite moods do not determine the person nor, with the exception of the participio, the number.
The infinitive, participle, and gerund are also known as “nominal forms of the verb,” because they often function as noun and adjective; already mentioned is the present participle amante, to which can be added the past participle la (donna) amata. Consider also the infinitives l’essere, il dare, l’avere, and l’imbrunire, or gerunds that become nouns such as laureando and reverendo.