Italian, Lesson 2: Essere – questions and answers

Piazza Venezia in Rome
Piazza Venezia in Rome

Ciao a tutti! Hi everybody!

Last time we learned pronouns and essere (to be) verb. Let’s try to make statements, questions and answers with them.

Skip pronouns!

In English we generally need both pronoun + verb in a sentence:

  • I am Joe, You are Bill, She is Carol, They are Mary, Ann and Jack.

In Italian (Italiano), pronouns are often skipped. Of course, you can say:

  • Io sono Joe, Tu sei Bill, Lei è Carol, Loro sono Mary, Ann è Jack.

But, as a rule, you just use verbs – by the form of a verb it’s clear who are you talking about:

  • Sono Pepe – I am Pepe

  • Sei Giuseppe – You are Guiseppe
  • È Anna – She is Anna
  • Siamo Taras, Anna è Maria – We’re Taras, Anna and Maria.

You noticed è (and) conjunction, didn’t you? Cool!


This is what I love in Italian. To ask a questions you just need to put a question mark in the end of a statement. And to add some intonation:

  • Tu sei Pepe? – Are you Pepe?
  • Voi siete Pepe è Giuseppe? – Are you Pepe and Giuseppe?
  • Sei Clara? – Are you Clara?
  • Sono Taras? – Am I Taras?
  • Si, Sono Taras – Yes, I am.
Negative statements

To make a negative statement, just add non (not) word before a verb:

  • Io non sono Jack! – I am not Jack!
  • Tu non sei Clara! – You are not Clara!
  • Lui non è Pepe! – He isn’t Pepe!
  • Lei non è Maria – She is not Maria.
  • Noi non siamo Irina è Giuseppe – We are not Irina and Giuseppe
  • Voi non siete Giuseppe è Pepe – You are not Giuseppe and Pepe
  • Loro non sono Giuseppe, Anna è Pepe – They are not Giuseppe, Anna è Pepe.
Questions and answers – skip pronoun

Again, pronouns can be skipped. In questions, negatives and statements – everywhere. Or you can use pronouns if you want to :) Some more examples:

  • Non sono Pepe, sono Taras – I’m not Pepe, I am Taras.
  • Tu sei Clara? Non sei Clara, sei Maria. – Are you Clara? You are not clara, you are Maria!
  • Lui è Giuseppe? Non è Giuseppe. È  Pepe. – Is he Giuseppe? He is not Giuseppe. He is Pepe.
  • Lei è Lola? Lei non è Lola. Lei è Maria. – Is she Lola? She is not Lola. She is Maria.
  • Siete Maria è Clara? Non siamo Maria è Clara. Siamo Maria è Melinda. – Are you Maria and Clara? We are not Maria and Clara, we are Maria and Melinda.
Answers – Si (Yes) and No (No)

Two more words to learn today: si and no (yes and no):

  • Siete Maria è Alessandro? Si, siamo  Maria è Alessandro. – Are you Maria and Alexander? Yes we are Maria and Alexander.
  • Siete Lola è Maria? No, non siamo Lola è Maria. Siamo Clara è Maria! – Are you Lola and Maria? No, we are not Lola and Maria. We’re Clara and Maria.
  • Sono Giuseppe è Pepe? No, non sono Giuseppe è Pepe. Sono Marco è  Antonio. – Are they Giuseppe and Pepe? No, they aren’t Giuseppe and Pepe. They are Marco and Antonio.

Bene. Molto bene. Grazie. Grazie mille! – Good. Very good. Thanks. Thanks much!

We gonna learn few more important verbs next time!