Io or Io Sono?

Hello i just have a quick question on when to use io or io sono? I heard someone say "sono italiano" why didn't they say "Io sono italiano"? are both sentences correct or is one prefered over the other? For example when i say ," Io sono una ragazza" can i just say " sono una ragazza"?

I know someone said in spanish you can say Yo soy or Soy but i don't speak spanish so i can't make any connections?

Can someone explain when i can use sono or when i can use io sono without confusing grammar words?

September 25, 2017


Some languages, called pro-drop languages, allow the dropping of certain personal pronouns, usually the subject of the sentence, if you could infer it either from context or the way the verb is conjugated. English is not one of these languages, but both Spanish and Italian are. Even in non-pro-drop languages, though, we still do something similar in casual speech. (Want to come? vs the more complete, do you want to come?)

So, what this means is that all of those sentences are correct. If you see that the verb is sono, that means that the subject was either I or they, and it would usually be pretty easy to tell whether you're talking about yourself or a third party plural. If you see such a thing in an exercise here without context, it should accept either one.

September 25, 2017

Hey! In Italian you don't need to use personal pronouns all the time as usually the conjugation makes pretty clear who the verb refers to (and this goes for any verb, not only "essere"). So you can use either of the forms you proposed. Personal pronouns can be very useful to emphasize something though, like a difference -- i.e. someone says "Sono francese" and someone replies "Io invece sono italiana". Hope this helps. :]

September 25, 2017

Speaking of verbs in general, since each of the six persons usually has a unique inflection, there is no need to use the subject pronoun, because who is the subject of the sentence is understood from the the verb alone:

tu cammini = cammini = you walk / are walking

noi abbiamo dormito = abbiamo dormito = we (have) slept

io leggevo = leggevo = I was reading / used to read

You can freely choose to use the subject pronoun, although it is more often unspoken.

The subject pronoun is commonly spoken in two main cases:

  • when you wish to emphasize the subject:

tu cammini = you  walk / are walking (not someone else)

noi abbiamo dormito = we  (have) slept (not others)

  • when different persons take the same inflection:

io sono = I am

loro sono = they are

If the subject pronoun is not spoken, as long as other parts of the sentence (or the context of speech) allow the listener to understand whether the subject is io or loro, it can be freely omitted:

sono tornato = I have returned  (tornato is singular)

sono tornati = they have returned  (tornati is plural)

But when no clue is provided for the listener, it is advisable to use the subject pronoun:

sono a casa = I am at home  or  they are at home

io sono a casa = I am at home

loro sono a casa = they are at home.

September 26, 2017

It goes both ways so"sono italiano" is fine. "Io sono italiano" means the same thing. Personal pronouns aren't always used, because in this case "sono" conveys the idea of "I". Hope this helps you, good luck!

September 26, 2017

Yeah just to reiterate what they said pretty much. You don't need to use io/tu/noi/voi/loro (at the beginner level at least...I know loro shows up for other reasons but that's advanced, I'm not up there yet). They are best used to help you learn, because without them it's more difficult to memorize the verb conjugations. But when you pick up on it a bit more, you can drop them. It's a good idea to get into the habit of dropping them while you write and speak, but still keep them in mind to help you learn other verbs. However, lui and lei will be used at times when you're specifying who it is, a man or a woman. For example, one might say "Lui vuole fare bene" (he wants to do well) in situations where we wouldn't know who that person was talking about otherwise, a man or a woman. Sometimes the sentence will tell you the gender of the person being spoken about, but sometimes (like in my example) they won't. "Vuole" by itself doesn't specify.

September 28, 2017
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