"Sentii il telefono suonare."
Translation:I heard the telephone ring.
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(Italian speaker) I don't agree with Roadlawyer: according to my grammar book Passato remoto is used for action which are past, finished AND far, so you couldn't use it for actions happened yesterday.
The problem is that the use of passato remoto has a regional connotation: in Northen Italy nobody use it even when it could be used (it's used only with Historical events or in storytelling), but in South Italy it is the only past used, so they use it even when it shouldn'd be used (like, one hour ago, that is wrong). Just in Centre Italy they use it the right way.
So, if you want to talk with an Italian don't worry about it: we are used to people who use it in the wrong way. But if you want to know what should be the best way to use it, well the rule says that passato remoto requires both a finished action with no relation with the present and a far past ("how much far it has to be it is personal: the "distance" can be chronological or psychological)
- "I was born in 1945" = "sono nata nel 1945". If the person is still alive we usually don't use "passato remoto";
- "My son was born one year ago and he died one week later" = "Mio figlio nacque/è nato un anno fa e morì/è morto una settimana dopo". Here it is personal: the chronological distance is not so far, but what about psychological? have you turned the page, or not?;
- "Fabrizio De Andrè was born in 1940" = "Fabrizio De Andrè nacque nel 1940". No Doubt: it is chronologically distant and he isn't still alive, so there's no connection with the present or psychological proximity.
I think a simple gaming platform like this should leave Passato Remoto alone. While I hear that some native speakers use it in Southern Italy, it is primarily used in literature. I just came back from three weeks in Rome and Florence and never once heard it in conversation.