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After doing something: Italian grammar lesson 191

After doing something

In this lesson, you’ll learn to use dopo + past infinitive with both avere and essere. This way, you’ll be able to talk about “after doing something”. This expression lets us link two actions that happened in the past, or an action that happened in the past and another one that happens in the present.


after doing 2

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The structure is pretty simple if you remember how to make the past infinitive which, basically, is made of either avere or essere and the past participle. Here are the two possible options:

  • dopo + avere + past participle
  • dopo + essere + past participle

Past participles: regular verbs

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The past participles of regular verbs are easy to remember because they follow a pattern: the verbs that end in -are in the infinitive,  end in -ato in the past participle; the verbs that end in -ere in the infinitive,  end in -uto in the past participle; the verbs that end in -ire in the infinitive, end in -ito in the past participle. Have a look at some examples:

  • -are: mangiare, ballare, and cantare become mangiato, ballato, and cantato
  • -ere: credere, cadere, and ricevere become creduto, caduto, and ricevuto
  • -ire: pulire, dormire, and sentire become pulito, dormito, and sentito

Past participles: irregular verbs

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Some verbs are irregular and don’t follow a pattern so basically, you just need to memorize them. An easy way to do so is to remember they usually end in –to or –so. Here’s a list of the most common ones:

  • aprire (to open): aperto
  • bere (to drink): bevuto
  • decidere (to decide): deciso
  • essere (to be): stato
  • dire (to say): detto
  • fare (to do): fatto
  • leggere (to read): letto
  • mettere (to put): messo
  • perdere (to lose): perso
  • prendere (to get): preso
  • rimanere (to stay): rimasto
  • scegliere (to choose): scelto
  • scrivere (to write): scritto
  • vedere (to see): visto
  • vivere (to live): vissuto

Dopo + avere + past participle

after doing

After the verb avere, the past participle never agrees in gender and number with the subject so it always ends in –o. Here are some examples:

  • Dopo aver cenato, siamo andati a ballare.
    After having dinner, we went to dance.
  • Dopo aver vissuto in Germania, voglio imparare il tedesco.
    After living in Germany, I want to learn German.
  • Dopo aver fatto i compiti, mia figlia è andata a giocare fuori.
    After finishing her homework, my daughter went to play outside.

Dopo + essere + past participle

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Remember when it comes to the verb essere, the past participle agrees in gender and number with the subject. Its endings are the following: -o, -a, -i, -e. Let’s have a look at some examples:

  • Dopo essere andata in Spagna, sono andata in Francia.
    After going to Spain, I went to France.
  • Dopo essere rimasti una settimana da loro, siamo tornati a casa.
    After staying at theirs for a week, we came back home.
  • Dopo essere tornato in Italia, ho ripreso a lavorare.
    After returning to Italy, I got back to work.
To practice After doing something: Italian grammar lesson 191, take lesson

of the audio course “Ripeti con me!”

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