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Past Tense: Special Rules and Uses of the passato prossimo

As we’ve seen in the previous lessons, to form the passato prossimo we use a past participle and an auxiliary verb, either essere or avere.

Some verbs, however, can be conjugated with either essere or avere depending on how they are used.

  1. Some verbs require the use of essere as the auxiliary verb when they are used intransitively (without a direct object). When these verbs are used transitively (with a direct object), they use avere as an auxiliary. As you can see in the examples below, sometimes the meaning of the verb changes.

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