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  12.4.12 exercise12: flection of the past participle

The past participle is inflected in three different situations.

1) In the case of the si passivante we have basically a simple reflexive verbs, at least from a grammar point of view. The only particularity is the fact that the subject of the sentence performs an action on himself that he can't actually perform. Therefore all the rules for the use of the reflexive verbs are to apply (conjugation with essere, agreement of the past participle with the subject etc.)

Si sono lavate le macchine.
The cars are washed. (Literally: The car wash themselves.)

2) We have a si impersonale with a verb that is normally conjugated with essere. In the case of a verb which is normally conjugated with essere the past participle matches in gender and number with the subject of the sentence (Sono andati a scuola <=> They have gone to school) and this agreement is to be done as well in the case of a si impersonale if the verb is conjugated with essere because the indefinite pronoun si is supposed to refer to a plural.

Si è andati a scuola.
One went to school.

3) Is there a direct object in front of the si impersonale (we already discussed about structures like La si è vista and we have already seen that this kind of structure is a si impersonale) the past participle has to match in gender and number with the direct object in front of the verb complex. In other verbs, the rule which normally applies to transitive verbs (Li ho amati <=> I haved love them, La ho amata <=> I have loved her) is to be applied as well in this case, although the conjuation is done with essere.

La si è vista.
She has been seen.

This agreement is to be done as well in the case that there is an indirect object as well.

Ce la si è data.
It has been given to us.

4) In the case of verbs which normally are conjugated with avere there is, except the cases discussed in 3), no agreement. In this case the past participle is in the basic form, in other words masculine singular.

Si è parlato molto di questa storia.
People spoke a lot about these poems.

exercise 12: Translate these sentences  
People made telephone calls without paying attention to the costs.
She has been recognized immediately.
One washes oneself the hair.
One arrived there early.
It (fem.sing) has been sold.
The house has been sold.
One didn' t understood what he want.
People bought it, because there was nothing else.
If one had known that before, it could have been avoided.
If one could have say it to him, he wouldn' t have become so angry.

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