table of content chapter 1818.2.2.1 introductory verb in passato remoto/ passato prossimo

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chapter 18: sequence of tenses

  18.2.2.1 introductory verb in passato remoto/ passato prossimo
  If you speak Spanish you may be induced to believe that the passato prossimo is a present tense because the Spanish passado perfecto is a present tense, but that's not the case. Even in the regions of Italy where the passato prossimo still has his original functions (describing actions / events which happened in the past and are still relevant for the moment of speaking) and has not assumed the functions of the passato remoto (describing finished actions / events in a finished past) and should be considered therefore as a tense of the present it is considered a tense of the past in the context of the sequence of tenses and the reported speech. You may read in some old grammar books that the passato prossimo is a tense of the present, but that's not true any more. Nowadays in the context of the reported speech / sequence of tenses the passato prossimo is a tense of the past and therefore an adaptation of the tenses is required if the introductory verb is in the passato prossimo.

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