Imperfetto VS Passato Prossimo – Quiz and Audio

This is a very basic introduction on the differences between the Italian passato prossimo and the imperfetto.

The passato prossimo describes an action (or a situation) in the past with a beginning and an end – it’s a perfect tense.

The imperfetto describes a situation (or an action) in the past, usual or ongoing, with no clear clear beginning or end. Plain and simple, this is pretty much it.

Roughly speaking, we can say that the past prossimo is “solid”, you can see the boundaries of the past action, while the imperfetto is “liquid”, when don’t clearly know when it begins or ends

We can combine the two tenses together and describe complex situations with simple verbs. Read the related posts for more precise information. Inside the quiz, you can find more sentences and check your pronunciation listening to the audio examples.

In bocca al lupo!


Usual action

Da bambino, andavo sempre in vacanza al mare.

Passato Prossimo

One time action

Questa estate, sono andato in vacanza al mare.

Imperfetto + Imperfetto

Two situations happening simultaneously

Mentre io guardavo il film, Laura dormiva.

Passato Prossimo + Passato Prossimo

Two complete actions together

Quando sono uscito dall’ufficio, ho spento la luce.

Imperfetto + Passato Prossimo

An action inside a situation

Mentre guardavo un film, è suonato il telefono.

Enjoy the quiz!


Photo of author
Milanese, graduated in Italian literature a long time ago, I began teaching Italian online in Japan back in 2003. I usually spend winter in Tokyo and go back to Italy when the cherry blossoms shed their petals. I do not use social media.

Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Don`t copy text!