Ferma and Fermi

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zollen
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Joined: Sun Jan 03, 2010 3:44 pm
Location: Toronto, Canada

Ferma and Fermi

Post by zollen » Sat Jan 11, 2014 2:51 pm

Ferma la macchina!
Fermi la macchina, per favore.
What is the difference between these two sentences???

I thought Ferma is a more polite term (usually when talking to a stranger), and Fermi is a more direct/personal term. But above usage seems to indicate the opposite

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Peter
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Joined: Mon Feb 07, 2005 12:41 pm
Location: Horsham, West Sussex, England

Re: Ferma and Fermi

Post by Peter » Sat Jan 11, 2014 9:03 pm

zollen wrote:
Ferma la macchina!
Fermi la macchina, per favore.
What is the difference between these two sentences???

I thought Ferma is a more polite term (usually when talking to a stranger), and Fermi is a more direct/personal term. But above usage seems to indicate the opposite
Hi zollen

This is an area that does cause confusion. As you are aware, the imperative tense is being used here. What causes the confusion is that in the present tense fermare would be declined as fermo, fermi, ferma, etc. However, in the imperative fermi and ferma are reversed, so ferma refers to the informal you and fermi to the formal you. So, yes, the first sentence is informal, the second formal. If you have access to a verb conjugator take a look; the same applies to all the verb declensions. A good conjugator is Logos (http://beta.logosconjugator.org/list-of-verb/IT/).

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calum
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Location: Scozia
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Re: Ferma and Fermi

Post by calum » Sat Jan 11, 2014 10:55 pm

zollen wrote:
Ferma la macchina!
Fermi la macchina, per favore.
What is the difference between these two sentences???

I thought Ferma is a more polite term (usually when talking to a stranger), and Fermi is a more direct/personal term. But above usage seems to indicate the opposite

Peter has beaten me to it but I'll answer you too.


Both of your examples are using the imperative mood, the first is the informal whereas the second is the formal.

As you have noted, they appear to be the wrong way round compared to the indicative. This is true for -are verbs whereas -ere and -ire verbs follow another pattern.


Imperative
-ere

Scrivere :
(tu) scrivi!
(Lei) scriva
(noi) scriviamo
(voi) scrivete

-ire

Dormire :

(tu) dormi!
(Lei) dorma
(noi) dormiamo
(voi) dormite

-are

Mangiare :

(tu) mangia!
(Lei) mangi
(noi) mangiamo
(voi) mangiate

regards,
Calum

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