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Tené, (glàuele/verb/verbo):

  • to have (along with avé), specifically also "to hold".
  • tenere (si usa molto invece dell'avé).
Presènd Mberfètt Passàt Cuembuòšt Cuendezjunàl & Uettatìv Špecuelatìv Mberatìv
ìj tìjngh/tièng tenèv éj tenùt tenéss - -
tu tenìv ì tenùt tenìss - tè*
iss / éss tenèv a / e tenùt tenéss tennarrà -
nùj tenèm tennavàm èm tenùt tennassìm - -
vùj tenèt tennavàt èt tenùt tennassìt - tenèt
llôr tènn tenèvene ènn tenùt tenéssene tennarrànn -


This will briefly explain certain vagaries of verb tenses in Molisan. Eventually, this section will be hewn into an independent section. The table above is not exhaustive but covers the most frequent verb constructs while ignoring several important ones. The first three tenses presented above are fairly straightforward:

  • Presènd: The present tense is used to indicate presently occurring actions. It is also used as the subjunctive in phrases like "Se tì na uandìjr, puòrtemele" ("If you have a platter, bring it to me"), which in other Romance languages have a special verb form.
  • Mberfètt: The imperfect is used to represent an ongoing action in the past. This usage is the same as in Italian or French. It is also used sometimes to form conditional statements, such as "Se tenèv nu uandìjr, t'u puertàv" (If I had a platter, I would have brought it, literally "If I was having a platter, I was bringing it to you"). The construct "Se tenèv/tenéss nu uandìjr, t'u puertàss" is also grammatical, but the meaning is slightly different. The latter stresses the point that the speaker did not have a platter to bring. The former indicates that the speaker laments not having had a platter:
  • "Se tenèv nu uandìjr, t'u puertàv": a possible comment to someone frantically looking around the house for a makeshift platter.
  • "Se tenéss nu uandìjr, t'u puertàss" : a possible answer to someone asking provocatively why you did not bring a platter.
  • The imperfect also frequently replaces the subjunctive, such as in phrases like "Sembràv ca Èls ne menèv" (It seemed Else wasn't coming), which would be rendered in Italian as "Sembrava che Elsa non venisse". This last Italian phrase, put into Molisan, would be "Sembràv ca Èls ne menéss" (It seemed Else would not come), which would indicate that, contrary to what was thought, Elsa did finally arrive.
  • Passàt Cuembuòšt: Also called "Passàt Večìn", the perfect aspect is used to denote actions undertaken in the near past that were not ongoing or on a regular basis. This usage is identical to the French passé composé or Italian passato prossimo. Note that the example above employs the auxiliary "avé" (to have). When using the verb in reflexive form, the verb "èss" (to be) is used (Me sò tenùt c'a coč a àvete, "I held myself with my head high"). This would be classed as a separate verb, tenéreze.

Uncertain Tenses[edit]

  • Cuendezjunàl: The conditional mood is used for both clauses of a conditional statement. For example, "Se tenéss sài a sòld, če cattàss parìchj cas" (If I had a lot of money, I would buy several houses), compared to the Italian "Se avessi molti soldi, comprerei tante case". It also functions as the optative mood, in which function is is called uettatìv, which expresses a wish or desire, as in "Tenéss fìj", which means "Would that I had children" or "I wish I had children", or "Ze speséss/spuesàss fìjeme", which means "Would that my son would marry".
  • Špecuelatìv: The speculative or tentative mood, which is comparable to the potential mood in Persian or the presumptive mood of Romanian. It exists only in the present tense and only in the third person. It expresses a speculative inevitability, likelihood, or probability. It can also be used in transmitting information from a third party, much like the English construct "supposedly,". Although it can be replaced by the conditional mood or even present tense depending on the context, it is used to imply a certain distance or loss of contact with the subject. For example:
  • "Gjuàn mô tennarrà trènd ann. Z'a spesàt ê na bell a àvete mô fa ll-ann. Tennarràn gjà nu feljuòl...", which means "Giovanni would have to be about thirty now. He married a pretty, tall (woman) about a year ago. They probably/might have a child already".
  • "Marìj mô tennarrà gjà càcche fìj se štéss ngor vìv", which means "Maria would probably have children by now, were she still alive" (note that in this example, the tentative mood is used in a conditional statement. This is allowed)
  • "Ne me sìjnd bôn. Chišt i pìnnele ca me tòngh tennarrànn càcche effètt malamènd", which means "I don't feel well. These pills I'm taking would seem to have some negative side-effect".
  • "Éj parlàt cu Gjuseppìn maddemàn. Par ca quìll u Frèngh fìj de Tonìn tennarrà u cansèr/càngr", which means "I spoke to Giuseppina today. It would seem that Tony's son Frank has cancer" (or, more precisely, "It seems that Tony's son Frank would have cancer".)
  • Mberatìv: The imperative mood is used to express a command, request, prohibition, permission, or exhortation. Especially important here is the form , which is used when handing something to another. It is analogous to the English "here (you go)" and the French "tiens". A less polite form is , the imperative of "tòj/tòlj" (to take).