Lombard/Modal verbs

Lombard language course
Morphology of Lombard language

AdjectivesAdjective degrees
PronounsSubject personal pronouns •• Object and term personal pronouns •• Pronominal and adverbial particles - Demonstrative pronouns •• Possessive pronouns •• Indefinite pronouns
VerbsMoods and tenses •• Infinitive •• Gerund and gerundial complements •• Participle - Present Indicative •• Past Indicative (Perfect Indicative) •• Imperfect Indicative •• Past Perfect Indicative •• Simple Future Indicative •• Compound Future Indicative •• Present Subjunctive •• Past Subjunctive (Perfect Subjunctive) •• Imperfect Subjunctive •• Past Perfect Subjunctive •• Present Conditional •• Past Conditional •• Present Imperative •• Future Imperative •• Continuous construction ••• Irregular verbs
••• Auxiliary verbs
••• Modal verbs
••• Phrasal verbs
Prepositions and prepositional locutions
Adverbs and adverbial locutions
Pronominal and adverbial particles
Other constructions replacing the adverbs "easily" and "hardly"
Conjunctions and conjunctive locutions

Lombard The reference orthography for this page of Lombard course is New Lombard orthography

Modal verbs are placed before another verb in the infinitive mood without prepositions in order to change its meaning: ► (expresses an action assigned to someone else)

A gh'hoo de sbiancà la cà
(translation into English: I have to get the house whitewashed)

fàss ("fà" in a riflective form - expresses an action given to be done to someone else that is transmitted on the subject of the sentence (if there is no direct object) or something that belongs to him (in the presence of a direct object))

A gh'hoo de fàss sbiancà la cà
(translation into English: I have to get the house whitewashed)
Although in English the translation is equal to the previous one unlike when using "fà" in this case the house to be whitewashed belongs to the subject of the sentence. When using"fà" in non-reflective form it theoretically could belong to anyone.

volé (it expresses willingness / absence of willingness – in English: to want)

Example (in milanese dialect):
Mi voeuli minga lavorà
(translated into English: I don’t want to work)

podé (it expresses chance/possibility / impossibility – in English: to can and to may)


savé (it expresses knowledge how to do something – in English: to kown how to)

Savé menà ona barca
(translated into English: To know how to drive a boat)

dové (it expresses duty / ... – in English: to must and to have to)* *Italianism instead of havégh de


desiderà (it expresses desire / ... – in English: would like)


preferì (it expresses preference / ... – in English: to prefer)


lassà (it expresses permess / ... – in English: to let)

Example: (in milense dialect):
Lassom andà via
(translated into English: Let me leave)

Verbs with a modal function followed by a preposition


There are some verbs with a modal function, when they are followed by a preposition

With the preposition "a"


andà a (it expresses motion to the place where the action takes place – in English: to go)

Voo a fà la spesa al supermercad
(translated into English: I go shopping to the supermarket)

vegnì a (expresses motion to the place where the action takes place – in English: to come to)


comenzà a / tacà a (they express beginning – in English: to start (to), to begin (to))

Jer hoo comenzad a lavorà
(translation into English: Yesterday I started to work)

metes a (it expresses the beginning of an action about which you does not want to highlight the duration over time – in italiano: to start)

Lù el s'è metud a fà el lader
(translation into English: He started to be a thief)

metes adree a (it expresses the beginning of an action about which you want to highlight the duration and/or the commitment over time – in English you use the “past continous”)

Lù el s'era metud adree a robà ai vot ore de la matina
(translation into English: He was stealing at eight in the morning)

seguità (abbreviated in sutà) a (it expresses continuation – in English: to keep)


tornà a (it expresses that the action is done again – in English it is equivalent to the prefix “re-” before the verb, or “again” after, it may also be translated into “to get back to”)

tornà a fà
(translation into English: to redo / to remake, to do again / to make again, to get back to do / to get back to make)

riessì a (expresses the achivement of the desired purpose - in English: to manage to)

riessì a fà on quaicoss
(translation into English: To manage to do something)

proveder a ( - in English: to take care to)

provveder a fa…
(translation into English: To take care to do…)

tirà a ( - in English: to strive to)

Besogna tirà a fà el ben per i alter
(translation into English: One must strive to do good for others)

trà a ( - in English: to tend to)

Lu el trà a pensàgh sora trop
(translation into English: He tends to think it over too much.)

and so on...

With the preposition "de"


finì de (it expresses end, conclusion – in English: to finish)

Jer hoo finid de lavorà
(translation into English: Yesterday I finished working)

desmeter de (it expresses end, conclusion – in English: to stop)


lassà stà de (it expresses the stop of doing something willingly – in English: to give up, to quit)


piantàlla lì de (it expresses the stop of doing something willingly– in English: to stop, to give up)


tentà de (it expresses attempt – in English: to try to)


havégh de (it expresses duty / ... – in English: to must or to have to)*


sparmì de (it expresses an action that can be avoided – in English: to avoid, to spare yourself from )

Te podet sparmì de andà
(Translation into English: You could spare yourself from going / You can avoid going

and so on...

With prepositional locutions


fà a men de (it expresses abstention, deprivation – in English: to do without)


andà adree a (it expresses continuation – in English: to keep, to continue)



  • Circolo Filologico Milanese (2018). dizionario Milanese. Antonio Vallardi, pag. XXV, XXVI. ISBN 978-88-6987-846-6.