The Italian's tenses differ too much from English's, and many of them are too hard to understand.
1)Futuro semplice eFuturo composto
ok, firsdt of all: it's futuro anteriore. Pratically, yes, it is a copula + verb composite form. Let's see some examples:
Luigi guarda la televisione: it happens here and now.
Luigi ha guardato la televisione: it has happened in a near past
Luigi guarderà la televisione: it will happen in the future
Luigi avrà guardato la televisione: ok, now things get a little fuzzy. This could mean two things:
a) Luigi may have watched TV, OR,
b) this could be the second part of a sentence like: Quando Maria avrà preparato il pranzo, Luigi avrà guardato la televisione (When Maria have the dinner ready, Luigi will already have watched TV.
This means that when something will happen in the future, something else has already happened before that, but still in the future if looked by the point of view of the speaker. Tomorrow first Luigi watches tv, then Maria has dinner ready. Hence, futuro anteriore, previous future
2)Imperfetto e passato prossimo
Imperfetto is pretty much like past contiuous: something happened in the past, but lasted for some time. The only difference is that English has a composite form, while italian a simple form.
Luigi guardava la TV
Luigi was watching TV
Passato prossimo refers to something that has happened just not long ago, but whose effects are over. Passato prossimo is taking over passato remoto, so the normal meaning is pretty much a simple past tense:
Luigi ha guardato la TV
Luigi watched TV
3)Starci e Esserci
literally speaking, the same difference that goes between to be and to stay. But in addition, "to stay" in italian can mean "to be still in a place", "to be doing something", "to be somewhere". Its a sort of jack of all trades.
Luigi sta a Roma: Luigi is in Rome. (this can mean both he is in Rome right now, or in a slangish way, Luigi lives in Rome)
Luigi sta sulla sedia: Luigi is on the chair
Luigi sta guardando la televisione ("stare -ndo" form = "to be -ing") Luigi is watching TV
- BTW, uh...Why do people say "Ascoltate" rather than a simple "Ascolta"?
Ascolta is for the singular second person, ascoltate is plural second person.
- Is it da' or dà when using the imperative form?
Da', since the complete form is "dai", and the aphostroph stands for the missing "i", just like "po' " and "poco"