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C M Ita an

Second Semester Text

160

CCM Italian Text part 2 Table of Contents

Chapter Nine

p. 161

Mini Dialogues / Reflexive Verbs / Reciprocal Verbs / Si Impersonale/


Present Progressive Tense / Andare + a + infinitive / Stare + per + infinitive
Chapter Ten

p. 186

Mini Dialogues / Imperfetto The Imperfect Tense / Comparative and Superlative of adjectives
Chapter Eleven

p. 201

Mini Dialogues / The Future Tense / The Conditional Tense


Chapter Twelve

p. 218

Mini Dialogues / The Imperative Mood / Adverbs / Double Object Pronouns


Chapter Thirteen

p. 236

Mini Dialogues / Passato Remoto/ Ci and Ne


Chapter Fourteen

p. 252

Mini Dialogues / Relative Pronouns / Subjunctive Verb Forms (il congiuntivo)

Italian English Glossary, chapters 1-14

p. 266

161

CCM ITALIAN
Chapter Nine
Mini Dialogues
Reflexive Verbs / Reciprocal Verbs
Si Impersonale
Italian Present Progressive sta parlando
Andare a plus infinitive (andare a mangiare)
Stare per plus infinitive

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Chapter Nine
Mini Dialogues
Ciao. Come ti chiami?

Hi. Whats your neam?

Mi chiamo Giovanni. E tu, come ti chiami?

My name is Giovanni. And whats your name?

Mi chiamo Enrico. E questo mio amico.


Si chiama Giorgio.

My name is Enrico. And this is my friend.


His name is Giorgio.

Luisa, quando ti alzi la mattina?


Di solito, mi alzo alle sette.
E stamattina?
Mi sono alzata tardi, alle otto e mezzo.

Luisa, when do you get up in the morning?


Usually I get up at 7.
And this morning?
I got up late, at 8:30.

Dorme Mario ancora? Deve svegliarsi.


Va bene. Vado a svegliarlo.

Is Mario still asleep? He needs to wake up.


OK. Ill go wake him.

Mi lavo le mani sempre prima di mangiare,


ma oggi mi sono dimenticato di lavarmi le mani.

I always wash may hands before eating,


but today I forgot to wash my hands

Allora, devi andare subito a lavarti le mani! Then you have to go right away to wash your hands.

Hai sentito la notizia? Paolo si rotto una gamba. Did you hear the news? Paolo broke his leg.
O Dio! Rompersi la gamba una cosa terribile!
Come si sente?

O God! To break a leg is a terrible thing!


How does he feel?

Non si sente bene, si sente male.

He doesnt feel well, he feels badly.

Non trovo i miei occhiali. Li hai visti?

I dont find my glasses. Have you seen them?

Li ho messo nel cassetto.

I put them in the drawer.

Mi diverto sempre quando vado da Barbara.

I always have fun when I go to Barbaras.

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La trovo una persona molto divertente.


Ti sei divertita da Barbara?

I find her a very enjoyable person.


Did you enjoy yourself at Barbaras?

No, non mi sono divertita. Di solito


mi annoio da Barbara. La trovo una persona
non molto interessante.

No, I didnt enjoy myself. Usually


I get bored at Barbaras. I find her a not
very interesting person.

Sono andato a riposarmi e mi sono addormentato. I went to lie down and I fell asleep. I slept
Ho dormito unora, e ora mi sento molto meglio. an hour, and now I feel much better.
Va bene, ma ora ti devi vestire.
Non ti ricordi che andiamo a cena con Claudia?
dinner with Claudia?

Fine, but now you have to get dressed.


Dont you remember that we are going to

Oh! Mi sono fatto male!


Dove ti sei fatto male?
Al dito piccolo. Dove si trova una benda?

Oh! I hurt myself!


Where did you hurt yourself?
On my little finger. Where do I find a bandage?

Cameriere, ho bisogno di una forchetta


e un coltello. Qui c solo un cucchiaio.

Waiter, I need a fork


and knife. There is only a spoon here.

Scusi, signore! Le porto subito!

Excuse me, sir! Ill bring you (them) right away.

Marco a letto
Marco non si sente bene. Ha un raffreddore; ha la febbre e un mal di testa. Si addorementato
molto tardi la notte scorsa. Quando si alzato, ha provato di vestirsi, ma si stancato subito, e poi
tornato a letto a riposarsi. Dopo unora a letto si annoiato, e si alzato di nuovo. Si fatto la
barba e la doccia, e poi si sentito meglio. Poi ha detto a se stesso Mi sono dimenticato che oggi
ho dovuto incontrare Paolo alla biblioteca; ma ora troppo tardi. Ora non possiamo incontrarci. Gli
devo telefonare. Marco arrabbiato con se stesso.

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New Vocabulary (vocabolario)


Nouns
la persona
the person
(always feminine no matter to whom it refers: Giorgio una persona simpatica.)
la notizia
news (information about a single event);
(when news is referred to in a general sense, the plural is used: le notizie)
lo sposo / la sposa

the bridegroom / bride

il piatto

the plate

la forchetta

the fork

il coltello

the knife

il cucchiaio

the spoon

il cassetto

the drawer

gli occhiali

the glasses (eyeglasses)

la febbre

the fever

(literary husband / wife)

le forchette

il raffreddore the (head)cold


(adj. raffreddato)

Adverbs
di nuovo

i cucchiai
again (ancora)

meglio

better

adjectives
terribile terrible

i coltelli

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A summary of the reflexive and reciprocal verbs introduced in this chapter:


All the verbs introduced in this chapter have regular past participles, except:
mettere/mettersi messo

and

rompere/rompersi rotto

reflexive / reciprocal verbs

transitive verbs / other related words

addormentarsi

to fall asleep

(addormentatoasleep)

alzarsi

to get up

(alzare to lift, raise)

annoiarsi

to get bored

(la noiaboredom; noioso boring)

arrabbiarsi

to become angry, get mad

(la rabbia anger; arrabbiato angry )

chiamarsi

to be called

(chiamare to call; la chiamata the call)

conoscersi

to meet, make the acquaintance of, get to know one another


(conoscere to know, be acquainted with)
to forget

dimenticarsi (di)
divertirsi
farsi male (a)

to enjoy (oneself), have fun (il divertimento the entertainment, amusement)


(divertente entertaining, amusing)
to hurt oneself

farsi Il bagno

to take a bath; to go for a swim

Can also be non-reflexive, chap. 4

farsi la doccia

to take a shower

Can also be non-reflexive, chap. 4

farsi la barba

to shave

fermarsi

to stop, come to a halt

(fermare to stop [something])


la fermata the [bus]stop)

incontrarsi

to meet, encounter

(lincontro the meeting, encounter)

innamorarsi (di)

to fall in love

(innamorato in love)

lamentarsi

to complain

(lamentare to lament)

lavarsi

to wash (oneself)

(lavare to wash [something])

mettersi

to put on (clothing)

(mettere to put. p.p messo)

preoccuparsi

to worry, be concerned

(preoccupato worried)

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ricordarsi (di)

to remember

(il ricordothe memory, souvenir, reminder)

riposarsi

to lie down, to rest

(il riposo the rest, repose)

rompersi
p.p. (rotto)

to break (an arm, a leg, etc.) (rompere to break [something else].

sedersi

to sit down

(sedere to sit, be seated)

sentirsi

to feel (health)

(sentire to feel, to hear, to sense)

sposarsi (con)

to get married

(sposare to marry [someone])

stancarsi

to get tired

(stancotired, weary)

svegliarsi

to wake up

(sveglio awake)

vestirsi

to get dressed

(vestire to dress [someone else])

Reflexive Verbs

Transitive verbs take a direct object: I hurt him. Reflexive verbs are verbs that act back on the
subject using a reflexive pronoun: I hurt myself; he hurt himself.
English has few reflexive verbs, but Italian has many, as do other languages. English translations of
reflexive verbs from other languages usually use non-reflexive forms. Sometimes verbs using this
construction that are not truly reflexive are called pronominal verbs. Since they have the same
construction we can consider them a one group.
Reflexive pronouns in Italian are almost the same as the unstressed object pronoun forms found in
chapter 7. The ones that are the same are mi, ti, ci, and vi.
The difference is that third person singular and plural, masculine and feminine, all use si.
In Italian, the infinitive of a reflexive verb may be any of the three conjugations, but the final e of
the usual infinitive ending is dropped, and the reflexive si is added.
One of the most common reflexive verbs in Italian is chiamarsi. Literally it means to call oneself.
It is used in asking or saying what a persons name is:
Mi chiamo Elena.

My name is Elena.

(I call myself Elena.)

Ti chiami Elena.

Your name is Elena.

(You call yourself Elena.)

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Come ti chiami?

What is your name? (How do you call yourself?)

Si chiama Elena.
Come si chiama?

Her name is Elena.

What is her/his name?

(She calls herself Elena.)


(How does she call herself?)

(This last can also be used for formally asking, What is your name? (Lei form)

Come ti chiami? (familiar)

Come si chiama? (formal)

Although not used as often, chiamarsi can be used in plural forms:


Come si chiamano queste montagne? Si chiamano le Alpi.
What are these mountains called? They are called the Alps.
(How do these mountains call themselves? They call themselves the Alps.)

The Stressed Pronoun Se


Just as mi and ti have stressed forms me and te, so si has a stressed form se, used after
prepositions. (It is sometimes spelled s, to distinguish it from se, meaning if, but is just as often
seen without the accent.) It translates as himself, herself, itself, oneself, or themselves. It is normally
not used in reflexive constructions, which only use the unstressed form.
Lha fatto da se. He did it himself

Lhanno fatto per se. They did it for themselves.

Lei parla sempre di se (stessa). She always talks about herself.


Se is often used with added stesso/a for emphasis: per se or per se stesso for himself, for
oneself; per se stessa for herself.

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Another common reflexive verb in Italian is alzarsi. It is most commonly used to express getting
up out of bed, but it can also mean to get up out of a chair or any other situation where one
gets up. Literally it means to raise oneself.
As usual with Italian verbs, if the subject is a pronoun, it usually is not used, although it may be,
especially for emphasis. If the subject is a noun, of course it must be used.
(io)

mi alzo

I get up

(I raise myself)

(tu)

ti alzi

You get up

(You raise yourself)

(lui, lei)

si alza

He, She gets up

(He, She raises him/herself)

(noi)

ci alziamo

We get up

(We raise ourselves)

(voi)

vi alzate

You get up

(You raise yourselves)

(loro)

si alzano

They get up

(They raise themselves)

Giorgio si alza alle otto.

Giorgio gets up at 8.

Giorgio e Luisa si alzano alle sette. Giorgio and Luisa get up at 7.


Io e Roberto ci alziamo alle sei.

Roberto and I get up at 6.

Rachele, quando ti alzi?

Rachel, when are you getting up?


(do you get up?)

Quando vi alzate?

When are you (all) getting up?


(do you get up?)

alzare as a non-reflexive verb means to raise; to lift up:


alzare la voce to raise ones voice

alzare la temperatura to raise the temperature

A reflexive verb similar to alzarsi is:


svegliarsi

to wake up

(to wake oneself)

It can replace all the forms above with that meaning.


mi sveglio, ti svegli, si sveglia, ci svegliamo, vi svegliate, si svegliano
Mi sveglio ogni mattina alle sette e mezza. I wake up every morning at 7:30.

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Il signore non si sveglia.

Reflexive Verbs with Modal Verbs


As we have learned, modal verbs usually work with another verb in the infinitive. When reflexive
verbs are used with modal verbs, there are two equally valid ways to structure the sentence:
Devo alzarmi alle sei

or

Mi devo alzare alle sei

Both mean I have to get up at six. Notice that the verb is in the infinitive, but the correct reflexive
pronoun must be used. If the pronoun is separated (coming first, before the verbs) the nonrelexive form of the infinitive is used, ending in -e.
Quando volete alzarvi?

Quando vi volete alzare?

Ci possiamo alzare alle sette.

Possiamo alzarci alle sette.

Non mi voglio alzare.


Non voglio alzarmi.

Another way that Italian reflexive verbs work is in an expression such as I wash my hands.
In English my hands is a clear direct object of the verb wash. In Italian it is a little different
because of the reflexive construction, and works this way:

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lavarsi le mani

to wash ones hands

(io) mi lavo le mani.

I wash my hands.

(I wash myself the hands.)

(tu) ti lavi le mani

you wash your hands.

(lui, lei) si lava le mani

he/she washes his/her hands.

(noi) ci laviamo le mani

we wash our hands.

(voi) vi lavate le mani

you (all) wash your hands.

(loro) si lavano le mani

they wash their hands.

Notice how the reflexive pronoun (mi) takes the place of the English possessive pronoun (my).
Italian never uses the possessive pronoun in these constructions.

I ragazzi si lavano le mani.

Il ragazzo si lava i capelli.

It is important to note that most reflexive verbs can be used non-reflexively, that is, as normal
verbs that take a direct object (transitive verb). The reflexive pronoun is omitted, replaced by a
direct object.
Mi chiamano Mim.

They call me Mim.

Ti sveglio alle cinque.

Ill wake you at 5.

Ho svegliato Anna troppo tardi.

I woke Anna too late.

Ho alzato gli occhi.

I raised (my) eyes.

Ha lavato la camicia.

He/She washed the shirt.

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Il signore lava la macchina.

Tutti e due alzano le voci.

Passato Prossimo of Reflexive Verbs


Please take note of and remember the following points:
ALL REFLEXIVE VERBS USE ESSERE AS THE HELPING VERB. NO EXCEPTIONS.
There must be agreement between the subject of the Italian reflexive verb and the past participle
required by the passato prossimo, similar to adjective agreement.
The reflexive pronoun always precedes the two parts of the verb.
If the sentence is negative, non precedes all of the above.
Examples:
Mi alzo.

I get up.

Mi sono alzato

I got up. (said by a man)

Non mi sono alzata. I didnt get up. (said by a woman)


Ti sei alzato?

Did you get up? (asked of a man)

Non ti sei alzata?

Didnt you get up? (asked of a woman)

Mario si alzato.

Mario got up. (as a question: Did Mario get up?)

Maria non si alzata. Maria didnt get up. (as a question: Did Maria get up?)
Ci siamo alzati.

We got up.

Vi siete alzati.

You got up. (as a question: Did you get up?)

Si sono alzati.

They got up. (as a question: Did they get up?)

Le ragazze si sono alzate. The girls got up. (as a question: Did the girls get up?)

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Mi sono lavato le mani.

I washed my hands. (said by a man)

Mi sono lavata le mani.

I washed my hands. (said by a woman)

Ci siamo lavati le mani.

We washed our hands.

Vi siete lavati le mani?

Did you wash your hands?

Si lavata le mani.

She washed her hands.

Non si lavato le mani.

He didnt wash his hands.

Non si sono lavati le mani.

They didnt wash their hands

Rompere; Rompersi
The verb rompere means to break (stress on the stem). It conjugates regularly in the present
tense but has an irregular past participle, rotto. It is probably seen most frequently in the passato
prossimo:

Ha rotto il piatto.
He broke the plate.

This sentence is an example of a transitive verb taking a direct object, which is the same in Italian
and English. In Italian, it can also be used reflexively, as in:
Il piatto si rotto.
The plate broke.
(The plate was broken.)
Il piatto rotto.
The plate is broken.

In this sentence, Italian has the same verb being used to reflect back on the subject, using the
reflexive pronoun. English doesnt use a reflexive pronoun in this case, but you could think of the
sentence as The plate broke itself.

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This construction is very common in Italian. Remember the past participle has to agree with the
subject, as if it were an adjective:
La televisione si rotta.

The TV broke.

Si rotta la macchina.

The car broke down.

I miei occhiali si sono rotti. My (eye)glasses broke.


The reflexive form of this verb is used to express to break an arm (or leg, or finger, etc.). The
construction is similar to lavarsi, above. The past participle agrees with the subject, not the thing
that was broken:
Mi sono rotto il braccio.
I broke my arm. (said by a man)
Maria si rotta il braccio.

Maria broke her arm.

Luigi si rotto la gamba.


Luigi broke his leg.
Luigi ha una gamba rotta.
Luigi has a broken leg.

To repeat, Italian never uses the possessive pronoun in such cases. The reflexive pronoun serves
the purpose that the English possessive provides.
There are many situations in Italian in which transitive verbs are used non-transitively with a si
construction. For example, aprire can be used transitively, as in Io apro la porta, but it can also be
used non-transitively, as in Il fiore si apre The flower opens up.
To reiterate, the point to remember is that Italian uses si constructions in many ways, most of
which dont correspond to English reflexive constructions, which are relatively rare.
Since the si construction uses essere in the passato prossimo there is always agreement with the
subject:
Quando si chiusa la farmacia?

When did the pharmacy close?

Si chiusa alle 21.

It closed at 9 p.m.

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Other Commonly Used Reflexive Verbs


Some of them can also be used transitively, as indicated.

divertirsi

to enjoy (oneself), have fun

Io mi diverto

I am having fun; I am having a good time.

Ti sei divertito/a?
Vi siete divertiti?

Did you enjoy yourself/have fun/have a good time?

As a transitive verb, divertire, to amuse, entertain. Quel film mi ha divertito.


Adjective: divertente amusing, entertaining

addormentarsi

to fall asleep

Maria si addormentata molto tardi.

Maria fell asleep very late.

Quando lui parla, mi addormento.

When he talks, I fall asleep.

annoiarsi

to be bored, to become bored

Annoiare as a transitive verb means to bore.


Notice the difference: Mi annoio nella classe ditaliano. I get bored (am bored) in Italian class.
La classe ditaliano mi annoia.
Italian class bores me.
Ci siamo sempre annoiati nella classe.
La classe ci ha sempre annoiato.

We always got bored in class.


The class always bored us.

noioso: adjective boring; annoying; tiresome; tedious

Mi annoio.
Il libro noioso.

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sedersi

to sit down

sedere means to sit, be seated whereas sedersi refers to the act of sitting down.
English doesnt always differentiate between sit and sit down. If an Italian sentence does not
specify someone in a seated position, then sedersi is generally used.
Both have an irregular conjugation (present tense only), inserting an i that is not in the infinitive
(except noi and voi forms): siedo, siedi, siede, sediamo, sedete, siedono (p.p. seduto).
Luigi siede alla tavola.

Luigi is sitting at the table.

Luigi si siede alla tavola.

Luigi sits down at the table.

Il sedere as a noun refers to a persons behind.

accomodarsi to make oneself comfortable


This verb is most commonly used to politely invite someone to sit down or to enter a room. It is
usually used in the imperative form (chapter 12): Si accomodi. Have a seat; be seated The
plural is accomodatevi.
Accomodare as a non-reflexive verb usually means to arrange or to fix, repair.

arrabbiarrsi (con)

to get angry (with); get mad (at)

Mi arrabbio con Maria quando in ritardo.


Luisa si arrabbiata con me.
Arrabbiato as an adjective means angry, mad.

I get mad at Maria when shes late.


Luisa was angry with me.
Perch sei cos arrabbiato?

La rabbia, a noun, means anger.

Gli uccelli arrabbiati.

La signora si arrabbia.
La signora arrabbiata.

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sentirsi

to feel (in regards to health)

Mi sento bene / male

I feel well, fine / sick, ill

Come ti senti?

How do you feel?

Come si sente?
How does he/she feel?

How do you feel? (formal)

Sentire as a transitive verb can mean to feel, sense with any of the five senses except sight. Most
often it is used for to hear. Non ti sento. I cant hear you.
The title character of Don Giovanni says at one point, Mi par sentir odor di femmina.
(I seem to sense the scent of (a) woman.)

riposarsi

to rest, lie down

I miei genitori si sono riposati un po.

My parents rested for a little (while).

Carla si riposa sempre dopo lavoro.

Carla always lies down after work.

Noun: il riposo rest

vestirsi

to dress, get dressed

Luisa si veste sempre con eleganza.

Luisa always dresses elegantly.

Mi alzo, poi mi vesto.

I get up, then I get dressed.

Vestire as a transitive verb means to dress someone else: La madre veste il bambino.

stancarsi

to get tired, to become weary

Stancare as a transitive verb means to tire.

Stanco is a regular adjective, tired, weary.

Notice the difference: Mi stanco al lavoro.


Il lavoro mi stanca.

I get tired at work.


Work tires me.

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mettersi

to put on (clothing)

Perch non ti metti una giacca?

Why dont you put on a jacket?

Quando fa freddo mi metto un maglione. When its cold I put on a sweater.


Maria si messa un bellabito.
Mettere as a transitive verb: to put.

Maria put on a lovely dress.


Ho messo le chiavi sul tavolo.

ricordar(si) / dimenticar(si)
These two related verbs are used both reflexively and non-reflexively.
ricordare / ricordarsi (di)

to remember

dimenticare / dimenticarsi (di)

to forget

Each pair is essentially equivalent in meaning. The first uses avere as the helping verb, and the
second, because reflexive, uses essere.
Ricordi quel concerto?

Do you remember that concert?

Ti ricordi di quel concerto?

Do you remember that concert?

Ho dimenticato il suo nome.

I have forgotten his (her) name. (or I forgot)

Mi sono dimenticato del suo nome. I have forgotten his (her) name.
Usually, when standing alone, the reflexive is used: Non mi ricordo.

Ti ricordi?

A literary word for to remember is rammentare. Another word for to forget is scordare. These
alternative words are often used in vocal texts. They appear both reflexively and non-reflexively.

lamentarsi

to complain

lamentare as a transitive verb is a cognate, meaning to lament.


As a reflexive, it changes to complain.

Mia madre si lamenta sempre.


Non mi lamento. Im not complaining.
Non mi posso lamentare. I cant complain.

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fermarsi to stop
fermare is to stop, to halt something, usually with a direct object stated or implied.
Luigi mi ha fermato sulla strada.
fermarsi as a reflexive means to stop intransitively.
Lautobus si ferma qui ogni giorno alle due.
Il treno si fermato alla stazione.
The derived noun la fermata means the stop, usually in reference to a bus stop.

preoccuparsi (per)
This verb is usually seen in the reflexive form, meaning to worry (about).
Paolo si preoccupa per sua madre. Paolo is worried about his mother.
Often seen in the imperative (chap. 12): Non ti preoccupare Non si preoccupi. Dont worry.
Preoccupare also occurs transitively:
La situazione mi preoccupa. The situation concerns (worries) me.

Preoccupato past participle/adjective: Maria preoccupata.


farsi
It can mean to become (diventare) Mario si fatto grande. Mario has become tall.
It can be literally reflexive, as in farsi un nome to make a name for oneself. Many other examples.
There are many expressions that use farsi. Here are a few:
farsi male (a)
Notice the difference:

to hurt oneself
Mi fa male la gamba or
La gamba mi fa male

My leg hurts.

Mi sono fatto male alla gamba

I hurt my leg.

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farsi il bagno

to take a bath; also to go for a swim

farsi la doccia

to take a shower

(these expression can also be used non-reflexively, as we learned in chapter 4.)


farsi la barba

to shave (also radersi)

Ogni mattina mi faccio la barba.

Ogni mattina mi rado, poi mi faccio la doccia.

Reciprocal Verbs
In English, reciprocity is expressed by each other. In Italian it is expressed by the same reflexive
pronouns introduced above, and is really an extension of reflexive verbs. English does not always
translate Italian reciprocal constructions into English each other forms.
Often the same verb can function either reflexively or reciprocally, depending on the context.
By the very nature of each other, reciprocal constructions are always plural.
Incontrarsi

to meet (in the sense of run into, encounter, meet up with)

Si incontrano al ristorante. Theyre meeting (each other) at the restaurant.


Ci incontriamo al teatro.

Well meet at the theater.

Dove vi siete incontrati?

Where did you meet up? (run into each other)

(this is different from conoscere, to meet when being introduced to someone.)


incontrare can also be transitive: Ho incontrato Mario al bar. I met Mario at the bar. (ran into)

Ci siamo incontrati al bar.

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conoscersi

to meet, make the acquaintance of (each other)

(usually used in the past tense with this meaning)


Ci siamo conosciuti lanno scorso.

We met (each other) last year.

as opposed to
Ho conosciuto Giorgio lanno scorso. I met Giorgio last year.
or
Non conosco Giorgio.

I dont know Giorgio.


sposarsi (con)

(Io) mi sposo con Claudia domani

to get married (to)

Im getting married to Claudia tomorrow. (refl.)

Piero e Claudia si sposano/si sono sposati. Piero and Claudia are getting married/got married.
(are marrying each other) (reciprocal)
Perch non ci sposiamo?

Why dont we get married? (marry each other)

sposare can also be transitive: Piero ha sposato Claudia. Piero married Claudia.
The nouns lo sposo/la sposa are often used in vocal texts for husband/wife.
In modern Italian they mean bridegroom/bride.
innamorarsi (di)

to fall in love (with)

Mi sono innamorato di Carla

I fell in love with Carla.

Paolo e Carla si sono innamorati.

Paolo and Carla fell in love. (with each other)

Luigi sinnamora sempre.

Luigi is always falling in love.

innamorare as a transitive verb means to charm; to enchant.


It can also be used with fare to express making (someone) fall in love.
Tu mi hai fatto innamorare di te. You made me fall in love with you.
innamorato (di) as an adjective means in love (with). Francesca innamorata (di Roberto).

181

Generally, any normal verb that can function reciprocally in English also can in Italian.
amare/amarsi

Piero e Claudia si amano.

P. And C. love each other.

vedere/vedersi

Quando ci vediamo ancora? When will we see each other again?

capire/capirsi

Non si capiscono.

They dont understand each other.

guardare/guardarsi Non ci siamo guardati.

We didnt look at each other.

There are many other possibilities.

Si impersonale
A construction similar to reflexive verbs is called the impersonal si (si impersonale). As the name
implies, it only uses si and expresses what English says in expressions such as one . or the more
colloquial (and usual) you .
How do you (does one) say coffee in Italian?

Come si dice coffee in italiano?

You (one) might think of this as: How does coffee say itself in Italian?
This can be extended to expressions like:
Si dice che.

They say that. (One says that. it is said that)

Si vede che.

You see that

Come si fa questo?

How do you do this? (How is this done?)

Come si pu fare questo?

How can one (you) do this?

Non si pu, impossibile.

You cant, its impossible. (One cant)

Si fa cos.

You do it like this. (It is done like this.)

Dove si trova.?

Where do you find? (does one find)

Si deve

You have to (one has to one ought to)

Non si deve camminare sullerba. You (one) shouldnt walk on the grass.

182

An expression like the one below can be translated in different ways:


Si trovano le forchette nel cassetto.
The forks are in the drawer.

(Le forchette sono nel cassetto.)

You can find the forks in the drawer.

(Si pu trovare le forchette nel cassetto.)

The forks are (to be) found in the drawer.

(The literal meaning.)

The Italian Present Progressive Tense Stare + Gerund Form of Verb


In chapter 3 we learned that Italian generally uses single words for present tense verbs, whereas
English has several options parla can be translated speaks, is speaking, or does speak. In
fact English favors using the is speaking form, which is called the present progressive tense, to
differentiate it from simple present tense, which is speaks.
Italian has a construction that is similar to English present progressive. The important difference is
that the Italian construction is very specific, describing an action that is taking place right now.
English allows the present progressive to serve in a variety of situations.
In English, the -ing form of a verb is called a gerund. It is used to form the present progressive
tense, as in is speaking. The Italian gerund is formed by removing the infinitive ending and adding
-ando for -are verbs, and -endo for both -ere and -ire verbs.
When the present tense of the verbs stare is used with the gerund, it makes the Italian present
progressive tense, which seems to act just like the English equivalent:
parlare parl-are parl-ando parlando:

sta parlando is speaking

But to translate a sentence such as Peter is speaking at the meeting today, the Italian verb form
must be parla, because Peter isnt speaking right at the moment. Pietro sta parlando means Peter
is in the act of speaking right now.
Examples of Italian gerund forms:
-are verbs: aiutando, lavorando, aspettando, arrivando, cercando, mangiando, studiando
-ere verbs: leggendo, scrivendo, chiudendo, piangendo
-ire verbs: aprendo, partendo, dormendo

183

Cosa fanno?

Stanno leggendo il giornale.

The verbs fare, bere, and dire revert to their Latin infinitive forms to determine their gerund forms:
facendo

bevendo

dicendo.

Cosa fai? and Cosa stai facendo? both mean What are you doing? and are essentially
interchangeable by themselves. In a sentence such as What are you doing this evening, Italian
could not use the present progressive. It must be Cosa fai stasera?

Verb Construction Andare a + infinitive


In English, going to plus another verb is one way of expressing the future tense, e.g Im going to
visit my parents; They are going to buy a new car.
Italian has a construction with andare a plus another verb that looks like English going to, but
rather than the future tense, it usually expresses immediate action.
Vado a visitare i miei genitori.

Im going to visit my parents.


(right now; Im on my way.)

Vanno a comprare una macchina nuova.

They are going to buy a new car.


(now, not some time in the future.)

The andare a + infinitive construction is also found in sentences such as:


Mi piace andare a ballare.

I like to go dancing.

Giorgio va a correre ogni giorno.

Giorgio goes running every day.

In both English and Italian to go dancing and to go running function as single verbal units.

184

It is true that recently andare a plus infinitive has become accepted in colloquial spoken Italian to
express immediate future action, such as Domani vado a comprare una macchina. French and
Spanish have constructions like this that express future tense. However the pervasive English use of
going to does not extend as far in Italian, so that English Next year Im going to study Italian
could not be expressed with andare a. It is expressed with the simple future tense, introduced in
chapter 11.
Stare per + infinitive
A standard and commonly used construction to express immediate future action in Italian is to us
stare per with an infinitive: Sto per comprare una macchina. This can be translated I am going to
buy a car or I am about to buy a car. It must be emphasized that it expresses immediate future
action, not long term future action.
Sto per andare al lavoro.

I am about to go to work.

Laereo sta per arrivare.

The plane is about to arrive.

To review and compare:


Sto guardando la televisione.

I am watching television. (right now)

Sto per guardare la televisione.

I am about to watch television.

Stanno ascoltando la musica.

They are listening to (the) music. (right now)

Stanno per ascoltare la musica.

They are about to listen to (the) music.

Il concerto sta cominciando.

The concert is beginning. (right now)

Il concerto sta per cominciare.

The concert is about to begin.

Il professore sta rispondendo.

The professor is answering. (right now)

Il professore sta per rispondere.

The professor is about to answer.

185

Maria e Luisa
Maria sta per uscire di casa a fare la spesa. Prima di uscire parla con Luisa.
Di che cosa abbiamo bisogno? chiede Maria. Non mi ricordo.
Di quasi tutto, mi pare le risponde Luisa. La pasta non c, la frutta non c, non ci sono i legumi
o la carne, non c niente da bere. Nel frigo* non si trova niente.
Va bene. Mi puoi dare del denaro. Io ho poco.
Ecco venti euro.
Grazie. Io ho anche venti. Allora* non posso spendere* pi di quaranta euro.
Quando torni? chiede Luisa.
Non so di sicuro* risponde Maria. Forse fra due ore. Perch?
Non ti ricordi? Stasera si mangia fuori. Poi sincontra con Carlo e Paolo al bar, e poi andiamo a
mangiare. Bisogna divertirci!
Tu ti diverti, io no! Non voglio uscire, non mi sento bene, sono stanca. Voglio farmi un bagno e
andare a letto.
Allora, vado io a far la spesa, e tu ti riposi. Dormi unoretta*, poi ti alzi, ti fai la doccia, e ti vesti. Ti
sentirai* molto meglio.*
*frigo

refrigerator (short for frigorifero)

*allora

then, therefore, so, in that case;

*spendere

to spend

*di sicuro

for sure

*oretta

diminutive of ora, meaning about an hour; an hour or so.

*sentirai

future tense of sentire you will feel

*meglio

better

also at that time, then.

186

CCM ITALIAN
Chapter Ten
Mini Dialogues
Imperfetto / The Imperfect Tense
Comparatives and Superlatives of Adjectives

187

Chapter Ten
Mini Dialogues
Ciao, Giorgio. Cosa facevi ieri quando
ti ho visto da lontano in centro?

Hi Giorgio. What were you doing yesterday


when I saw you from a distance downtown?

Aspettavo il mio amico Tommaso. Volevamo


andare al museo, ma era chiuso.

I was waiting for my friend Tommaso. We


wanted to go to the museum, but it was closed.

Maria, sai che successo marted scorso?

Maria, do you know what happened last Tuesday?

No, dimmi.

No, tell me. (Imperative verb form not yet covered)

Ero a casa e stavo mangiando da sola, quando


ha suonato il telefono. Ho risposto. Sai chi era?

I was home, eating by myself., when the phone


Rang. I answered. Do you know who it was?

No. Chi?

No. Who?

Era Roberto! Non mi ha parlato da due anni.


years.
Mi diceva tante cose che io non volevo sentire.

It was Roberto! He hasnt spoken to me for two


He told me a lot of things I didnt want to hear.

Nonno, cosa ti piaceva fare quando eri giovane? Grandad, what did you like to do when you
were young?
Io facevo tante cose con mia sorella. Lei era
I did so many things with my sister. She was older
pi grande di me da dieci anni. Eravamo sempre than me by 10 years. We were always together.
insieme. Giocavamo insieme, parlavamo insieme. We played together, we talked together. Almost
Mi leggeva quasi ogni notte prima di andare a letto. Every night she would read to me before going
to bed.

Ieri ho lavorato tutto il giorno.

Yesterday I worked all day.

Allora lavoravi quando ti ho telefonato?

Then you were working when I called?

S, lavoravo.

Yes, I was working.

Mentre parlavamo al telefono, io guardavo la tv.


Quando abbiamo finito di parlare, sono uscito.

While we were talking on the phone, I was


watching tv. When we were done talking, I
went out.

188

Hai sentito da Pietro e Lucia?

Have you heard from Pietro and Lucia?

S. Quando erano a Londra, ci scrivevano una


cartolina ogni giorno. Ora sono a Parigi.

Yes. When they were in London they wrote us


a postcard every day. Now theyre in Paris.

Maria e Marco quando erano giovani


Come abbiamo letto nel primo capitolo* Maria e Marco sono cugini. Quando erano piccoli, le loro
famiglie erano insieme spesso, o* alla casa di Marco o* alla casa di Maria. Quasi ogni festa
importante le famiglie sono venute insieme per un pranzo Natale* e Pasqua* per certo, e anche il
giorno di Ferragosto*, se non erano fuori citt.* E tanti weekend, anche se non cera una festa.
Maria e Marco e i loro fratelli e sorelle amavano giocare insieme. Quando il tempo faceva bello,
giocavano fuori* casa. Quando pioveva* o quando faceva freddo giocavano dentro*. Maria e
Marco erano i pi grandi dei ragazzi. Gli piaceva organizzare i giochi per gli altri bambini.
Quando venuta lora di mangiare tutti sedevano insieme a una tavola grandissima.
*il capitolo the chapter
*Pasqua Easter

*o...o either...or

*Natale Christmas;

*Ferragosto Aug. 15 (a holiday in Italy)

*fuori citt out of town; fuori outside


*piovere to rain

*dentro inside, within

New Vocabulary (vocabolario)


Verbs
succedere

to happen (stress on stem) (pp successo, auxiliary essere).

In this, its most common usage, it appears only in 3rd person.


Cosa succede?

Cos successo?

Sono cose che succedono.

It can also mean to succeed in the sense of to follow

There is a literary word that means to happen accadere (stress on ending), also usually seen in
3rd singular. Figaro in Il barbiere di Siviglia sings: Che cosa accade? What is happening?

189

uscire

to go out, exit (pp. uscito, auxiliary essere).


Irr. present tense:

io esco
tu esci
lui esce

Noun luscita, le uscite (f) exit.


noi usciamo
voi uscite
loro escono.

io sono uscito/a; noi siamo usciti, etc.


Nouns
la gente

people

The Italian word is singular, taking a singular verb form, but it is


equivalent to the English plural word, which takes a plural verb form.
La gente di Milano simpatica. The people of Milan are nice.
Tanta gente! So many people! Cera molta gente. There were a lot of people.

la povert

poverty

lo zucchero

sugar

(il) sud

south

(cf. povero)

(il) nord north

(l) est east

(l)ovest west

Adjectives / Adverbs
comodo

comfortable Le scarpe sono comode. (stress on first syllable)

veloce

fast, rapid

La macchina veloce.

alto

tall, high

Maria alta.
It also means deep with reference to water: acqua alta
and loud or aloud with reference to speaking: ad alta voce

solo

alone; lonely (regular adjective) Siamo soli. We are alone.


da solo/a all alone, by oneself. Lho fatto da solo/a. I did it by myself.
As an adverb only, just Avevo solo cinque dollari. I only had 5 dollars.

cos

thus; like this; so (adverb)

quasi

almost, nearly; hardly (adverb)


quasi impossibile

Sono quasi le sei. Its almost six.

quasi niente

quasi mai hardly ever.

190

Conjunction
mentre

while, as

Because of its meaning, often used with the imperfetto verb tense.
Mentre uscivo As I was going out
Mentre mangiavamo While we were eating

Preposition
senza

without (with pronouns usually w/di senza di me; senza di noi)


senza niente without anything senza dubbio without doubt, certainly
also w/ verb infinitives:

senza sapere without knowing


senza parlare without speaking

The Imperfect Tense Limperfetto


Western European languages have more than one way to express action or state of being in the
past. There are different tenses which vary according to the nature of the action / state of being,
and the relation of different actions to each other in time.
In chapter 6 the passato prossimo was introduced. It corresponds in construction to English present
perfect tense, and can be translated that way, so that ho mangiato can be translated as I have
eaten. Probably more often, however, ho mangiato is translated as I ate, the English simple past
tense (simple because only only one word is used).
English also has the past progressive tense, which is I was eating. It suggests an action in the past
which is unfolding over a period of time, as opposed to I ate, which suggests a completed action.
The Italian imperfetto tense doesnt completely correspond to English past progressive, but it is
frequently used in the same way. Further information and examples will be given below. Here is a
chart of endings for the imperfetto. Its formation is simple. Remove -re from the infinitive and add
the endings -vo, -vi, -va, -vamo, -vate, -vano. (Obviously the key letter is v.)
-are (mangiare)

-ere (vedere)

-ire (partire)

io

mangiavo

vedevo

partivo

tu

mangiavi

vedevi

partivi

lui,lei mangiava

vedeva

partiva

noi

mangiavamo

vedevamo

partivamo

voi

mangiavate

vedevate

partivate

loro

mangiavano

vedevano

partivano

191

Notice these points:


*stress is on the penultimate (second-to-last) syllable, except for 3rd person plural,
which has third-to-last syllabic stress, just as in the present tense.
*-isc- verbs of the third conjugation do not use -isc- in the imperfetto capivo, etc.
*Among the verbs we have covered there are no irregular forms in imperfetto,
except for essere, fare, dire, and bere. (There are a few others.)
The verbs fare, dire, and bere, as you might expect by now, revert to their Latin infinitive forms for
the formation of the imperfetto:
facevo, facevi, faceva, facevamo, facevate, facevano
dicevo, dicevi, diceva, dicevamo, dicevate, dicevano
bevevo, bevevi, beveva, bevevamo, bevevate, bevevano

Literary Italian, used in opera libretti, often eliminates the v in third person imperfect tense forms
of -ere and -ire verbs, so that, for example, dicevano becomes dicean(o) and partiva becomes
partia. Strangely, the third person singular form of -ere verbs often serves as the first person
singular in such cases, so that the aria Ah, non credea means Ah, I did not believe.
Essere is completely irregular in the imperfetto:
io ero

noi eravamo

tu eri

voi eravate

lu, lei era

loro erano

Word stress as above: second-to-last syllable, except 'erano.


The imperfetto forms of essere are translated as was or were.
Other verbs usually translate imperfetto into English with the simple past form ate, or by the past
progressive was/were eating. It is also used to translate the English construction used to, and
also would as in we would often eat at that restaurant.

192

Usage of Imperfetto
The imperfetto expresses actions or states of being in the past that lasted an indefinite time, or
occurred over a period of time without a clear ending point.
I fiori erano belli.

The flowers were beautiful.

Ieri avevo un mal di testa.

Yesterday I had a headache.

Gioved faceva freddo.

Thursday it was cold.

Quando ero giovane, mi piaceva andare a ballare.


When I was young I liked to go dancing.
A particular use of da means as or when (noun or pronoun) was/were with the imperfetto:
Da bambino, Roberto mangiava poco. As a child, Roberto didnt eat much.
It is also used to express a repeated action in the past:
Andavo al cinema ogni sabato.

I went to the movies every Saturday.


I used to go to the movies every Saturday.

Quando vivevo a Firenze, vedeva


mia amica Luisa quasi ogni giorno.

When I lived in Florence, I saw my friend Luisa


almost every day.

The imperfetto is also used to describe an action in the past that was interrupted by another action,
which is in the passato prossimo:

Quando preperavo la cena,...

... arrivato Mario.

193

Mentre Luisa usciva di casa,....

... il bambino ha cominciato a piangere.

It is also used to describe simultaneous actions in the past:

Mentre aspettavano il treno,


giocavano a schacchi (chess).

The passato prossimo is used if there is a clear termination to the past event.
Ieri abbiamo lavorato dalle otto alle cinque.
Ho studiato tutto il giorno.
Here is a comparison:

Ieri alle sette Paolo scriveva una lettera.

was writing

Ieri alle sette Paolo ha scritto una lettera.

wrote

The first sentence stresses what was happening at seven rather that the action itself. Paolo was in
the act of writing a letter, but we do not know if he finished writing it. The second sentence
stresses a completed act, one that is over and done with.

194
Here is a descriptive passage that uses both passato prossimo and imperfetto:

Lanno scorso sono andata al mare in una piccola isola* della Sardegna. Sullisola cerano pochi
turisti* e la gente del luogo era molto gentile e simpatica.
Io e i miei amici di solito ci alzavamo tardi e poi andavamo al mare. Facevamo subito il bagno
(lacqua era perfetta*: trasparente* e tiepida*). Dopo mezzora nellacqua dormivamo al sole.
Mentre noi dormivamo, il mio amico andava a prendere gelati*: erano molto buoni.
Il pomeriggio andavamo per lisola a vedere dei posti* incredibili*: abbiamo visto una zona*
naturale protetta*. Abbiamo anche conosciuto molti ragazzi e ragazze di tutta Italia. stata una
vacanza meravigliosa* e ci siamo divertiti.
*most of these new words are cognates or near-cognates: lisola (island); il,la turista; perfetto;
trasparente; tiepido (tepid, lukewarm); il gelato (ice cream); il posto (place); incredibile; la zona; protetto;
meraviglioso.

Here is another paragraph describing activities in the past that were habitual, therefore using the
imperfetto.
La domenica
Quando ero bambino ogni settimana aspettavo la domenica, perch non dovevo andare a scuola
e perch cos potevo dormire pi a lungo. La mattina mio fratello e io facevamo colazione e poi,
con i nostri genitori, uscivamo di casa per andare a fare una passeggiata. Dopo nostra madre
tornava a casa, infatti aveva molte cose da fare, ma noi, se il tempo era bello, andavamo in un
parco pubblico. Mio fratello e io correvamo insieme agli altri bambini e giocavamo sul prato con
la palla, mentre nostro padre, seduto su una panchina, leggeva il giornale. Verso mezzogiorno
tornavamo a casa, ma prima passavamo da una pasticceria dove compravamo un dolce per
festeggiare la domenica. A casa aiutavamo la mamma a preparare il pranzo e ad apparecchiare la
tavola. La domenica mangiavamo prima degli altri giorni e cera quasi sempre un piatto speciale.

pi a lungo longer
prato lawn, grassy area
pasticceria pastry shop

infatti indeed
correre to run (stress on 1st syl.)
palla ball
panchina bench
verso towards, around
festeggiare celebrate
apparecchiare prepare, set

195

Comparative of Adjectives
The most common comparative is when we say something is more or less than something else.
English has two ways to do this. With one-syllable and often two-syllable adjectives, the suffix -er is
usually added:
big, bigger

small, smaller

wide, wider

narrow, narrower

pretty, prettier

Longer adjectives are simply modified by more or less:


more / less beautiful

more / less difficult

more / less complicated

Except for a few irregular cases (see below) Italian uses only the more / less pattern:
pi bello/ meno bello
pi ricco / meno ricco
pi largo / meno largo
pi lontano / meno lontano pi difficile / meno difficile
Questo libro lungo, ma quellaltro This book is long, but that other one is longer.
pi lungo.
La camicetta bella, ma questa qui
ancora pi bella.

The blouse is pretty, but this one here is even


prettier.

Lho fatto cos perch era meno difficile.

I did it like this because it was less difficult.

When comparing two things or people directly, than is translated by di.

Luigi pi alto di Giovanni.


Luigi is taller than Giovanni.

Questa sedia pi comoda di quella.


This chair is more comfortable than that one.

196

La sua macchina meno veloce della mia.


His car is less fast than mine. (not as fast as)

Pi di and meno di can also be used in non-comparative construcions:


La citt di Roma ha pi di due milioni abitanti, ma meno di tre milioni.

Certain constuctions use che to mean than, but they are less commonly encountered. One such
construction is when two infinitives are compared (English uses ing forms):

Fare le spese pi divertente che fare i compiti.


Shopping is more fun than doing homework.

197

Superlative Constructions
Regular superlative constructions in English attach the suffix -est: the highest, the tallest, the
biggest, the smallest; or with longer adjectives, modifying them with most or least: the most
beautiful, the least problematic.
Italian achieves the same by simply adding the definite article to the comparative construction.
In Italian this is called the relative superlative (superlativo relativo):

Luigi il pi alto ragazzo della classe.


Luigi is the tallest boy in the class.

New York la citt pi grande degli Stati Uniti.


New York is the biggest city in the US.

Such construcions use di in Italian, whereas English generally uses in. Notice that the superlative
construction can either precede or follow the noun it modifies.

Italian has another superlative construction called the absolute superlative (superlativo assoluto).
It is formed by removing the -o, -a, or -e from the adjective, and adding -issimo/a; plural -i, -e.
It is translated by using very or really:
Luigi altissimo.

Luigi is very tall. (really tall) (molto alto)

New York grandissima.

NY is very big. (molto grande)

I signori sono ricchissimi.

The lady and gentleman are very rich. (molto ricchi)

198

Irregular Comparatives and Superlatives


Like English, Italian has some adjectives that have irregular forms in comparative and superlative.
buono good migliore better ottimo best
cattivo bad

peggiore worse pessimo worst

Elisa una migliore pianista di Giulietta.

Elisa is a better pianist than Giulietta.

Il tuo italiano migliore del mio inglese.

Your Italian is better than my English.

La povert in Italia peggiore nel sud.

Poverty in Italy is worse in the south.

A difference from English is that these same adjectives can also be used with pi and meno.
There is no appreciable difference in meaning.
Il caff pi buono senza zucchero.
Il caff migliore senza zucchero.

Coffee is better without sugar.

Similarly, a relative superlative can be made with migliore and peggiore by using the definite
article, resulting in best and worst.
Il migliore vino del ristorante.
Questa la peggiore canzone di tutte.

The best wine in the restaurant.


This is the worst song of all.

Ottimo often has the sense of excellent, as in il vino ottimo. In that sense it is equivalent to
buonissimo. Similarly, pessimo often means terrible; very bad.

Big and small have regular comparative and superlative forms in English, but Italian has both
regular (with pi and meno) and irregular forms with these adjectives:

grande big, great

maggiore bigger,
greater

massimo biggest,
greatest

piccolo small

minore smaller,
lesser

minimo smallest,
least

199

As above with buono/cattivo, regular relative superlatives can be created with the definite
article:
Luisa stata il pi grande amore della mia vita. Luisa was the greatest love of my life.
Questalbero il pi piccolo di tutta la foresta.

This tree is the smallest of the whole forest.

Among other things maggiore and minore are used to express relative ages of people il fratello
maggiore the older brother; la sorella minore the younger sister. They are also used to express
musical keys, major and minor: do maggiore C major; re minore D minor.
Massimo and minimo are often used like English maximum and minimum. A phrase such as la
massima espressione would translate as maximum expression, whereas la espressione pi
grande or la pi grande espressione would be the greatest expression.

Meglio / Peggio
In English, better and worse can be adjectives or adverbs. In Italian the adverbs are different
words from the adjectives, although similar in appearance: meglio and peggio.

io suono
il violino,
ma
Anne-Sophie
Mutter
suona meglio
di me.

Oggi mi sento
peggio di ieri.

There are a number of set expressions using these words:


meglio ancora better yet

tanto meglio so much the better

peggio ancora worse yet

tanto peggio so much the worse

meglio tardi che mai better late than never


sempre peggio worse and worse

di male in peggio from bad to worse

Often, in more colloquial Italian, these adverbs get used as adjectives: Maria peggio di suo fratello.

200

Equal Comparisons
Two things can be compared that are equal in some quality:

Marco is as tall as Giorgio.

Italian has several ways to do this. One is coscome, another is tantoquanto, and finally, either
can be used omitting the first word.
Marco cos alto come Giorgio.
Marco tanto alto quanto Giorgio.
Marco alto come Giorgio.
Marco alto quanto Giorgio.
These all mean Marco is as tall as Giorgio.

201

CCM ITALIAN
Chapter Eleven
Mini Dialogues
The Future Tense
The Conditional Tense

202

Chapter Eleven
Mini Dialogues

Maria, vorrei offrirti qualcosa da bere.


Grazie, molto gentile. Dove andremo?
Ci sar un bar qui vicino, da qualche parte.

Maria, I would like to offer you something to drink.


Thank you, how kind. Where shall we go?
Theres probably a bar near here, somewhere.

Giorgio, mi faresti un favore?


S, certo. Sarebbe un piacere. Cosa?

Giorgio, would you do me a favor?


Yes, certainly. It would be a pleasure. What?

Domani sera ci sar un concerto, e non ho


un biglietto. Se mi potresti fare un biglietto,
ti sarei tanto grata.

Tomorrow evening there will be a concert, and I dont


have a ticket. If you could get me a ticket, I would be so
grateful to you.

Quando verranno, questi tuoi amici?

When will these friends of yours come?

Fra una settimana.

In a week.

E cosa farai con loro?

And what will you do with them?

Avremo tanto da fare! Ci saranno alcune feste,


forse andremo al cinema due o tre volte.
Mi piacerebbe andare allo zoo. Non ci sar
abbastanza tempo di fare tutto che
vorremmo fare.

Well have so much to do! There will be some parties,


maybe well go to the movies two or three times.
I would like to go to the zoo. There wont be enough
time to do everything that we would like to do.

Luisa, quando partirai per America?

Luisa, when will you leave for America?

In agosto. Partirei prima, ma devo lavorare.

In August. I would leave sooner, but I have to work.

E quando tornerai?

And when will you return?

Non sono sicura. Se potr venire mio fratello


farei volentieri un giro per Nuova Inghilterra
con lui. Per al momento non so se verr.
Se lui non viene, far delle cose da sola
a New York, e torner dopo due settimane.
Ti porter un regalo! Cosa vorresti?

Im not sure. If my brother will be able to come


I would really like to tour New England with him.
However at the moment I dont know if he will come.
If he doesnt come, Ill do some things by myself
in New York, and Ill return after two weeks.
Ill bring you a present! What would you like?

203

New Vocabulary (vocabolario)


la volta

time (in the sense of one time, another time) - different from tempo
una volta
due volte
questa volta unaltra volta
molte volte tante volte ogni volta
per la prima volta
per lultima volta
poco alla volta
ancora una volta again, one more time
di volta in volta from time to time
Cera una volta Once upon a time
from Figaros aria Largo al factotum: uno alla volta one at a time
Giuliettas aria (I Capuleti e i Montecchi): O quante volte How many times...

Il denaro

money (like English, used in the singular)


another word for money is i soldi (usually used in the plural)
yet another word is il contante, used in both singular and plural. This word
occurs in Figaros aria Non pi andrai when he sings poco contante

grato/a

grateful, thankful

(regular adjective)

essere grato to be grateful


grato a grateful to
abbastanza

grato per grateful for

enough, sufficient; also rather (invariable adj. and adv.)


abbastanza denaro enough money
abbastanza bene rather well; well enough

bastare

to suffice, be enough.
Basta! Enough!

per

Non basta its not enough. = Non abbastanza

however, but (often, but not always, interchangeable with ma)


Perhaps the simplest way to think of the difference is that ma is equivalent
to English but and per to English however.

204

New Words Meaning Some a Few Any


In chapter 1 we learned that some may be expressed by di plus article: del pane, dei fiori.
There are other adjectives that may also be translated as some:
qualche some, a few, any.
This word is invariable and is always used with the singular, even though in English
it is usually translated with a plural:
qualche libro some books

qualche lettera some letters

Ce qualche giornale? Are there any newspapers? (or Is there some newspaper?)
The words qualcosa (something) and qualcuno (someone) abbreviate qualche.
It is used in some set expresssions:
qualche volta sometimes (also talvolta, a volte, delle volte)
qualche giorno some day
in qualche modo somehow
da (in) qualche parte somewhere
alcuno in the singular it means any. In the plural it means some.
It works like the indefinite article uno. Before masculine singular nouns (except lo words)
it is alcun. In the singular it is often seen in negative constructions, in which case it can be
(not) any:

Plurals:

Non c alcun problema

Theres no (not any) problem.

Senza alcun aiuto

Without any help

alcune parole some words

per alcuni anni for some years

It can also be a pronoun, equivalent to qualcuno (someone), or in the plural alcuni (some
people). In negative constructions it means nobody, not anyone (in this sense it is
equivalent to nessuno, see below):
Non c alcuno qui. Theres no one here.

205

Niente / Nessuno
We have learned niente as a pronoun meaning nothing. It can also function as an invariable
adjective meaning no, not any.
Niente problema no problem

Niente paura no fear.

Nessuno Alone, as a pronoun, it means no one, nobody. Often truncated to nessun.


It is usually used with non:

Non vedo nessuno. I dont see anyone.

But in some constructions non may be omitted:


Hai visto nessuno?

Didnt you see anyone? (Did you see no one?)

C nessuno? Is anyone there?


Nessun lo sa. Nobody knows.
(in the first scene of Cos fan tutte, Don Alfonso repeats these words.)
The famous aria Nessun dorma has the verb in present subjunctive form (chapter
14), and means Let no one sleep or No one may sleep.
Modifying another word as an adjective it means no, not any and also works like uno.
Usually non is used, but in some cases not:
Non ho nessuna domanda. I have no question (I dont have any question)
In nessun caso...

In no case....

As pronouns in negative constructions, alcuno and nessuno are basically interchangeable:


Non c alcuno = Non c nessuno (pronoun)
As adjectives, nessuno and niente are often interchangeable with each other and with
alcuno:
Non c alcun problema =
Non c nessun problema =
Non c niente problema

206

The Future Tense and the Conditional Tense


It is useful to learn these two tenses together because they use the same stem.
That stem is characterized by the letter r.
When a stem is irregular, the same irregular stem is used for both tenses.
Future (Futuro semplice)
The future tense in English is usually expressed by the helping verb will. It is therefore a
compound tense, using a helping verb with the main verb in the dictionary form (the infinitive
minus to) I will go, she will do etc.
In Italian the future tense is a simple tense, using only one word. In Italian it is called the futuro
semplice. Here are the regular stems and endings for the future tense in the three conjugations:

-ARE
parler-
parler-ai
parler-
parler-emo
parler-ete
parler-anno

-ERE
scriver-
scriver-ai
scriver-
scriver-emo
scriver-ete
scriver-anno

-IRE
partir-
partir-ai
partir-
partir-emo
partir-ete
partir-anno

Notice that -ere verbs keep the e in the stem, and -ire verbs keep the i in the stem, whereas -are
verbs change the a to e. Regarding word stress, the singular forms are all stressed on the final
syllable, and all plural forms have penultimate stress, including 3rd person plural.
The endings for all three conjugations are the same.
Domani parler con Luigi.

Tomorrow I will speak with Luigi.

Lautore dice che non scriver


niente di pi.

The author says that he will write


nothing more.

Fra qualche giorno partiremo


per la Cina.

In a few days we will depart


for China.

Third conjugation -isc- verbs do not use -isc- in the future or conditional: finir, capirai, preferiranno.

207

Spelling changes, like those we have already encountered, result in h being inserted to maintain a
hard sound for c and g in the stem in verbs which have infinitives ending in -care and gare:
giocare:

giocher, giocherai, giocher, giocheremo, giocherete, giocheranno

pagare:

pagher, pagherai, pagher, pagheremo, pagherete, pagheranno

Conversely, verbs with infinitives ending in -ciare and -giare drop the -i- from the stem, since it is
not needed to maintain the soft c and g sounds:
cominciare:

comincer, comincerai, comincer, cominceremo, comincerete, cominceranno

mangiare:

manger, mangerai, manger, mangeremo, mangerete, mangeranno

The we and they forms of the future tense are often truncated in opera libretti, with the anno
ending dropping the final no, as in parleran. See some examples below.
Irregular Future Stems
All irregular future tense forms affect the stem only. The endings are always the same as the
regular patterns described above. The stem, however, is always characterized by the letter r.
Also, the stress pattern is always the same for regular and irregular future tense forms final
syllable stress with singular forms and penultimate syllable stress with plural forms.
As usual, essere is irregular in the future tense: sar, sarai, sar, saremo, sarete, saranno

Don Giovanni sings to Zerlina:

Rosina sings:

Quel casinetto mio: soli saremo,


e l, gioiello mio, ci sposeremo.
L ci darem la mano, l mi dirai di s...

S, Lindoro mio sar...

208

A common irregular future stem pattern affects mostly -ere verbs, but also, importantly, andare.
This pattern simply drops the stem vowel before the ending:
andare (to go):

andr, andrai, andr, andremo, andrete, andranno

Figaro sings to
Cherubino:

La Wally sings:

Non pi andrai..

Ebben,
ne andr
lontano.

Non pi avrai.

avere (to have):

avr, avrai, avr, avremo, avrete, avranno

Cleopatra sings:
Pianger la sorte mia...
Finch vita in petto avr

These common verbs also drop the stem vowel:


dovere (to have to): dovr, dovrai, dovr, dovremo, dovrete, dovranno
potere (to be able to): potr, potrai, potr, potremo, potrete, potranno
sapere (to know): sapr, saprai, sapr, sapremo, saprete, sapranno
vedere (to see): vedr, vedrai, vedr, vedremo, vedrete, vedranno
vivere (to live) : vivr, vivrai, vivr, vivremo, vivrete, vivranno

209

Irregular Future Stems with -rrThe other modal verb, volere, is more irregular in the future, changing the stem to vorrvorr, vorrai, vorr, vorremo, vorrete, vorranno
Similarly, venire changes the stem to verrverr, verrai, verr, verremo, verrete, verranno

Don Giovanni sings to the statue:


Verrete a cena?

Also doubling the r to rr is bere, although the stem remains regular (not Latin bev-)
berr, berrai, berr, berremo, berrete, berranno
A favorite verb in libretti, morire, has two future tense forms. One is regular, morir, etc., and the
other has an irregular future stem with rr. The irregular form frequently occurs in opera libretti:
morr, morrai, morr, morremo, morrete, morranno
Fare and dire also do not use their Latin stems, and simply drop the -re:
far, farai, far, faremo, farete, faranno
dir, dirai, dir, diremo, direte, diranno

Orfeo sings:

Che far senza Euridice,


dove andr senza il mio ben?

Violetta sings to Germont: Morr!

210

Both Italian and English often use present tense forms for future events, particularly events in the
immediate future; often either can be used:
A che ora comincia il film?

What time does the movie begin?

A che ora comincer il film?

What time will the movie begin?

Il treno parte fra poco.

The train is leaving shortly.

Il treno partir fra poco.

The train will leave shortly.

Stasera andiamo a teatro.

This evening we are going to the theater.

Stasera andremo a teatro.

This evening we will go to the theater.

Quando vedi i tuoi amici?

When are you seeing your friends?

Quando vedrai i tuoi amici?

When will you see your friends?

Venite a cena con noi?

Are you coming to dinner with us?

Verrete cena con noi?

Will you come to dinner with us?

Future of Probability
Italian has a particular use of the future tense whose English counterpart is rarely used any more. It
expresses conjecture, what may be. For example, if you are expecting a phone call from Giorgio,
when the phone rings you might say, That must be Giorgio. In Italian, this is expressed in the
future tense: Sar Giorgio. (That will be Giorgio.)
This future of probability is used in everyday Italian, and it is also found in opera libretti. In
Rossinis Il barbiere di Siviglia, after Figaro has sung his famous Largo aria, he notices Count
Almaviva and says to himself Chi sar mai costui? which means Whoever could that be? (Costui
is a literary version of lui).
In the Act 1 finale of Mozarts Cos fan tutte, when the two disguised Albanians have been cured
of the poison they took, they make amorous advances towards Fiordiligi and Dorabella. Despina
and Don Alfonso tell them their behavior is the result of the poison, to which the sisters respond
Sar ver (That may be true).

211

To read and translate:


Una vacanza nellItalia meridionale
estate e fra qualche settimana finiranno i corsi alluniversit. Paolo avr circa venti giorni di
vacanza e poi comincer a lavorare come cameriere in un hotel. Far questo lavoro per tutta la
stagione estiva. In queste tre settimane di vacanza, lui e la sua ragazza hanno deciso di fare un
viaggio nellItalia meridionale. Partiranno da Firenze in macchina, cos saranno liberi di fermarsi
dove vorranno, e come prima tappa andranno a Napoli, dove hanno alcuni amici. Ci rimarranno
una settimana e poi, dopo che avranno visitato* gli scavi di Ercolano e di Pompei, prenderanno il
traghetto per Capri. Qui saranno ospiti per alcuni giorni di una loro amica napoletana, che
possiede una casa sullisola. Insieme andranno a vedere alcuni fra i posti pi famosi del mondo:
gli splendidi giardini, la villa di Tiberio, la Grotta Azzurra, e altri luoghi incantevoli. Infine
torneranno a Napoli, per andare nel Lazio, sul lago di Bolsena, dove trascorreranno gli ultimi
giorni di vacanza.
circa about, approximately
come as
estivo summer (adj) decidere to decide
meridionale southern fermarsi to stop, stay la tappa stop, stop over (n.) ci there
rimanere to remain lo scavo excavation Ercolano Herculaneum il traghetto ferry
Capri an Italian island near Naples lospite (m) guest napoletano Neapolitan, from Naples
possedere to possess il posto the place famoso famous il giardino the garden
Tiberio Tiberius, a Roman Emperor il luogho the place (also il loco)
incantevole enchanting
infine at last, finally Lazio Latium, the region of Italy around Rome trascorrere spend (time)

La grotto azzurra a Capri

Veduta dallisola di Capri

*avranno visitato this is an example of the future perfect tense, which in Italian is called futuro composto.
This usage points up a difference between Italian and English. In English this phrase would read after
having visited the excavations or after they have visited the excavations using a past tense
construction. In Italian, because the action is in the future, but it will happen prior to another stated action
in the future (prenderanno il traghetto they will take the ferry) it is expressed in the future perfect tense.
The futuro composto is formed like other compound tenses. The auxiliary verb (either avere or essere) is in
the future tense form, used with the past participle of the main verb.

212

The Conditional Tense (Condizionale semplice)


In English, when we say I would buy the car, but I dont have enough money, we are expressing a
conditional situation. Buying the car is conditional on my having enough money. Such expressions
use would as a helping verb in English. It is therefore a compound tense, like the future tense,
because a helping verb is used with the main verb.
In Italian, there is no helping verb to form the conditional, but a new verb ending attached to the
same stem as is used for the future. The conditional is therefore a simple tense in Italian, using only
one word, and called condizionale semplice.
Io comprerei la macchina, ma non ho abbastanza denaro.
Here are the conditional endings:
-ARE
parler-ei
parler-esti
parler-ebbe
parler-emmo
parler-este
parler-ebbero

-ERE
scriver-ei
scriver-esti
scriver-ebbe
scriver-emmo
scriver-este
scriver-ebbero

-IRE
partir-ei
partir-esti
partir-ebbe
partir-emmo
partir-este
partir-ebbero

Notice:
The same stem is used as for the future tense, characterized by r.
1st person singular is stressed on the final diphthong (Italian final diphthongs are always stressed).
3rd person plural has antepenultimate stress. All others have penultimate stress.
1st person plural (we) has only a double -mm- to distinguish it from its future tense counterpart.
2nd person forms, singular and plural, are distinguished from each other only by the final vowel.
3rd person plural adds -ro to the 3rd person singular.
Once again, third conjugation -isc- verbs do not use -isc- in the future or conditional: finirei,
capiresti, preferirebbero, etc.
Since the conditional stems are the same as the future, the same spelling changes affecting hard
and soft c and g are in effect with conditional: giocherei, mangerebbe, etc.

213

The same irregular stems described above for the future are used for conditional:

essere:

sarei, saresti, sarebbe, saremmo, sareste, sarebbero

andare:

andrei, andresti, andrebbe, andremmo, andreste, andrebbero

avere:

avrei, avresti, avrebbe, avremmo, avreste, avrebbero

dovere:

dovrei, dovresti, dovrebbe, dovremmo, dovreste, dovrebbero

potere:

potrei, potresti, potrebbe, potremmo, potreste, potrebbero

sapere:

saprei, sapresti saprebbe, sapremmo, sapreste, saprebbero

vedere:

vedrei, vedresti vedrebbe, vedremmo, vedreste, vedrebbero

vivere:

vivrei, vivresti, vivrebbe, vivremmo, vivreste, vivrebbero

volere:

vorrei, vorresti, vorrebbe, vorremmo, vorreste, vorrebbero

venire:

verrei, verresti, verrebbe, verremmo, verreste, verrebbero

bere:

berrei, berresti, berrebbe, berremmo, berreste, berrebbero

fare:

farei, faresti, farebbe, faremmo, fareste, farebbero

dire:

direi, diresti, direbbe, diremmo, direste, direbbero

Usage of the Conditional


The example given on the preceding page is a conditional action, which happens regularly in
English as well as Italian. Conditional action sentences can get more involved, resulting in
contrary to fact situations characterized by if, then formulations. This requires the
subjunctive mood in Italian, which will be introduced later.
For now, probably the most common usage of the conditional is in the polite expression of a
request or desire, often used with volere. When ordering something at a restaurant or bar, it is not
polite to say Io voglio. Instead one says I would like using the conditional Io vorrei.
Similary, Would you like? is expressed Vorresti? or even more formally Vorebbe? in the
Lei form.
Per favore, mi daresti una forchetta? Would you please give me a fork? (mi darebbe)
Andresti con me a teatro? Would you go with me to the theater? (andrebbe)

214

The word volentieri is often used with the conditional:


S, andrei volentieri con te a teatro.

Yes, I would gladly go to the theater with you.


(I would be happy to go)

Piacere is often used in the conditional...,


Mi piacerebbe viaggiare in Inghilterra.

I would like to travel to England.


(It would be pleasing to me)

Ti piacerebbe vedere il film?

Would you like to see the movie?


(Would it be pleasing to you?):

When potere is in the conditional, it translates as could:


Maria e Giorgio potrebbero venire con noi.

M. and G. could come with us.

Potrei invitare Luigi, ma non voglio.

I could invite Luigi, but I dont want to.

Potresti chiudere la porta, per favore?

Could you please close the door?

When dovere is in the conditional, it translates as should or ought to:


Dovrei mangiare di meno.

I should eat less. (I ought to eat less.)

Tutti gli studenti dovrebbero studiare di pi.

All the students should study more.

Dovremmo lavarci le mani prima di mangiare.

We should wash our hands before eating.

Signore, cosa vorrebbe?

Vorrei un bicchiere di vino rosso, per favore.

215

The Past Conditional


(condizionale passato or condizionale composto)
The past conditional is a passato prossimo construction, in which the helping verb (either essere or
avere) is in the conditional mood, and the main verb uses the past participle.
Comprerei una macchina, ma non ho abbastanza denaro.
I would by a car, but I dont have enough money.

Avrei comprato una macchina, ma non ho avuto abbastanza denaro.


I would have bought a car, but I didnt have enough money.
Roberto verrebbe con noi, ma non ha tempo.
Roberto would come with us, but he doesnt have time.
Roberto sarebbe venuto con noi, ma non ha avuto tempo.
Roberto would have come with us, but he didnt have time.
Volentieri faremmo una passeggiata.
We would gladly go for a walk.
Volentieri avremmo fatto una passeggiato.
We would gladly have gone for a walk.

Near the end of Mozarts Don Giovanni,


when the statue enters, the title character says:
Non lavrei giammai creduto
I never would have believed it
(giammai a literary form of mai).

216

To read and translate:


Regalo di compleanno
Fra qualche giorno sar il compleanno di Giulia e Luigi non sa ancora che cosa regalarle. Pensa
che le farebbe piacere avere una macchina fotografica, ma un regalo troppo costoso. Luigi
quasi sempre al verde e non si pu permettere una spesa cos grande. La settimana scorsa ha
parlato con una loro comune amica e questa gli ha detto che lei le avrebbe comprato un taglio di
stoffa per una camicetta. A Luigi sembra una buona idea, ma lui non sa risolvere il problema. Le
potrebbe regalare una cintura, Giulia le adora, e le starebbe bene con quel vestitino rosso che
hanno comprato insieme. Con i prezzi di oggi, per, anche una bella cintura coster un sacco di
soldi. Finalmente ha trovato una buono idea: le regaler un bel mazzo di fiori. Non un regalo
originale, ma ci che conta il pensiero.
costoso costly
al verde broke
non si pu permettere cant permit himself
la spesa expense, expenditure
comune common
il taglio cut la stoffa material
risolvere to resolve
la cintura belt
adorare to adore
le starebbe bene it would look good on her (notice use of i.o. pronoun) vestitino diminutive of vestito
Il prezzo the price
il sacco the sack
finalmente finally
il mazzo the bunch,bouquet
contare to count

Literary Forms of Future/Conditional

In opera libretti, an alternative literary conditional form is often encountered. It usually appears for
the verbs essere and avere and the three modal verbs potere, dovere, and volere. Occasionally it is
seen with other verbs. This alternative form is limited to 3rd person, singular and plural.
essere

saria, sariano

(instead of sarebbe, sarebbero)

avere

avria, avriano

(instead of avrebbe, avrebbero)

potere

potria, potriano

(instead of potrebbe, potrebbero)

dovere

dovria, dovriano

(instead of dovrebbe, dovrebbero)

volere

vorria, vorriano

(instead of vorrebbe, vorrebbero)

Moreover, the 3rd plural forms sometimes use e instead of a so that sariano becomes sarieno,
potriano becomes potrieno, etc. The 3rd plural forms are also subject to apocopation, so that
vorriano = vorrieno = vorrien. (NB the i is always stressed in these forms, and sometimes spelled
with the accent sara
Sometimes these forms translate as future tense, but usually they are conditional.

217

There are many examples in the Italian opera repertory. Here are a few:
Near the beginning of Le nozze di Figaro, Figaro says to Susanna:
Guarda un poco se potria meglio stare in altro loco. (instead of potrebbe)
Look (a little) whether it could be better to be in another place.
In the same opera, before his act 4 aria, Figaro says: chi creduto lavria? (instead of lavrebbe)
who would have believed it?
At one point in the act 1 finale of Cos fan tutte Fiordiligi says:
In momenti s dolenti, chi potriali abbandonar?
In such sad moments who could abandon them?
(notice that the object pronoun can attach to potria, but it could not to potrebbe.)
Also in Cos fan tutte, Don Alfonso says to Despina:
(se) tu ritrovassi il modo da metter in lor grazia due soggetti di garbo che vorrieno provar...
If you were to find a way to put into their grace two well-mannered persons who would like to try
Near the end of Act 1 of La traviata, Violetta asks herself:
Saria per mia sventura un serio amore?
(instead of sarebbe)
Would a serious love be a misfortune for me?
The very first line of Don Pasquale has the title character say:
Son nov'ore; di ritorno il dottore esser dovria.
(instead of dovrebbe)
Its 9 oclock; the doctor should be back.
In Rigoletto, the Dukes act 2 aria has him say:
ei che vorria collanima farti quaggi beata (instead of vorrebbe)
he who with his soul would like to make you blessed down here (on earth)
Here is an example with the verb volgere (to turn) from the recitative before Norinas aria from
Don Pasquale: giur che ad altra mai: non volgeria il pensier. (instead of volgerebbe)
he swore that to another he would never turn his thought.
An example with the verb morire from Edgardos aria near the end of Lucia di Lammermoor:
Rispetta almen le ceneri di chi moria per te. (instead of morirebbe or morir)
Respect at least the ashes of him who would die for you.

218

CCM ITALIAN

Chapter Twelve
Mini Dialogues
Verbs - The Imperative Mood
Adverbs
Double Object Pronouns

219

Chapter Twelve
Mini Dialogues

Roberto, alzati, sono gi le sette.

Roberto, get up, its already ten.

Non mi disturbare, voglio dormire.

Dont bother me, I want to sleep.

Alzati, fatti la doccia, e vestiti. lora


di andare a scuola.

Get up, take a shower, and get dressed.


Its time to go to school.

Non ti preoccupare, mi sto alzando.

Dont worry, Im getting up.

Maria, vieni con me alla festa stasera.

Maria, come with me to the party tonight.

No, Giulia, mi scusa, sono troppo stanca.

No, Giulia, excuse me, Im too tired.

Allora, riposati unoretta. Ti sentirai


meglio e puoi venire.

Then rest for an hour or so. Youll feel


better and you can come.

No, mi sento veramente male. Vado


subito a letto per la notte. Vai e divertiti.

No, I really dont feel well, Im going to


bed right away for the night. Go and have fun.

Ascoltami, Luisa, e non ti arrabbiare.

Listen to me, Luisa, and dont get angry.

Dimmi. Cosa c?

Tell me. What is it?

Non dimenticare che Giorgio era il mio


ragazzo prima che era il tuo. Ti sto
pregando di non stare pi con lui.

Dont forget that Giorgio was my


boyfriend before he was yours. Im asking you
not to go with him anymore.

Ma che dici? Sono innamorata di lui.


Non posso lasciarlo cos. Cosa gli devo
dire? Che non lo amo pi? Fammi
un piacere

But what are you saying? Im in love with


him. I cant just leave him. What am I
supposed to say to him? That I dont love
him anymore? Give me break.

220

Mi dica, signora. Ha scelto qualcosa?


Vorrei provare questabito.
Provilo pure. Qui c il camerino.
Mi dia la chiave per favore.
Ah, s. Ecco la chiave.
Mi pu tenere la borsa, per favore?
S. Gliela tengo.

How can I help you madam? Have you chosen something?


Id like to try on this dress.
Go ahead, try it on. Heres the fitting room.
Give me the key please.
Ah, yes. Heres the key.
Can you hold on to my purse, please?
Yes, Ill hold it for you.

Vocabulary (vocabolario)
These four verbs share common irregular forms. See next page.
tenere
scegliere
scusare

to hold, keep
to choose

rimanere
togliere

to remain, stay
to take, remove

to excuse (usually used in the imperative)

(Mi) scusi! (formal)

scusa! (informal)

also scusate! (plural)

Another word that is used in similar situations is permesso, the past participle of the verb
permettere (to permit). If you are trying to get past someone in a crowd, you say permesso rather
than scusi. The latter is used if you bump into someone, or if you want to be excused for something
you said, or if you want to get someones attention. Permesso is also used to ask permission to enter a
room. It is short for permesso? (Is it permitted?)
Il permesso as a noun means permission, authorization; also permit.

ci

that

It is a pronoun, equivalent to quella cosa. It stands alone and does not modify another
word, like quello can. It is often used in the formulation ci che meaning that
which Quello che means the same thing.
In chapter 8 we had cio meaning that is. It is used in the sense of that is to say

pure

also, too, as well


but, nevertheless, yet

(like anche): arrivata Anna e pure Maria.


(like ma, per): Non ho molto tempo libero, pure vado a
teatro quando posso.
It can give emphasis to an imperative (as in the dialogue above):
Faccia pure! Go ahead!

221

Conjugation of tenere, rimanere, scegliere, togliere


tenere and rimanere have infinitive stress on the ending (penultimate syllable).
scegliere and togliere are stressed on the stem (antepenultimate stress).
tenere conjugates like venire:
tengo, tieni, tiene, teniamo, tenete, tengono
p.p. tenuto (avere)

fut./cond. stem terr-: terr, etc.

(One of the meanings of Spanish tener is to have. Italian tenere never has this meaning.)
rimanere is irregular in 1st singular and 3rd plural, also with ngo and -ngono
rimango, rimani, rimane, rimaniamo, rimanete, rimangono
p.p. rimasto (essere)

fut./cond. stem rimarr-: rimarr, etc.

scegliere is similar to salire in the present tense, but with an irregular past participle:
scelgo, scegli, sceglie, scegliamo, scegliete, scelgono
p.p. scelto (avere)

fut/cond. is regular: sceglier

(notice the changing position of the g and l in the various forms)


togliere works like scegliere:
tolgo, togli, toglie, togliamo, togliete, tolgono

p.p. tolto

See below for the formation of imperatives for these verbs.


Imperative (imperativo)
The imperative mood in any language is used to command, exhort, urge, request.
It is usually used in the you form, both singular and plural. The you is not stated but implied in
the verb:
Come here! Do your homework!
Give me a hand!
Please be quiet!
(English uses the dictionary form of the verb for the imperative; to be becomes be.)
It can also be used in the we form. In English, the we imperative is expressed by lets.
Lets go to the movies Lets eat!

Lets play a game.

Lets be friends.

222

Because Italian has four forms of you informal singular and plural: tu, voi, and formal singular
and plural: Lei, Loro it has separate forms for each, as well as one for the we (noi) form.
Here is a table of the imperative endings. The underlined forms are different from present tense:
-ARE
guardare

-ERE
prendere

-IRE
aprire

finire

Tu

guarda

prendi

apri

finisci

Lei

guardi

prenda

apra

finisca

Noi

guardiamo

prendiamo

apriamo

finiamo

Voi

guardate

prendete

aprite

finite

(Loro guardino

prendano

aprano

finiscano)

Conveniently, the voi and noi forms are exactly the same as in the present indicative:
andate can mean either you are going or go! depending on context, and andiamo
can mean we are going or lets go! depending on context.
The tu forms for Italian -ere and -ire verbs are also the same as the present indicative:
Prendi Take!

Chiudi! Close!

Apri! Open!

Finisci! Finish!

There is a difference with -are verbs, which can be confusing at first. The tu imperative form,
instead of ending in -i, as above, ends in a, the stem vowel of the infinitive:
Parla! Speak!

Canta! Sing!

Mangia! Eat!

Ascolta! Listen!

The Lei form of the imperative for -ire and -ere verbs end in a. Prenda!
The Lei form if the imperative for are verbs end in -i. Guardi!
The result is that formal and informal forms of the singular you imperatives reverse the
endings for -are verbs and -ere, -ire verbs:
Mangia!
(Mi) Scusa!
Guarda!
Ascolta!

Eat! (informal tu)


Excuse me!
Look!
Listen!

Mangi!
(Mi) Scusi!
Guardi!
Ascolti!

Eat! (formal Lei)


Excuse me!
Look!
Listen!

Prendi!
Apri!
Chiudi!

Take!
Open!
Close!

Prenda!
Apra!
Chiuda!

Take!
Open!
Close!

But

223

Notice that -isc- verbs retain the -isc- in the tu and Lei forms. This results in a hard sound for the c
in the Lei form: finisca. Other verbs that have shifting hard and soft sounds have the hard
sound in the Lei imperative form: legga, conosca, cerchi, giochi, etc.

The imperative plural formal form (the Loro form shown at the bottom of the table, previous
page), is rarely used in modern Italian. It is formed by adding no to the Lei form: Mangino!
Ascoltino! Prendano! Finiscano! (These forms are also the same as present subjunctive, see
chapter 14). Instead of these forms, the voi form is commonly used, even in formal situations.
Irregular
Imperative
The Loro forms will be encountered
in literary
Italian. forms

Irregular Imperative forms


Most verbs that are irregular in the present tense derive the formal imperative Lei form from the
first person (io) form. The o is dropped and a is added:
andare
venire
fare
dire
salire

vado
vengo
faccio
dico
salgo

vada!
venga!
faccia!
dica!
salga

including the four verbs from this chapter:


tenere
tengo
tenga!
rimanere
rimango
rimanga !
scegliere
scelgo
scelga!
togliere
tolgo
tolga!

The Loro forms, encountered in literary Italian, add no to the Lei forms:
vadano, vengano, facciano, dicano, salgano, tengano, rimangano, scelgano
Five common verbs have both irregular and regular forms in the tu imperative:
andare: vai / va

dire: di

fare: fai / fa

dare: dai / da

stare: stai / sta

Except for dire, the regular tu imperative is the same as present tense. The alternate form simply
drops the -i-, usually adding the apostrophe. Dire only uses the short form, di. (dici cannnot be an
imperative form.)
The short forms are used more frequently for these five verbs. They are also used when attaching
pronouns, as in dimmi (see below).

224

The verbs essere and avere have the following imperative tu and voi forms:
(tu) sii paziente

(voi) siate pazienti

Be patient.

(tu) abbi pieta

(voi) abbiate piet

Have pity.

The noi forms (lets) are regular: siamo, abbiamo.


The Lei forms are sia, abbia: Sia paziente abbia piet
Sia rhymes with mia; sii is pronounced like si.
Certain English expressions of imperative be are translated by stare in Italian:
Sta zitto! State zitti Be quiet!
Stai attento! State attenti!

Stai buono!

Be good! (in the sense of behave.)

Pay attention! (be attentive)

Stare has an irregular Lei imperative: stia (like sia).


A couple of other verbs have unique irregular imperative forms:
dare has dia! (Lei form)
sapere has sappi! (tu) and sappia! (Lei).

Negative Imperatives
Negative imperatives simply add non to most forms:
Non andate! Dont go (said to two or more people)
Non parliamo di ci! Lets not talk about that.
However with the most commonly used form, tu, there is an important change:
non is used with the infinitive form of the verb:
Non parlare! Dont talk!

Non andare! Dont go!

Non partire! Dont leave!

Non guardare! Dont look!

Non mi parlare!

225

Two well-known Mozart arias have tu-form negative imperatives in their first lines:
Donna Annas aria Non mi dir from Don Giovanni, and
Susannas Deh vieni, non tardar from Le nozze di Figaro.
Also, Calafs aria Non piangere, Li from Puccinis Turandot.

Object Pronouns and Imperatives


We have learned that if an object pronoun is in the same sentence as an infinitive verb form, the
unstressed form of the pronoun may attach to the infinitive. This happens most often with
constructions involving modal verbs, as in Non posso farlo. I cant do it. (Chapter 8)
Object pronouns in the unstressed form may also attach to imperative verb forms, but only to the tu, the
voi, and the noi forms, not the Lei form.

Bevi il caff.

Drink the coffee.

Lo bevi.

Bevilo.

Drink it.

Prendi la borsa.

Take the purse.

La prendi.

Prendila.

Take it.

Studiate le lezioni.

Study the lessons.

Le studiate.

Studiatele

Study them.

Leggete i giornali.

Read the papers.

Li leggete.

Leggeteli.

Read them.

Guardiamo il film.

Lets watch the movie. Lo guardiamo. Guardiamolo. Lets watch it.

Indirect object pronouns may also attach in this way (but not loro):
Parla a tuo padre. Speak to your father.

Gli parla.

Parlagli.

Speak to him.

Scrivi a tua sorella. Write to your sister.

Le scrivi.

Scrivile.

Write to her.

Attaching object pronouns to imperative forms is very common, in both conversational Italian and
in literary Italian.
The pronoun never connects to the Lei form: Lo beva, la prenda, li legga.

226

The tu forms of the five verbs with irregular imperatives (p. 204) always attach the pronoun, and
double the first letter of the pronoun when it is attached (except for gli).
Dimmi, che pensi?

Tell me, what do you think? (dille - tell her; digli - tell him)

Fatti la barba!

Shave!

Dammi quel libro.

Give me that book.

Stammi bene.

Take care. (literally be well for me, said when saying goodbye)

These forms are very commonly used.


Other examples of object pronouns attached to verbs. Both tu and voi forms are given:
Portami una sedia. / Portatemi una sedia. Bring me a chair.
Digli la verit. / Ditegli la verit.

Tell him the truth.

Fallo presto! / Fatelo presto!

Do it quickly!

Credimi! / Credetemi!

Believe me!

The final aria from Donizettis Anna Bolena begins Al dolce guidami castel natio.
The literary word order can be revised to Guidami al dolce castel natio:
Lead (guide) me to (my) sweet native castle.

Mi porti una birra, per favore.


(polite Lei form)

Mi dia un dollaro.

Mi faccia sapere.
(Let me know.)

Portami una birra, per favore.


(familiar tu form)

Dammi un dollaro.

Fammi sapere.

227

Adverbs
Adjectives modify nouns (the tall boy) and sometimes pronouns (he is tall).

Adverbs modify verbs (she sings sweetly, he is reading carefully)


and can modify adjectives (the sky is entirely blue)
and sometimes other adverbs (she sings so sweetly he is reading very carefully
the sky is almost entirely blue). We have already learned some adverbs.
Many adverbs are derived from adjectives, in both English and Italian. In English, this is
done by attaching the suffix -ly to the adjective: careful, carefully; entire, entirely.

In Italian, the same is accomplished by adding the suffix -mente to the feminine form of the
adjective:
completo / completamente dolce / dolcemente sincero / sinceramente
If, however, the adjective ends in -le or -re, the -e is dropped and the -mente suffix is added:
speciale / specialmente
gentile / gentilmente

incredibile / incredibilmente
regolare / regolarmente

Most Italian adjectives change form to agree in number and gender with what they modify.
Adverbs are invariable. They never change form.
There are many adverbs that are self-standing words not derived from adjectives, some of which
we have already had, such as bene (well) and male (badly, poorly).
In chapter 2 we learned that molto, tanto, poco, and troppo can function as adjectives or adverbs.
There are also words that can function as either an adjective or an adverb, depending on what they
modify: un uomo forte a strong man
Canta forte. He sings loudly.
We have learned primo as an adjective meaning first, and prima, an adverb meaning before,
used with di before pronouns and infinitives:
prima di te before you prima di andare before going

come prima as before

228

Comparative and Superlative Adverb Forms


Normally adverbs simply use pi and meno, just like adjectives:
pi velocemente
pi piano
pi spesso

more quickly
more quietly
more often

meno forte
meno dolcemente
meno facilmente

less loudly
less sweetly
less easily

The relative superlative (see p. 178) is sometimes used with adverbs, especially in certain phrases
such as:
il pi presto possibile
as soon as possible
il pi forte/piano possibile as loud(ly) / sof(ly) as possible
The absolute superlative adverb is formed by adding -mente to the feminine form of the absolute
superlative adjective form (see. p. 178). It translates as very.
veloce fast

velocissima very fast

velocissimamente very quickly

Some adverbs that dont use the -mente form, simply add issimo to the stem of the word. This is
familiar from musical terminology: fortissimo very loud(ly)
pianissimo very soft(ly)
A few adverbs have irregular comparative forms, the most important of which are:
meglio better

peggio worse

These were introduced in the previous chapter. English better and worse are the same whether
adjectives or adverbs. Italian has separate words: migliore, peggiore are adjectives, while meglio,
peggio are adverbs. There are no separate words for best or worst as adverbs. The same words
are used and the meaning is derived from context, or other qualifiers such as di tutti.

Lui canta bene.

Lui canta meglio.

Lui canta meglio di tutti.

229

Double Object Pronouns


(pronomi doppi; pronomi combinati)
In the English sentence I gave her a flower the word her is an indirect object pronoun, receiving the
direct object flower. If flower is changed to the direct object pronoun it, the sentence becomes I
gave it to her. The indirect object then requires a preposition. In older (or more literary) English,
the preposition may be omitted (I gave it her), but it is not normal in modern English.
In chapter 7 we learned the forms of Italian direct and indirect object pronouns and the basics of
how they work. In Italian it is possible to have both a direct object pronoun and an indirect object
pronoun in the same sentence. When that happens there are some changes in forms.
The indirect object pronoun comes first followed immediately by the direct object pronoun. Both
precede the verb. The letter-i of the indirect object changes to an -e.

Elena mi da un cucchiaio.

Lorenzo mi da una forchetta.

The indirect object pronoun mi changes


form to me, and comes first.

The indirect object pronoun mi changes


form to me, and comes first.

The direct object un cucchiaio changes to


the masculine direct object pronoun lo,
which comes second.

The direct object una forchetta changes to


the feminine direct object pronoun la,
which comes second.

Elena me lo da.

Lorenzo me la da.

Ti da un cucchiaio. She is giving you a spoon.


Te lo da. She is giving it to you.

Ti da una forchetta. He is giving you a fork.


Te la da. He is giving it to you.

Ci da un cucchiaio. She is giving us a spoom.


Ce lo da. She is giving it to us.

Ci da una forchetta. He is giving us a fork.


Ce la da. He is giving it to us.

Vi da un cucchiaio . She is giving you a spoon.


Ve lo da. She is giving it to you.

Vi da una forchetta. He is giving you a fork.


Ce la da. He is giving it to us.

230

If the direct object is plural, the appropriate form is used:


Elena mi da i cucchiai

Elena me li da.

Lorenzo mi da le forchette. Lorenzo me le da.

(te li da / ce li da / ve li da)
(te le da / ce le da / ve le da)

In third person forms, there are further changes. The indirect object pronoun gli functions for to
him, to her, and to them. The direct object pronoun attaches, connected by the letter -e- to form a
single word, with four possible forms: glielo /gliela / glieli / gliele.
Gli da un cucchiaio. She is giving him a spoon.

Glielo da. She is giving it to him.

Le da un cucchiaio. She is giving her a spoon.

Glielo da. She is giving it to her.

Gli da un cucchiaio. He is giving them a flower.

Glielo da. He is giving it to them.

Gli da una forchetta. He is giving him a spoon.

Gliela da. He is giving it to him.

Le da una forchetta. He is giving her a spoon.

Gliela da. He is giving it to her

Gli da una forchetta. He is giving them a spoon.

Gliela da. He is giving it to them.

Glieli da. She is giving them (the spoons) to him/her/them.


Gliele da. He is giving them (the forks )to him/ her/ them.
(Recall that loro as an indirect object is rarely used in modern Italian. If it is used, loro is the one
pronoun that cannot combine like this. Word order: Lo da loro / La da loro / Li da loro / Le da loro

Just as direct object pronouns la and lo can abbreviate before a verb form beginning with a vowel
or h, the same is true when the d.o. pronoun is part of a double pronoun construction. This
routinely happens in passato prossimo constructions. Plural pronouns never abbreviate.
Also remember that if there is a d.o. pronoun and a past participle in the same sentence, the
participle must agree in number and gender with the d.o. pronoun (chapter 7).

Here is a complete table of double object pronouns using the verb dare, with both present tense
and passato prossimo:

231
il libro.
la chiave.
Giorgio mi da

Giorgio

Giorgio

me li ha dati.
me le ha date.

il libro.
la chiave.

te lo da.
te la da.

te lha dato.
te lha data.

Giorgio

Giorgio

i libri.
le chiavi.

te li da.
te le da.

te li ha dati.
te le ha date.

il libro.
la chiave.

glielo da.
gliela da.

glielha dato.
glielha data.

Giorgio

Giorgio

i libri.
le chiavi.

glieli da.
gliele da.

glieli ha dati.
gliele ha date.

il libro.
la chiave.

ce lo da.
ce la da.

ce lha dato.
ce lha data.

Giorgio ci da

Giorgio

Giorgio

i libri.
le chiavi.

ce li da.
ce le da.

ce li ha dati.
ce le ha date.

il libro.
la chiave.

ve lo da.
ve la da.

ve lha dato.
ve lha data.

Giorgio vi da

Giorgio gli da
(da loro)

Giorgio
me li da.
me le da.

da
le

me lha dato.
me lha data.

i libri.
le chiavi.

Giorgio ti da

gli

me lo da.
me la da.

Giorgio

Giorgio

i libri.
le chiavi.

ve li da.
ve le da.

ve li ha dati.
ve le ha date.

il libro.
la chiave.

glielo da.
gliela da.

glielha dato.
glielha data.

Giorgio
i libri.
le chiavi.

Giorgio
glieli da.
gliele da.

glieli ha dati.
gliele ha date.

If the polite Lei form is used for you, the same forms are used as for she, using capital letters: Giorgio Le
da il libro Giorgio Glielo da Giorgio Glielha dato.

232

Practice the above forms with other verbs that can use both a direct object pronoun and an
indirect object pronoun in the same sentence, such as mandare, mostrare, offire, regalare,
scrivere, fare (he did it for me), dire (I told it to her), spiegare (we explained it to them). There are
numerous other possibilities.
Double Object Pronouns and Infinitives and Imperatives
We have learned that modal verbs usually function in tandem with an infinitive. If there is an object
pronoun (direct or indirect) in the same sentence, it may stand alone before the verbs, or attach to
the infinitive, as was introduced in chapter 8, page 139:
Ti vorrei dare questo regalo.

or

Vorrei darti questo regalo.

Similarly, double object pronouns can also stand alone or attach. When they attach, the infinitive
plus the two object pronouns run together as one word:
Te lo vorrei dare.

or

Vorrei dartelo. (stress on dar...)

On p. 110 are found some verbs that often use the preposition a in a sentence. The prepositional
phrase with a may be substituted with an i.o. pronoun.
Posso mostrare tre case in vendita a voi. I can show three houses for sale to you.
Posso mostrarvi tre case in vendita. I can show you three houses for sale.
Le posso mostrarvi. I can show them to you.
Posso mostrarvele.

I can show them to you.

In this chapter we learned that object pronouns can also attach to imperative forms.
Mi porta una sedia, per favore.

Bring me a chair, please.

Portami una sedia, per favore.

Bring me a chair, please.

Double object pronouns may stand alone or attach:


Me la porta!

Bring it to me!

Portamela!

Bring it to me. (stress on port)

233

Examples of Double Object Pronouns from Opera Libretti

In Le nozze di Figaro, when Cherubino first enters, he notices Susanna holding a ribbon belonging
to the Countess. He says: Dammelo, sorella, dammelo per pieta! (Give it to me, sister for pitys
sake!)
That is a double object pronoun attached to an imperative: Give it to me!

Just a few lines after the example quoted above, Cherubino says to Susanna, still
referring to the ribbon:
Io non tel render che colla vita! (I wont give it to you except with my life!)
Notice that te lo is contracted to tel. This is common in opera libretti.
Sometimes there is an apostrophe and sometimes not, so that te lo = tel = tel.

Another example of the same contracted double object pronoun occurs in Zerlinas aria Vedrai
carino from Don Giovanni
un certo balsamo
ch'io porto addosso,
dare tel posso,
se il vuoi provar.

It's a certain balm


that I carry with me,
I can give it to you,
if you want to try it.

Tel is te lo, with lo referring to balsamo.

Also in Act 1 of Le nozze di Figaro, Susanna says as an aside, in her scene


with Don Basilio:
Chi diavol glielha detto? (who the devil told it to him?).
Notice the contraction of glielo ha to glielha.

234

Near the start of the Act 2 finale of the same opera, the Count angrily says to the Countess:
Vel leggo in volto! This is the same contraction without an apostrophe.
He is addressing her in the old-fashioned polite form using voi.It translates as I read it in your
face. (This is another example of Italian using an indirect object pronoun whereas English uses a
possessive pronoun.) The literal English translation is I read it (from) you in the face.

In Verdi/Boitos Falstaff, Act II scene 1, Sir John twice questions Ford as to why
he is coming to him.
Ford replies both times: Ve lo dir

(I will tell you literally, I will tell it to you)

once again using the voi form as the polite form of address.

Masettos aria from Don Giovanni contains the following quatrain, addressed to Don Giovanni:
Cavalier voi siete gi,
dubitar non posso aff;
me lo dice la bont
che volete aver per me.

You are indeed a knight,


(gi here means indeed)
in faith, I cannot doubt (it);
the kindness that you want
to have for me shows it to me.

Here lo translates as it, referring to the fact that Don Giovanni is a knight. Somewhat simplified,
Masetto is saying (ironically) Your kindness shows it (that you are a knight) to me.

235

Luisa al ristorante
Luisa lavora come cameriera in un ristorante a Pisa, che si chiama Da Piero. pi una trattoria
che un ristorante, abbastanza piccola con forse quattordici tavole. Da Piero si trova in una zona*
che non una zona turistica. La gente che viene a mangiare per lo pi* abita vicino, per qualche
volta vengono alcuni turisti. Di solito per pranzo la trattoria piena*, mentre la sera per cena non
cos piena.
Un giorno venuto un signore da solo per pranzo. Era un uomo alto, con i capelli biondi, che
portava gli occhiali. Aveva forse trentacinque anni. Luisa lha salutato quando entrava. Una
persona sola? gli chiedeva. S , rispondeva, non c nessun altro. Posso avere una tavola vicina
a una finestra. Parlava con un accento tedesco. Niente problema, venga con me, diceva Luisa.
Lo accompagnava* a una tavola piccola. Per favore, mi porti una bottiglia di acqua minerale,
diceva il signore. Gliela porto subito, rispondeva Luisa.
Dopo un ora, quando il signore aveva finito* di mangiare, Luisa venuta alla sua tavola. Vorrebbe
un dolce? gli domandava. No, grazie, basta cos, rispondeva il signore. Senta, continuava,
posso pagare con una carta di credito? Non ho niente denaro con me. Non c nessun
problema, diceva Luisa. I nostri clienti di solito pagano con una carta di credito.
Quando il signore stava per uscire*, diceva a Luisa: Io sono turista di Francoforte* in Germania.
Rimango a Pisa solamente per poche ore. Non ho ancora visto la piazza dei miracoli*, e la vorrei
vedere. C un autobus che potrei prendere? S, rispondeva Luisa, c una fermata molto vicina.
Gli mostrer.
(the polite Lei form of address is used throughout the above text)
*zona zone, neighborhood
*pieno/a full

*per lo pi for the most part


*accompagnare to accompany (take or bring a person)

*aveva finito
had finished. The past perfect tense (trapassato in Italian), which
uses the imperfect form of the helping verb.
*stava per uscire was about to leave. An example of the stare per construction
introduced in Ch. 9. Stare is used in the imperfect form to create the past tense equivalent.
*Francoforte Frankfurt
*Piazza dei miracoli Piazza of miracles, the area in Pisa where the cathedral,
baptistry, and the famous leaning tower are located.

236

CCM ITALIAN
Chapter Thirteen
Mini Dialogues
Passato Remoto
The particles ci and ne
The verb andarsene

237

Chapter Thirteen
Mini Dialogues

Luisa: Non conosco Napoli.


Lei mai stato a Napoli?

Luisa: I dont know Naples.


Have you ever been to Naples?

Giovanni: S, molti anni fa visitai Napoli


Giovanni: Yes, many years ago I visited Naples
e Capri. Fu una gita breve ma interessante. and Capri. It was a brief trip, but interesting.
Luisa: And solo?

Luisa: Did you go alone?

Giovanni: No, andai con i miei genitori


e ci divertimmo molto. Loro restarono
a Napoli e non visitarono Capri, ma io
andai a Capri per cinque giorni. Poi
cincontrammo a Napoli e ritornammo
a Firenze insieme.

Giovanni: No, I went with my parents


and we enjoyed ourselves a lot. They stayed
in Naples and didnt visit Capri, but I
went to Capri for five days. Then we
met up in Naples and we returned together
to Florence.

Luisa: Visitarono anche Amalfi?

Luisa: Did you visit Amalfi too?

Giovanni: No, non avemmo tempo.


Come Le ho detto fu una gita breve
e dovemmo ritornare subito.

Giovanni: No, we didnt have time.


As I told you, it was a brief trip
and we had to return right away.

Studente: Professore, quando e dove


nacque Michelangelo Buonarroti?

Professor, when and where


was Michelangelo Buonarroti born?

Professore: Nacque nel 1475 a Caprese,


vicino a Arezzo.

He was born in 1475 in Caprese,


near Arezzo.

Studente: So che fece molte cose diverse


nella sua vita.

I know that he did many different things


in his life.

Professore: S, fu pittore, scultore,


architetto e poeta. Prefer la scultura
alle altre arti. Nel 1488 entr nella
bottega dei fratelli Ghirlandaio. Dal
1501 al 1504 scolp il David. Dal 1508
al 1512 decor la volta della Cappella
Sistina. Mor a Roma nel 1564.

Yes, he was a painter, sculptor


architect and poet. He preferred sculpture
to the other arts. In 1488 he entered
the workshop of the Ghirlandaio brothers. From
1501 to 1504 he sculpted the David. From 1508
to 1512 he decorated the ceiling of the Sistine
Chapel. He died in Rome in 1564.

238

Vocabulary (vocabolario)
Nouns (cognates):

Other nouns:

il pittore
il scultore
larchitetto
il poeta

la bottega
la volta

painter
sculptor
architect
poet (pl. i poeti)

la bottega

small shop; artists workshop


vault (architectural)
(different from la volta in chapter 11).

la volta le volte

Adjective:
diverso

different; various, diverse (regular adjective - differente is essentially the same meaning)

Verbs:
scolpire

to sculpt, carve; also engrave, stamp, imprint

decorare

to decorate

nascere

to be born (past participle nato, auxiliary essere)

Usually seen in the passato prossimo: Sono nata nel 1987. Quando nato tuo fratello?
In historic references, passato remoto is used: Verdi nacque nel 1813.
In literary Italian, sometimes seen in the present tense: Nasce il giorno (the day is breaking).
At one point in Don Giovanni, Da Ponte has Leporello say Qui nasce una ruina!
(A disaster is beginning here!)
morire

to die (past participle morto, auxiliary essere)


Irregular present tense: muoio, muori, muore, moriamo, morite, muoiono.
As with nascere, usually seen in the passato prossimo: morto il re; morta la regina.
Historic references use the passato remoto: Wagner mor nel 1883.
Opera libretti have many examples in the present tense.

239

Passato remoto
The passato remoto is another way to express the past tense in Italian, along with passato prossimo
and imperfetto. In modern conversational Italian it is rarely used, except in a few areas of Italy. It is
comparable to the pass simple in French.
It is commonly used in the written language to express events in the more distant past. It appears
quite regularly in literary Italian, including opera libretti. Anyone dealing with opera texts in Italian
must be familiar with this verb form.

Here are the regular endings of the passato remoto:


1st conjugation

2nd conjugation

3rd conjugation

parlare

credere

partire

io

parlai

credei (*credetti)

partii

tu

parlasti

credesti

partisti

lui/lei

parl

cred (*credette)

part

noi

parlammo

credemmo

partimmo

voi

parlaste

credeste

partiste

loro

parlarono

crederono (*credettero)

partirono

Notice that, except for 3rd person singular, all the endings are the same, attached to the stem vowel
of the conjugation.
3rd person singular uses the stressed stem vowel as the ending, except 1st conjugation, which uses
stressed -.
*In addition, literary Italian has alternative endings for -ere verbs in the 1st and 3rd singular and the
3rd plural, indicated in parentheses above. These are sometimes seen in opera libretti.
Word stress is always on the first syllable of the ending.

240

When first learning these endings it is easy to confuse them with endings from other tenses,
particularly the future and conditional:
io parlai (pass. rem.)

vs.

tu parlerai (fut.)

lui parl (pass.rem.)

vs

io parler (fut.)

io credei (pass. rem.)

vs.

io crederei (cond.)

tu credesti (pass. rem.)

vs.

tu crederesti (cond.)

noi credemmo (pass. rem)

vs.

noi crederemmo (cond.)

Remember that future and conditional both have the characteristic r before the ending. Passato
remoto never does, except 3rd person plural (where it is in fact part of the ending).
As usual, essere is completely irregular in the passato remoto. Since it is one of the most frequently
used, it must be memorized right away:
io

fui

(I was)

noi

fummo

(we were)

tu

fosti

(you were)

voi

foste

(you were)

fu

(s/he, it was)

loro

furono

(they were)

lui/lei

Avere is also irregular, but its irregularity demonstrates the pattern for all irregular passato remoto
verbs (except essere): the irregularity only appears in the 1st singular, 3rd singular, and 3rd plural.
The other three are regular.
io

ebbi (I had)

noi

avemmo

(we had)

tu

avesti (you had)

voi

aveste

(you had)

ebbe (s/he, it had)

loro

ebbero

(they had)

lui/lei

Almost all -are and -ire verbs are regular in the passato remoto, but many -ere verbs are irregular.
Below are some of the most frequently encountered verbs with irregular passato remoto forms.
These occur regularly in opera libretti. Some fall into families of irregular characteristics.
Remember, 1st singular, 3rd singular, and 3rd plural are irregular; but 2nd singular, 1st and 2nd plural
are always regular.

241

Often the stem will change to a final -s- with the three irregular forms becoming -si, -se, -sero
Notice most past participles also use -s-:
prendere:

presi, prendesti, prese, prendemmo, prendeste, presero (preso)

scendere:

scesi, scendesti, scese, scendemmo, scendeste, scesero (sceso)

perdere:

persi, perdesti, perse, perdemmo, perdeste, persero (perso)

scegliere:

scelsi, scegliesti, scelse, scegliemmo, sceglieste, scelsero (scelso)

togliere:

tolsi, togliesti, tolse, togliemmo, toglieste, tolsero (tolto)

decidere:

decisi, decidesti, decise, decidemmo, decideste, decisero (deciso)

rimanere:

rimasi, rimanesti, rimase, rimanemmo, rimaneste, rimasero (rimasto)

mettere:

misi, mettesti, mise, mettemmo, metteste, misero (messo)

rispondere:

risposi, rispondesti, rispose, rispondemmo, risposero (risposto)

chiudere:

chiusi, chiudesti, chiuse, chiudemmo, chiudeste, chiusero (chiuso)

piangere:

piansi, piangesti, pianse, piangemmo, piangeste, piansero (pianto)

vivere: (double ss)

vissi, vivesti, visse, vivemmo, viveste, vissero (vissuto)

leggere: (double ss) lessi, leggesti, lesse, leggemmo, leggeste, lessero (letto)
scrivere: (double ss) scrissi, scrivesti, scrisse, scrivemmo, scriveste, scrissero (scritto)
Here are a few other verbs commonly found in opera libretti that follow these patterns.
They are otherwise regular, except for the past participle.
ridere / risi (to laugh) (riso)
accendere / accesi (to turn on, light) (acceso)
spingere / spinsi (to push) (spinto)
correre / corsi (to run) (corso)

sorridere / sorrisi (to smile) (sorriso)


ardere / arsi (to burn)(arso)
vincere / vinsi (to win, conquer) (vinto)

242

nascere is irregular, but morire is regular:


nascere: nacqui, nacesti, nacque, nascemmo, nasceste, nacquero
morire:

morii, moristi, mor, morimmo, moriste, morirono

The three verbs dire fare, and bere use their familiar Latin infinitive stems for the regular forms,
but the irregular forms are not consistent with each other. Opera libretti frequently use dire and
fare in the passato remoto.
dire:

dissi, dicesti, disse, dicemmo, diceste, dissero

fare:

feci, facesti, fece, facemmo, faceste, fecero

bere: bevvi, bevesti, bevve, bevemmo, beveste, bevvero


Other verbs frequently seen in opera libretti, irregular forms only:
piacere follows the pattern of nascere but only 3rd person:
conoscere (similar to avere):
sapere:

piacque, piacquero

conobbi, conobbe, , conobbero

seppi, seppe, seppero

These two verbs, from different conjugations, have the same irregular forms in several tenses:
venire:

venni, venne, vennero

tenere:

tenni, tenne, tennero

dare and stare are quite irregular. The p.r. of dare is seen often in libretti.
dare: diedi, desti, diede, demmo, deste, diedero
stare: stetti, stesti, stette, stemmo, steste, stettero

Of the three modal verbs, potere and dovere are regular, but volere is irregular:
volere: (double ll) volli, volesti, volle, volemmo, voleste, vollero

243

Some representative examples from opera libretti:

Toscas aria:
(Tosca)

Vissi darte, vissi damore, non feci mai male ad anima viva.

Cenerentolas aria:
(La Cenerentola)

Nacqui allaffanno al pianto.


Soffr tacendo il core;
Ma per soave incanto,
Dell'et mia nel fiore,
Come un baleno rapido
La sorte mia cangi.

Gildas aria:
(Rigoletto)

Caro nome che il mio cor festi primo palpitar


(festi is an abbreviated form of facesti)

At the end of Rigoletto, as Gilda lies dying, she says to her father:
Vho ingannato... colpevole fui... lamai troppo... ora muoio per lui!...

Rosinas aria:
(Il barbiere
di Siviglia)

Una voce poco fa


qui nel cor mi risuon;
il mio cor ferito gi,
e Lindor fu che il piag.
S, Lindoro mio sar;
lo giurai, la vincer.

Phillip IIs aria:


(Don Carlo)

Ella giammai mam

Norinas aria
(Don Pasquale)

Quel guardo il cavaliere


in mezzo al cor trafisse,
pieg il ginocchio e disse
son vostro cavalier.

244

latter part of
Rodolfos aria:
(La bohme)

Ventrar con voi pur ora,


ed i miei sogni usati
e i bei sogni miei,
tosto si dileguar!

These are truncated 3rd plural forms (entrarono and dileguarono). It translates: They (her eyes,
previously mentioned) entered with you just now, and my customary dreams, my beautiful dreams,
suddenly vanished (dileguarsi, a reflexive verb).

The Countesss aria Dove sono has the line: Dove andaro (andarono) i giuramenti?

Mims Act 3 aria


(La bohme)

Donde lieta usc al tuo grido damore.


From where I left happy at your cry of love

and later:
Le poche robe aduna che lasciai sparse.
Gather the few things that I left scattered.

Germonts aria
(La traviata)

Di Provenza il mar, il suol


chi dal cor ti cancell?
Al natio fulgente sol
qual destino ti fur?
Oh, rammenta pur nel duol
ch'ivi gioia a te brill;
E che pace col sol
su te splendere ancor pu.
Dio mi guid!
Ah! il tuo vecchio genitor
tu non sai quanto soffr!
Te lontano, di squallor
il suo tetto si copr.
Ma se alfin ti trovo ancor,
se in me speme non fall,
Se la voce dell'onor
in te appien non ammut,
Dio m'esaud!

245

The Particles Ci and Ne


A particle is a small word that doesnt fit into any of the other grammatical categories, such as verb,
noun, adjective, etc. These two little Italian words are used frequently in a variety of ways.

ci
We have already encountered ci in two different ways:
1) as the object pronoun and reflexive pronoun of noi, translating as us or ourselves.
2) We have also encountered it in the expressions ci sono and c and their counterparts in
other verb tenses, where it translates as there.
Yet another way ci may be used when it refers back to the object of a prepositional phrase with
some prepositions indicating location, notably a, in, su, in which case ci is also translated as there.
Examples:
Sei mai stato in America? Have you ever been to America.
S, ci sono stato diverse volte. Yes, I have been there several times.
Quando vai alla stazione? When are you going to the station?
Ci vado fra unora. Im going there in an hour.
Hai cercato le chiavi sulla tavola? Did you look for the keys on the table?
No, non ci ho cercato. No, I didnt look there.

Laurettas famous aria from Gianni Schicchi has the line:


S, s, ci voglio andare! Yes, yes, I want to go there!
(ci refers back to Porta Rossa where she wants to buy the wedding ring)

In a different usage, ci also may be used to refer back to the prepositional phrases resulting from
pensare a or credere in. The translation is then about it, of it or in it:
Mario pensa spesso alla politica. Infatti, ci pensa quasi sempre.
Mario often thinks about politics. Indeed, he thinks about it almost all the time.

246

Credi in Dio? S, ci credo.


Do you believe in God? Yes, I do believe (in God).
Ci is used idiomatically with certain verbal constructions.
Volerci - to be needed, be required.
Ci vuole un po di pazienza. A little patience is needed.
Metterci to take (in the sense of how long does it take)
Quanto tempo ci mette per arrivare a Roma in macchina? Ci mette tre ore.
Pensarci can mean to handle or to take care of. More literally, it means to think about it,
usually referring back to some situation.
Ci penso io. Ill take care of it.

Ci pensiamo noi. Well handle it.

Sometimes ci occurs pleonastically (meaning it is redundant or unnecessary). For example, Non ci


vedo bene and Non vedo bene both mean I cant see well, although in the first example ci could
imply in there or over there, or even here.

Just before the catalogue aria in Don Giovanni,


Leporello says to Donna Elvira:
Egli non merta che di lui ci pensiate.
He doesnt deserve that you think about him.
ci and di lui are redundant with each other.
(pensiate is a subjunctive verb form; Chapter 14)

247

ne
The word n (usually, but not always spelled with an accent) means neither. The combination
n n means neithernor.
N io n lui. Neither he nor I.
Ne (without an accent) also refers back to something previously mentioned. (The French word en
can have a similar function). When it refers to a part, or a quantity, of a direct object, it is called a
partitive. It can be thought of as of them or of it, even if not overtly translated as such.
The quantity can be a specific number:
Quanti fratelli hai? How many brothers do you have?
Ne ho due. I have two (of them).
The quantity can be an expression of an amount that is not a number, including nothing:
Quanto vino ha bevuto? How much win did he drink?
Ne ha bevuto molto /poco. He drank a lot / not much (of it).
Non ne ha bevuto niente. He didnt drink any (of it).
Hai letto le opere di Shakespeare? Have you read the works of Shakespeare?
Ne ho lette alcune / molte / poche. I have read some /many / few (of them).
Notice that alcune agrees with opere, as does lette. Past participles must agree with the direct
object referred to; ne shares characteristics with direct object pronouns:
Quante mele hai mangiato? How many apples have you eaten?
Ne ho mangiate tre. I have eaten three.
Hai visto i film di Visconti? Have you seen Viscontis films?
Ne ho visti tre o quattro. I have seen three or four (of them).
In a related way to the above, another frequent use of ne is to refer back to a prepositional phrase
with di (sometimes da), in which case it translates of (about) it or of (about) them.
Hai paura dei fantasmi? Are you afraid of ghosts?
No, non ne ho paura. No I am not afraid of them.

248

Il professore parla della grammatica. The professor is talking about grammar.


S, ma quando ne parla, non lo capicso. Yes, but when he talks about it,
I dont understand him.
Cosa pensi di questo problema? What do you think of this problem?
Non ne penso niente. I dont think anything about it.
(Pensare di means to think of in the sense of having an opinion about something. Pensare a means
to think of, think about someone or something in the sense of turning ones thoughts to.)
If there is an infinitive verb form in the same sentence with either ci or ne, they may attach to the
infinitive, or stand alone before the main verb, in the manner of pronouns. As we have seen,
infinitives are usually used with modal verbs.
Possiamo andare al museo?

S, ci possiamo andare. = Possiamo andarci.

Devi venire a casa mia.

Perch ci devo venire? = Perch devo venirci?

Quanti libri vogliono comprare?


Vogliono comprarne alcuni.

Ne vogliono comprare alcuni.

And ci may attach to imperative verb forms:

Pensaci! Think about it!


Non andarci. Dont go there.
Andiamoci! Lets go there!

In Otello (Verdo/Boito),
Iago says to Otello (using the voi form):
Non pensateci pi.
Dont think about it anymore.

249

As shown above, both ci and ne take on characteristics of object pronouns. They may also function
in the double object pronoun format described in the previous chapter.
Sto cercando Maria alla stazione, ma non ce la trovo.
Im looking for Maria at the station, but I dont find her there.
Ci becomes ce (meaning there) and precedes the direct object pronoun la (her).
Quanti fiori vuoi dare a Luisa? How many flowers do you want to give to Luisa?
Gliene vorrei regalare una dozzina. I would like to give her a dozen (of them).
Because this sentence has an infinitive, the gliene could attach to it:
Vorrei regalargliene una dozzina.
(Notice that English doesnt have to express of them, but Italian must use ne in such expressions.)
Giorgio ti ha parlato della situazione? Did Giorgio speak to you about the situation?
S, me ne ha parlata. Yes, he spoke to me about it.

The Verb Andarsene


Some verbs of motion combine with ne and a reflexive pronoun in a particular way. Ne in these
verbs indicates place of location from which the motion originated.
Such verbs are called pronominal verbs (verbi prominali). In the infinitive form the two pronoun
particles are attached to the infinitive, but when the verb conjugates they separate, similar to
reflexive verbs. The most frequently encountered such verb is andarsene which usually means to
go away. It is frequenlty seen in opera libretti.
When this verb conjugates, andare conjugates as it always does. Se changes in the manner of a
reflexive pronoun, but always ending in -e, since it combines with ne in the manner of a double
object pronoun, as described on p. 147. Here is the present tense conjugation:
(io) me ne vado

(noi) ce ne andiamo

(tu) te ne vai

(voi) ve ne andate

(lui, lei) se ne va

(loro) se ne vanno

250

Other tenses simply use the appropriate form of andare with the same reflexive forms with ne.
(me ne sono andato; me ne andr; etc.)
Examples of Andarsene from Opera Libretti
Opera libretti often abbreviate the particles with this verb, so that ne is reduced to an -n, and
attaches to the reflexive. The most famous occurence of this is Musettas aria from La bohme:
Quando men vo soletta per la via
Here vo is a truncation of vado, so it is really Quando me ne vado soletta per la via. The meaning
of the verb is a little different here, more like When I go out all alone along the street

In the Act 1 quartet of Don Giovanni the title character sings:


Se men vado, si potria qualche cosa sospettar
(if I go away, they could suspect something).
Si potria is an example of si impersonale; potria is the alternative conditional form
(p. 198-199).
Masetto, in his aria from Don Giovanni (also using vo) says: Chino il capo e me ne vo. (I bow my
head and go away).
In La bohme Act 3, Rodolfo asks Mim:
Te ne vai, te ne vai, la mia piccina? (You are going away, my little one?)

Just before the famous terzetto Soave sia il vento in Mozarts Cos fan tutte, Fiordiligi comments:
Come veloce se ne va quella barca! (How quickly that boat is going away!)
The famous aria from Catalinis La Wally begins Ebben, ne andr lontano,
omitting the reflexive me. The meaning is the same (Well then, I will go far away).

Near the end of La bohme Act 1, the off-stage bohemians sing: Zitti e discreti andiamocene via!
(Quiet and discreet lets go away!) Notice the particles attaching to the imperative, in double object
pronoun structure.

251

The familiar imperative is vattene! (with the double tt) Go! or Go away! A literary version of
vattene is vanne (same meaning), as at the beginning of Iagos Credo in Otello.
Be attentive to context. Men is also frequently seen as a truncated form of meno. Near the end of
Figaro Act 1, in response to Susannas plea that Cherubino is still a boy; the Count says: Men di
quel che tu credi. (Less than you think.)
Other pronominal verbs that work like andarsene include:
venirsene to come back (from a place)

(not as common as andarsene)

The following are derived from normal reflexive verbs, approfittarsi, intendersi,
pentirsi, accorgersi. Ne is added to refer to something more specific, which often follows di.
approfittarsene: to take advantage of something or somebody
(Me ne sono approfittato della situazione)
intendersene: to be an expert; to have a thorough knowledge of something
(often used in the negative Non me nintendo di politica)
pentirsene: to regret something (Se ne sono pentiti)
accorgersene to realize, notice something (Me ne sono accorto di lui)
lavarsene (le mani): to wash one's hands of something (Me ne lavo le mani)

Ponzio Pilato se ne lava le mani.


(Rembrandt)

Some pronominal verbs use other particles, e.g -cela. Those particles are invariable.
farcela to manage, get by (Also often heard in the negative Non ce la faccio!)
ce la faccio, ce la fai, ce la fa, ce la facciamo, ce la fate, ce la fanno

252

CCM ITALIAN
Chapter Fourteen
Mini Dialogues
Relative pronouns
Subjunctive Verb Forms (il congiuntivo)

253

Chapter Fourteen
Mini Dialogues

Ho sentito che il ragazzo americano di Anna


partir per gli Stati Uniti.

I heard that Annas American boyfriend


will leave for the United States.

S. Credo che sia molto gi.

Yes. I think she is very down.

Mi sembra che John abbia fatto la scelta migliore. It seems to me that John made the right choice.
Penso che abbia nostalgia della sua famiglia.
I think hes homesick for his family.

Vorremmo prendere un appartamento


per un anno.

We would like to take an apartment


for a year.

Desidero che mi diciate cosa cercate.


looking for.

I would like you to tell me what you are

Ecco, veramente noi vorremmo un appartamento Well, really we want an apartment that has
che abbia cinque posti-letti e che non costi troppo, five beds and that doesnt cost too much,
naturalmente.
naturally.
Credo che sia un po difficile accontentarvi.
I believe that it will be rather difficult to
Avresti dovuto rispondere prima al mio annuncio. accommodate you. You should have responded
earlier to my announcement.

Pensavo che Paolo e Luisa andassero al cinema.

I thought P. and L. were going to the movies.

No, non credo. un film vecchio che hanno


gi visto, Via col vento.

No, I dont think so. It is an old movie theyve


already seen, Gone With The Wind.

Vorresti andare con me?

Would you like to go with me?

Credevo che tu lavessi gi visto.

I thought you already saw it.

S, ma solamente in TV. Mai in cinema.

Yes, but only on TV. Never in the theater.

254

Relative Pronouns (pronomi relativi)


che, cui, il quale
A relative pronoun is a word that refers back to a word, phrase or idea and introduces a relative
clause that has its own verb. The relative pronoun may be the subject of that verb (English that,
which, who), the object of that verb (that, which, whom), or sometimes a possessive pronoun
(whose). The relative pronoun may also be an expression of time (when) or place (where). The
word, phrase or idea referred to by the relative pronoun is called the antecedent.
He played the moonlight sonata, which is my favorite.
He played a sonata that I did not know.
She is the one who loves me and whom I love.
English can express the same thing with differing levels of formality:
This is the house I grew up in. (no stated relative pronoun)
This is the house where I grew up.
This is the house in which I grew up.
Often informal English omits the relative pronoun, as in the example above:
This is the restaurant that I really like.
This is the restaurant I really like.
Italian never eliminates the relative pronoun, even informally. Che is the most common relative
pronoun. We have learned che as an interrogative meaning what? or which?
As a relative pronoun it can mean that, which, or who.
La citt che mi piace di pi Venezia. The city (that) I like best is Venice.
Palazzo Farnese, che molto grande, lambasciata francese.
Palazzo Farnese, which is very large, is the French embassy.
Il professore che ha parlato Dott. Ranieri. The professor who spoke is Dr. Ranieri.
Chi is only used interrogatively, or to mean whoever. Rarely is it used as a relative pronoun; if it
is, it means he/she who.
Chi il professore che ha parlato? Who is the professor who (that) spoke?

255

If the relative pronoun is the object of a preposition, the word cui is used:
Questa la casa in cui sono cresciuto. This is the house in which I grew up.
La delicatezza con cui ha suonato era meravigliosa.
The delicacy with which he played was marvelous.
La persona di cui abbiamo bisogno Roberto.
The person of whom we have need is Roberto. (The person we need is Roberto.)
Cui translates as which or whom. Notice in the last example that English could omit the relative
pronoun, but Italian cannot.
There is a more formal relative pronoun in Italian, used primarily in the written language. It is il
quale or its feminine form la quale, along with their plural counterparts i quali and le quali. The
gender and number agree with the antecedent. This is different from che and cui, which are
invariable.
La piazza, la quale fa centro della citt, si chiama Piazza Grande.
Larticolo, il quale si tratta della politica, difficile da leggere. (trattarsi to be about)
Questi fiori, i quali mi ha regalati mio figlio, sono molto belli.
All of the above examples could substitute che as the relative pronoun.
If the il quale form is used after a preposition that articulates, it does so with the article:
La casa nella quale io son cresciuto molto piccola.
La situazione della quale io ti ho parlato grave.
Il violino, sul quale ha suonato, un Amati.
If the preposition does not articulate, it simply precedes the appropriate quale form:
con il quale

con la quale

con i quali

con le quali

All of these examples could substitute cui in cui, di cui, su cui, con cui.

In the discussion of the subjunctive, below, che has yet a different function, that of a conjunction,
instead of a relative pronoun. It is still translated as that, but it is a different that.

256

The Subjunctive (il congiuntivo)


Simply stated, the indicative mood of verbs expresses an actual state of being or action, while the
subjunctive mood expresses uncertainty about a state of being or action.
Romance languages, including Italian, have different verb endings to create the subjunctive mood.
English does not, which makes learning the subjunctive more challenging for English speakers.
While spoken Italian uses the subjunctive rather less than it used to, it still is commonly used, and is
regularly used in the written language, especially literary Italian.
Very occasionally, English will change a verb form to express the subjunctive. Perhaps the most
common example is If I were you. Normally the pronoun I does not take the verb were, but
in this case it does, expressing a subjunctive contrary to fact situation.
Italian verbs that express opinion, emotion, desire, wishing, hope, belief, necessity, doubt, fear,
possibility, uncertainty, and expectation often trigger the subjunctive.
Such verbs include pensare, credere, sperare, immaginare, volere, desiderare, temere (to fear),
avere paura, dubitare, (non) sapere, bisognare and verbal expressions such as necessario,
probabile, possibile (impossibile), sono contento, sono felice, sembra che, pare che.
Such verbs are typically followed by the conjunction che (that), or sometimes se (if; whether) with
the following verb in the subjunctive: I think that. He believes that. We hope that. They fear
that. I dont know if. It is necessary that. Its possible that.
The Italian term congiuntivo comes from the fact that the verbal groups are connected by a
conjunction (congiunzione).
Here are the regular endings for PRESENT SUBJUNCTIVE (congiuntivo presente):
Parlare

Vedere

Partire

Capire

io

parli

veda

parta

capisca

tu

parli

veda

parta

capisca

lui,lei

parli

veda

parta

capisca

noi

parliamo

vediamo

partiamo

capiamo

voi

parliate

vediate

partiate

capiate

loro

parlino

vedano

partano

capiscano

257

Notice:
* the singular forms are all the same in each conjugation, and that they are also the same as
the formal Lei imperative form. Because they are the same, subject pronouns are typically
used with singular subjunctive forms, to clarify the subject of the subjunctive verb.
* -isc- verbs use the -isc- in the present subjunctive, just as they do in the present indicative.
* noi forms are the same as present indicative (and imperative), -iamo.
* voi forms all have iate.
* loro forms all add -no to the 3rd singular form.

Here are some examples of usage of present subjunctive:


Penso che Mario arrivi alle diciassette .
Voglio che tu mi capisca.
necessario che loro si alzino presto domani.
Non sono sicuro se Luigi parli inglese.
Luisa vuole che io veda questo film.

Of course, there are verbs that have irregular present subjunctive forms. The most important, as
usual, are:
essere
and
avere
io

sia

abbia

tu

sia

abbia

lui,lei

sia

abbia

noi

siamo

abbiamo

voi

siate

abbiate

loro

siano

abbiano

Notice again the relationship to the formal Lei imperative forms.

258

Examples of the present subjunctive with essere and avere:


Ho paura (temo) che il treno sia in ritardo.

(temere to fear)

Mio fratello crede che Marco abbia ragione.


Non so se i ragazzi siano pronti per andare.
Spero che voi non abbiate freddo!
The other irregular verbs are mostly -ere verbs that are also irregular in the present indicative. The
singular forms are derived from the present indicative io form, by removing the -o and adding an -a
(exceptions are *dare, *dovere and *sapere; while *stare works like essere). This is the same way
the formal imperative Lei form was derived. The plural forms then follow the same patterns
described above.
andare

(vado) vada,vada, vada, andiamo, andiate, vadano

bere

(bevo) beva, beva, beva, beviamo, beviate, bevano

*dare

dia, dia, dia, diamo, diate, diano

dire

(dico) dica, dica, dica, diciamo, diciate, dicano

*dovere

debba, debba, debba, dobbiamo, dobbiate, debbano

fare

(faccio) faccia, faccia, faccia, facciamo, facciate, facciano

potere

(posso) possa, possa, possa, possiamo, possiate, possano

rimanere

(rimango) rimanga, rimanga, rimanga, rimaniamo, rimaniate, rimangano

salire

(salgo) salga, salga, salga, saliamo, saliate, salgano

*sapere

sappia, sappia, sappia, sappiamo, sappiate, sappiano

scegliere

(scelgo) scelga, scelga, scelga, sceliamo, scegliate, scelgano

*stare

stia, stia, stia, stiamo, stiate, stiano

tenere

(tengo) tenga, tenga, tenga, teniamo, teniate, tengano

togliere

(tolgo) tolga, tolga, tolga, togliamo togliate, tolgano

uscire

(esco) esca, esca, esca, usciamo, usciate, escano

venire

(vengo) venga, venga, venga, veniamo, veniate, vengano

volere

(voglio) voglia, voglia, voglia, vogliamo, vogliate, volgano

259

Examples of the present subjunctive using some of the verbs from this list:
Voglio che tu venga! (che tu vada!)
Il treno sta per partire! Bisogna che tutti salgano subito!
Non so se Luigi sappia dove tu abiti.
Dubito che Mario possa venire stasera.
possibile che tu esca di casa fra poco?
There are also certain other words (non-verbs) that may trigger the subjunctive. They include:
bench

although

sebbene

although

affinch

so that, in order that (perch may also be used with this meaning)

purch

as long as, provided that

Leporellos catalogue aria from Don Giovanni ends with the words:
Purch porti la gonella, voi sapete quel che fa.
As long as she wears a dress, you know what he does.
Early in Verdis Otello, Iago says to Rodrigo
Benchio finga damarlo, odio quel Moro. (fingere to pretend; odiare to hate)
Although I pretend to love him, I hate that Moor.
The subjunctive is also used in some comparative and superlative constructions:
Il David di Michelangelo la pi bella scultura che io abbia mai visto.
Michelangelos David is the most beautiful sculpture I have ever seen.
Quel libro era il pi interessante che io abbia mai letto.
That book was the most interesting I have ever read.
If the subject of both clauses is the same, the subjunctive is not used, nor is che.
Instead, di+ infinitive is used:
Credo di avere abbastanza denaro. I think (that) I have enough money.
Abbiamo paura di essere in ritardo. Were afraid that were late.

260

The Past Subjunctive (il congiuntivo passato)


The past subjunctive is a compound tense equivalent in structure to the passato prossimo. It
is used to express the situations described above when they occur in the past; that is, when
the action of the subjunctive verb is in the past. The present subjunctive form of the helping
verbs avere or essere is used along with the past participle, following the same rules and
procedures as the passato prossimo.

Credo che Dorotea venga.

I believe Dorotea is coming.

Credo che Dorotea sia venuta.

I believe Dorotea has come. (came)

Sono felice che ascoltino il concerto.


I am happy that they are listening to the concert.
Sono felice che abbiano ascoltato il concerto.
I am happy that they listened to the concert.

Temo che non sia la prima volta.

Im afraid its not the first time.

Temo che non sia stata la prima volta.

Im afraid it wasnt the first time.

incredibile che tu mangi cos tanto!


Its incredible that you eat so much!
incredibile che tu abbia mangiato cos tanto!
Its incredible that you ate so much!

possibile che Giorgio arrivi tardi.


Its possible that Giorgio is arriving late. (or will arrive)
possibile che Giorgio sia arrivato tardi.
Its possible that Giorgio arrived late.

Penso che tornino fra una settimana.

I think theyre coming back in a week.

Penso che siano tornati ieri.

I think they came back yesterday.

261

Imperfect Subjunctive (congiuntivo imperfetto)


When the verb triggering the subjunctive is in the past tense, or the conditional, the
subjunctive verb assumes the congiuntivo imperfetto. It is a simple tense, one verb form with
new endings.
Parlare

Vedere

Partire

Capire

io

parlassi

vedessi

partissi

capissi

tu

parlassi

vedessi

partissi

capissi

lui,lei

parlasse

vedesse

partisse

capisse

noi

parlassimo

vedessimo

partissimo

capissimo

voi

parlaste

vedeste

partiste

capiste

loro

parlassero

vedessero

partissero

capissero

Notice:
* Except for the voi form, all endings are characterized by double -ss-.
* The voi forms are the same as passato remoto.
* The singular forms are almost the same, except 3rd ends in -e.
* The 3rd plural adds ro to the 3rd singular.
* -isc- does not occur in this tense, just as it does not in indicative imperfetto.
As always, essere and avere are of primary importance; only essere is irregular:
essere

avere

io

fossi

avessi

tu

fossi

avessi

lui,lei

fosse

avesse

noi

fossimo

avessimo

voi

foste

aveste

loro

fossero

avessero

Other than the odd fo- stem, the rest of the essere patterns are the same as the regular patterns.

262

Irregular forms in this tense are, happily, few. Our friends dire, fare, and bere use their Latin
stems:
dicessi, dicessi, dicesse, dicessimo, diceste, dicessero
facessi, facessi, facesse, facessimo, faceste, facessero
bevessi, bevessi, bevesse, bevessimo, beveste, bevessero
Dare and stare:
dessi, dessi, desse, dessimo, deste, dessero
stessi, stessi, stesse, stessimo, steste, stessero
Examples. Note the sequence of verb tenses:
Ho paura (temo) che il treno sia in ritardo.
I am afraid the train is late.
Avevo paura (temevo) che il treno fosse in ritardo.
I was afraid the train was late.

Mio fratello crede che Marco abbia ragione.


My brother believes that Marco is right.
Mio fratello credeva che Marco avesse ragione.
My brother believed that Marco was right.

Non so se i ragazzi siano pronti per andare.


I dont know if the boys are ready to go.
Non sapevo se i ragazzi fossero pronti per andare.
I didt know if the boys were ready to go.

Spero che voi non abbiate freddo!


I hope that you arent cold!
Speravo che voi non avessero freddo!
I hoped (was hoping) that you werent cold!

263

Credo che Dorotea venga.


I believe Dorotea is coming.
Credevo che Dorotea venisse.
I believed Dorotea did come.
(following the conditional):
Vorrei che Dorotea venisse.
I would like Dorotea to come.

Sono felice che ascoltino il concerto.


I am happy that they are listening to the concert.
Ero felice che ascoltassero il concerto.
I was happy that they listened to the concert.
(following the conditional):
Sarei felice se ascoltassero il conerto.
I would be happy if they listened to the concert

incredibile che tu mangi cos tanto!


Its incredible that you eat so much!
Era incredibile che tu mangiasse cos tanto!
It was incredible that you ate so much!
(following the conditional):
Sarebbe incredibile se tu mangiasse cos tanto!
It would be incredible if you ate so much!

Penso che tornino fra una settimana.


I think theyre coming back in a week.
Pensavo che tornassero la settimana scorsa.
I thought that they came back last week.
(following the conditional):
Non sarebbe possibile che tornassero fra una settimana.
It wouldnt be possible for them to come back in a week.

264

Ifthen constructions
The imperfect subjunctive is also used with the conditional to express if. then
constructions, which are rather frequent. We learned the conditional in chapter 11 with an
example such as:
I would by a car, but I dont have the money.
Comprerei una macchina, ma non ho il denaro.
A similar sentence is:
If I had the money, (then) I would buy a car.
The difference is the clause with if. In English, the verb is in a past tense form, although the
sense is not in the past; it is in some unreal time. In Italian, a clause with if requires the
imperfect subjunctive.
Se io avessi il denaro, comprerei una macchina.

Other examples:
Se studiasse meglio, imparerebbe di pi
If he studied better, he would learn more.
Mi sentirei meglio se bevessi di meno.
I would feel better if I drank less.
Io sarei felice se Luisa venisse alla festa.
I would be happy if Luisa came to the party.

Often an if construction occurs without a stated then clause; it is understood. The


imperfect subjunctive is still used. (English also has if expressions without then.) Another
way to translate se in this context is if only
Se fossi ricco

if only I were rich

Se Maria mi amasse

If only Maria loved me

Se avessero ragione

If only they were right

265

Some examples of imperfect subjunctive from opera libretti:

At the beginning of Verdis Ada, Radames exclaims:


Se quel guerrier io fossi.

If (only) I were that warrior..

He doesnt follow this with a then clause, but it is understood: then I would be happy;
then my ambitions would be realized or something similar.

The countesss aria Dove sono from Le nozze di Figaro ends with these lines:
Ah! se almen la mia costanza,
Nel languire amando ognor,
Mi portasse una speranza
Di cangiar l'ingrato cor!

Ah! if, at least, my faithfulness,


still loving in its suffering,
Could bring me a hope
Of changing that ungrateful heart!

An implied then clause might be then I would be content. Another way to translate
is if only my faithfulness could bring me a hope

In the lesson scene from Rossinis Il barbiere di Siviglia, Rosina says to her disguised lover:
O Lindoro mio tesoro!... se sapessi se vedessi Oh my darling Lindoro!... if you
(only) knew if you only (could) see
She doesnt finish her sentence. The implied then clause would be something like
then you would realize how unhappy I am

266

Italian-English Glossary - Chapters 1 14


The number after the word indicates the chapter in which it was introduced.
(not included days of the week, months, numbers)
A
a (prep)
a casa
abbastanza
abitare
laccordo
lacqua
addormentarsi
adesso
laereo
affinch
aiutare
laiuto
alcuno
allora
almeno
alto
altro
alzare
alzarsi
amare
lAmerica
americano
lamica/le amiche
lamico/gli amici
lamore
anche
ancora
andare (vado)
lanno
lappartamento
aprire
arancio
larchitetto
laria
larte (f)
arrabbiarsi
arrivare
arrivederci
ascoltare

to, towards; at; in 1, 5


(at) home
enough, sufficient; rather 11
to live, dwell 3
the agreement (daccordo agreed) 2
the water 1
to fall asleep 9 (adj addormentato/a)
now 6
airplane 5
so that, in order that 14 (subjunctive, p. 241)
to help 6
the help, aid 6
some, a few, any 11
then, at that time 6
at least 3
high, tall, deep 10
other 1
to lift, raise 9
to get up 9
to love 1, 3
America 1
American 1
the friend (f.)/friends 1
the friend (m.)/friends 1
love 3
also, too; even 1
again, yet 6
to go 4 aux. essere
year 3 (ha dieci anni s/he is 10 years old)
the apartment; flat 1
to open 3 (p.p. aperto))
orange (adj., color) 2
the architect 13
air (also aria) 3
art 1
to become angry, get mad 9 (adj arrabbiato/a)
to arrive 3 aux. essere
goodbye (formal arrivederLa) 1
to listen (to) 3

267

aspettare
lauto (-mobile)
lautista
lautobus
lautore
lautunno
avere (ho)
azzurro

to wait, wait for, expect 3


the car; auto 1
the driver (m. & f.) 1
the bus 1
the author 6
autumn, fall 5
to have (1) 3
light blue, azure 2

B
baciare
to kiss 6
il bacio
the kiss 6
Il bagno
the bath 4
Il bambino/la bambina the baby, the child 3
Il bar
the bar 1
bastare
to suffice, be enough 11
bello
beautiful; handsome 2
bench
although 14 (subjunctive, p. 241)
bene
well; fine; 1 (also thoroughly, completely)
benvenuto
welcome (reg. adj.) 1
bere
to drink 1, 4 (p.p. bevuto)
bianco (-chi, -che)
white 2
la biblioteca
the library 1
il bicchiere
the glass (drinking) 4
la bicicletta
the bicycle 7 (la bici the bike)
il biglietto
the ticket 4
il bisogno
the need 3 (avere bisogno di to need, have need of; also bisognare)
la bicicletta
the bicycle (la bici- bike) 1
la birra
the beer 1
la bocca
the mouth 6
la borsa
the purse, bag 5
la bottega
the shop, workshop 13
la bottiglia
the bottle 4
blu
(dark) blue 2
il braccio, le braccia the arm 6
brutto
ugly; (also nasty, bad ) 2
buono
good 2
C
Il caff
(il) caldo
cambiare
il cambio
la camera

the coffee 1
heat (n); hot, warm 3 (avere caldo to be warm, hot)
to change 8
the change, exchange 8
the room 5

268

la camicia/ -cie
la camicetta
la Canada
canadese
il/la cantante
cantare
la canzone
capire (isc)
il cappello
il capello, i capelli
la carne
caro
la cartolina
la casa
il cassetto
(il) castagno
cattivo
il cavallo
la cena
cercare
certo
che
la chiave
chiedere
la chiesa
chi
chiamare
chiamarsi
la chiamata
chiudere
ci
ci
ci
ciao
il cielo
il ciglio, le ciglia
la Cina
il cinema
cinese
ci
cio
la citt
il collo
il colore
il coltello
come

the shirt 2
the blouse 2
Canada 1
Canadian 1
the singer 3
to sing 3
the song 1
to understand 3
the hat 2
the hair 6
the meat 1
dear; expensive 2
the postcard 3
the house 1
the drawer 9
chestnut (noun tree; adj color) 2
bad 2
the horse 5
the dinner, supper 1
to look for, search for, seek; try 3
certain; certainly 4
what; that, which, who (introducing a clause) 3, 14
the key 6
to ask, request 7 (p.p. chiesto)
the church 5
who; whoever 4
to call 8
to be called 9 (come ti chiami? what is your name?)
the call 8
to close 3 (p.p. chiuso)
there (c, ci sono) 2
us (ind. obj pronoun & unstressed dir. obj pronoun) 7
there, it (w. reference to prep phrase w/ a) 13
hi; bye 1
the sky, heaven 1
the eyelash 6 (often used metaphorically for face or eyes.)
China 1
the movie theater 1
Chinese 1
pron. that 12
that is 8
the city 1
the neck 6
the color 2
the knife 9
how, as, like 1,5

269

cominciare
comodo
il compito
il compleanno
il computer
il compleanno
comprare
con
conoscere
conoscersi
contento
Corea
coreano
il corpo
la cortesia
corto
la cosa
cosa?
cos
costare
il costo
il cotone
la cravatta
credere
il cucchiaio
la cugina
il cugino
cui

to begin 4
comfortable 10
the assignment, task 4 (i compiti homework)
the birthday 5
the computer 1
the birthday 4
to buy 3
with 1, 5
to know, to be acquainted with 3 (p.p. conosciuto)
to meet, make the acquaintance of 9
content (adj) 14 (subjunctive, p. 238)
Korea 1
Korean 1
the body 6
the courtesy, favor 8
short 2
the thing 4
what? 4
thus, like this, like that, so 10
to cost 8
the cost 8
cotton 5
the necktie 7
to believe 7
the spoon 9
the cousin (f.) 1
the cousin (m.) 1
which, whom (obj of preposition)

D
da
from 5
dare
to give 4
la data
the date 5
decorare
to decorate 13
il denaro
money 11
il dente
the tooth 6
il, la dentista
the dentist 1
desiderare
to desire 14 (subjunctive, p. 238)
destro
right (adj) 8
di
of 1, 5
differente
different, various 13
difficile
difficult 2
dimenticare, dimenticarsi
to forget 9
diverso
different 13
divertire
to amuse, entertain 9

270

divertirsi
dire
il dito, le dita
la doccia
dolce
la domanda
domandare (a)
domani
la donna
dopo
dormire
dove
il dramma/i drammi
dritto
dubitare

to enjoy, have fun 9


to say, to tell 4
the finger 6
the shower 4
sweet (adj), also il dolce (noun) 3
the question 4
to ask 7
tomorrow 3
the woman 1
after 1
to sleep 3
where (dov where is) 1, 4
the drama 1
straight
to doubt 14 (subjunctive, p. 238)

E
e

ecco
lesame (m)
lesercizio
essere
est
lestate (fem)

and 1
is 1
here; there; behold 1
the exam 5
the exercise 4
to be 1, 3 (p.p. stato) aux. essere
east 10
summer 5

F
fa
ago 5 (not to be confused with fa from fare.)
la faccia
the face 6
facile
easy 2
la fame
hunger 3 (avere fame to be hungry)
il fantasma
the ghost 1
fare (faccio)
to do; to make 4 (p.p. fatto)
farsi
to become 9
also used with various expressions farsi la barba, farsi male, etc. 9
il, la farmacista
the pharmacist 1
la febbre
the fever 9
felice
happy 4
la felicit
happiness 4
fermarsi
to stop, come to a halt 9
(fermare to stop, transitive)
la fermata
the stop, bus stop 9
la festa
party; holiday 4
la figlia
the daughter 1

271

il figlio
il film/ i film
la finestra
finire (isc)
fino a
il fiore
il, la flautista
la forchetta
forse
forte
la foto (-grafia)
fra
fra poco
la fragola
francese
la Francia
il fratello
(il )freddo
fresco
la fretta
la fronte
la frutta

the son 1
the film; movie 1
the window 3
to finish 3
until 5
the flower 1
the flutist, flautist 1
the fork 9
maybe, perhaps 1
strong, loud 2
the photo, photograph 1
between, among 5
in a little while 3, 5
the strawberry 1
French 1
France 1
the brother 1
the cold (n); cold (adj) 3 (avere freddo to be cold)
fresh, cool 3
haste, hurry, urgency 3 (avere fretta to be in a hurry)
the forehead 6
the fruit 1

G
la gamba
la Germania
gi
la giacca
giallo
il Giappone
giapponese
la gente
il ginocchio
giocare
il giornale
il giorno
la giornata
giovane
girare
il giro
gli
gli
il gomito
la gonna
grande

the leg 6
Germany
already; indeed 6
the jacket 4
yellow 2
Japan
Japanese 1
the people 10 (usually only in singular)
the knee 6
to play (a game, sport) 3
the newpaper 3
the day 5
the day 5
young (also a young person) 2
to turn 8
the turn, revolution; tour 8
the (pl. of lo) 1
him (ind. obj pronoun) 7
the elbow 6
the skirt 2
big, large, grand 2

272

grato
grazie
grigio
guardare

grateful 11
thank you 1
gray, grey 2
to look, look at, watch 6

I
ieri
immaginare
imparare
importante
impossibile
in
lindirizzo
incontrarsi (con)
lincontro
lInghilterra
inglese
innamorarsi (con)
insieme
intelligente
linverno
invitare
linvito
io
lItalia
italiano

yesterday 5
to imagine 14 (subjunctive, p. 238)
to learn 8
important 5
impossible 14 (subjunctive, p. 238)
in 5
the address 4
to meet, encounter, reciprocal 9
(incontrare to meet, transitive)
the meeting, encounter 9
England
English 1
to fall in love (with) 9 (adj innamorato/a)
together 3
intelligent 2
winter 5
to invite 8
the invitation 8
I 3
Italy 1
Italian 1

L
la 1
la 7
l
il labbro, le labbra
lamentarsi
lasciare
lavorare
lavare
lavarsi
il lavoro
le
le
le
leggere
il legno
il letto

the (fem sing. article)


her, it (fem sing. d.o. pronoun)
there
the lip(s) 6
to complain 9
(usually reflexive; sometimes non-reflexive)
to leave; let, allow 8
to work 5
to wash 9
to wash oneself (le mani, i capelli, etc.) 9
work (n)
the (fem. pl. article) 1
her (fem. ind. obj. pronoun) 7
them (fem. pl. dir. obj. pronoun) 7
to read 1, 3 (p.p. letto)
wood 5
the bed 5

273

l
il libro
la lingua
lo
lo
lontano
la luna
lungo

there
the book 1
the language 2; the tongue 6
the (masc. impure s; z) 1
him, it (masculine dir. obj. pronoun)
far, distant 2
the moon 1
long 2

M
ma
male (adv)
il male
mandare
la mano, le mani
il mare
la macchina
la madre
il maglione
mangiare
marrone
la mattina
meglio
la mela
il mento
mentre
il mercato
il mese
mettere
mettersi
mezzanotte
mezzogiorno
molto
molto
morire (muoio)
la mostra
mostrare
la moto (-cicletta)
il museo
la musica
il, la musicista
N

but 1
badly, poorly 1, 6
the evil, ill, trouble
to send 7
the hand 6
the sea 5
car 5 (also machine)
the mother 1
the sweater 4
to eat 1, 3
brown 2
morning 5
better 9, 10
the apple 1
the chin 6
while, as, 10
the market 5
the month 5
to put 9 (p.p. messo)
to put on (clothing) 9
midnight 5
noon 5
(adj) many, much , a lot 2
(adv) very 2
to die 13 (p.p. morto)
show, exhibit, exhibition
to show
the motorcycle 1
the museum 8
music 3
the musician 1

274

nascere (nasco)
il naso
ne
n
necessario
nero
nessuno
niente
no
non
nord
la notizia
la notte
nuovo

to be born 13 (p.p. nato)


the nose 6
partative of it, of them 13
neither 13 nn neithernor
necessary 14 (subjunctive, p. 238)
black 1, 2
pron. no one, nobody; adj no
nothing 1; also no (adj) 11
no 1
not 1
north 10
the news, piece of news 9
night 5
new 2 (di nuovo again 9)

O
o
locchio, gli occhi
gli occhiali
lofferto
offrire
oggi
ogni
ora (adv)
lora
lorecchio
ovest

or 4
the eye, the eyes 1, 6
the eyeglasses 9
the offer 7
to offer 7 (p.p. offerto)
today 4
every, each
now 4
hour 5
the ear 6
west 10

P
il padre
pagare
il palazzo
il pane
parere
il parere
parlare
la parola
partire
la passeggiata
la pasta
la paura
peggio
la penna
pensare

the father 1
to pay 3
the building; palace 2
the bread 1
to seem, appear 7
opinion, viewpoint 7
to speak 3
the word 6
to depart, leave 3 aux. essere
the walk, stroll 4 (fare una passeggiata to take a wlk)
the pasta 1
fear 3 (avere paura to be afraid)
worse 10
the pen; feather 5
to think 6

275

il pensiero
per
la pera
perch
per
la persona
il pesce
il piacere
piacere
il pianeta
piangere
il pianoforte
il, la pianista
il piatto
il piede
piccolo
il piede
pieno
pi
il pittore
poco
poi
il poeta
il pomeriggio
la porta
portare
possibile
povero
la povert
il pranzo
preferire (isc)
prego
prendere
preoccuparsi
presto
prima
la primavera
probabile
la prova
provare
prossimo
purch
pure
Q

the thought 6
for 4, 5
the pear 1
why; because 4
however, but 11
the person 9
the fish 1
the pleasure; delight (per piacere = please) 1
to please, to be pleasing 7 (p.p. piaciuto) aux. essere
the planet 1
to cry, weep 3 (p.p. pianto)
the piano 3
the pianist 1
the plate, dish 9
the foot 5, 6
small, little 2
the foot 5
full 2
more; further; plus 4
the painter 13
few; little (amount) 2 (un po; un po di)
then 3
the poet 1, 13 (pl. i poeti)
afternoon 5
the door 3
to bring, take, carry; wear 3
possible 14 (subjunctive, p. 238)
poor
poverty 10
the lunch, midday meal 1
to prefer 3
please; youre welcome 1 (from pregare)
to take, grab, seize, catch 3 (p.p. preso)
to worry, be concerned 9
(adj preoccupato/a)
early; quickly (adv) 5
before 5 (adv); also early
spring (season) 5
probable 14 (subjunctive, p. 238)
the attempt; the rehearsal; the proof 8
to try; prove; to experience, to rehearse 8
next 5
as long as, provided that 14 (subjunctive, p. 241)
also, too, as well; yet, nevertheless 12

276

qua
il quadro
quando
quanto
qualche
qualcosa
qualcuno
quale
il/la quale
quando
quanto
quasi
quello
questo
qui

here
the picture, painting 6
when 3
how much, how many 3
some, a few, any 11
something 4
someone 4
which, what (adj) 4
which (rel. pron) 14
when 4
how much, how many 4
almost 1, 10
that (adj) 3
this 3
here 2

R
la rabbia
la radio (-fonia)
il raffreddore
la ragazza
il ragazzo
la ragione
il re
regalare
il regalo
la religione
la regina
ricco
la richiesta
ricordare, ricordarsi
rimanere (rimango)
rispondere
la risposta
il ristorante
ritornare
il ritorno
la rivista
rompere
rompersi
rosa
rosso
rovinare
la Russia
russo

anger 9
the radio 1
the (head)cold (avere un raffreddore = essere raffreddato/a)
the girl 2
the boy 2
reason 3 (avere ragione to be right)
the king 1
to give (as a gift) 3
the gift, present 4
religion 5
the queen 1
rich 2
the request 7
to remember 9
to remain 12 (p.p. rimasto) aux. essere
to answer 7 (p.p. risposto)
the answer, response 7
the restaurant 1
to return 8
the return 8
the magazine 3
to break 9 (p.p. rotto)
to break (an arm, a leg, etc.) 9
pink 2
red 2
to ruin 8
Russia
Russian 1

277

S
salire
salutare
sapere
la scarpa
la schiena
scolpire
scorso
scegliere (scelgo)
la scuola
il scultore
scrivere
scusare
se
s
sebbene
sedere
sedersi
la sedia
sembrare
sempre
sentire
sentirsi
senza
la sera
la sete
la settimana
la signora
il signore
la signorina
si
s
simpatico
sinistro
il sistema
il sole
solo
il sonno
sordo
la sorella
la sorpresa
la Spagna
spagnolo
la spalla

to ascend; go up; get on 5 aux. essere


to greet 8
to know 4 (p.p. saputo)
the shoe 3
the back (body) 6
to sculpt carve; engrave, stamp 13
last, previous 6 (in expressions of time)
to choose (p.p. scelto) 12
the school 1
the sculptor 13 (la scultura)
to write 3 (p.p. scritto)
to excuse 12
if 8
oneself, himself, herself, itself (refl pron stressed form)
although 14 (subjunctive, p. 241)
to sit, be seated 9
to sit down 9
the chair 2
to seem 7
(adv) always; all the time 3
to feel, to hear, to sense 9
to feel (in regards to health) 9
without 10
the evening 1
thirst 3 (avere sete to be thirsty)
the week 5
the lady; woman 1
the gentleman; man 1
the young lady; girl; miss 1
oneself, himself, herself, itself (refl pron unstressed form)
yes; 1 also abbr. for cos
nice, pleasant, likeable 2
left (adj) 8
the system 1
the sun 1
alone; only, just 10 (da solo/a by oneself)
sleep 3 (avere sonno to be sleepy)
deaf 8
the sister 1
the surprise 8
Spain
Spanish 1
the shoulder 6

278

lo specchio
specialmente
spedire
la spesa
spesso
spiegare
la spiegazione
gli spinaci
lo sport/gli sport
la sposa
sposare
sposarsi (con)
lo sposo
stesso
la stagione
il stampante
stanco
stare
gli Stati Uniti
la stazione
la strada
stretto
lo studio
studiare
su (prep)
su (adv)
subito
succedere
sud
suo
suonare
svegliarsi

the mirror 1
especially (adv) 1
to send 5
the expense, purchase, shopping 4
often (adv) 1
to explain ; unfold 8
the explanation 8
spinach (sing. lo spinacio rarely seen)
the sport 1
the bride; literary wife) 9
to marry (transitive) 9
to get married 9
the bridegroom; literary husband) 9
(adj) same 1, 2
the season 5
the printer 5
tired 8 (stanchi, stanche)
to be; to stand 4
the United States 1
the station 5
the street 2
narrow, tight 2
study, learning; study (room) 8
to study 1, 3
on 5
up
suddenly; right away 5
to happen 10 (p.p. successo) aux. essere
south 10
his, her (possessive) 1
to sound; to play (an instrument) 3
to wake up 9 (svegliare to awaken, transitive) (sveglio/a awake)

T
tanto
tanto
la tavola/il tavolo
tardi
tedesco
il teatro
telefonare (a)
il telefono
temere
il tempo
tenere (tengo)

(adj) so many, so much 2


(adv) so 2
the table 1
late (adv) 5
German 1
the theater 5
to telephone, call 5
the telephone 7
to fear 14 (subjunctive, p. 238)
the time; the weather 4
to hold, keep 12

279

la terra
terribile
la testa
togliere (tolgo)
tornare
il torto
tra
tradizionale
la trattoria
il treno
troppo
troppo
trovare
il, la turista
tutto
tutto
tutti

the land, ground 1


terrible 9
the head 6
to take, remove 12 (p.p. tolto)
to return 8
the wrong, injustice 3 (avere torto to be wrong)
between, among 5
(adj) traditional 3
the (small) restaurant 3
train 5
(adj.) too much, too many 2
(adv.) too 2
to find 6
the tourist 8
(adj) all 2
(pronoun) everything 2
(pronoun) everyone 2

U
lufficio
luniversit
luomo/gli uomini
uscire (esco)
luscita

the office 5
the university 1
the man/the men 1
to go out, exit 10 aux. essere
the exit 10

V
vecchio
vedere
venire
la verit
vestirsi
il vestito
viaggiare
il viaggio
vicino
il vino
viola
il violino
il, la violinista
la virt
visitare
il viso
la vita
vivere

old 2
to see 3 (p.p. visto, veduto))
to come 4 aux. essere
the truth 4
to get dressed 9 (vestire to dress, transitive)
the dress; the suit 3 (i vestiti clothing)
to travel 8
the trip, journey 4
near 1, 2
the wine 1
purple 2
(la viola
the viola)
the violin
the violinist 1
the virtue 1
to visit 5
the face 6
the life 6
to live 3 (p.p. vissuto) aux. essere or avere

280

la voce
volentieri
la volta
la volta
il volto
vuoto

the voice 3
(adv) gladly; with pleasure
time, occasion 11
vault (architecture) 13
the face, countenance 6
empty 2

Y
lo yogurt

the yogurt 1

Z
la zia
lo zio
lo zucchero
le zucchine

the aunt 1
the uncle 1
sugar 10
zucchini (usually in plural) 1