Advanced Italian Text Translation Notes

Weilà everyone! Thanks for stopping by this post. This text correlates to my YouTube and Weilà University course “Advanced Italian Translation.” In the video uploaded to YouTube, you can see what attending a Weilà University class is like. If you are interested in signing up for a Weilà University class, please click here to learn more.

Anna and Marco are good friends from Italy. They both grew up in the same town and attended the same schools. While they were in university, Anna signed up for a study abroad program in London. Marco had never considered studying abroad, but upon hearing that his good friend, Anna, was going to do it, he thought maybe he should give it a try too.

Anna e Marco sono buoni amici di nazionalità italiana. Sono cresciuti nella stessa città e hanno frequentato le stesse scuole. Mentre erano in università, Anna si è iscritta ad un programma di studio all’estero a Londra. Marco non ha mai considerato l’idea di studiare all’estero, ma dopo aver sentito che la sua buona amica, Anna, stava per farlo, lui ha pensato che forse avrebbe dovuto fare lo stesso.

Marco had gotten really busy with school and extracurricular activities that he forgot to sign up for the London program. Three months had passed and Anna asked him if he was ready to move to London as the program was going to begin in two weeks time. It was at this point that Marco realized he had never signed up for the program and raced down to the study abroad office immediately.

Marco è stato molto occupato con l’università ed attività extracurriculari che si è dimenticato di iscriversi al programma a Londra. Passarono tre mesi ed Anna gli chiese se fosse pronto a trasferirsi a Londra perché il programma sarebbe iniziato tra due settimane. Fu a quel punto che Marco se ne realizzò conto che non si è mai iscritto al programma e scese immediatamente all’ufficio per gli studi esteri.

To his dismay, but not so much to his surprise, he discovered that it was too late to sign up and he couldn’t go to London. However, he was told that there was one more seat open for a study abroad program in Sydney and another in Berlin. Despite both cities sounding like great places to visit and study abroad, Sydney was a bit farther than he was hoping to travel and Berlin was too close.

Con suo grande sgomento, ma non con una grande sorpresa, lui scoprì che era troppo tardi per iscriversi e non poteva andare a Londra. Tuttavia, gli dissero che c’era ancora un posto disponibile per il programma a Sydney ed un altro a Berlino. Malgrado che entrambe le città fossero ottimi posti da visitare e per andare a studiare all’estero, Sydney era un po’ troppo lontano per ciò che aveva pianificato e Berlino era troppo vicino.

 Crestfallen, Marco left the study abroad office without having signed up for any program. If only he had signed up sooner, he would have been able to join his good friend, Anna, in London for the semester abroad. Despite his sadness, he knew that he would be able to visit Anna and all of their fellow classmates that were going to London whenever he wanted on the weekend. Marco was sure that they would still all be able to have fun, even if he wasn’t apart of the program.

 Deluso, Marco uscì dall’ufficio per gli studi esteri senza essersi iscritto a nessun programma. Se solo si fosse iscritto prima, avrebbe potuto raggiungere la sua buona amica, Anna, a Londra per il semestre all’estero. Nonostante la sua tristezza, lui sapeva che avrebbe potuto visitare Anna e tutti gli altri compagni di classe che stavano per andare a Londra quando voleva durante i weekend. Marco era sicuro che si sarebbero divertiti tutti tutto lo stesso, anche se lui non faceva parte del programma.

Start Your Language Learning Diet Today!

Weilà! Welcome to the website of Weilà Tom!

Introduction

By way of introduction, my name is Tom and I run the YouTube channel Weilà Tom - a project that started in 2011 with an ongoing aim of helping fellow language enthusiasts around the world to learn English & Italian. 

What is a Language Learning Diet?

Over the years of learning Italian, I came to see that learning a language is akin to starting a new diet. When you start a diet - no matter the kind or purpose - your daily routine changes. There are new things you do, new foods you eat, and new exercises you perform. Similarly with a new language, there are new sounds you will hear, new words you will speak, and new people you will meet. Both a diet and learning a language require routine, practice, some form of lifestyle change or improvement, and commitment. What's more, when you learn a new language, the gains you make will last you a lifetime! 

What Does "Weilà" Mean?

There's a funny story behind the word "weilà." I accidentally made up the word one day when mistakingly combining two Italian slang words for "hey." I ended up liking the sound of the word so much that I decided to use it as the main greeting for all of my YouTube videos. As luck would have it, it turns out that weilà (or some variant of it depending on who you talk to) exists in Milanese slang! 

Advice for Learning Italian

Whether you're new to the world of Italian or you've been studying the language all your life, I'd be happy to help you on your journey. On this website you will find my blog with free content to learn Italian, my tutoring page where you can learn more about taking private lessons with me, my store which has my original teaching materials for sale, and links for my social media, such as my YouTube channel - all of these are put in place with the purpose of helping you to get to where you want to be with English & Italian.

The main idea with learning Italian is this: begin by learning grammar. Get a solid foundation for how the language works, what conjugating is, and how to pronounce words. After this, move on to subject-area studying: how to talk about friends, family, work, school, health, holidays, travel, etc. in Italian. Then dive into the culture and history attached to Italian and Italy to enrich your experience even that much more. Click here to read my blog post on advice for learning Italian for more information.

Private Tutoring

If you're interested in taking private English and/or Italian lessons with me, I offer private tutoring on Skype. Click here to learn more about the language services I provide and for pricing information.

Not everyone wants, has the time or money for, or the need for private tutoring. If you fall into any of those categories or anywhere in between, but still want access to my original teaching materials, click here to go to my store where you can purchase and download the same materials I provide to my students at a discounted rate.

Conclusion

Thank you for visiting my website! To learn more about me and what I do, or to find out how to get in touch with me, click here to be taken to the "about me" and "contact" sections of this website. Always remember to spread the love and have an awesome time with your language learning diet! 

Word of the Day List - September 2017

Weilà! In September 2017 I set myself a challenge, to do a word of the day everyday for the entire month on my Instagram (@weilatom). It wasn't easy at first as I'd never done something like it before, but I got the hang of it eventually and I've been loving it ever since. It's a great way to learn new vocabulary and there's nothing quite like setting yourself a challenge and the satisfaction you feel when you achieve your goal.

Let's take a look at the words of the day of September 2017 (unfortunately, I lost the last 6):

  1. Talmente - So (as in "so much" or "very much so")
    1. Ero talmente felice di vederti ieri - I was so happy to see you yesterday
  2. Contribuire - To contribute
    1. Grazie a tutti coloro che hanno contribuito a rendere speciale questa giornata - Thanks to all those who contributed to making this day special
  3. Permaloso - Touchy, thin-skinned, sensitive
    1. Sei un po' troppo permaloso - You're a little too sensitive
  4. All'improvviso - Suddenly
    1. E poi all'improvviso abbiamo deciso di andare in America - And then suddenly we decided to go to America
  5. Riunione - Meeting, reunion
    1. Domani ho un riunione con gli investitori - Tomorrow I have a meeting with the investors
  6. Raggiungere - To reach, to catch up with, to achieve
    1. Sono molto felice di aver raggiunto il mio traguardo - I'm so happy to have achieved my goal 
  7. Tergiversare - To beat around the bush
    1. Non lo dico per tergiversare - I'm not saying it to beat around the bush
  8. Appartenere - To belong
    1. Questo libro appartiene al mio fratello minore - This book belongs to my younger brother
  9. Dedurre - To deduce, to infer
    1. Si può facilmente dedurre il significato - You can easily deduce/infer the meaning
  10. Contemporaneamente - Contemporaneously, at the same time, simultaneously
    1. Sono due cose che sono successe contemporaneamente - They are two things that happened simultaneously
  11. Buttare via - To throw away
    1. Non buttare via tutti quei soldi - Don't throw away all that money
  12. Affettuoso - Affectionate
    1. E' una persona molto affettuosa - He/She is a very affectionate person
  13. Avere un dubbio - To be unsure about something
    1. Ho un dubbio, mi potresti aiutare? - I'm not sure about something, can you help me?
  14. Inevitabile - Inevitable
    1. Era inevitabile che ti chiamasse - It was inevitable that he/she was going to call you
  15. Valerne la pena - To be worth it, to be worth your while
    1. Secondo me, ne vale la pena - In my opinion it's worth it
  16. Attraverso - Through, accross
    1. Va' attraverso l'ingresso - Go through the entrance
  17. Disponibilità - Availability
    1. Abbiamo disponibilità domani sera - We have availability tomorrow evening/night
  18. Prego, dopo di te - After you
    1. (When you hold the door open for someone)
  19. In discesa - Downhill
    1. È tutta in discesa da qui - It's all downhill from here
  20. Rendersi conto - To realize something
    1. Mi sono reso conto quanto sia bello qui - I've realized how nice it is here
  21. Ci penso io - I'll handle it, I'll take care of it, I've got this
    1. Non ti preoccupare, ci penso io - Don't worry, I've got this
  22. Pazzesco - Insane
    1. È vero, è pazzesco - It's true, it's insane
  23. Scuro - Dark
    1. Quel colore è un po' scuro - That color is a little dark
  24. Meglio tardi che mai - Better late than never
    1. Come dico sempre, meglio tardi che mai - As I always say, better late than never
  25. Mo - Now (slang)
    1. E mo? Cosa farai? - And now? What are you going to do?

Advanced Italian - Congiuntivo Trapassato

Weilà weilà raga! How's it going guys? I hope you're all doing great today!

This post correlates with my video "Advanced Italian 4 - Congiuntivo Trapassato | Pluperfect Subjunctive."

This is the 4th and final subjunctive mood in Italian, we use it when we want to talk about things that may or may not have taken place in the past.

This is also a compound verb tense, which means that we need to call in our good old friends Avere & Essere to give us a hand with our verb conjugations.


AND this means that our conjugations aren't going to be all that difficult to remember, because whenever you have helping/auxiliary verbs, the main verb gets conjugated in only one way. (I know, that little voice inside your head is screaming "yay!" right now.)

So, this means that our main verbs will change as follows:

ARE verbs will end in ATO

ERE verbs will end in UTO

IRE verbs will end in ITO

The only verbs that will be seeing the most change will be Avere & Essere, which we'll be conjugating in the Congiuntivo Imperfetto (as luck has it, we already conjugated them in that "tense" in Advanced Italian 3).

Sound familiar? This is exactly what we did in Grammar Basics 2 when we covered the Passato Prossimo.

So let's get to it with conjugating a verb! Let's begin with the ARE verb Chiamare. This verb uses Avere as it's helping verb.

Chiamare - To Call

  • che io avessi chiamato - that I had called
  • che tu avessi chiamato - that you had called
  • che lui/lei avesse chiamato - that he/she had called
  • che noi avessimo chiamato - that we had called
  • che voi aveste chiamato - that you guys/all had called
  • che loro avessero chiamato - that they had called

So, as we can see, the auxiliary verb Avere gets conjugated in the Congiuntivo Imperfetto and our main verb just changes from ARE to ATO. Not bad, right? And of course, good old CHE can't leave us alone as it's a fundamental part of of the Congiuntivo, just as SE is. So that's why it's hanging around us. It likes us and doesn't want to leave the party.

Now let's take a look at a sentence with Chiamare used in the Congiuntivo Trapassato:

Avresti saputo se ti avessero chiamato

- You would have known if they had called you

In order to structure a phrase like this, we need the help of the Condizionale Passato (Present Perfect Conditional tense). Though I haven't made a video or blog post about this tense yet, it's no different to any other compound verb tense in Italian. We can also call in the likes of the Imperfetto (Imperfect tense - Grammar Basics 4), Passato Prossimo (Grammar Basics 2), Passato Remoto, Trapassato Remoto, and even Condizionale Presente (Conditional tense - Grammar Basics 6) sometimes.

The idea is that you would have known (in the past) if they had called you (also in the past).

Now let's take a look at another ARE verb, but this time one that uses Essere as its helping verb.

Arrivare - To Arrive

  • che io fossi arrivato/a - that I had arrived
  • che tu fossi arrivato/a - that you had arrived
  • che lui/lei fosse arrivato/a - that he/she had arrived
  • che noi fossimo arrivati/e - that we had arrived
  • che voi foste arrivati/e - that you guys/all had arrived
  • che loro fossero arrivati/e - that they had arrived

Let's take a look now at an example with Arrivare used in the Congiuntivo Trapassato:

Pensavo che fosse arrivato ieri

- I thought it had arrived yesterday

Remember, because we're using Essere, we have to be mindful of gender and the number of things we're talking about. (This is fancily referred to as "Gender & Number Agreement".) This phrase that I prepared for you guys is just a very simple and generic phrase, it refers to me thinking that "it", which is a masculine thing in this case, had arrived yesterday.

If you need a refresher on Gender & Number rules in Italian, this is for you:

Che io fossi arrivatO - That I (a boy) had arrived

Che io fossi arrivatA - That I (a girl) had arrived

Che noi fossimo arrivatI - That we (a group of guys) had arrived

Che noi fossimo arrivatI - That we (a group of guys + girls) had arrived

Che noi fossimo arrivatE - That we (a group of girls only) had arrived

Starting to get the hang of it? It's pretty easy, right? Let's now take a look at an ERE verb and then we'll move on to an IRE verb. The verb I've got for you guys is an irregular verb - Chiedere.

  • Chiedere - To Ask
  • che io avessi chiesto - that I had asked
  • che tu avessi chiesto - that you had asked
  • che lui/lei avesse chiesto - that he/she had asked
  • che noi avessimo chiesto - that we had asked
  • che voi aveste chiesto - that you guys/all had asked
  • che loro avessero chiesto - that they had asked

Se me l'avessero chiesto, avrei detto di sì

- If they had asked me (it), I would have said yes

Partire - To Depart/To Leave

  • che io fossi partito/a - that I had left/departed
  • che tu fossi partito/a - that you had left/departed
  • che lui/lei fosse partito/a - that he/she had left/departed
  • che noi fossimo partiti/e - that we had left/departed
  • che voi foste partiti/e - that you guys/all had left/departed
  • che loro fossero partiti/e - that they had left/departed

Pensavo che fosse partita ieri sera

- I thought she had left last night

How do I know that we're talking about "she" even though there is no "lei" used in the sentence? Because the main verb ends in an "a." However, keep in mind that both objects and people have gender in Italian, so we could also be talking about a feminine object, such as a "box" (scatola) or a "chair" (sedia). Seeing as I wrote the sentence, I can tell you I meant a person.

What I always try to do is devise sentences that show some variation and exemplify the rules. So often I do my best to use different persons, and avoid always using the first person. In this particular "lesson," I wanted to also show sentences with both 1 and 2 clauses as well as phrases with different verb tenses. So some have the Imperfetto, like the last one, the one before that has the Condizionale Passato, and so on. I hope you can get a lot out of the examples I create :)

However, do keep in mind that when I make these videos I keep in mind that this may be the first time you have ever seen the topics I'm presenting. So because of that, and with an aim to keep things simple and to-the-point, I may not cover every single possible scenario in which you could use any of the things I discuss in my videos and blog posts. But I am aware that different situations and scenarios exist.

Lastly, Italians tend to use "egli" and "essi" when conjugating verbs. My aim is to get you speaking, which to me is the most important thing, and since you don't use egli and essi when speaking I purposely don't add them in. However, I did mention them sometimes in my Grammar Basics videos.

Always remember to spread the love!

Advanced Italian - Congiuntivo Imperfetto

Weilà raga! This post correlates with my video "Advanced Italian 3 - Congiuntivo imperfetto | Imperfect Subjunctive".

The Congiuntivo Imperfetto is used very often with the Indicativo Imperfetto, which is the regular Imperfect Tense that I went over in Grammar Basics 4, and the Condizionale Presente, which is the Conditional Tense that I went over in Grammar Basics 6.

Usually with the Congiuntivo Imperfetto, when you begin your sentence with the imperfect, you finish it with the Imperfect Subjunctive.

It can be used in other ways, but just for the purpose of teaching this to you for the first time, this is the simplest way to understand it.

Let's begin with our are verb endings - and what you're going to see is that all of the verb endings are pretty much the same for all -are, -ere, and -ire verbs:

ARE verb endings:

  • io - assi
  • tu- assi
  • lui/lei - asse
  • noi - assimo
  • voi - aste
  • loro - assero


Mangiare - to eat

  • Che io mangiassi - that I ate
  • Che tu mangiassi - that you ate
  • Che lui/lei mangiasse - that he/she ate
  • Che noi mangiassimo - that we ate
  • Che voi mangiaste - that you guys/all ate
  • Che loro mangiassero - that they ate


Example: Pensavo che tu non mangiassi pesce - I thought that you didn't eat fish (Uncertainty)

ERE verb endings:

  • io - essi
  • tu - essi
  • lui/lei - esse
  • noi - essimo
  • voi - este
  • loro - essero


Avere - to have

  • Che io avessi - that I had
  • Che tu avessi - that you had
  • Che lui/lei avesse - that he/she had
  • Che noi avessimo - that we had
  • Che voi aveste - that you guys/all had
  • Che loro avessero - that they had


Example: Se avessi più soldi, comprerei una macchina - If I had more money, I'd buy a car (Hypothesizing)

Essere - to be

  • Che io fossi - that I were
  • Che to fossi - that you were
  • Che lui/lei fosse - that he/she were
  • Che noi fossimo - that we were
  • Che voi foste - that you guys/all were
  • Che loro fossero - that they were


Examples: 

Vorrei che tu fossi qui - I wish that you were here (Wishful thinking)

Se solo fosse così facile - If only it were that easy (Hypothesizing)

IRE verb endings:
io - issi
tu - issi
lui/lei - isse
noi - issimo
voi - iste
loro - issero

Venire - to come

  • Che io venissi - thai i came
  • Che tu venissi - that you came
  • Che lui/lei venisse - that he/she came
  • Che noi venissimo - that we came
  • Che voi veniste - that you guys/all came
  • Che loro venissero - that they came


Example: Speravo che veniste con me alla festa - I hoped you guys would come to the party with me (Wishful thinking)


[You could also say "Speravo che verreste con me alla festa" with the verb "venire" in the Conditional Tense if you wanted.] 


So that is it for the Advanced Italian 3! As always, just take your time with this, take notes in the way that makes the most sense to you, and watch the video a couple of times to help let things sink in!

Always remember to spread the love!

Tom

Advanced Italian - Congiuntivo Passato

Weilà raga! This post correlates with my video "Advanced Italian 2 - Congiuntivo Passato | Past Subjunctive."

This is the Congiuntivo's take on the past tense. You're also going to find a lot of similarities with this verb tense and the Passato Prossimo (remember Grammar Basics 2?) in terms of how in this tense we'll be using auxiliary verb (helping verbs) and we'll have to be mindful of masculine/feminine, singular/plural at times.

But before we go any further, make sure you have already seen Advanced Italian 1 because this tense builds off of the material discussed in that video. I'll leave a link for it here in case you'd like to see it again (or for the first time) now:

So let's get right into it! The Congiuntivo Passato is similar to the Congiuntivo Presente as you use it when talking about possibilities, opinions, desires, doubts, and anything that's subjective or uncertain in nature.

Here are some key phrases to help you in knowing when to use the Congiuntivo:

  • Penso che – I think that
  • Credo che – I believe that
  • Spero che – I hope that
  • È possibile che – It's possible that
  • Sembra che – It seems that/It seems like

Just as well, the words CHE (what/that) and SE (if) are really important in this verb tense. (I occasionally write in all CAPS just for emphasis. I actually picked up this habit from the Italians. They tend to do it a lot when writing and I find it to be useful. But just know I'm NOT yelling haha).

Just as we saw with the Passato Prossimo a long time ago, there are 2 helping verbs in Italian -

Avere (to have) & Essere (to be).

Avere is used for all TRANSITIVE verbs. Verbs in which actions are carried out DIRECTLY to the object.

Essere is used for all INTRANSITIVE verbs. Verbs in which actions are NOT carried out directly to the object.

How do we tell the difference? Just know that you use Avere most of the time and Essere for verbs like "essere (to be), stare (to be/to stay), rimanere (to stay/to remain), scappare (to escape), svanire (to vanish), partire (to depart/leave), andare (to go), venire (to come), etc."

Basically all verbs that deal with movement and/or conditions use Essere as their helping verb.

Because if I say "remain," it's an action, but also think of it as a condition. You can't tell me, "Hey, go and remain!" It's not an action I can literally carry out. Whereas "to eat" or "to read" is something I can literally do. I can literally eat something or literally read something. If this doesn't make any sense, just know that with time and practice you'll know which helping verb to use just based on how it sounds!

So here's how we conjugate verbs:

Avere/Essere in the Congiuntivo Presente + Main verb that ends in ATO, UTO, or ITO.

ARE changes to ATO (Mangiare - Mangiato)

ERE changes to UTO (Vendere - Venduto)

IRE changes to ITO (Partire - Partito)

Let's now see how we conjugate Avere in the Congiuntivo Presente, because that is how we'll be using it in this tense.

Avere (to have):

  • che io abbia - that I have
  • che tu abbia - that you have
  • che lui/lei abbia - that he/she has
  • che noi abbiamo - that we have
  • che voi abbiate - that you guys/all have
  • che loro abbiano - that they have

Let's now conjugate a regular ARE verb, Mangiare (to eat), in the Congiuntivo Passato. It uses Avere as its helping verb. Remember ARE verbs change to end with ATO.

Mangiare (to eat):

  • che io abbia mangiato - that I ate/that I have eaten*
  • che tu abbia mangiato - that you ate
  • che lui/lei abbia mangiato - that he/she ate
  • che noi abbiamo mangiato - that we ate
  • che voi abbiate mangiato - that you guys/all ate
  • che loro abbiano mangiato - that they ate

*For ALL verbs in the Congiuntivo Passato, you can translate them as either saying you DID something, or that you HAVE DONE something. Just depends on what you are trying to say exactly.

So for "Che io abbia mangiato," for example, that could mean, "That I ate" OR "That I have eaten." The phrase in Italian works for both translations in English.

Let's now take a look at Mangiare conjugated in the Congiuntivo Passato in a phrase:


Non penso che abbiano mangiato il pesce

- I don't think (that) they ate the fish

The word "that" is in ( ) because you don't have to use it in the translation. It's up to you! ;) Often times in English we either think to say "I don't think they ate the fish" or we include the word "that" and say, "I don't think that they ate the fish." Just know there's 1 translation for either of these phrases in Italian - "Non penso che abbiano mangiato il pesce."

Now let's take a look at the regular ERE verb, Vendere (to sell), in the Congiuntivo Passato. Remember that ERE verbs change to end in UTO in this verb tense.

Vendere (to sell):

  • che io abbia venduto - that I sold/that I have sold
  • che tu abbia venduto - that you sold
  • che lui/lei abbia venduto - that he/she sold
  • che noi abbiamo venduto - that we sold
  • che voi abbiate venduto - that you guys/all sold
  • che loro abbiano venduto - that they sold

Now let's take a look at a phrase with Vendere conjugated in the Congiuntivo Passato:

Spero che tu non abbia venduto la tua macchina

- I hope that you haven't sold your car

- I hope that you didn't sell your car

Both translations in English work perfectly fine. In English we often use the verbs TO HAVE and TO DO interchangeably.

And once again, the word "that" isn't a must-have in the translations. It's up to you and how you speak if you'd like to include it or not!

Now, there are IRE verbs that use Avere are their helping verb. But I'd like to show you guys an IRE verb that uses Essere.

Before we dive into that, let's check out how you conjugate Essere in the Congiuntivo Presente:

Essere (to be):

  • che io sia - that I am
  • che tu sia - that you are
  • che lui/lei sia - that he/she is
  • che noi siamo - that we are
  • che voi siate - that you guys/all are
  • che loro siano - that they are

Now, remember that whenever you are using Essere as a helping verb you need to be mindful of the gender and amount of things you're talking about. (In other words - gender and plurality).

Here's how you conjugate Partire (to depart/to leave) in the Congiuntivo Passato:

Partire (to depart/to leave):

  • che io sia partito/a - that I left
  • che tu sia partito/a - that you left
  • che lui/lei sia partito/a - that he/she left
  • che noi siamo partiti/e - that we left
  • che voi siate partiti/e - that you guys/all left
  • che loro siano partiti/e - that they left

Notice how with IO, TU, & LUI/LEI the end of the verb ended with either an O or an A?

  • That's because if you're talking about a boy or a masculine thing, the verb must end in an O.
  • If you are talking about a girl or a feminine thing, the verb must end in an A. (Naturally, with LUI the verb can ONLY end in an O and with LEI the verb can ONLY end in an A).

With NOI, VOI, & LORO the verb ends in either an I or an E.

  • When talking about a group of boys (masculine things) OR boys + girls (masculine + feminine things), the verb will end in an I.
  • When talking about a group of ONLY girls (or feminine things), the verb will end in an E.

Now, why do I say "masculine/feminine things?" Because you can use the LORO form of a verb, for example, to say things like "Penso che le macchine siano andate via" = "I think that the cars went away." In this example, we're talking about "the cars" which are feminine things.

Let's now take a look at the verb Partire conjugated in the Congiuntivo Passato in a phrase:

Credo che lui sia partito ieri

- I believe that he left yesterday

The verb Partire ends in an O because we're referring to a boy.

Let's have a look at more phrases:

Credo che lei sia partita ieri

- I believe that she left yesterday

See the difference? Because we're talking about a girl, the verb Partire now ends in an A.

Credo che siano partiti ieri

- I believe that they left yesterday

With this phrase, I could be referring to either a group of only boys or a group of boys & girls. (I could also be talking about a group of things, just depends on the context).

Credo che siano partite ieri

- I believe that they left yesterday

With this phrase, I am referring to a group of only girls or feminine things.

Whenever you have a group of BOTH boys and girls, or masculine and feminine things, you use the masculine form of the verb.

So this my friends is how you use the Congiuntivo Passato! I know, it seems like a lot to take in all at once. But trust me, as with anything in a language, it just takes time to get used to.

It took me a while to get this down too, this is Advanced Italian after all. Make sure to give yourself a pat on the back for even giving this a shot! But then again, you're brilliant and can do anything. You always raise the bar in life, so doing advanced stuff is just average for you.

As always guys, remember to spread the love! And keep up the great work!

Advanced Italian - Congiuntivo Presente

Weilà raga! This blog post correlates to my video Advanced Italian - Congiuntivo Presente | Present Subjunctive. 

This verb mood is called the Present Subjunctive in English. But I find it easier just to refer to it by its Italian name.

This mood is used whenever talking about opinions, possibilities, desires, doubts, basically anything that's subjective and somewhat uncertain in nature.

Key phrases that will let you know when to use the Congiuntivo Presente:

  • Penso che – I think that
  • Credo che – I believe that
  • Spero che – I hope that
  • È possibile che – Its possible that
  • Sembra che – It seems that/It seems like

It's important to note that "Che" & "Se" are two words that are fundamental to this verb mood.

"Che" = "what" & "that." It just depends on the context.

"Se" = "if" no matter the context.

Let's take a look now at the verb endings for -ARE, -ERE, & -IRE verbs.

-ARE Congiuntivo Presente verb endings:

  • io - i
  • tu - i
  • lui/lei - i
  • noi - iamo
  • voi - iate
  • loro - ino

Now let's see how these endings apply to the regular verb Parlare.

Parlare - to talk

  • che io parli - that I talk
  • che tu parli - that you talk
  • che lui/lei parli - that he/she talks
  • che noi parliamo - that we talk
  • che voi parliate - that you guys/all talk
  • che loro parlino - that they talk

As you can see, contrary to what we saw with all previous verb tenses in Italian, we're now including "che" in the verb conjugations.

Now let's take a look at Parlare conjugated in the Congiuntivo Presente in a sentence:

Penso che lui parli troppo veloce - I think that he talks too fast.

This phrase expresses an opinion, therefore we have to use the Congiuntivo. There's also that key phrase at the beginning, "penso che," that also helps us to know that our verb has to get conjugated in the Congiuntivo.

Now let's move onto -ERE & -IRE verb endings which are the same in the Congiuntivo:

-ERE & -IRE Congiuntivo Presente verb endings:

  • io - a
  • tu - a
  • lui/lei - a
  • noi - iamo
  • voi - iate
  • loro - ano

Here's a regular -ERE verb conjugated in the Congiuntivo Presente:

Leggere - to read:

  • che io legga - that I read
  • che tu legga - that you read
  • che lui/lei legga - that he/she reads
  • che noi leggiamo - that we read
  • che voi leggiate - that you guys/all read
  • che loro leggano - that they read

Example: Spero tanto che tu legga il mio messaggio!

  • I really hope that you read my message!  
  • I really hope that you'll read my message!

I'd like to show you guys an irregular -ERE verb too (this verb was not conjugated in the video, just a little blog post extra for you guys,

Potere - to be able to/can

  • che io possa - that I can
  • che tu possa - that you can
  • che lui/lei possa - that he/she can
  • che noi possiamo - that we can
  • che voi possiate - that you guys/all can
  • che loro possano - that they can

Spero che possiate venire alla festa! - I hope that you guys can come to the party!

Though this verb is irregular, the only thing that makes it irregular is that the "stem" or "root" of the verb changes as it gets conjugated. In other words, instead of just cutting off the -ere of Potere, we cut off the -tere and it changes to a double S. So POSS is our root, then we just plug in all of the regular verb endings. I think irregular verbs have got a bad rap but they're not all that bad.

Now let's move into an -IRE verb. As the verb endings are identical to those of -ERE verbs, you're not going to notice anything all that different here.

Dormire - to sleep

  • che io dorma - that I sleep
  • che tu dorma - that you sleep
  • che lui/lei dorma - that he/she sleeps
  • che noi dormiamo - that we sleep
  • che voi dormiate - that you guys/all sleep
  • che loro dormano - that they sleep

Example: Non credo che la bambina dorma bene - I don't think that the baby sleeps well

Though this is Advanced Italian, it's not all that bad after you do some practice with it. Best of luck and importantly, have fun!

Always remember to spread the love!

How to Introduce Yourself in Italian

Weilà weilà raga! This blog post correlates with the second episode of Traveler's Italian. Today we'll cover some of the ways you can introduce yourself in Italian. Just as I mentioned in the video, you'll find a list of numbers, professions, and cities/countries in this post. Let's first take a look at everything we covered in the video!

Saying "What's your name?"

  • Come si chiama? - What's you're name? (formal)
  • Come ti chiami? - What's you're name? (informal)
  • Come vi chiamate? - What's you're name? (for a group of people/plural)
  • Mi chiamo... - My name is...
  • Sono... - I am...

Saying "How old are you?"

  • Quanti anni ha? - How old are you? (formal)
  • Quanti anni hai? - How old are you? (informal) 
  • Quanti anni avete? - How old are you? (group)
  • Ho......anni - I am......years old

Saying "What's your job?" or "What do you do in life?"

  • Che lavoro fa? - What's your job? (formal)
  • Che lavoro fai? - What's your job? (informal)
  • Che lavoro fate? - What's your job? (group)
  • Sono uno studente - I'm a student (male)
  • Sono una studentessa - I'm a student (female)
  • Sono un... - I'm a/an...

Saying "Where are you from?"

  • Di dov'è? - Where are you from? (formal)
  • Di dove sei? - Where are you from? (informal)
  • Di dove siete? - Where are you from? (group)
  • Sono di... - I'm from...

Saying "Have a nice/good/great day"

  • Buona giornata! - Have a nice day!
  • Buona serata! - Have a nice evening! (Additional expression, not in the video)

Numbers 16-30

Numbers 0-15

  • sedici - sixteen
  • diciassette - seventeen
  • diciotto - eighteen
  • diciannove - nineteen
  • venti - twenty
  • ventuno - twenty-one 
  • ventidue - twenty-two
  • ventitré - twenty-three
  • ventiquattro - twenty-four
  • venticinque - twenty-five
  • ventisei - twenty-six
  • ventisette - twenty-seven
  • ventotto - twenty-eight
  • ventinove - twenty-nine
  • trenta - thirty
  • zero - zero
  • uno - one
  • due - two
  • tre - three
  • quattro - four
  • cinque - five
  • sei - six
  • sette - seven
  • otto - eight
  • nove - nine
  • dieci - ten
  • undici - eleven
  • dodici - twelve
  • tredici - thirteen
  • quattordici - fourteen
  • quindici - fifteen

Note on Numbers in Italian

Numbers 40-100

After 20 the Italian numbers all follow the same pattern. Simply take the stem "venti, trenta, quaranta, cinquanta, etc." and add numbers 1-9 onto it to make a bigger number. Note that anytime you add a 1 or 8, you eliminate the final letter of the stem. This is done as numbers 1 and 8 both begin with a vowel. It also makes the numbers easier to pronounce. For example, with "ventuno" we lost the "i" in "venti". Another example is 78 which is "settantotto", here we lost the "a" after "settanta".

  • quaranta - forty
  • cinquanta - fifty
  • sessanta - sixty
  • settanta - seventy
  • ottanta - eighty
  • novanta - ninety 
  • cento - one hundred

 

List of (Some) Countries

  • Stati Uniti - United States
  • Messico - Mexico
  • Canada - Canada
  • Australia - Australia
  • Nuova Zelanda - New Zealand 
  • Regno Unito - United Kingdom
  • Inghilterra - England
  • Galles - Wales
  • Scozia - Scotland
  • Irlanda del Nord - Northern Ireland
  • Irlanda - Ireland
  • Sud Africa - South Africa
  • India - India
  • Russia - Russia
  • Cina - China
  • Giappone - Japan
  • Corea del Sud - South Korea
  • Brasile - Brazil
  • Argentina - Argentina
  • Germania - Germany
  • Francia - France
  • Spagna - Spain
  • Polonia - Poland
  • Svizzera - Switzerland

List of (Some) Professions/Occupations

  • artista - artist
  • amministratore - administrator
  • avvocato - lawyer
  • barbiere - barber
  • cantante - singer
  • commercialista - consultant/accountant
  • contadino - farmer
  • dentista - dentist
  • disoccupato - unemployed 
  • elettricista - electrician 
  • fotografo - photographer
  • idraulico - plumber 
  • imprenditore - entrepreneur
  • ingegnere - engineer 
  • infermiere - nurse
  • insegnante - teacher
  • investitore finanziario - investment banker
  • medico/dottore - doctor
  • pensionato - retired
  • poliziotto - police officer
  • pompiere - firefighter
  • postino - mailman
  • professore - professor
  • veterinario - veterinarian

Note on Cities - Most large cities around the world can be said in either their native language or in English.

Click here to see the blog post that relates to How to Say Hello in Italian (Episode 1 of Traveler's Italian)

As always, whether you're a new student of Italian or are about to embark on an amazing trip to Italy, have a great time! Buon viaggio!

Spread the love!

Tom

How To Say Hello in Italian

Weilà weilà raga! This blog post correlates with the first episode of my Traveler's Italian series. I've found it helpful to have a written version of something I learn in a video. I hope this post will serve that very purpose for you. Feel free to take a look around my website to learn more about what I do on YouTube, including my private tutoring sessions.

Before we get into everything, let's cover the difference between Formal/Polite and Informal speech in Italian:

  • Formal or Polite language is used with anyone you want to show respect for or to be polite with. (i.e. people who are older than you, your teacher, your boss, people you meet for the first time, etc). 
  • Informal or Casual language is used with anyone you already know or with anyone that you don't have to be formal with. (i.e. people your own age, little children, your friends and family, your classmates and colleagues, etc). The reason why I say people your own age is because I've found in my experience that even when I don't know someone, if we're the same age we tend to use the informal with each other. Same goes with little children, sometimes you don't feel the need to be formal with them. But this really depends on the situation, every situation is different.) 

Let's now jump into the words and phrases I went over in the video:

Saying "Hi/Bye"

  • Buongiorno - Hello (formal), Good morning, Good day
  • Buon pomeriggio - Good afternoon
  • Buonasera - Good evening (the appropriate Hello when it's night time)
  • Buonanotte - Good night (you'd only say this before going to sleep)
  • Salve - Hello (alternative, formal. Comes from Latin.)
  • Ciao - Hi / Bye (informal)
  • Arrivederci - Goodbye (formal)

Saying "How are you"

  • Come sta? - How are you (formal)
  • Come stai? - How are you (informal)
  • Come state? - How are you (all/guys)
  • Sto bene, grazie - I'm good, thanks
  • E Lei? - And you? (formal)
  • E tu? - And you? (informal)
  • E voi? - And you (all/guys)?

Saying "Thank you & Please"

  • Grazie - Thank you
  • Grazie mille - Thank you very much
  • Prego - You're welcome
  • Di niente - It's nothing / No problem (informal)
  • Per favore - Please
  • Per piacere - Please
  • Piacere! - Nice to meet you / Pleasure to meet you

Saying "Excuse me"

  • Mi scusi - Excuse me (formal)
  • Scusa - Excuse me (informal)
  • Scusate - Excuse me (to a group of people)
  • Mi dispiace - I'm sorry

Saying "Goodbye"

  • Arrivederci - Goodbye (formal)
  • Ciao - Bye (informal)
  • Ci vediamo - See you soon
  • A presto - See you soon (informal)

Whether you're a new student of Italian or are about to embark on an amazing trip to Italy, have a great time! Buon viaggio!

Spread the love!

Tom

Verbs that take Essere as their Helping Verb

Like every student of Italian, at some point or another you're going to be faced with having to remember which verbs take Essere and which take Avere as their helping verb in compound verb tenses like the Passato Prossimo and the Trapassato Prossimo. I've put together a little explanation here to help you guys out.

Here's how to know whether to use Essere or Avere as the helping verb: Avere is used for Transitive verbs, verbs where actions pass directly from the subject (actor) to the object (the receiver of the action). For example, mangiare (to eat) is a transitive verb. When I say "I had eaten an apple" - "Avevo mangiato una mela," the action of "to eat" was directly passed from me as the actor to the apple as the object. (The majority of verbs take Avere as their helping verb).

Essere is used for Intransitive verbs, verbs where actions cannot pass from the actor to the object. As we're dealing with Essere, we need to be mindful of gender and number. Intransitive verbs are commonly referred to as "walking verbs" for they usually have something to do with motion.  Andare (to go) is an intransitive verb and it deals with motion, just like arrivare (to arrive). I always tell my students this: I can show you the action "to eat" but I can't show you the action "to arrive." Maybe this little explanation will help some of you to understand the difference between Transitive and Intransitive verbs better. Either way, you can find a list of some common Intransitive verbs that all take Essere as their helping verb here:

  • Andare - to go
  • Arrivare - to arrive
  • Cadere - to fall
  • Diventare - to become
  • Durare - to last
  • Entrare - to enter
  • Esistere - to exist
  • Morire - to die
  • Nascere - to be born
  • Occorrere - to occur
  • Partire - to leave/depart
  • Restare - to rest
  • Rimanere - to remain
  • Ritornare - to return 
  • Scappare - to escape
  • Stare - to stay/to be
  • Svanire - to vanish
  • Tornare - to return/come back
  • Uscire - to exit
  • Venire - to go

*Also keep in mind that Reflexive Verbs tend to use Essere as their helping verb as well as verbs that behave similarly, such as piacere (to like), mandare (to miss), servire (to need).

I hope this helps! Keep up the great work and always remember to SPREAD THE LOVE!

Tom

 

 

The Italian Trapassato Prossimo

Weilà weilà raga! Let's talk about the Italian Trapassato Prossimo - a very highly requested topic. I like to think of this tense as the older cousin of the Passato Prossimo. We use this tense whenever we want talk about something that happened before something else in the past (in other words, when something "had happened". With had being the key word). In English, we have the Past Perfect tense which acts in the same way.

Like with the Passato Prossimo, we will be using Avere and Essere as helping/auxiliary verbs in the Trapassato Prossimo. The only difference is that we will be conjugating them in the Imperfect Tense. If you need help knowing which verbs take Essere and which take Avere, click here to read the post on that topic.

Avere - to have (conjugated in the Imperfect Tense)

  • io avevo - I had
  • tu avevi - you had
  • lui/lei aveva - he/she had
  • noi avevamo - we had
  • voi avevate - you all had
  • loro avevano - they had

Essere - to be (conjugated in the Imperfect Tense)

  • io ero - I was
  • tu eri - you were
  • lui/lei era - he/she was
  • noi eravamo - we were
  • voi eravate - you all were
  • loro erano - they were

Keep in mind that all of our main verbs (the ones after the helping verb) will be in their Participio Passato (Past Participle) form. This happens all the time when we're dealing with compound verb tenses. Here's a reminder of the Participio Passato forms: -ARE verbs end in -ATO, -ERE verbs end in -UTO, and -IRE verbs end in -ITO. Unless of course you're dealing with Irregular Verbs in which case they're different.

Let's now take a look at some verb conjugations in the Trapassato Prossimo.

Mangiare - to eat (regular -ARE verb)

  • io avevo mangiato - I had eaten
  • tu avevi mangiato - you had eaten
  • lui/lei aveva mangiato - he/she had eaten
  • noi avevamo mangiato - we had eaten
  • voi avevate mangiato - you all had eaten
  • loro avevano mangiato - they had eaten

Here are a few phrases with Mangiare used in the Trapassato Prossimo:

Avevo molta fame perché non avevo mangiato nulla per tutta la giornata  - I was very hungry because I hadn't eaten anything all day

Avevamo mangiato la cena prima del tuo arrivo - We had eaten dinner before your arrival 

I'd now like to show you an Irregular verb, let's take a look at Fare, who's Participio Passato form is Fatto.

Fare - to do/to make (Irregular -ARE verb)

  • io avevo fatto - I had done
  • tu avevi fatto - you had done
  • lui/lei aveva fatto - he/she had done
  • noi avevamo fatto - we had done
  • voi avevate fatto - you all had done
  • loro avevano fatto - they had done

Examples:

Avevano fatto molto per noi quella volta - They had done a lot for us that time

Avevo fatto i miei compiti prima di venire qui - I had done my homework before/prior to coming here

Here's now at Andare, which takes Essere as the helping verb.

Andare - to go (regular -ARE verb)

  • io ero andato/a - I had gone
  • tu eri andato/a - you had gone
  • lui/lei era andato/a - he/she had gone
  • noi eravamo andati/e - we had gone
  • voi eravate andati/e - you all had gone
  • loro erano andati/e - they had gone 

Examples:

No, ero andato prima a Milano - No, I had gone first to Milan

Esatto, lei era andata al mercato dopo di te - Exactly, she had gone to the market after you

Let's now move into an -ERE verb:

Vendere - to sell (regular verb -ERE verb)

  • io avevo venduto - I had sold
  • tu avevi venduto - you had sold
  • lui/lei aveva venduto - he/she had sold
  • noi avevamo venduto - we had sold
  • voi avevate venduto - you all had sold
  • loro avevano venduto - they had sold

Examples:

Lui aveva venduto la macchina prima dell'evento - He had sold the car before the event

Fino a ieri, non avevano venduto i libri di Italiano - Until yesterday, they hadn't sold books in Italian

And finally let's look at an -IRE verb:

Dormire - to sleep (regular -IRE verb)

  • io avevo dormito - I had slept
  • tu avevi dormito - you had slept
  • lui/lei aveva dormito - he/she had slept
  • noi avevamo dormito - we had slept
  • voi avevate dormito - you all had slept
  • loro avevano dormito - they had slept

Example:

Non aveva dormito bene, quindi era stanco questa mattina - He/she was very tired because he/she hadn't slept well last night (you'd know whether you were referring to a guy or a girl depending on context)

 

One Year of French - My Journey Thus Far

Weilà weilà cari lettori del mio blog! To anyone new to my blog or website, I'd like to give you a warm weilà welcome!

It's official - I've been studying French for one year. In light of having reached this milestone in my journey, I thought I'd take a moment to reflect on what I've learned thus far.

What it's been like learning a language I had no prior knowledge of

Thanks to my TEFL course, I learned that a big theme in teaching is building on what your students already know - their prior knowledge - no matter what that may be. To put that into context, I started studying French a year ago and knew nothing about the language a part from saying salut et à bientôt, which I learned thanks to a survival-type French video I saw on YouTube one time. This was very different to when I started studying Italian 10 years ago, a language that I already knew pretty well prior to studying it formally. So what did I do? I constantly made connections between something new I was learning in French to something similar I already knew in Italian. This made learning French a lot easier than it might have been had I not already known another Romance Language. 

What it's been like learning a language as an adult versus as a child

I was 23 years old when I started learning French and 13 years old when I formally started learning Italian. There is definitely a difference between learning a language as an adult versus as a child and there are pros and cons to each. The main thing that sticks out to me when considering this difference is life experience. From a cultural standpoint, as an adult you're better able to understand different cultures and ways of thinking than when you were a child. From a language learning standpoint, as an adult you're better able to make connections between the language you're studying and some prior knowledge you have because you've been exposed to and done more. 

What I've been doing to study French

At first I went to YouTube and sought out websites for information to get started. My favorite YouTube channels for French are: 

Learn French with AlexaAlexa has excellent grammar videos done in English. She speaks slowly and enunciates well (sometimes more than I think is necessary, but that's not a bad thing).

Français avec Pierre. Everything from grammar to listening comprehension, Pierre's got it all. All of this videos are in French and he speaks slowly but still at a natural pace.

FrenchPod101. They've got the best listening comprehension playlists around! I suggest the Italian version of their comprehension videos to my students all the time.

A part from YouTube, I use the app HelloTalk everyday to talk to native French speakers. I'm a massive fan of having pen pals and have had tremendous success with them for both French and Italian. I also take lessons with my French teacher once a week. I find having a teacher to be very helpful and I'll talk more about it in a future blog post.

how i stayed motivated and what's next

After several months of studying French on my own, I felt I needed something to help keep me motivated and to guide me as I studied. It was at that point that I signed up for lessons with my private teacher. Having a private teacher isn't for everyone, but it's been working for me and has helped take my French to the next level.

I've made more progress in a year that I thought I would. I'm at the point where I can carry a conversation in French pretty well. In my first year of studying Italian I also did pretty well, but my problem back then was I didn't have the best teachers for my learning style and I didn't have as many great online resources as I do today. I also took Italian classes in a traditional classroom setting as opposed to one-on-one lessons. I find I do better with one-on-one lessons for the conversational and customized aspects of them.

If you want to hear more about what I think about studying a language as an adult versus as a child, check out my video my clicking here. It's a video done all in Italian. For all of my Italian friends, I'm aware I made a few small mistakes in grammar. It happens all the time when I speak really fast and don't think too much before I speak ;) 

Always remember to spread the love guys and thanks for reading this post!

Tom

Come dare la mancia in America

Weilà weilà! Oggi cercherò di scrivere un post interamente in italiano. Spero di riuscirci senza fare migliaia di errori ;) Allora ho fatto un video dove spiego un po' come dare la mancia qui in America che vi linkerò qui: clicca qui per guardarlo.  Però dopo averlo rivisto e dopo una conversazione lunga con un amico italiano su come dare la mancia, ho pensato di parlarvene di nuovo. 

In primis, è importante notare che ogni ristorante è diverso. Quindi è possibile che le cose varino da ristorante a ristorante.

In ristorante potete pagare sia in contanti che con la carta di credito. Per me, dipende da quanto costa. Di solito se non costa molto, pago in contanti. Però di solito qui in America, anche per comprare una bottiglia d'acqua in negozio per 1 o 2 dollari, potete comprarla con la carta di credito. (Naturalmente ogni negozio è diverso, ma 98% delle volte la carta di credito è accettato ovunque).

Come dare la mancia allora? Ok, parliamo prima di come pagare in contanti. Per ricevere il conto il cameriere di solito ve lo darà automaticamente, ma è comune anche chiederglielo. Di solito il cameriere vi darà una cartolina nera con la ricevuta dentro. Per pagare in contanti, basta lasciare i soldi nella cartolina e va bene. Di solito lasciamo 20% del totale come una mancia (se avete avuto buon servizio, altrimenti potete lasciare di meno, ma non vi consiglio di farlo perché farete una brutta figura). Quindi se il totale è $25, lasciate $30 (20% x $25 = $5) nella cartolina. $25 andrà al ristorante e $5 andrà al cameriere. 

Perché lasciamo la mancia? Onestamente non so. E' un costume qui e lo faccio senza pensarci molto. Ho parlato molto con i miei colleghi e i miei amici che hanno fatto il cameriere in passato e mi hanno detto varie cose. Però per la maggior parte di loro mi hanno detto cose come: "Beh, i camerieri non sono ben pagati, guadagnano poco. Quindi la mancia aiuta molto." Poi ce ne sono stati altri che mi hanno detto: "Quando lasci una mancia grande, è come dire 'grazie, buon lavoro!' al cameriere." Credo che ci siano molte ragioni per cui diamo la mancia, non so quale sia quella più giusta.

Tornando a pagare in contanti. Cosa succede se volete lasciare $30 nella cartolina ma avete solo $40 in tasca? Potete lasciare i $40 nella cartolina e chiedere al cameriere di darvi "change." Poi quando torna il cameriere avrete $15 ($40 - $25) nella cartolina e poi potete lasciare i $5 per la mancia. Dipende dal ristorante, ma di solito dopo che avete lasciato la mancia nella cartolina, potete lasciarla sulla tavola e andare via. 

Se pagate invece con la carta di credito, date prima la carta nella cartolina nera al cameriere e poi tornerà di nuovo con la vostra carta e alcune nuove ricevute. Di solito ce ne saranno 3. La prima dirà tutto quello che avete ordinato ed i prezzi, questa la potete portare via. Le altre 2 saranno uguali ma dovete lasciare una di loro nella cartolina. Spesso di sotto sarà scritto "Merchant Copy" ed è questa che dovete lasciare per il ristorante. Qui scrivete quanto volete lasciare come la mancia e poi scriverete il nuovo totale del conto. Poi firmate e basta così, potete lasciare la cartolina sulla tavola.

Immagino che tutto questo possa sembrare strano, stupido, o magari vi confondete. Ma spero di esser stato d'aiuto :)

Always remember to Spread the Love!

Tom

 

Simple Past vs. Present Perfect

Weilà weilà raga! Ho fatto un video in diretta mettendo in confronto il Simple Past e il Present Perfect. Ora vi condivido i miei appunti, spero che ti aiutino! E' normale se trovate difficile questi tempi, come vedrete qui sotto, è tutto un questione di "quando" per capire meglio questi tempi. 

SIMPLE PAST

1.     When something started and happened in the past at a specific time. It may be implied, not always expressly stated. - Quando qualcosa è iniziata e finita in passato ad un momento specifico. "Quando" può essere sottinteso. 

  • I ate an apple - Ho mangiato una mela (sottinteso quando)
  • I ate an apple today - Ho mangiato una mela oggi
  • Did you eat anything (today)? - Hai mangiato qualcosa (oggi)?
  • Yes, I ate an apple (today) - Sì, ho mangiato una mela (oggi)?

2.     When something occurred for an extended period of time in the past. Still started and ended in the past. - Quando qualcosa è successa per un lungo periodo di tempo in passato. E' iniziata e finita in passato. 

  • I ate an apple everyday for 1 year - Ho mangiato una mela ogni giorno per 1 anno
  • I always ate an apple for breakfast in 2015 - Ho mangiato sempre una mela per colazione nel 2015 (qui si può anche usare l'imperfetto come traduzione)

3.     Used to talk about things that were true in the past but are no longer. Similar to the imperfect tense - Per parlare di cose che sono state vere in passato ma non sono vere mai più. (Qui si può anche usare l'imperfetto come traduzione).

  • You never liked apples, right? But now you do? - Non ti sono mai piaciute le mele, vero? Ma ora sì?
  • People never cared about that before the internet - La gente non si è mai interessata a questa cosa prima di Internet
  • (People never used to care about that before the internet)

PRESENT PERFECT

1.     Not for specific things, more general. You can use it when talking about something you have experienced in life. - Per cose più generali. Si usa questo tempo per parlare di cose che una persona ha fatto nella sua vita in generale.

  • I have been to Italy (in general, I’ve been to Italy) - Sono stato in Italia (ma non dico quando)
  • I’ve been to Italy before - Sono stato in Italia prima (si capisce che è successo in passato ma non quando esattamente)
  • I’ve been to Italy many times - Sono stato in Italia molte volte
  • I haven’t visited Italy for many years, but I can’t wait to go back! (but you still are expressing here that you have gone there before in your life, you’ve had that experience) - Non ho visitato l'Italia per molti anni, ma non vedo l'ora di tornarci! (Ancora qui hai detto che sei stato in Italia prima, è un'esperienza che hai avuto)

2.     Expressing something you have always wanted to happen for a long time that still hasn’t happened yet - Per parlare di qualcosa che ha voluto fare da molto tempo ma ancora non l'hai fatta

  • I have always wanted to go to Italy - Ho sempre voluto andare in Italia / E' da sempre che voglio andare in Italia
  • I have never said that in my life (in the past and even today, I have never said such a thing) - Non ho mai detto quello in vita mia (in passato e anche oggi, non ho mai detto una cosa del genere)

3.     Accomplishments (something that was once inconclusive but now is. Also used for things you’re expecting to conclude soon, as we saw before) - Traguardi raggiunti. (Un traguardo non raggiunto in passato ma ora lo è. Anche per cose che aspetti che concluderanno presto, come abbiamo visto prima).

  • I have finally figured it out (in the past I didn’t know how to do it, but now I do) - Ho finalmente scoperto come si fa (in passato non sapevo come si facesse, ma ora sì)

4.     For things that have changed over the course of time - Per cose che hanno cambiato col tempo

  • This has become one of my favorite songs (because in the past I wasn’t sure, but now I love it) - Questa è diventata una delle mie canzoni preferite (perché in passato non ne ero sicuro, ma ora l'amo)

Simple Past e Present Perfect, come sono simili

  • I always wanted to go to Italy
  • I’ve always wanted to go to Italy

In America we do tend to use the SP more than PP, but doesn’t mean we’re all like that. E' vero che in america c'è una tendenza di usare il Simple Past così spesso e non il Present Perfect (perché technicamente il Present Perfect va meglio usato in questo contesto), ma non vuol dire che tutti gli americani sono così e parlano così ogni giorno.

The first phrase in SP means “in the past I wanted that and I stopped wanting it in the past”. - La prima frase vuol dire "in passato volevo quello e ho smesso di volerlo in passato".

The second phrase in PP (which has the true meaning of the phrase) is that in the past I developed this desire and still to this day I have it. So I still want to go, I just don’t know when I will. - La seconda frase al Present Perfect (che technicamente si deve usare il questo contesto) è che in passato ho avuto questa voglia e ancora oggi ce l'ho. Voglio ancora andarci, è solo che non so quando ci andrò).

  • Did you see Sofia? (did you see Sofia that time when you were at the party? All in the past). - Hai visto Sofia? (L'hai vista quella volta quando eri alla festa? Tutto al passato)
  • Have you seen Sofia? (have you seen her just a few minutes ago? Recently? Because I’m still looking for her) - Hai visto Sofia? (L'hai vista poco fa? Recentamente? Perché ancora la cerco)
  • Yes she was just over there (I saw her over there, don’t know where she is now. But in the past when I was there, that’s where she was too. It’s all concluded) - Sì, lei era là (l'ho visto al di là, non so dov'è adesso. Ma in passato quando anch'io c'ero, c'era anche lei. E' tutto concluso).

OR you can say this - O si può dire questo:

Talking about the party right now, Tom hasn’t arrived yet. Si referisce alla festa adesso, Tom non è ancora arrivato:

  • Have you seen Tom? I don’t know if he’s here yet. - Hai visto Tom? Non so se sia arrivato ancora.
  • No, I haven’t seen him. Maybe he’s stuck in traffic? - No, non l'ho visto. Forse si è bloccato nel traffico?
  • Have you seen Tom at all today? - Per caso hai visto Tom oggi?
  • I haven’t seen him at all. I don’t know what happened. - No, non l'ho visto mica. Non so cosa è successo.

Il giorno dopo….

  • Did you see Tom at the party? I never saw him. - Hai visto Tom alla festa? Non l'ho mai visto.
  • No, I didn’t see him either. I don’t think he could make it. - No, non l'ho visto neanche. Non penso che abbia potuto venire.

 

I hope this helps clear up the differences between the tenses! Feel free to reach out if you still are having difficulty!

And always remember to SPREAD THE LOVE!

Tom

The Italian Imperative Mood

Weilà weilà! Today we are finally going over the highly requested and long anticipated topic of the Italian Imperative Mood, known as the Imperativo in Italian. (Please note, any time you ever see me write an entire word in caps [i.e. TU, VOI] know that it's just for emphasis).

Simply put, the Imperativo is used when giving a command or direct order. You're telling someone they should or shouldn't do something. You only ever use the Imperativo with the Present Tense. That's why this is a mood. The Imperativo, just like the Congiuntivo, is not a tense (despite the fact that in some videos I called it a tense, just made it easier at the time). Here are a few examples in English:

"Don't go there!"

"Come over here!"

"Take care guys!"

"Let's go!"

Keep in mind that you can give commands when you're happy or angry, serious or sarcastic. Think about the different situations in which you could say these four phrases in varying moods and you'll see what I mean.

As with everything, there are many ways you could go about teaching this topic. This is a monster-sized area of Italian and a very advanced one at that. But don't let that discourage you, if anything, let it make you look forward to conquering it! What I'm going to do is split up this lesson in 3 main areas: 1) Negative Commands, 2) Positive Commands, and 3) Commands with Pronouns. 

1 - Negative Commands

I find giving negative commands in Italian to be the simplest way of using the Imperativo, so that's why we're going to begin with it.

So how do you give a negative command or order in Italian? It's pretty simple. If you're addressing one person and you're referring to them as TU, you simply put NON in front of a verb in it's infinitive form. (The infinitive form of a verb refers to one that still has its -ARE, -ERE, or -IRE ending on it, it hasn't been conjugated.) Here are some examples:

Non entrare - Do not enter

Non parlare - Do not talk/speak

Pretty simple, right? But what about when you're referring to a group of people and you're therefore properly addressing them as VOI? This is even simpler. Just put NON in front of the voi conjugation of the verb in the present tense:

Non entrate - Do not enter

Non parlate - Do not talk/speak

The last pronoun we need to concern ourselves with when giving a negative command is NOI. I think it's much more common for us to give negative commands to "you" or "you guys", but I can think of some situations where I'd give a negative command to a group that I'm a part of. Let's take a look at some examples, we'll be using the same logic as we did with voi above:

Non entriamo - We do not enter

Non parliamo - We do not talk/speak

I feel it's pretty clear to see how we give a negative command to a group we are a part of in Italian, but can get a bit fuzzy in English. I think there are a few other translations we can give in English, like "we shall not enter" or "we are not entering". You could even go as far as to say "we are not going in there!" (That sounds a lot better to me). So the English part of this is open for interpretation.

Now, what about all of the other pronouns? Well, whenever you give a command, you always refer to the person or group of people as "you". Because of that, the Imperativo really doesn't involve the other pronouns (the only other pronoun you will come across is Lei when you're being formal, but we'll get into that another time). Today we're just going to be focusing on the most common "tu, voi, & noi". 

2 - Positive Commands

Let's now take a look at how to give a simple positive command or order. Keep in mind, when I say "positive" I mean we're telling you to do something. Remember, above with "negative" commands, that's when we're telling you not to do something. With either positive or negative commands, you could be friendly or not so much.

We're going to begin with TU. This is when you give a positive command to one person and you address them informally.

For all regular -ARE verbs, the verb ending will be A.

For all regular -ERE and -IRE verbs, the verb endings will be the same as they always are in the present tense.

Parla! - Speak!

Parla per te! - Speak for yourself!

Scrivi qualcosa! - Write something!

Pulisci la stanza! - Clean the room!

For any of you like me who have Italian grandparents, I'm sure you've heard this command at least once or twice in your life: "Vieni qua!" - Come here ;) Now you know the mechanics behind the phrase! 

Positive commands with VOI and NOI are just as simple (if not more so) as giving negative ones. All you have to do is conjugate any verb in either the VOI or NOI forms and you've got yourself a positive command!

Here are some examples with NOI:

Andiamo! - Let's go!

Andiamo a ballare! - Let's go dance/dancing!

Examples with VOI:

Venite a casa mia! - Come to my house!

Fate i vostri compiti! - Do your homework!

3 - Commands with Pronouns

Now that we've covered all of the basics, we're going to turn up the level a bit. In order to understand what we're about to go over, you need to have a good understanding of Direct, Indirect, and Double Object Pronouns. What we're about to go over is basically going to take what we went over in the Double Object Pronouns lesson one step further. Click on any of the bold & blue writing in this paragraph to go to the respective blog post to learn more about them.

We're going to look at FARE (to do), DARE (to give), & DIRE (to say) when giving positive commands with pronouns as these are very common verbs to use when doing so. I'm going to refer to these as "complex commands".

Here's what you do when you ask someone to do, to give, or to say something and there's already an understanding of what the "something" is. I'll show you the end result and then back into every example:

Fammelo vedere! - Show it to me!

Let's break this down:

You can say to someone "Mi fai vedere il libro?" - "Can you show me the book?" (Keep in mind you can also say "Mi puoi fare vedere il libro?" for a more literal translation.) 

Let's say the person hasn't let you see it yet. You can repeat the question with the shortened: "Me lo fai vedere?" - "Can you show it to me?" We can say this because we know that "lo" - "it" refers to "il libro" - "the book".

Now, let's say this is the third time you're asking to see the book because you still haven't seen it. This time around you can say the extremely shortened command "Fammelo vedere!" - "Show it to me!" or "Let me see it!" (In English we could say either translation, I'd probably use the latter.)

As you can see from the three examples, we went from a polite question to a straight up command. In general with Italian, saying the first phrase is seen as the most courteous while the last is seen as the least polite.  

(I realize there may be some of you who are asking yourselves "Why does Fare, which means 'to make', mean 'to show' in these examples?" That's because you can use it to mean "to show" in this contexts like this, it's very common.)

Let's now look at the last two examples with a bit less explanation as they follow the same logic as everything above for "fare":

Dammelo adesso! - Give it to me now! 

1) Mi dai il pane per favore? - Can you give me the bread please?

2) Me lo dai? - Can you give it to me?

3) Dammelo! - Give it to me!

Dimmelo per favore! - Tell me it now please!

1) Mi dici il segreto per favore? - Can you tell me the secret please?

2) Me lo dici? - Can you tell me (it)?

3) Dimmelo! - Tell me!

As you can see, we've only covered how to give commands with Fare, Dare, and Dire when telling someone to do, to give, or to say something to "me". I find this to be the easiest way to introduce and first learn how to use the Imperativo with pronouns. At at later time we can dive deeper into this topic and see how to give these complex commands using different verbs and pronouns. But generally speaking, it is safe to say that these are the most commonly used verbs for giving these sorts of commands formed with pronouns.

The last thing I'm going to cover is how to give these very same complex commands but as negative ones. We will follow a combined logic of what we learned in Section 1 and what we just went over here in Section 3. Take a look at the positive and then negative form of the same commands:

Fammelo vedere - Show it to me // Non farmelo vedere - Don't show it to me

Dammelo adesso - Give it to me now // Non darmelo adesso - Don't give it to me now

Dimmelo per favore - Tell me please // Non dirmelo per favore - Don't tell me please

It does feel a little odd saying the negative complex commands this way, usually you add some more words into the phrases. But I just wanted to demonstrate the logic and mechanics behind the formation of negative complex commands, and I feel those examples do just that.

So that is it for today, I hope you found all of this digestible. I realize this third section may be pretty tough for some of you. That's perfectly normal. Like I said at the beginning of this post, the Imperativo is certainly advanced Italian. You can totally get by without ever having to use it in conversation, but once you've got yourself a nice solid foundation of the language you can totally move on to tackle this!

Best of luck, have fun, and always remember to SPREAD THE LOVE!

Tom

5 Common Italian Irregular Verbs

Weilà weilà raga!! Let's talk about irregular verbs! I haven't covered much of these before in my videos or blog posts, but that's going to be changing today! 

Today we'll be covering Avere (to have), Essere (to be), Fare (to do/to make), Volere (to want), and Potere (to be able to/can). Now, I have gone over these in some videos before, but what we'll be doing today is putting these guys in one place.

Let's begin with Avere, which means To Have. Here's how we conjugate it in the Present Tense:

Avere - to have

io ho - I have

tu hai - you have

lui/lei ha - he/she has

noi abbiamo - we have

voi avete* - you guys/all have

loro hanno - they have

*I'd like to note that voi is simply the you pronoun that you use when addressing more than one person. That's why I recommend translating it as either you guys or you all in English. But, feel free to just translate it as something like you (plural) if that's easier for you.

Also keep in mind that the letter H at the beginning of some of the conjugations is silent. And, the pronouns (for all conjugations in Italian) are not required. I include them in our conjugations to make it easier to remember which conjugation correlates with each pronoun.

Here are some examples of Avere used in a sentence:

- Abbiamo una macchina molto bella = We have a very nice car

- Ho un cane che si chiama Fido = I have a dog named/called Fido

- Lei ha una bottiglia d'acqua = She has a bottle of water

Now let's move on to see how we conjugate Essere, which means To Be, in the Present Tense:

Essere - to be

io sono* - I am

tu sei - you are

lui/lei è - he/she is

noi siamo - we are

voi siete - you guys/all are

loro sono* - they are

*As the conjugations for io and loro are the same, usually it's context that helps you to know who we're talking about, otherwise, feel free to use the pronouns when speaking or writing in Italian.

Here are some examples of Essere used in a sentence: 

- Lei è una ragazza simpatica = She is nice girl

- Lui è un ragazzo simpatico = He is a nice boy

- Siamo molto felici stasera (group of girls & boys) = We are very happy this evening

- Io sono alto (masculine) = I am tall

- Io sono alta (feminine) = I am tall

Notice how the endings of all of our words agree with the gender of the person we're referring to? With Essere, the number of people/things and gender of them must all agree. It's called la concordanza (literally "the agreement"). In English, we refer to this as "gender and number agreement". For more information on this area, refer to my video on Definite Articles and Possession. Click here to watch the video and click here to read the correlating blog post.

Now let's take a look at Fare, which means either To Do or To Make, in the Present Tense (by the way, I'll just be showing the translation as "to do" so we don't have so many slashes everywhere, I find those distracting):

Fare - to do/make

io faccio - I do

tu fai - you do

lui/lei fa - he/she does

noi facciamo - we do

voi fate - you guys/all do

loro fanno - they do

Here are some examples:

- Faccio i miei compiti ogni sera = I do my homework every evening

- Fanno sempre dei dolci deliziosi = They always make delicious desserts

- Fai questa per me? = Are you doing this for me?

Now onto Volere, which means To Want, conjugated in the Present Tense:

Volere - To Want

io voglio - I want

tu vuoi - you want

lui/lei vuole - he/she wants

noi vogliamo - we want

voi volete - you guys/all want

loro vogliono - they want

Here are some examples:

- Voglio un gelato al cioccolato = I want a chocolate gelato

- Vuoi venire alla mia festa? = Do you want to come to my party?

- Voi non volete mangiare quei biscotti? = Do you guys not want to eat the cookies?

Finally, let's look at Potere, which means To Be Able or simply Can, in the Present Tense:

Potere - To Be Able/Can

io posso - I can

tu puoi - you can

lui/lei può - he/she can

noi possiamo - we can

voi potete - you guys/all can

loro possono - they can

Examples:

- Noi possiamo nuotare molto bene = We can swim very well

- Puoi venire a casa mia più tardi? = Can you come to my house later?

- Non possono vedere quel video = They can't see that video

So this has been my lesson on 5 of some of the most common irregular verbs in Italian!

Always remember to SPREAD THE LOVE!

Tom

Italian Prepositions & Prepositional Articles

Weilà raga! How are you all today? I hope well! Today I'm going to be talking to you guys about Italian Prepositional Articles. This has been a highly requested topic and I'm happy to finally sit down and talk about it!

 

First thing's first, below you'll find a chart that you can use to see how you form prepositional articles. Treat it like a multiplication or addition table. 

On the top row we have the Italian Definite Articles (the), if you're unfamiliar with them or need a brushing up, I highly recommend checking out the video I've done on them before moving on. You can click here to see it now or check out the video later down below where you can watch it directly on this page without having to leave to go over to YouTube. I also recommend checking out all of my other Grammar Basics videos, I feel its good to have an understanding of everything I went over in those videos so you can better be able to fully understand how to use the Italian Prepositional Articles in different contexts. I'll put links for everything down below.

 

On the left most column we have the Italian Prepositions (at, in, of, for, on respectively). When you put the Prepositions and the Definite Articles together, you form a Prepositional Article! And that's what we have in Italics (slanted font). Prepositional Articles are used to say things like "on the" or "from the," for example.

 

Before we move on to seeing how all of this works, please note that in this blog post I'll be using the verb "essere" in all of my examples, whereas in the video I used "stare."

 

So here's how you work the chart, read it like this to form the Italian Prepositional Articles:

a + il = al

a + la = alla  

a + i = ai

a + le = alle

a lo = allo

a + gli agli

a + l' = all'   

 

Now I'm going to get into explaining everything:

 

Here are the Prepositions and their meanings: 

a = at/in/to

in = in/at

di = of

da = from

su = on

 

All of the Definite Articles (il, la, i, le, lo, gli, l') mean "the." 

 

Let's now break down every single one of these Prepositions and see some examples:

 

First up is "a" which means "at, to, & in"

 

  • "a" means "at" when you're saying things like, "I'm at home" = "Sono a casa." Its a perfect, literal translation.
  • "a" means "in" when you're talking about being "in" a City or Town. For example: "I'm in Rome" = "Sono a Roma." 
  • "a" means "to" when you're talking about going "to" a place, City or Town. For example: "I'm going to work" = "Vado al lavoro." Or, "I'm going to Rome" = "Vado a Roma."

I'd like to take a minute to explain "vado al lavoro" a little further. The reason why I said "al" instead of "a" is because the phrase broken down would be this: "vado a il lavoro." Because we have "a + il" in the sentence, we have to combine them to form a Prepositional Article. As the chart shows us above, "a + il = al." 

 

Now, let's move on to "in" which means "in" and sometimes "to"

 

  • "In" means "in" when you are talking about a person or an object being "in" something. For example, "It is in the box" = "È nella scatola." 
    • If we broke down this phrase we'd have: "È in la scatola." We have "in" followed by "la," and like the chart above shows us, "in + la = nella." 
  • "In" also means "in" when you are talking about being "in" a Country, State or Region. For example, "I'm in Italy" = "Sono in Italia." A nice, literal translation.
  • "In" means "to" when you are talking about going "to" a Country, State or Region. For example, "I'm going to Italy" = "Vado in Italia."

Next we have "di" which means "of" and sometimes "from"

  • "di" means "of" when you're talking about possession. For example, "This is Tom's video" = "Questo è il video di Tom." In Italian, whenever you're saying something like "Tom's video" you have to think of it as "the video of Tom." 
    • (Ever wonder where last names like "Di Francesco" originated? Well, in the olden days you referred to someone as being "of" a specific family or person. That's why another name for "last name" or "surname" is "family name." If my last name were "Di Francesco" that would mean that I am the son of Francesco or that I came from the family referred to as Francesco. Same thing in other cultures with surnames like "O'Riley" or "McRoberts" and so on.)
  • "di" also means "of" when you're talking about what something is made "of." For example: "the desk is made of wood" = "la scrivania è fatta di legno."
  • "di" can also mean "from" when asking where someone is from. But only when we're involving the verb "essere." For example, "Di dove sei?" = "Where are you from?"

Next is "da" which means "from"

 

  • "da" means "from" in a similar way to "di" except for the fact that the verb "essere" is not involved. For example, "I received a gift from Tom" = "Ho ricevuto un regalo da Tom." 
  • "da" is also used whenever you're talking about going to someone's house. To say "I'm going to Tom's" or "I'm going to Tom's house" in Italian you'd say, "Vado da Tom." This is an example of what I refer to as "the Italian way" of saying something, because its not a literal translation. This also goes for when you're saying that you're going to the doctor's, "vado dal dottore" = "I'm going to the doctor's." 

Finally we have "su" which means "on"

  • "su" means "on" when you want to say something like, "The book is on the table" = "il libro è sulla tavola."

Now, you may find as you study Italian further that there are some other uses for these Prepositions. Just to give you an example, "da" can be used when you're asking someone "how long" they've been somewhere. But to explain just that is a whole lesson in and of itself. My objective today is just to introduce you guys to these Prepositions, their main uses, and how they work with Definite Articles to become Prepositional Articles. 

 

I hope I was clear and made sense! I know it can seem very confusing at first and like there are tons of rules, but with time and practice it will become easier, trust me! These rules rarely cross my mind when I speak Italian, but that's because I'm comfortable with speaking it and have been doing so for years. As with everything, and especially language, "practice makes perfect."

 

Here is the video that correlates with this blog post:

Here is the Definite Article video I mentioned a couple of times above:

Always remember to SPREAD THE LOVE!

Tom

Italian Definite Articles & Possession

Weilà raga! Here are notes of everything I went over in my video on Italian Definite Articles & Possession (how to say "my" in Italian).

In Italian,  there are several ways of saying "the." It depends on the amount of things you're referring to and their gender. In Italian, both people and objects have genders.

Here are all of the different ways to say "the" in Italian: il, la, i, le, l', lo, gli

To make things easier when learning these definite articles for the first time, I consider there to be 7 definite articles in Italian, as you can see above. However, in reality there are only 6. You see, the L' definite articles is actually the same as using il or la, but the word that follows begins with a vowel. So what happens is you combine the definite article and the word that begins with a vowel to have something that looks like this: l'amore (= il + amore), l'aula (= la + aula).  

Let's now take a look at all of the definite articles (which I'll be dividing into 7 sections) and when and how they're used in Italian:

il (pronounced eel) - THE for masculine, singular words that end in O

ex: il libro = the book

 

i (pronounced like the letter e in English) - THE for masculine, plural words. Change word ending from O - I

ex: il libro becomes I LIBRI = the books

 

la (pronounced as it's written, la) - THE for feminine, singular words that end in A

ex: la porta = the door

 

le (pronounced leh) - THE for feminine, plural words. Change word ending from A - E

ex: la porta becomes LE PORTE = the doors

 

lo (pronounced ) - THE for masculine, singular words that start with s+consonant (consonant = any letter that's not a vowel) or z.

ex: lo schermo = the screen, lo zaino = the backpack

 

gli (pronounced ji or yee) - THE for masculine, plural words that start with s+consonant or z. Change word ending from O - I

ex: lo schermo (the screen) becomes GLI SCHERMI = the screens; lo zaino (the backpack) becomes GLI ZAINI = the backpacks

 

l' - THE for masculine or feminine words that begin with a vowel

ex: l'anno = the year

 

For masculine words that begin with a vowel, to make plural use GLI and change word ending from O to I, like with all masculine words

ex: l'anno (the year) becomes GLI ANNI = the years

 

For feminine words that begin with a vowel, to make plural use LE and change word ending from A to E, like with all feminine words

ex: l'aula (the classroom) becomes LE AULE = the classrooms

 

For feminine words that end with an accent mark on the last letter, DO NOT change the last letter from A to E when making the word plural. Just change the definite article from LA to LE

ex: l'università (the university) becomes LE UNIVERSITÀ = the universities

ex2: la città (the city) becomes LE CITTÀ = the cities

Now let's move onto seeing how to say "my" in Italian. You'll find the logic to be similar to that of the definite articles above:

il mio (pronounced eel-me-yo) - MY for masculine, singular words

ex: il mio libro = my book

 

i miei (pronounced e-meyay) - MY for masculien, plural words. Change word ending from O - I

ex: il mio libro (my book) becomes I MIEI LIBRI = my books

 

la mia (pronounced as it's written la-meya) - MY for feminine, singular words

ex: la mia macchina = my car

 

le mie (pronounced leh-me-eh) - MY for feminine, singular words. Change word ending from A - E

ex: la mia macchina (my car) becomes LE MIE MACCHINE = my cars

 

DO NOT USE L', GLI, AND LO WITH MY

Just say: IL MIO ZAINO (my backback) and I MIEI ZAINI (my backpacks)

LA MIA AULA (my classroom) and LE MIE AULE (my classrooms)

 

Always remember to SPREAD THE LOVE!

Tom

Italian Double Object Pronouns

Weilà raga! Let's talk about Italian Double Object Pronouns - a really great and fun topic. In Italian these are called pronomi doppi or pronomi combinati.

Double Object Pronouns are formed when you have an Indirect Object Pronoun followed by a Direct Object Pronoun. These help us to make our speech even more condensed than when using Indirect or Direct Object Pronouns alone. If you would like to review Indirect and Direct Object Pronouns, I'll have their videos and blog posts linked down at the bottom of this post.

 

Here's a chart that I made showing how to form Double Object Pronouns

Here's how you work the chart: on the left you have the Indirect Object Pronouns and on the top you have the third person singular and plural Direct Object Pronouns plus ne. Then in the middle in italics you have the Double Object Pronouns. Treat this like you would a multiplication table.

 

I included ne, despite it not being either an Indirect or Direct Object Pronoun, because I've found people tend to use it often when using Double Object Pronouns.

 

Let's now break each one of these down, they're pretty simple to use once you get the hang of them. I'll also include some examples of them in phrases.

 

Mi (to me):

mi + lo = me lo

mi + la = me la

mi + li = me li

mi + le = me le

mi + ne = me ne

 

Mi dai il pane?

- Can you give me the bread?

 

Me lo dai?

- Can you give it to me?

 

See how using a Double Object Pronoun in the second phrase made our question a lot shorter? But keep in mind that you can only use these pronouns when you know what you're referring to. So think of the second question as you repeating the yourself to someone after already having asked for the bread. That way, it's clear than when you're asking for "it" you're referring to "il pane" (the bread). Otherwise, as in any language, just saying "can you give it to me" doesn't make any sense if we don't know what it is first.

 

There's an even more condensed way of saying this, but this is when you're giving a command:

 

Dammelo

- Give it to me

 

I think we'll dive deeper into these sorts of commands in another lesson. But I just wanted to show it to you because it does exist and you will certainly hear stuff like this around.

 

Let's now move onto the next pronoun.

 

Ti (to you):

ti + lo = te lo

ti + la = te la

ti + li = te li

ti + le = te le

ti + ne = te ne

 

Ti voglio offrire una birra

- I want to offer you a beer

 

Te la voglio offrire

- I want to offer it to you

 

Here you could also use ne by saying "Ti voglio offrirne una" = "I want to offer you one." But that's obviously not a phrase with a Double Object Pronoun.

 

We're now going to look at the third person singular and third person plural Double Object Pronouns together because they're the same! This is fantastic as it means we've got less to memorize! Also, it's important to note that BOTH the Indirect Object Pronouns gli & le become glie when placed next to Direct Object Pronouns. You'll see that here in our breakdown:

 

Gli & Le (to him & to her):

gli/le + lo = glielo

gli/le + la = gliela

gli/le + li = glieli

gli/le + le = gliele

gli/le + ne = gliene

 

Gli (to them):

gli + lo = glielo

gli + la = gliela

gli + li = glieli

gli + le = gliele

gli + ne = gliene

 

For the examples, I'd like to now take a different approach and show you questions and answers:

 

Puoi spiegare la regola a Maria?

- Can you explain the rule to Maria?

 

Certo, gliela spiego subito

- Sure, I'll explain it to her right away

 

(Keep in mind that sometimes, in situations like this, we can use the Italian Present Tense to talk about things that will occur in the future. Whereas in English this is not possible, as you can see by our translation.)

 

In this example, we said gliela because we're talking about explaining la regola to Maria, and regola is a feminine word. It doesn't matter that we're talking about explaining the rule to a girl, because for both males and females the Double Object Pronoun is glie

 

So if I just changed Maria to Tom the sentence would be exactly the same in Italian. Just in English we'll see a difference.

 

Puoi spiegare la regola a Tom?

- Can you explain the rule to Tom?

 

Certo, gliela spiego subito

- Sure, I'll explain it to him right away

 

Now let's look at this example when referring to plural items, like le regole (the rules).

 

Puoi dire le regole a loro, per favore?

- Can you tell them the rules, please?

 

Ok, gliele dico adesso

Okay, I'll tell them now

 

Here, we could easily swap out them for either Tom or Maria and the phrases would be exactly the same in Italian. The reason goes back to how there is only one Double Object Pronoun when dealing with the third person, whether singular or plural.

 

Now let's move on to ci vi!

 

Ci (to us):

ci + lo = ce lo

ci + la = ce la

ci + li = ce li

ci + le = ce le

ci + ne = ce ne

 

I've found with ci a great way to learn how to use it as a Double Object Pronoun is actually to talk about quantity, when we use c'è & ci sono (there is & there are, respectively). Take a look at this example:

 

Quanti negozi ci sono qui?

- How many stores are there here?

 

Ce ne sono molti

- There are many (of them)

 

Here's an example with ci used as "to us":

 

Chi ci porterà i biscotti?

- Who will bring us the cookies/biscotti?

 

Giovanna ce li porterà

- Giovanna will bring them to us

 

Vi (to you guys/all):

vi + lo = ve lo

vi + la = ve la

vi + li = ve li

vi + le = ve le

vi + ne = ve ne

 

Ci prometti che verrai alla festa?

- Promise us you'll come to the party?

 

Ve lo prometto

- I promise (it to you guys)

 

Here I'd just like to note that I used lo as the Direct Object Pronoun. That's because generally you'll find Italians use lo whenever referring to a verb. In this last example I said "promise us you'll come to the party". What's the main thing here we're asking? That you'll come. Because of that, because we're talking about a verb, use lo. I realize this may not necessarily make that much sense, but trust me on it.

 

As an little added bonus for you guys reading this blog post, I'd like to share some examples of how you can use Double Object Pronouns  in a compound verb tense. I've got some examples with them used in the Passato Prossimo. Keep in mind that you usually attach lo & la onto the auxiliary verb avere and you need to be mindful of gender and the number of things you're talking about

 

Ho sentito che Gianna non è all'aeroporto

- I heard that Gianna is not at the airport 

 

Chi te l'ha detto?

- Who told you (that)?

 

Dai i biscotti al cane

- Give the cookies to the dog

 

Gliel'ho dati già

- I already gave them to him/her

 

When using Indirect, Direct, and Double Object Pronouns in a compound verb tense (in other words, a verb tense that has helping verbs) you need to be mindful of the gender and number of things you're talking about. Despite the fact that you may not always have the verb essere involved. If this is something that seems a bit confusing right now, just know that with time it will make sense.

 

So that is my explanation of the Italian Double Object Pronouns. I did my best to explain it in as simple and straight forward of a way as I could think of. Feel free to reach out on social media with any questions, I'll do my best to help you out!

 

Always remember to SPREAD THE LOVE!

Tom

 

Learn Italian - Direct Object Pronouns:

Learn Italian - Indirect Object Pronouns:

How to use "ne" in Italian:

Italian Indirect Object Pronouns

Weilà weilà raga! How's it going everyone?! This blog post contains the notes of what I went over in my video "Learn Italian - Indirect Object Pronouns."

Indirect Object Pronouns are very similar to Direct Object Pronouns. The difference lies in 2 main areas - the third person pronouns (lui/lei) and in how Direct Object Pronouns answer the questions "whom?" and/pr "what?" while Indirect Object Pronouns answer the questions "to whom?" and/or "for whom?"

The best way to understand the differences is by seeing lots of examples. But first let me introduce you guys to the Indirect Object Pronouns:

Mi - a me (to me)

Ti - a te (to you)

Gli - a lui (to him)

Le - a lei (to her)

Ci - a noi (to us)

Vi - a voi (to you guys/you all)

Gli - a loro (to them)

 

Look familiar? Well, if you remember my video "How To Say 'I Like' in Italian," these will look very familiar.

Let's do a little review then, shall we? With "Piacere," which is the verb used to say "To like," we have to think in a reversed way. We have to think that "Something is pleasing TO ME" or that "TO ME something is pleasing" in order to say "I like something." It's just the way it works in Italian.

So this is the same mindset, which I have referred to in the past as a "backwards way of thinking," that we need to have in order to best understand how to use Italian Indirect Object Pronouns.

Let's now take a look at how Indirect Object Pronouns are different from Direct Object Pronouns and then we'll just get into loads of examples:

 

Direct:

Conosci Tom? (Do you know Tom?)

Sì, LO conosco (Yes, I know HIM) or (Yes, IT IS HIM that I know) Remember, backwards/reversed way of thinking.

 

Indirect:

Puoi scrivere qualcosa a Tom? (Can you write something to Tom?)

Sì, GLI scrivo qualcosa (Yes, I'll write something TO HIM) or (Yes, TO HIM I'll write something)

 

Let's break these down:

In the Direct example, we answered the question "WHO is it that you know?"

In the Indirect example, we answered the question "TO WHOM will you write something?"

See the difference? That TO WHOM makes all the difference.

 

For the Indirect example, you could just do this:

Puoi scrivere qualcosa a Tom?

Sì, scrivo qualcosa a Tom

 

But do you see how it's repetitive? It sounds weird when you say it. That's why these pronouns are so useful.

 

Now let the examples role! After a while you'll get the hang of this, trust me. You'll also see that Indirect Object Pronouns and Reflexive verbs work in the same way, as well as how some verbs can use both Indirect or Direct Object Pronouns, just depending on the context.

 

Mi puoi portare qualcosa da bere? (Can you bring me something to drink?)

Sì, ti porto qualcosa subito! (Yes, I'll bring you something right away!)

This answers the question, TO WHOM will you bring something? TO YOU.

 

Ci dai più tempo, per favore? (Can you give us more time, please?

This answers the question, TO WHOM can you give more time? TO US.

 

Vi chiediamo scusa. (We ask for your forgiveness)

This answers the question, TO WHOM are you asking forgiveness? TO YOU GUYS.

 

Lui vuole parlare con mia mamma? (He wants to talk to my mom?)

No, non le vuole parlare (No, he doesn't want to talk to her)

This answers the question, WHO IS IT that he wants to talk to? TO HER


You could also say "TO WHOM does he want to talk?" - this is just the formal way of putting this. Sorry if it confuses anyone! I know, it can sound strange. But it is grammatically correct.

 

If you ever find it too difficult to use an Indirect Object Pronoun, like in our last example, there are two other ways of wording that response:

"No, lui non le vuole parlare" - that way you reinforce that it is HE that doesn't want to talk TO HER

"No, lui non vuole parlare con lei" - this is without using an indirect object pronoun

 

If you're wondering whether you can attach Indirect Object Pronouns onto the end of a verb in its infinitive form, you can! 

 

So we can actually write out last example like this: "No, lui non vuole parlarle"

 

Rest assured that to get things like this you just needs lots of practice. Maybe some of you got it right away. But just try to come up with some sentences on your own and see how you do. There are also lots of examples available online. I'll leave some links for some sites with examples down below.

 

So this has been my lesson on Italian Indirect Object Pronouns! Now that we know how to use both Indirect and Direct Object Pronouns, we can move on to Double Pronouns, which are my favorite. When you use them you sound like such a boss. Double Pronouns are essentially when you use Indirect and Direct Object Pronouns in the same sentence. That lesson will be coming soon!

My Direct Object Pronoun Video:

 

My "How To Say 'I Like' in Italian" video