Pick up Italian for Travelers & Beginners in just 5 weeks

Get ready for Italy with this comprehensive course on Italy and the Italian Language! Communicate, explore, stay safe.
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  • Lectures 84
  • Length 22 hours
  • Skill Level Beginner Level
  • Languages English
  • Includes Lifetime access
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About This Course

Published 8/2014 English

Course Description

THE MOST COMPLETE AND EFFECTIVE ITALIAN COURSE ON UDEMY
>>>> More than 1,260 students enrolled in this course in the first week! <<<<<

**** Updated on: February 24, 2015 ****

GET READY FOR ITALY! LEARN ITALIAN AND HOW ITALY WORKS!

INTRODUCING THE FIRST AND ONLY SIMPLIFIED, TARGETED COURSE IN ITALIAN FOR TRAVELERS AND BEGINNERS. LEARN SURVIVAL ITALIAN IN JUST 5 WEEKS!

Ever dreamed of the perfect vacation to magical Italy?

Imagine walking through the streets of ancient Rome, sunbathing on the beaches of Sorrento, riding the gondolas in the canals of Venice, relaxing in the Tuscan countryside, savoring the unique wines and exploring the colorful Italian cuisine...

Well, Italy is indeed a special place with a million things to do, see and appreciate, where you can create unforgettable memories for yourself and your loved ones.

But Italy can also be a true nightmare, if you're not prepared!

Italians do not usually speak English, and the few who do, are literally scared to use it, and will do anything to avoid having to speak English. This can translate in poor and impersonal service or, in the worst case scenario, it can lead to unpleasant experiences such as being overcharged or scammed.

It doesn't have to be that way.

Italians are welcoming and friendly by nature. Italy is one of those places in the world that can really change your life, and knowing the culture and the language is the key to accessing the “real Italy".


The solution?

Learn basic Italian! You can now pick up Italian easily and quickly with "Speak Italian From Day 1" the first and only interactive, simplified, targeted course in Italian for Travelers and Beginners. Because of its focus on travel, Speak Italian From Day 1is specifically designed to have you speaking and understanding functional and conversational Italian in as little as 6 weeks.

With Speak Italian From Day 1 you will learn the Italian you need to:

  • express your needs
  • order food and drinks
  • shop at stores and markets
  • travel by public transport or rental cars
  • make requests
  • understand directions
  • make complaints
  • meet people and socialize
  • stay safe and avoid fishy situations
  • find the best restaurants and places to eat
  • avoid being scammed or overcharged

and much more!

Unlike other Italian courses, Speak Italian From Day 1 gives just as much importance to understanding the Italian culture and customs. This allows you to fully experience Italy, while avoiding the common pitfalls and faux pas (like ordering cappuccino after breakfast hours - guaranteed to earn you bad looks!).

With a ton of tips and tricks for your vacation, you will also learn to understand and speak more than you actually know.

That's right!! You will learn powerful communication tricks and shortcuts used by polyglots to enhance your communication with native Italians so that you can:

  • understand up to 70% of communications in Italians
  • stop worrying about sentence structure
  • predict word's meaning
  • correctly make up Italian words
  • avoid the common mistakes that usually hold you back when speaking a foreign language


With this course you get:

  • 6 Weeks of daily lessons (or 20+ hours of video training, to enjoy at your own pace!)
  • The closest to private tuition you'll ever find online! (no useless 3 minute videos!)
  • Q&A Webinars
  • Recorded face to face lessons with real students
  • Downloadable audio version of all lessons
  • Downloadable PDF lesson notes
  • Great variety of HD videos, covering the language, the customs, travel tips and lots of “Italian stuff"
  • Lifetime access to the course (no rush to complete it!)
  • Direct access to Manu Venditti, your Native Italian Tutor
  • 30 Day “No Questions Asked" Money Back Guarantee

So, for the Perfect Trip to Italy, just add Speak Italian From Day 1 to your luggage… it's as essential as your passport and camera!

Arrivederci e a presto,
Manu Venditti

What are the requirements?

  • no special requirements
  • Ability to play videos
  • PDF reader (Acrobat or other)
  • MP3 player or ability to play MP3 files (for the optional audio lectures)
  • Pen and paper to take notes (on top of the provided notes)

What am I going to get from this course?

  • Pick up essential Italian
  • Understand basic Italian
  • Express your needs in Italian
  • Communicate and be polite in Italian
  • Order food and drinks
  • Shop
  • Travel
  • Understand more Italian than you actually know
  • Speak more Italian than you actually know
  • Stay safe in Italy
  • Get VIP treatment everywhere you go
  • Save money and avoid being ripped off
  • Feel more confident about traveling to Italy
  • Experience more of the REAL Italy
  • Deal with emergencies
  • Make friends

What is the target audience?

  • Anyone planning to go to Italy
  • Anyone interested in learning Italian
  • Students of Italian who need a better understanding of the language
  • Anyone wanting access to a the most complete online course in Italian for Travelers

What you get with this course?

Not for you? No problem.
30 day money back guarantee.

Forever yours.
Lifetime access.

Learn on the go.
Desktop, iOS and Android.

Get rewarded.
Certificate of completion.

Curriculum

Section 1: Getting Ready For the Course
01:33

Buongiorno!

And Welcome to "Speak Italian From Day 1". The only targeted, simplified course in Italian for Travelers and Beginners!

Please read this short page to understand how to use this course.

This course was produced "live" with actual students and it was delivered through another platform. I am now excited to be bringing the same course here to Udemy and to have YOU as my student.

IMPORTANT
As you are watching the course, please disregard any reference to specific dates or days of the week, as well as any mention about "Live Classes". They are not relevant to this Udemy version of the course.

You have immediate and complete access to the full course, along with the recordings of the live sessions held with other students.

You can also download the audio version of most videos so you can take them with you when you're on the go. You will also find very useful lesson notes right on the screen, next to each video.

Alternatively, you can download the entire Course Manual if you prefer to reference it at any time or if you wish to print it. The full manual is available for download in this very lesson. Just promise me that you won't read the manual beyond the point you've reached with the videos, or you might get confused.

Perfetto! We are now ready to start our journey together! Buon divertimento (enjoy)!

Un saluto,

Manu Venditti

16:47

Introduction

Speak Italian From Day 1 means you should do your best to use whatever Italian you know on a daily basis, from the very beginning... even when you only know 5 words.

Here’s some suggestions on how to “speak Italian from day 1”:

  • Replace your everyday words with the Italian equivalents. Use them to interact with your family and travel companions. Cover your house in post-it’s with the Italian word for every object. Make your own or buy pre-made post-it’s here.
  • Listen to Italian radio. Don’t focus on what they’re saying, just have it in the background. Try Radio Italia.
  • Watch Italian recipes on Youtube. Try Giallo Zafferano.
  • Join a local social group of Italian lovers or Italians. Check out meetup.com.
  • Self-Talk. Talk to yourself with the stuff you’ve learned. Have mini dialogues.


How to approach this entire program

CONNECT -> INTERACT -> REACT so you can GET

(get great vacation, great memories, great service, VIP treatment etc.)

CONNECT

Always make the first contact in Italian.Be interested in getting to know Italians and their culture.

INTERACT

Prepare for each interaction. What does this scenario entail? What topics can I expect?Learn to “assume” what they could be saying to you. Use your Italian every day!

REACT

Learn to respond to Italians.Be jovial and easygoing. Italy works on a different clock and getting upset won’t serve you. It’s OK to make mistakes. They often provide a great ice-breaker!

Section 2: [Week 1] Ordering Food and Language Fundamentals
36:53

Buongiorno, sono il Signor Venditti. Sono italiano, di Roma. Parlo italiano, che è la mia madre lingua. Inglese, spagnolo e portoghese molto bene. Francese… così così, e anche giapponese... un po’. E Lei?

Good morning, I am Mr. Venditti. I am Italian, from Rome. I speak Italian, which is my mother tongue, English, Spanish and Portuguese very well. French… so so, and Japanese… a little. And you?

  • buongiorno = good morning
  • buonasera = good evening
  • sono = I am - verb “essere” (to be) conjugated in the “I” form.
  • il Signor = Mr.
  • la Signora = Mrs. or Ms. or Miss
  • italiano = Italian, as a quality (adjective). This is the masculine version. The feminine version is italiana.
  • di Roma = from Rome. (literally “of Rome”)

Nationalities: when looking up your nationality on a dictionary (try wordreference.com), you will be given the masculine version. If it ends with -o and you’re a woman, you’ll change that to -a. If it ends in -e, you don’t need to change it. americano - americana

australiano - australiana

inglese - inglese

neozelandese - neozelandese

  • parlo = I speak (from the verb “parlare” - to speak).
  • italiano - Italian, the language. You never change the gender of nouns. They are either masculine or feminine and that’s how it is!
  • che = which (also means that and who)
  • è = is - verb “essere” (to be) conjugated in the “he, she, it” form.
  • la mia = my
  • madre lingua = mother tongue. Notice the similarity between madre and mother and lingua and language.
  • inglese, portoghese, spagnolo = the English, Portuguese, and Spanish languages. These are nouns and do not change.
  • molto = very. It can also mean much/many. Molto never changes when it means very. It does when it means much/many.
  • bene = well
  • francese = the French language.
  • così così = so so… (not too well not too bad)
  • e = and. Don’t confuse it with è (it is)
  • un po’ = a little bit.
  • e Lei? = and you? (formal)

Formal/Informal: Italians speak to each other “formally”, which is a form of respect. Formality is used between adults and strangers.


Subjects

When speaking Italian you can use any of these subjects:

io (I)

tu (you, casual)

Lei (you, formal)

lei (she)

lui (he)

noi (we)

voi (you guys)

loro (they)

You should focus on mastering these:

io (I) - because you’ll talk about yourself a lot

Lei (you, formal) - because you’ll be interacting with strangers

noi (we) - if you are travelling with someone


Gender

Italian nouns are either masculine or feminine. Dictionaries will tell you. You can also assume (almost alway correctly) that words ending in -o are masculine, and words ending in -a are feminine.

telefono (telephone) = masculine

penna (pen) = feminine

Knowing the gender of a word is essential as it allows you to pick the right article (“the” or “a”) and the right adjective (the word that describes it, for example ‘large pizza’).


How to say “a”

UN - for most masculine wordsun gelato (an icecream)

UNA - for most feminine wordsuna pizza (a pizza)

Italian also has UNO for masculine words that start with: S+CONSONANT uno stadio (a stadium)

Zuno zaino (a backpack)

GNuno gnomo (a gnome)

X, Y, GL, W uno yogurt (a yogurt)

While it’s great if if you can remember this, it is not essential and you’ll still be understood if you use UN.

Italian also has UN’ for feminine words that start with a vowel.

Un’amica (a girlfriend)

Un’opera (a piece of artwork)

un’aranciata (an orange flavored soda, like Fanta)

Again, you’ll be understood if you use UNA.


The Verb PRENDERE (to take - used to order food)

Italian verbs always end with either of these:

-ARE parlare (to speak)

-ERE prendere (to take)

-IRE partire (to leave, depart)

This is the dictionary entry of verbs, just like “to speak”. When we need to use the verb we have to conjugate it, that is, we have to personalize it so that it works with the subject we are wanting to use. Just like in English she change TO BE to AM if the subject is “I” and to IS, if the subject is “he/she/it”.

In Italian each possible subject (introduced earlier) has its personalised version of the verb, which we can get to by eliminating the verb ending (-are, -ere, -ire) and by attaching specific endings (just like we attach “s” to verbs when “he/she/it” is the subject).

Whenever you speak about yourself, the verb ends with -o.

PRENDERE (to take) -> remove -ERE -> PREND -> attach -o ending -> PRENDO

PRENDO can mean a bunch of things:

I take, I’m taking, I’ll take, I’m having, I’ll have etc.


Your First Sentences: Ordering Food & Drinks

PRENDO UN PANINO

I’ll have a sandwich

PRENDO UNA PIZZA

I’ll have a pizza

PRENDO UNA MELA

I’ll have an apple

PRENDO UNA COCA

I’ll have a coke

PRENDO UN CAFFÈ

I’ll have a coffee

When ordering it’s always a good idea to greet, say what you want and add the word for please.

Buongiorno, prendo un caffè, per favore!

An alternative to PRENDO is VORREI. VORREI means “I would like” and it’s very versatile.

Buongiorno, vorrei un caffè, per favore!

Links & Other Resources:
Cafe Menu
Use this menu to practice your ordering skills. Remember, if you the item you’re ordering end with -o, chances are it is masculine. If it ends with -a, it is most likely feminine. For the ones you’re unsure, just go with your best guess.Click here to view the Menu.

09:29

Download the PDF (Greetings) for notes.

Standard Greetings

Ciao = hello/goodbye (casual)

Buongiorno = good morning, good day (formal)

Buon pomeriggio = good afternoon (formal)

Buonasera = good evening (formal)

Buonanotte = good night (casual and formal, only used when going to bed)

Arrivederci = goodbye (formal)

Cool Greetings (both formal and casual)

A dopo = see you later

A presto = see you soon

A domani = see you tomorrow

A + day of the week = see you on + day of the week

Really Cool Greetings

Salve = hello (formal, but less formal than buongiorno. Used mostly in the North of Italy)

Buona giornata = have a great day! (upon leaving) (casual and formal)

Buona serata = have a great evening (upon leaving) (casual and formal)

11:00

This is your chance to practice!
Don't be shy and speak out loud if you can.

18:57

Verbs

Verbs are at the core of every sentence. It is essential that you understand how Italian verbs work so that you can break up anything that you hear and make sense of it.

Language is made up, mostly, of three things:

  • Verbs
  • Grammar bits
  • Vocabulary

Once you understand how verbs work you’ll be able to understand a lot more Italian and, paired with a wide range of vocabulary, really master this beast!

Italian verbs come in three forms. They end with either of these:

-are

-ere

-ire

this is the equivalent of the English “to + verb” form (to eat, to go, to speak).

Parlare -> to speak

Prendere -> to take

Partire -> to depart

These forms of the verb are the “pure form” (infinitive) of the verb, that is, in the above examples, the idea of “speaking, talking, departing”. These forms are not the forms we use in conversation. Just like in English we don’t say:

She to speak

but rather:

She speaks

we need to use the verb, personalize it (conjugate) so that it works for the subject we are using.

Like English, Italian uses specific endings attached to the verb to create the personalized form.

In English we add -s whenever the subject is he, she or it (the third person).

Italian has a different ending for each of the possible subjects.

We are going to learn the present tense first, which is the most useful and versatile form of a verb, especially for travelers. The Italian present tense covers a variety of situations:

  • general statement -> parlo italiano (I speak Italian)
  • continuous form -> bevo un caffè (I’m drinking a coffee)
  • future -> domani vedo il Colosseo (tomorrow I’ll see the Coliseum)

Also, the “NOI” (we) form of each verb is used to render the idea of “let’s”. For example:

parliamo

can mean:

  • we speak
  • we are speaking
  • we will speak
  • let’s speak

Possible Subjects

SINGULAR

1st person

IO (I) when talking about yourself

2nd person

TU (you, casual) when talking to a close friend

3rd person

LEI (you, formal) when talking to a stranger or between adults

LEI (she) when talking about a female3rd person

LUI (he) when talking about a male

PLURAL

1st person

NOI (we) when talking about yourself and at least one more person

2nd person

VOI (you guys) when talking to 2 or more people

3rd person

LORO (they) when talking about others (and “things”)

Italian does not have a word for IT (well, it does, but it’s not used!). This means that we use the 3rd person any time we are talking about someone or something else (he, she, it) and also when we are talking directly to one person (Lei), who we are addressing formally. Think of “Her Majesty”, when taking to the Queen.


-ARE Verbs

Most Italian verbs end in -ARE so, if in doubt with a verb, treat it as an -are verb, as you have higher chances of being right.

To use a verb in the present tense, all we need to do is remove the ending from the verb (-are) and attach the specific “personalized” endings. These are the endings for -are verbs:

io -o

tu -i

Lei/lei/lui -a

noi -iamo

voi -ate

loro -ano

So, taking PARLARE as an example we’d have this:

  • PARLARE (to speak) -> remove -ARE -> PARL -> attach -o ending -> PARLO

PARLO means “I speak”.

  • PARLARE (to speak) -> remove -ARE -> PARL -> attach -iamo ending -> PARLIAMO

PARLIAMO means “we speak”.

Here are some other useful -ARE verbs:

Comprare (to buy)

Pagare (to pay)

Ascoltare (to listen to)

Aspettare (to wait for)

Prenotare (to book)

Cambiare (to change/exchange)

Mangiare (to eat)

Provare (to try/try on)

To say “I buy” we’d say “io compro”. To say “you pay” (or “are you paying”) we’d say “Lei paga?”.

To say “we are waiting for Maria” we’d say “noi aspettiamo Maria”.

Please note that in most cased in Italian we drop the subject, meaning, we don’t say words like “io, tu, noi” etc. When speaking to a stranger though, it is advisable to actually say the word “Lei”. It adds formality and respect and it’s always welcomed!

For example:

Lei parla italiano? (do you speak Italian?)

Lei mangia la carne? (do you eat meat?)


-ERE Verbs

Italian verbs can also end with -ERE. This is a much smaller group of verbs and, ironically, the most useful -ERE verbs are irregular, which means these rules do not apply fully. Don’t worry about irregular verbs for now, we’ll tackle them at later time. So, when you have an -ERE verb, you basically do the same thing you did with -ARE verbs. Remove -ERE and attach the personalized endings. Endings for -ERE verbs are slightly different from -ARE verbs.

io -o

tu -i

*Lei/lei/lui -e

noi -iamo

*voi -ete

*loro -ono

The difference is in the 3rd person (Lei, lei, lui), and in the Voi and Loro forms.

So, taking parlare as an example we’d have this:

  • PRENDERE (to take) -> remove -ERE -> PREND -> attach -e ending -> PRENDE

PRENDE means “you take” (as a reminder, it also means “she takes”, “he takes” and “it takes”!).

  • PRENDERE (to take) -> remove -ERE -> PREND -> attach -ete ending -> PRENDETE

PRENDETE means “you guys take”

Here are some other useful -ERE verbs:

vedere (to see)

chiedere (to ask)

mettere (to put)

accendere (to start/turn on/switch on)

scrivere (to write)

credere (to believe)

vendere (to sell)


-IRE Verbs

-IRE verbs are the smallest group of Italian verbs. The procedure is the same as usual, and the endings for -IRE verbs are nearly the same as those for -ERE verbs, with one exception (the VOI form).

io -o

tu -i

Lei/lei/lui -e

noi -iamo

*voi -ite

loro -ono

Here are some other useful -IRE verbs:

dormire (to sleep)

sentire (to hear / to feel)


How to handle verbs

As you can see this is probably the hardest thing to master in Italian, so we need to find a way to make it easier for us. Understanding and using verbs correctly is essential, as there is a huge difference between “I want a pizza” and “do you want a pizza?”, obviously!

So what to do with all these different endings? Well, let’s start by narrowing down the verb groups. Seeing as -ARE verbs form the largest group of Italian verbs, you can, when in doubt, conjugate any verb as it were an -ARE verb. Sure, you’ll be wrong sometimes, but you’ll still be understood, as long as you’re using the ‘wrong’ ending, for the right subject.

For example, the right ending for Lei for an -ERE verb is -E. So we’re supposed to say “Lei prende”.

If you treated this -ERE verb as an -ARE verb you’d incorrectly say “Lei prenda”.

You would still be understood though, as you are at least making it clear to your listener that you are talking to him/her (and not about yourself or “them”).

Also note than, even across the 3 verb groups, 3 things never change, and these are the endings for:

IO, TU and NOI

This means that you should be able to quickly conjugate any verb when YOU are the subject (that is the “I” form, or “IO” in Italian). Same goes for when you are talking about yourself along with someone else (“WE”, or “NOI” in Italian). As mentioned earlier, you won’t be using the TU form too often, because it is too casual…

So, all your verbs will end in -O when you are speaking about yourself (IO), and -IAMO when you’re speaking about yourself and someone else (NOI)

PARLARE PRENDERE PARTIRE

io parlo io prendo io parto

noi parliamo noi prendiamo noi partiamo

And also

tu parli tu prendi tu parti

in case you are talking to a close friend or a child.


What to focus on

If you don’t think you can remember all the endings for all the possible subjects, I suggest to become really familiar and comfortable with at least:

IO 1 ending: -O

LEI 2 possible endings:-A or -E

preferred one when in doubt -A

NOI 1 ending: -IAMO

This is because you’ll be talking about yourself a lot (IO), to another person (LEI) or, if you’re travelling with someone, about yourself and your friend (NOI).

If you’re travelling with friends it’s also a good thing to be aware of the VOI form of verbs, so that you can understand when Italian are talking to “you guys”. It’s not essential that you are able to produce “VOI” verbs.

VOI 3 possible endings: -ATE or -ETE or -ITE

as you can see they all end in -TE, so you can focus on that to spot them.

You will also need to be familiar with the LORO (they) form for the ESSERE (“to be”) verb:

SONO (they are)

(yes, it’s the same as “I am”!). This form of the verb will be very useful when talking about “things” around you, like “these painting are marvellous”. More about this in future lessons.

Tools and Resources

Think you’re going to need a verb in Italian? Look it up at www.wordreference.com

As long as the dictionary does not say that the verb is irregular, then you should be able to make up the present tense of it.

You can check whether you are right using this tool: http://www.verbix.com/languages/italian.shtml

Just enter the dictionary entry of the verb (the -are, -ere, -ire form) and only look at the “Presente”, under the “Indicativo” column. Don’t let the other verbs scare you. You will only need the present tense and the past tense in order to have a great time in Italy. We’ll look at the past tense at a later time.

05:26

This is your chance to practice!

Don't be shy and speak out loud if you can.

04:36

Download the PDF (2 Phrases) for notes.

Che significa ____? (what does ____ mean?)

Che vuol dire ____? (what does ____ mean?)

Come si dice ____ in Italiano? (how do you say ____ in Italian?)

24:12

Place to eat

Here are the places mentioned in the video:

Bar (il bar) -> cafe

Bar Tabacchi -> cafe and tobacconist

Trattoria -> family run, less sophisticated restaurants

Ristorante (il ristorante) -> restaurant

Pizzeria -> pizza restaurant

Autogrill (l’autogrill) -> restaurant on the highway

Forno / panetteria -> bakery

Pizzeria al taglio -> pizza by the slice shop

Alimentari (l’alimentari) -> deli

Frutteria -> fruit shop

Rosticceria -> Italian fast food

Gelateria -> ice cream shop

Pasticceria -> patisserie

06:14

Sections of a Menu

Italian menus are usually divided into several sections:

Antipasto -> appetizers, entrees

Primo -> first course (carbs)

Secondo -> second course (protein)

Contorno -> side dish

Dessert (il dessert) / Dolce (il dolce) -> dessert


Options for Pizza

Pizza are often divided into two groups:

Pizze Bianche -> “white” pizzas. Cheese or cream based

Pizze Rosse -> “red” pizzas. Tomato based

09:22

How to Place Your Order

In Italian restaurants you are expected to order one item from each section (antipasto, primo, secondo, contorno, dessert). Of course you don’t have to necessarily order 5 items, but it helps the waiter understand your order better if you run through the 5 categories.

Regardless of what you choose to do, these are some very useful expressions to help you say what you want.

PER / DI / COME-> followed by the Category name

for example:

per antipasto per primoper secondoper contornoper dessert

di antipasto di primodi secondodi contornodi dessert

come antipasto come primocome secondocome contornocome dessert

They are all good options, just use the one you like the most!

The above expressions all mean something like:

“as an appetizer….” or “for dessert…”, etc.

You would use such expressions in conjunction with “ordering” verbs such as:

PRENDERE

or other expressions such as:

VORREI (“I would like”)

VORREMMO (“we would like”)

For example:

Per antipasto vorrei la bruschetta. Per primo prendo la lasagna.

(as an appetizer I would like bruschetta. As a main, I’ll have the lasagna)

Other useful expressions are:

DA BERE (“to drink”, often meaning “something to drink”)

DA MANGIARE (“to eat”, often meaning “something to eat”)

For example:

Da bere vorrei una birra alla spina e da mangiare… solo una pizza margherita.

(to drink, I would like a tab beer and to eat … just a pizza margherita)

“in the way of drinks…”

Finally, you can always use NON to say what you DO NOT want. NON goes right before the verb that you would normally use for the positive statement. For example:

Prendo la pizza -> I’ll have pizza

Non prendo la pizza -> I’m not having pizza

So, a full order could sound like:

Salve, allora, per antipasto vorrei la bruschetta. Per primo prendo il risotto ai funghi e per secondo una bistecca ai ferri. Non prendo il contorno, ma vorrei un dessert….

(hello, so, as an appetizer I would like bruschetta. As a first course I’ll have the mushroom risotto and as a second course I’ll have a grilled steak. I’m not having a side dish, but I would like a dessert…)

Now, the reality is that you’ll be interacting with a waiter, more than having a monologue. So you’ll be answering the waiter’s questions as to what you would like as an appetizer, first course etc.

Something like this:

Waiter: Che cosa prende per antipasto?

You: Per antipasto vorrei la bruschetta.

Waiter: e per primo?

You: Per primo prendo il risotto ai funghi.

Waiter: Prende anche il secondo?

You: Sì. Per secondo vorrei una bistecca ai ferri. Grazie.

Waiter: …. e per contorno?

You: No, non prendo il contorno, ma vorrei un dessert.

SOLO means “just” or “only” (and in other contexts “alone”)

ANCHE (pronounced “ah-n-keh”) means “also” or “too”.

03:33

BERE Verb (“to drink”)

The verb for “to drink” is irregular in Italian, so you need to familiarize with it and cannot just guess it using what you know. But don’t worry! This irregularity makes it easier to remember!

BERE

io bevo

tu bevi

Lei beve

noi beviamo

voi bevete

loro bevono

As you can see, despite being irregular, this verb is still using the same endings we saw for -ERE verbs:

io -o

tu -i

*Lei/lei/lui -e

noi -iamo

*voi -ete

*loro -ono

Again, your focus, if you wish to simplify things for yourself, should be:

io bevo

Lei beve

noi beviamo (if travelling with other people)

voi bevete (if travelling with other people)

07:02

ESSERE Verb (“to be”)

The verb for “to be” is also irregular in Italian. Here is goes:

ESSERE

io sono

tu sei

Lei è

noi siamo

voi siete

loro sono

Your focus, if you wish to simplify things for yourself, should be:

io sono

Lei è

noi siamo

voi siete

loro sono

Sono is used whenever you talk about yourself.

Lei è is used to talk to the person in front of you, formally (Lei è americano? “Are you American?”)

è is also essential to describe things that are singular (questa pizza è fantastica! “This pizza is fantastic!”), a single male (Marco è molto bello. “Marco is very handsome”) and a single female (Maria è molto bella. “Maria is very beautiful”).

Siamo is used to talk about yourself and at least one more person. In this case, what follows has to be in the plural (which we’ll see at a later time) (Noi siamo americani. “We are American”).

Siete is used to talk to more than one person. You’ll hear this a lot if you’re travelling with someone else. (Siete americani? “Are you guys American?”).

Sono is used to describe others or things (in the plural) (Marco e Maria sono italiani. “Marco and Maria are Italian”) (Questi dolci sono buoni. “These sweets are good”).

As you can see SONO is used for both “I” and “They”. While this may appear to be confusing, it is not, because when used in the singular (for “I”) it will attract a singular adjective (io sono Italiano) and when used in the plural (for “They”) it will attract a plural adjective (loro sono italiani). Don’t worry too much about it for now anyway! We’ll learn plurals soon and discuss when they are essential and when not using them can be forgiven!

01:47

Today we have a couple of fun videos. One is a satirical cartoon that depicts the Italian culture, in comparison to the rest of Europe. The other, is the smash hit from the Disney movie “Frozen”… in Italian! t that the lyrics in English are a translation of the Italian lyrics and not the original English lyrics.

Section 3: [Week 1] Bonus Material
59:20

TOPICS

- possible replies to “Grazie” and “Mi dispiace”
- clarifying masculine and feminine endings
- does a woman say “sono italiana” or “sona italiana”
- how do we know where to stress a new word
- phrases to say when you don’t understand
- cool phrases to “buy time” and to say when making mistakes
- online tools to find Italian words and their pronunciation

01:06:56

Watch this Practice Session help with other students of Italian.

The value of watching others having a go at speaking Italian is invaluable and you will learn heaps from these Practice Sessions.

Section 4: [Week 1] Pronouncing Italian
06:55

Bonus Videos (from my pronunciation course SPEAK ITALIAN LIKE AN ITALIANO, also available on Udemy).

This is Part 1 on Vowels.

07:16

Bonus Videos (from my pronunciation course SPEAK ITALIAN LIKE AN ITALIANO, also available on Udemy).


This is Part 2 on Vowels.

08:03

Bonus Videos (from my pronunciation course SPEAK ITALIAN LIKE AN ITALIANO, also available on Udemy).


This is Part 3 on Vowels.

04:32

Bonus Videos (from my pronunciation course SPEAK ITALIAN LIKE AN ITALIANO, also available on Udemy).


This is your Practice Video on Vowels. Try and pronounce the words as they appear on the screen, then check with me.

09:48

Bonus Videos (from my pronunciation course SPEAK ITALIAN LIKE AN ITALIANO, also available on Udemy).


This is the training on Syllables.

03:25

Bonus Videos (from my pronunciation course SPEAK ITALIAN LIKE AN ITALIANO, also available on Udemy).


This is your Practice Video on Syllables. Try and pronounce the words as they appear on the screen, then check with me.

Section 5: [Week 2] Shopping and More Language Fundamentals
23:57

Shopping in Italy

Most stores in Italy are small and individually owned.

You are usually approached by a shop assistant the moment you walk in.

Self-serve is not always welcomed, so check what others are doing before you start digging into the pile of clothes!


Expressions

QUESTO

QUESTA

QUESTI

QUESTE

all render the idea of “this” (questo/questa) and “these” (questi/queste).

Questo and questi refer to masculine items.

Questa and queste refer to feminine items.

The sentence:

Questi panini sono buoni

is all in the plural, because the topic of the sentence is panini (sandwiches).

questi = these

panini = sandwiches

sono = (they) are

buoni = good (plural masculine form)

questo panino = this sandwich

questi panini = these sandwiches

questa pizza = this pizza

queste pizze = these pizzas

[more on plurals later]


QUELLO

QUELLA

QUELLI

QUELLE

all render the idea of “that one” (quello/quella) and “those ones” (quelli/quelle)

prendo quello = I’ll take that one (for masculine items)

prendo quella = I’ll take that one (for feminine items)

prendo quelli = I’ll take those ones (for masculine items)

prendi quelle = I’ll take those ones (for feminine items)

Not getting gender and number right can cause confusion with your Italian interlocutors, so try and pay attention on how the other person is talking about any given item. Can you tell whether the item is masculine or feminine? Remember to focus on the ending of the word (-o vs -a ending, for example) or on the article they are using for that item (il vs la) [more on articles later]


VORREI + VERB

This construction is extremely useful, as it spares you the hassle of conjugating verbs. It renders the idea of “I would like to + verb”.

vorrei vedere una camicia bianca…

I would like to see a white shirt…

vorrei provare questa

I would like to try this on

vorrei provare quella

I would like to try that one (over there)

The verb that goes after VORREI is the dictionary entry of the verb, that is, the pure form of the verb (-are, -ere, -ire ending)

Some verbs you could use after VORREI:

vedere = to see

provare = to try (on)

comprare = to buy

sapere = to know

chiedere = to ask

prenotare = to book

parlare = to speak

Vorrei parlare con il manager

I would like to speak with the manager


POSSO + VERB

This construction is extremely useful, as it spares you the hassle of conjugating verbs. It renders the idea of “I can + verb” (and also “can I + verb”)

POSSO is the “I” form of the verb POTERE [more on this in later videos] and it renders the idea of “can”, “may”.

posso provare questa camicia?

can I try this shirt?

posso vedere questa camicia in rosso?

can I see this shirt in red?

The verb that goes after VORREI is the dictionary entry of the verb, that is, the pure form of the verb (-are, -ere, -ire ending)


PORTARE

PORTARE literally means “to carry”, “to take” but it’s used in this context with the meaning of “to wear”.

It’s a regular -are verb, so you can already conjugate it.

You will most likely need at least these two forms:

io porto (I wear)

Lei porta (you wear)

For example:

che taglia porta?

what size do you wear?

Porto la + size number

I wear a + size number


SIZES

Sizes in Italy are probably different from your country, so it’s best to be prepared by doing a quick search on the internet (in your language, searching for something like “sizing conversion chart Italy Brazil”).

Here are the conversion charts for the UK and the USA:

Women

http://www.belstaff.com/Womens-Sizing-Chart.html

Men

http://www.belstaff.com/Mens-Sizing-Chart.html

Possible sizes include:

SMALL

MEDIA

LARGE

EXTRA LARGE

make sure you pronounce them with an Italian accent to be understood.

porto la media

I wear a medium size

porta la small

I wear a small


IN + COLOR

To express that you want something in a specific color, you simply use this construction. Here are some examples:

in bianco
in white

in nero
in black

in rosso
in red

in verde
in green

in blu
in blue

in giallo
in yellow

vorrei questa t-shirt in giallo

I would like this t-shirt in yellow


NELLA + SIZE NUMBER

To express that you want something in a specific size, you simply use this construction. Here are some examples:

nella 38
in size 38

nella 42
in size 42

nella small
in a small size

posso provare queste scarpe nella 41?

can I try these shoes in a size 41?


USING COLORS AS ADJECTIVES

Of course you can use colors to describe things, that is, as “adjectives”. Now, in Italian adjectives can be a bit tricky, as they:

1. usually come AFTER the noun they describe

2. match the gender and number of the item described

una camicia bianca

a white shirt

[camicia is feminine and singular]

un pantalone bianco

a pair of white trousers

[pantalone is masculine and singular]


PIÙ / MENO +ADJECTIVE

Italian uses the word PIÙ to mean “more” and the word MENO to mean “less”. We can put them right before an adjective to render the idea of “more/less” of something.

più grande
more big (bigger)

più largo
more loose (looser)

più stretto
more tight (tighter)

meno lungo
less long

più corto
more short (shorter)

più chiaro
more light (lighter - for colors)

più scuro
more dark (darker)

12:37

STO SOLO DANDO UN’OCCHIATA

I’m only having a look / I’m only browsing

Alternative versions could be:

STO DANDO SOLO UN’OCCHIATA

STO DANDO UN’OCCHIATA

DÒ SOLO UN’OCCHIATA


QUANTO COSTA? QUANTO COSTANO?

how much is it? how much are they?

Quanto costa/costano are used to enquire about the price of something. QUANTO COSTA is used for singular items and QUANTO COSTANO is used for plural items.

quanto costa questa borsa?
how much is this handbag?

quanto costano i jeans neri?
how much are the black jeans?

quando costa quella?
how much is that (one over there)?


QUANT’È? QUANTO FA?

Both phrases mean “How much do I owe you?” and are used to ask for the total of your purchases.

Careful NOT to use these expressions to ask for the price of items.


HOW TO READ ITALIAN PRICES

Italy used a currency called EURO (also used in 17 other European countries).

This is the sign for it is:

The Euro does not have a plural, so it’s always pronounced [eh-ooh-roh].

In Italy we use a comma [,] to separate decimal numbers from whole numbers and a dot [.] to indicate thousands. This is the exact opposite of English speaking countries.

€1,20 means 1 Euro and 20 cents.

€1.200 means one thousand two hundred Euro.

Here are some examples on how to read Italian prices.

€2,00
due Euro

€1.000
mille Euro

€7,20
sette Euro e 20 or sette e venti

€200
duecento Euro

€15,50
quindici Euro e cinquantaorquindici e cinquanta

€0.90
novanta centesimi

centesimi is the word for eurocents.

13:35

PLURALS

Just like English uses -s to create plurals (cat/cats), Italian also uses letters to create plurals. The main difference, of course, is that there are various letters for Italian plurals, depending on the gender of the word, and how the word looked like in the singular.

You might remember that most words that end in -0 in the singular are masculine and most words that end in -A in the singular are feminine. Italian also has a bunch of words that end in -E in the singular, and in those cases we can’t tell the gender just by looking at the word.

We now look at how words change in the plural.

Singular Masculine -o

Singular Feminine -a

Plural Masculine -i

Plural Feminine -e

Singular Plural

Masculine ragazzo (boy) ragazzi (boys)

Feminine ragazza (girl) ragazze (girls)

Either Gender cane (dog) cani (dogs) - masculine

arte (art) arti (arti) - feminine


Here are some words in the singular and plural forms:

Singular

Plural

Singular

Plural

panino

panini

cornetto

cornetti

pizza

pizze

camicia

camicie

scarpa

scarpe

camerino

camerini

cameriere (masculine)

camerieri

bicchiere (masculine)

bicchieri


EXCEPTIONS

Words that end with an accent DO NOT change in the plural. Foreign words also DO NOT change.


Singular

Plural

Singular

Plural

Un caffè

one coffee

due caffè

two coffees

una città

one city

due città

two cities

un filma film/movie

due film

two films/movies

un whiskey

a whiskey

due whiskey

two whiskies


FOCUS

Being able to differentiate between singular and plural in Italian can be very useful in order to avoid confusion with the person you’re talking to. Depending on the context, failing to use a plural could be totally OK or it could lead to extreme confusion. You’ll have to assess each situation…

To simplify all this let’s say that we will try to be right most of the times by using this simplified chart:

Singular Masculine -o

Singular Feminine -a

Plural Masculine -i

Plural Feminine -e

So try and speak all masculine words using either the -o or the -i ending (for singular and plural) and all feminine words using either the -a or -e ending (for singular and plural).


HOW TO SAY ‘THE”

Italian has 7 ways of saying “the”, depending on what we’re talking about (based on the word’s gender, the word’s number and the initial letter of the word!).

For masculine singular we have 3 options:

IL
for most masculine words

LO
for masculine words that start with S+another consonant, Z, GN, GLI, X, Y, W

L’
for masculine words that start with a vowel

IL PANINO the sandwich
IL RAGAZZO the boy
IL LIBRO the book
IL CAMERIERE the waiter

LO STADIO the stadium
LO STUDENTE the student
LO ZAINO the backpack
LO GNOMO the gnome

L’AMICO the friend
L’OSPEDALE the hospital
L’ARCHITETTO the architect
L’ITALIANO the Italian (language/man)

FOCUS

If you do not want to learn how to use all 3 forms, just use IL all the time and you’ll be right most of the times.


For feminine singular we have 2 options:

LA
for most feminine words

L’
for feminine words that start with a vowel

LA PIZZA the pizza
LA RAGAZZA the girl
LA MACCHINA the car
LA SCARPA the shoe

L’ACQUA the water
L’AMICA the (female) friend
L’ARTE the art
L’ITALIA Italy

FOCUS

If you do not want to learn how to use both forms, just use LA all the time and you’ll be right most of the times.


For masculine plural we have 2 options:

I
for most masculine words

GLI
for masculine words that start with Vowel, S+another consonant, Z, GN, GLI, X, Y, W

I PANINI the sandwiches
I RAGAZZI the boys
I LIBRI the books
I CAMERIERI the waiters

GLI STADI the stadiums
GLI STUDENTI the students
GLI ZAINI the backpacks
GLI GNOMI the gnome


GLI AMICI the friends
GLI OSPEDALI the hospitals
GLI ARCHITETTI the spaghetti
GLI ITALIANI the Italians (the people)

FOCUS

If you do not want to learn how to use both forms, just use “I” all the time and you’ll be right most of the times.


For feminine plural we have only one option:

LE
for all feminine words

LE PIZZE the pizzas
LE RAGAZZE the girls
LE MACCHINE the cars
LE SCARPE the shoes

LE ACQUE the waters
LE AMICHE the (female) friends
LE ARTI the arts

Expressions for Shopping
07:41
04:04

The Verb POTERE (“can”, “may”)

POTERE renders the idea of “can”, “may”. It’s irregular and very important! This is the full conjugation:

IO POSSO I can

TU PUOI you, my friend, can

LEI PUÒ you, ma’am/sir, can

NOI POSSIAMO we can

VOI POTETE you guys can

LORO POSSONO they can

You will mostly care about the usual 4 forms:

IO POSSO

LEI PUÒ

NOI POSSIAMO

VOI POTETE

possiamo entrare?

can we come in?

potete mangiare…

you guys can eat…

può parlare più piano?

can you speak more slowly?

POTERE is used for:

PERMISSION and POSSIBILITY. Never for SKILLS.

possiamo entrare? = do we have the permission to come in?

potete mangiare… = you guys have our permission to eat…

può parlare più piano? = is it possible for you to speak more slowly?

04:32

The Verb SAPERE (“to know” / “to know how”)

SAPERE renders the idea of “to know” and “to know how to”. It’s irregular and very important! This is the full conjugation:

IO SO I know

TU SAI you, my friend, know

LEI SA you, ma’am/sir, know

NOI SAPPIAMO we know

VOI SAPETE you guys know

LORO SANNO they know

You will mostly care about the usual 4 forms:

IO SO

LEI SA

NOI SAPPIAMO

VOI SAPETE

SAPERE means “to know” and it has to do with things that can be learned, acquired through memory or studying, or experience.

Lo so…

I know / I know that!

sa dov’è il Colosseo?

do you know where the Coliseum is?

so che Roma è la capitale d’Italia.

I know that Rome is the Capital of Italy.

You will use SA a lot to ask questions to your interlocutor (“do you know… + question”)

SAPERE also means “to know how to do” and it’s used to describe skills, things we know how to do, or “we can do”. In these cases Italian DOES NOT use the verb POTERE (“can”) but rather, SAPERE (“to know”).

so parlare italiano

I can speak Italian - I know how to speak Italian

sa parlare inglese?

can you speak English? - do you know how to speak English


In these two sentences we are NOT discussing whether we are allowed or whether it’s possible to speak Italian/English, but rather whether we have the skill/knowledge to do so.

08:24

THE VERB PIACERE (“to like”)

The Italian verb for “to like” is simply crazy. It does not work like a normal verb (subject + verb + object, like “I eat pizza”, “I love Maria”). No. It likes to complicate things and here’s how it works.

Instead of saying:

I like X

in Italian, we say:

X is pleasing to me(literally “to me is pleasing X”)

As weird as it is, this actually makes it easier to remember and use. When you think about, the difference between:

I like X she likes XMark and Sharon like X

is now much simpler in Italian.

I like X=X is pleasing to meshe likes X= X is pleasing to her

Mark and Sharon like X=X is pleasing to them

As you can see, we are only changing the “to whom” X is pleasing.

This means we don’t actually have to play with 6 different conjugations of the verb. Right?

Introducing…

PIACE

mi piace X I like X

Le piace X you like Xshe likes X

gli piace X he likes X

ci piace X we like X

vi piace X you guys like X

All we are changing is: mi, Le, gli, ci, vi which respectively mean to me, to you/her, to him, to us, to you guys.

mi piace la pizza

I like pizza

Le piace l’Italia?

do you like Italy?

gli piace il vino

he likes wine

ci piace la pasta

we like pasta

vi piace l’opera?

do you guys like opera?

PLEASE NOTE that we always use the article (“the”, that is “il, la, i, gli”) after the verb PIACERE.

We don’t say:

mi piace vino BUT WE SAY mi piace IL vino

We don’t say:

Le piace Italia BUT WE SAY Le piace l’Italia?

You can also use the “PIACE” construction with VERBS, to express the things you like TO DO. For example:

mi piace mangiare

I like to eat

Le piace viaggiare?

do you like to travel?

Now, of course that seemed too easy, so here we introduce a second option for the verb PIACERE.

When you think about it, seeing as we are actually saying:

X is pleasing to me

It makes sense that if we liked X and Y we would have to say:

X and Y ARE pleasing to me

Right? Well, that’s what this other form is for:


PIACCIONO

PIACCIONO is the verb we use when we like something plural! The rest stays the same:

mi piacciono X e Y I like X and Y

Le piacciono X e Y you like X and Yshe likes X and Y

gli piacciono X e Y he likes X and Y

ci piacciono X e Y we like X and Y

vi piacciono X e Y you guys like X and Y

mi piacciono i dolci italiani

I like Italian sweets

Le piacciono gli uomini italiani?

do you like Italian men?

ci piacciono i musei

we like museum

non mi piacciono le mele verdi

I don’t like green apples

As you can see, to make a sentence negative we simply add NON before the whole “liking” expression.

mi piace la musica italiana non mi piace la musica italiana

I like Italian music I don’t like Italian music

FOCUS

most of the times you’ll be using any of these 4 expressions:

MI PIACE I like + something singular

LE PIACE you like + something singular

MI PIACCIONO I like + something plural

LE PIACCIONO you like + something plural

09:49

This is your chance to practice!

Don't be shy and speak out loud if you can.

Practice Video Script

With English cues

Manu: Buongiorno, posso aiutarla?

You:I’m only having a look

Manu: Certamente, mi chiama quando è pronta…

You: Excuse me?

Manu: Sì prego, dica?

You: I would like to see this in size 42

Manu: Certamente, ecco a Lei!

You: Hummm… nice! I like it! Can I try it?

Manu: Sì, il camerino è laggiù, prego!

Manu: Scusi! Come Le sta?

You: It’s perfect! Thanks! I’ll take it!

You: Ah, excuse me… How much is it?

Manu: Questo costa €25

You: Great! Thank you!

Manu: Desidera altro?

You: No, that’s it! Can I pay with credit card?

Manu: Sì, sì, certamente. OK, grazie… a posto… una firma… Ecco la penna… OK, grazie mille, arrivederci!

You: Goodbye, have a nice day!

With Italian suggestions

Manu: Buongiorno, posso aiutarla?

You: Sto solo dando un’occhiata!

Manu: Certamente, mi chiama quando è pronta…

You: Scusi! [or “Senta!”]

Manu: Sì prego, dica?

You: Vorrei vedere questo nella 42, per favore.

Manu: Certamente, ecco a Lei!

You: Hummm… bello! Mi piace! Lo posso provare?

Manu: Sì, il camerino è laggiù, prego!

Manu: Scusi! Come Le sta?

You: È perfetto! Grazie! Lo prendo!

You: Ah, scusi… quanto costa?

Manu: Questo costa €25

You: Perfetto! Grazie!

Manu: Desidera altro?

You: No, basta così. Posso pagare con carta di credito?

Manu: Sì, sì, certamente. OK, grazie… a posto… una firma… Ecco la penna… OK, grazie mille, arrivederci!

You: Arrivederci! Buona giornata!

Shopping for Groceries
11:45
Italian Verbs: CERCARE ["to look for"]
02:07
Useful One-Word Expressions
Preview
03:14
06:31

The Day of the Week in Italian

Lunedì Monday
Martedì Tuesday
Mercole
dì Wednesday
Giove
dì Thursday
Vener
dì Friday
Sabato Saturday
Domenica Sunday

Remember to stress the final syllable for the days ending with -dì.

Free Tools: Memrise [help learning Italian vocabulary]
07:23
Free Tools: Quizlet [help learning Italian vocabulary]
09:07
03:47

Today we have two types of videos. One is a documentary, on Rome's little known marvels. The other two are songs from popular Italian singers.

The documentary if fully in Italian, with no subtitles. Your goal here is to either just play it in the background, without paying too much attention to it, with the only purpose of exposing your brain to the Italian language, or watch it actively, only trying to get an idea of what the speaker is talking about. DO NOT try and understand everything. That is not a realistic goal and it do more harm than good. Just look at the sequences and try to grasp one or two words per sequence.

Then relax with the two songs (with lyrics to sing along).

Section 6: [Week 2] Bonus Material
01:04:05

TOPICS
- “sto solo dando un’occhiata”
- masculine/feminine
- singular/plural
- using VORREI + verb
- using MI PIACE + verb
- how to agree with people

- how to use the course for maximum results and avoid overwhelm

01:03:02

Watch this Practice Session help with other students of Italian.

The value of watching others having a go at speaking Italian is invaluable and you will learn heaps from these Practice Sessions.

Section 7: [Week 3] Life in Italy: Safety and How Things Are Done
04:19

Directions

In most cases you’ll be self-sufficient with your smartphone/gps and won’t need to actively be able to give directions. It’s a good idea to get an Italian SIM card for your phone the first day you’re in Italy and activate a data plan on it. Being able to access the Internet will save you a lot of money and trouble! To get a SIM card just go to a cell phone provider and ask for something like:

“Buongiorno, sono in vacanza in Italia per ___ giorni e vorrei attivare una SIM card con un pacchetto dati. Quali sono le opzioni?”

“Goodmorning, I’m on vacation here in Italy for ___ days and I would like to activate a SIM card with a data plan. What are my options?”

You will need to have your passport on you. If asked for a “Codice Fiscale” (Italian Social Security Number) but tell them: “Non sono italiano, quindi non ho il Codice Fiscale. Il passaporto dovrebbe bastare…”

“I’m not Italian, therefore I don’t have a Codice Fiscale. My passport should be enough”.

Popular cell phone providers are:

TIM WIND VODAFONE

Back to Directions now. So, Italians will give you directions in a probably similar way to what you would in your language: using their hands, indicating left and right, using their fingers to suggest at which road to turn, using streets’ names and also giving you reference points/landmarks. This makes understanding directions a lot easier! Of course, you will need some to be able to understand some specific expressions. We’ll look at the most useful ones today.


Asking for Directions (indicazioni stradali)

DOV’È …?
Where is … ?

Scusi Signora, dov’è il Colosseo?
Excuse me ma’am, where is the Coliseum?

SA DOV’È …?
Do you know where … is?

Scusi Signora, sa dov’è il Colosseo?
Excuse me ma’am, do you know where the Coliseum is?

COME ARRIVO A ...?
How do I get to … ?

Come arrivo al Colosseo?
How do I get to the Coliseum?

At times, we don’t know whether a specific thing exists in the area, so we might need to ask people whether there is such and such thing nearby…

C’È UN/UNA … QUI VICINO?
Is there a … nearby?

Scusi, c’è una banca qui vicino?
Excuse me is there a bank near here?

15:10

Understanding Directions (indicazioni stradali)

You will need to understand the verb for “to go”, which is “ANDARE”. Andare is highly irregular and needs to be memorized. Later in the week you’ll see a training video on ANDARE. For now just have a quick look!

ANDARE
TO GO

IO VADO I go

TU VAI You (casual) go

LEI VA You (formal) go / she goes

NOI ANDIAMO We go

VOI ANDATE You guys go

LORO VANNO They go

And now to the expressions!


ANDARE DRITTO
to go straight ahead

ANDARE SEMPRE DRITTO
to keep going straight ahead

DRITTO suggests the idea of “straight ahead” so you should focus on understanding this word when someone is giving you directions. Other ways to confer the same idea include:

ANDARE AVANTI
to go straight ahead

ANDARE SEMPRE AVANTI
to keep going straight ahead

AVANTI suggests the idea of “straight ahead”.


CONTINUARE
to continue on, to go straight ahead

The verb CONTINUARE also renders the idea of going straight ahead!

NOTE: both ANDARE and CONTINUARE will be conjugated when used by Italian speakers. That means that they will not tell you “ANDARE AVANTI” (“to go straight ahead”) but they will tell you “VA AVANTI” (“go straight ahead”). This means that, if you’re traveling solo you will most likely hear:

VA AVANTI VA SEMPRE DRITTO CONTINUA

and if you’re traveling with someone, you will hear:

ANDATE AVANTI ANDATE SEMPRE DRITTO CONTINUATE

Whatever you hear, stay relaxed and DO NOT focus on their grammar! All you want to be able to understand is that they want you to go straight ahead, which will be accomplished by being able to hear the words “AVANTI”, or “DRITTO” or variations of the verb “CONTINUARE”.


You will also need to be able to understand the verb for “to turn”, which is GIRARE. It’s a regular verb, so you should be able to use it with no trouble.

GIRARE
TO TURN

IO GIRO I turn

TU GIRI You (casual) turn

LEI GIRA You (formal) turn / she turns

NOI GIRIAMO We turn

VOI GIRATE You guys turn

LORO GIRANO They turn

This means that you will most likely hear them say:

GIRA (you, turn!) or GIRATE (you guys, turn!)

Here’s the two most common options:

GIRARE A DESTRA GIRARE A SINISTRA
to turn right to turn left

To remember these two words you can use the English terms:

DEXTROUS (someone who’s good with their hands) -> RIGHT

SINISTER (someone who uses what was once seen as the devil’s hand) -> LEFT


ATTRAVERSARE
TO CROSS

IO ATTRAVERSO I cross

TU ATTRAVERSI You (casual) cross

LEI ATTRAVERSA You (formal) cross / she crosses

NOI ATTRAVERSIAMO We cross

VOI ATTRAVERSATE You guys cross

LORO ATTRAVERSANO They cross

ATTRAVERSARE renders the idea of to cross (the road) or to go through something (cross the square).


SUPERARE
TO GO PAST

IO SUPERO I go past

TU SUPERI You (casual) go past

LEI SUPERA You (formal) go past / she goes past

NOI SUPERIAMO We go past

VOI SUPERATE You guys go past

LORO SUPERANO They go past

SUPERARE is often used when giving reference points (“supera una banca, un parco e un’ospedale”, “you go past a bank, a park and a hospital”).


VEDERE
TO SEE

IO VEDO I see

TU VEDI You (casual) see

LEI VEDE You (formal) see / she sees

NOI VEDIAMO We see

VOI VEDETE You guys see

LORO VEDONO They see

VEDERE is often used when giving reference points (“vede una banca, un parco e un’ospedale”, “you’ll see past a bank, a park and a hospital”).


FINO A / FINO A CHE

Any time you hear these expressions you want to get the idea of “up until, up to, until you hit…”.

Va sempre dritto fino a che vede un ospedaleYou keep going till you see a hospital

Va avanti fino al parcoyou keep going till you get to the park

Please, do not spend too much time practicing these expressions. Their grammar correctness is mostly irrelevant to you. You just want to be able to quickly get the idea of “up to/until” when you hear the italian word FINO.


SULLA DESTRA / SULLA SINISTRA

SULLA DESTRA / SULLA SINISTRA simply refer to which side of the road things are, on the right hand side (DESTRA) or the left hand side (SINISTRA).

La Posta è sulla destra
The Post Office is on the right hand side


ALLA PRIMA / ALLA SECONDA / ALLA TERZA

These expressions are used to indicate at which point to turn:

ALLA PRIMA
at the first

ALLA SECONDA
at the second

ALLA TERZA
at the third


USEFUL VOCAB

LA ROTONDA
roundabout

IL SEMAFORO
traffic light

LA STRADA
road

LA TRAVERSA
alleyway

LA VIA
street

L’INCROCIO
intersection/junction/crossroads


Combined with the ALLA PRIMA / ALLA SECONDA / ALLA TERZA expressions we can have:

ALLA PRIMA ROTONDA
at the first roundabout

AL SECONDO SEMAFORO
at the second traffic light

AL TERZO INCROCIO
at the third intersection

DO NOT WORRY about the gender changing etc. Italians will say the right thing, your goal is to focus on whether it’s the first, second, or third!

ALLA TERZA, GIRA A DESTRA
at the third (road), turn right


EXPRESSION FOR EXACT LOCATIONING

Here are some useful expressions to help you locate something.

DAVANTI A
in front of

AFFIANCO A
besides/next to

ACCANTO A
besides/next to

DI FRONTE A
opposite

DIETRO A
behind

VICINO A
near (something)

VICINO
near

LONTANTO
far

l’ospedale è davanti al parco
the hospital is in front of the park

l’ospedale è dietro al parco
the hospital is behind the park

l’ospedale è vicino al parco
the hospital is near the park

08:12

Introductions [a new way!]

So far we’ve seen an easy way to introduce ourselves, that used the verb ESSERE (to be).

SONO IL SIGNOR + LAST NAME
I’m Mr. + last name

SONO LA SIGNORA + LAST NAME
I’m Mrs. + last name

La Signora covers all meanings for women (Miss, Mrs, Ms).

Instead of Mr/Mrs we can use titles:

SONO IL PROFESSOR + LAST NAME
I’m Prof. + last name (for men)

SONO LA PROFESSORESSA + LAST NAME
I’m Prof. + last name (for women)

SONO IL DOTTOR + LAST NAME
I’m Dr. + last name (for men)

SONO LA DOTTORESSA + LAST NAME
I’m Prof. + last name (for women)

You don’t have to use titles, but be prepared to hear them!


MI CHIAMO

Here’s another way of introducing yourself. It’s by using the verb “CHIAMARE” (“to call”) in its reflexive form “CHIAMARSI” (“to call oneself”).

MI CHIAMO + FIRST OR FULL NAME
My name is + first or full name

MI CHIAMO MANU
My name is Manu

MI CHIAMO MANU VENDITTI
My name is Manu Venditti

To ask for someone’s name we say:

LEI COME SI CHIAMA?
What is your name? (literally “how do you call yourself”)

When we meet someone for the first time, it’s customary to say PIACERE (literally “pleasure”) while shaking hands. In reply to PIACERE you simply say PIACERE or PIACERE MIO.

LEI COME SI CHIAMA? is a formal expression. Should you need a more casual expression, you can use:

COME TI CHIAMI? (literally “ how do you call yourself”).

When appropriate you can ask people to not address you formally with this expression:

DIAMOCI DEL TU

Only the person in the higher social status can ask to use the casual form of address, so be mindful of the situation. Also remember that asking to speak “casually” will require you to use all verbs in the TU form (instead of LEI). This could be a hassle if you’ve only been learning the LEI form of verbs.

Good replies to DIAMOCI DEL TU include:

VA BENE!
ok!

CERTO!
Sure!

D’ACCORDO!
I agree!

13:22

PREPOSITIONS

Just like English, Italian has a bunch of little yet important words that add meaning to our sentences. These words are called “prepositions”. Examples of prepositions in English include:

Tonight I’m going out with Michelle

The coffee is on the table

In these two examples, WITH specifies who’s accompanying me to dinner tonight and ON tells me the specific location of the coffee in relation to the table (it’s not underneath, it’s not besides, it’s ON the table).


CON

CON means WITH

It works pretty much like its English counterpart, so you can safely assume that if you’d say WITH in English you can say CON in your Italian sentence.

Stasera mangio con Maria
Tonight I’m eating with Maria

Un panino con prosciutto
A sandwich with prosciutto


PER

PER means FOR.

It works like English, most of the time.

Cucino per Maria
I’m cooking for Maria

Lavoro per la Mitsubishi
I work for Mitsubishi


TRA / FRA

TRA and FRA both mean BETWEEN / AMONG / AMONGST. You can use either one!

Maria è fra Marco e Luisa
Maria is between Marco and Luisa

Firenze è tra Roma e Bologna
Florence is between Rome and Bologna

Italians also use TRA/FRA to mean IN in sentences like:

I’ll see you in 5 minutesvi vediamo FRA 5 minuti

The train leaves in 10 minutesIl treno parte FRA 10 minuti


SU

SU means ON and it’s used mostly like English.

Il caffè è SUL tavoloThe coffee is ON the table

Scrivo un libro SULLA filosofia grecaI’m writing a book ON Green philosophy

When followed by an article (IL/LA/L’ etc) SU blends with the article creating a new word:

SU IL ->SUL

SU LA ->SULLA

SU L’ -> SULL’

et cetera. As a traveler/beginner speaker of Italian, you should not worry too much about this. You will be understood of you say SU IL instead of the correct SUL.


DA

DA means FROM and it works almost the same as English.

Il treno va DA Roma a Milano
The train goes FROM Rome to Milan

Questo telefono viene DALLA Corea
This telephone comes FROM Korea

Just like SU, DA blends with the article that follows. For example:

DA IL ->DAL

DA LA->DALLA

DA + I ->DAI

DA + GLI ->DAGLI

et cetera. As a traveler/beginner speaker of Italian, you should not worry too much about this. You will be understood of you say DA IL instead of the correct DAL.


DI

DI means OF. We use DI any time you’re thinking OF in English. Italian also uses OF when in English we would use what is known as a “saxon genitive”... basically the ’S (apostrophe S) construction. That’s because such construction does not exist in Italian so you should learn to never translate a saxon genitive, but rather to “unroll it” to its plain (and not commonly used) counterpart.

DON’T TRANSLATE TRANSLATE ITALIAN SENTENCE

Roberto’s book The book of Roberto Il libro di Roberto

Paola’s boyfriend The boyfriend of Paola Il ragazzo di Paola

This also applies to those instances when in English we do not have ’S but we have a similar situation:

DON’T TRANSLATE TRANSLATE ITALIAN SENTENCE

the Italian Course The Course of Italian Il corso di Italiano

the car keys the keys of the car Le chiavi della macchina

Just like SU and DA, DI also blends with the article that follows. For example:

DI IL ->DEL

DI LA->DELLA

DI+ I ->DEI

DI + GLI ->DEGLI

et cetera. As a traveler/beginner speaker of Italian, you should not worry too much about this. You will be understood of you say DI IL instead of the correct DEL.


A

A has mainly two meanings: AT and TO.

When you mean AT you can safely use the Italian A.

Sono a casa
I’m at home

Ci vediamo a scuola
I’ll see you at school

When you mean TO then it’s all little more tricky. Italian uses a combination of A, DA, and IN to render the idea of TO. At a basic level, you can just use A all the time, but you will be incorrect some of the times. Here’s why.

When, in Italian, there’s movement towards a person, we use DA

Vado DAL dottore vado DAL parrucchiere vado DA Marco
I’m going to the doctor’s I’m going to the hairdresser I’m going to Marco’s place

When there’s movement towards a country, state or region, we use IN

Vado in Italia Vado in Toscana Vado in California
I’m going to Italy I’m going to Tuscany I’m going to California

When there’s movement towards a city, town or suburb, we use A

Vado a Roma Vado a Trastevere Vado a Assisi
I’m going to Rome I’m going to Trastevere (a suburb) I’m going to Assisi

Later in the week we’ll look into this a bit further.

A blends with the following articles:

A IL ->AL

A LA ->ALLA

A LE ->ALLE

A I ->AI

etc. There’s usually not much confusion if you do not do that.


IN
IN means IN and you will use it any time you’re thinking IN in English!

Abito in Italia Studio in America In questo libro…
I live in Italy I study in America In this book…

As mentioned earlier, the Italian IN also means TO, in some cases.

IN blends with the following articles:

IN IL ->NEL

IN LA ->NELLA

IN LO -> NELLO

IN GLI -> NEGLI

et cetera. While this is a difficult thing to do, I recommend being prepared to use at least NEL and NELLA, as Italians might not understand you if you say IN IL and IN LA. If you’re trouble, you’re better off NOT using the article and just saying IN.

La birra è NEL frigo simplified to La birra è in Frigo
The beer is in the fridge

08:45

This is your chance to practice!

Don't be shy and speak out loud if you can.

Dialogue 1

Scusi? Dov’è la stazione?
Excuse me? Where is the station?

La stazione? Allora… È vicino.
The station? Let’s see… it’s near.

Allora, va sempre dritto…
So, you go straight ahead…

supera il primo semaforo …
You go past the first set of lights...

arriva al secondo semaforo…
You get to the second traffic light…

poi al semaforo gira a destra.
and then at the traffic light you turn right.

Va sempre dritto, su via Garibaldi…
Stay on via Garibaldi...

e va avanti per … duecento metri… più o meno
keep going for… 200 metres, more or less

e la stazione è proprio lì!
and the station is right there!


Dialogue 2

Scusi? Dov’è la stazione?
Excuse me? Where is the station?

Allora… va sempre dritto...
So, you go straight ahead

supera la banca…
You go past the bank

supera il parco…
You go past the park

poi al semaforo gira a sinistra
then, at the traffic light, you turn left

va sempre dritto
keep going

e poi alla seconda… no, alla terza
and then at the second… no, I mean, at the third

gira a destra
turn right

e la stazione è lì
and the station is there

Dealing with Dodgy Situations While in Italy
20:12
09:05

Expressions To Be Left Alone

If you’re being bothered by someone in the street and you need them to leave you alone here are some useful expressions, in order of harshness (from mild to rude).

NO GRAZIE
No, thanks!

NON HO SOLDI
I have no money!

NON NO MONETE
I have no coins!

NON MI SERVE
I don’t need it!

HO DETTO DI NO!!
I said NO!

LASCIAMI STARE
Leave me alone!

CHIAMO LA POLIZIA!
I’m gonna call the Police!

CAZZO! VATTENE!
Leave me alone (very rude and aggressive)

VAFFANCULO!
Piss off (very rude and aggressive)

07:07

Verbs

Here are 2 new irregular and very important verbs that you need to be familiar with. The verb ANDARE (to go) and the verb FARE (“to do”, “to make”). As usual, if you’re finding it too hard to memorize all 6 variations for the two verbs, make sure you can eat least use the IO, LEI and NOI forms (which are the most frequent, as well as the easiest).


ANDARE

TO GO

IO VADO I go

TU VAI You (casual) go

LEI VA You (formal) go / she goes

NOI ANDIAMO We go

VOI ANDATE You guys go

LORO VANNO They go

Dove andiamo stasera? Questo treno va a Roma? Come va? Bene grazie!
Where are we going tonight? Does this train go to Rome? How is it going? Fine, thanks!


FOCUS:

IO VADO I go

LEI VA You (formal) go / she goes

NOI ANDIAMO We go

LORO VANNO They go

The reason we are also focusing on the “LORO” form of this verbs is that it is frequent for people to use sentences like “these things go here”...

Le valigie vanno qui. Non ci sono treni che vanno a Assisi.
The suitcases go here. There are no trains that go to Assisi.

In both cases we are using VANNO (the “they” form of the verbs) because we are talking about plural things. The suitcases, they go here.

The verb ANDARE expresses movement, and is therefore in most cases followed by a preposition that renders that idea (“to” in English, as in “I go to Rome”).

Italian uses a combination of A, DA, and IN to render the idea of TO. At a basic level, you can just use A all the time, but you will be incorrect some of the times. Here’s why.


When, in Italian, there’s movement towards a person, we use DA

Vado DAL dottore vado DAL parrucchiere vado DA Marco
I’m going to the doctor’s I’m going to the hairdresser I’m going to Marco’s place

When there’s movement towards a country, state or region, we use IN

Vado in Italia Vado in Toscana Vado in California
I’m going to Italy I’m going to Tuscany I’m going to California

When there’s movement towards a city, town or suburb, we use A

Vado a Roma Vado a Trastevere Vado a Assisi
I’m going to Rome I’m going to Trastevere (a suburb) I’m going to Assisi

A blends with the following articles:

A IL ->AL

A LA ->ALLA

A LE ->ALLE

A I ->AI

etc. There’s usually not much confusion if you do not do that.

You can easily ignore the cases where you’re supposed to say DA, and focus on the distinction between A and IN, if you want. It’s tricky, and I can only share some rough guidelines, as there are no real strick rules.

These expressions all use A.

ANDARE A CASA
to go home

ANDARE A LAVORO
to go to work

ANDARE A SCUOLA
to go to school

ANDARE ALL’UNIVERSITÀ
to go to the university

ANDARE AL CINEMA
to go to the cinema

ANDARE AL TEATRO
to go to the theatre

ANDARE ALL’OPERA
to go to the opera

ANDARE AL MARE
to go to the beach

ANDARE AL SUPERMERCATO
to go to the supermarket

ANDARE AL MERCATO
to go to the market

It looks as if Italian prefers to use A when the movement is towards an “institution”, rather than just a place. When you think about it, home, school, university, opera are general metaphors for family, education and the arts.

These expressions all use IN.

ANDARE IN VACANZA
to go on vacation

ANDARE IN MONTAGNA
to go to the mountains

ANDARE IN BICICLETTA/MACCHINA/TRENO…
to go on the bike / by car / by train etc

ANDARE IN PISCINA
to go to the swimming pool

As a general rule (well, guideline, considering the numerous exceptions!) when there is movement to a place that you “walk into”, then Italian prefers to use “IN”.

ANDARE IN BIBLIOTECA
to go to the library (to go into the library)

ANDARE IN BANCA
to go to the bank(to go into the bank)

ANDARE IN POSTA
to go to the post office(to go into the post office)

ANDARE IN PALESTRA
to go to gym(to go into the gym)


The beauty of IN is that you don’t have to use an article afterwards, like you’ve seen A do (al mare, all’univesità, etc).

06:36

FARETO DO / TO MAKE

IO FACCIO I do

TU FAI You (casual) do

LEI FA You (formal) do / she does

NOI FACCIAMO We do

VOI FATE You guys do

LORO FANNO They do

FOCUS:

IO FACCIO I do

LEI FA You (formal) do / she does

NOI FACCIAMO We do

VOI FATE You guys do

LORO FANNO They do

The reason we are also focusing on the “LORO” form of this verbs is that it is frequent for people to use sentences like “these things/people do/make…”

Questi artigiani fanno le borse. Oggi i negozi fanno i saldi.
These artisans make the bags. Today shops are “making” a sale (having a sale)

Here are some expressions that use FARE:

FARE LA SPESA
to do the grocery shopping

FARE SHOPPING
to go shopping

FARE COLAZIONE
to eat breakfast

FARE LA CACCA
to poo

FARE LA PIPÌ
to pee

*FARSI LA BARBA
to shave (oneself)

*FARSI LA DOCCIA
to shower (oneself)

*FARSI IL BAGNO
to take a bath

Phrases wth * use a specific variation of the verb FARE, which basically mean they are used with the words meaning “myself, yourself, ourselves” etc. Don’t worry about this for now! Just use

MI FACCIO LA BARBA/LA DOCCIA/IL BAGNO

when you’re speaking about yourself. It’s all for now!

Dress Code in Italy
07:19
02:27
01:52

For our day off, I've prepared something cool and something yummy!
The first video is a short documentary on the very popular Italian crime series "Il Commissario Montalbano". The video is mostly in Italian and it has English subtitled.

The other two videos are recipes for two traditional Italian dishes. No English here, so your goal is to just sit back and try and grasb the overall meaning of they are saying and pick up a few words.

Section 8: [Week 3] Bonus Material
41:11

TOPICS
- understanding weight measures (chilo/etto)
- when to use and when not to use prepositions with Italian verbs
- entering Italy – important airport procedures
- other ways to say “thank you”
- why you should not say “per piacere” all the time
- how to pronounce the GLI sound
- the difference between open and closed E and O

- why Italian sentence structure is easy… “DO” doesn’t exist in Italian!

33:24

Watch this Practice Session help with other students of Italian.

The value of watching others having a go at speaking Italian is invaluable and you will learn heaps from these Practice Sessions.

Section 9: [Week 4] Traveling in Italy: Car Hire, Public Transport and More!
08:19

Entering Italy (especially via Roma Fiumicino Airport)

When entering Italy via an International Airport you have to ensure you get your passport stamped.

As you line up (two tines: EU Citizens, non-EU Citizens) and get your passport ready, you might need this expression to request a stamp:

MI FA IL TIMBRO
Will you put a stamp (on my passport)?

Not having a stamp on your passport is likely to give you problems as you try to enter or exit other European countries (or other Italian airports).

After collecting your luggage and before getting out of the airport, you will have to go through a Customs check, which simply implies walking past some uniformed officials (usually in gray uniforms) under the “NIENTE DA DICHIARARE” (“nothing to declare”) line.

The main thing they are looking for is merchandize and technology goods that they suspect you are going to resell. Overall, there’s nothing to worry about, unless you have several of the same items (3 new camera, 20 new and packaged jackets, etc). In this case it’s best to have the original invoices to help the officials determine the value of the goods, on which you will be charged Italian taxes.

01:23

Visas and Paperwork

Non European citizens are allowed to stay in Italy/Europe for a maximum of 3 months (this is the reason why it is important to get a stamp on your passport!). Check this link for nationalities that do not need a visa for this 3 month period:

http://www.poliziadistato.it/articolo/view/227/

Scroll a couple of paragraphs to get to where you see a list of countries, starting with Albania.

All other nationalities will have to request a Visa from an Italian Embassy before boarding their flight. In most cases, your travel agent will suggest that, and usually also sort it out for you.

Here’s a page in English that can help find out more about legal entry to Italy.

http://www.poliziadistato.it/articolo/10617/

11:29

Public Transport

While in Italy you will most likely be using buses (AUTOBUS) and underground trains (LA METRO) to move around.

Buses are convenient and affordable, but very crowded, at least in the major cities.

Here’s some terminology:

IL BIGLIETTO
ticket

OBLITERARE
to validate (tickets)

LA FERMATA
stop (the bus/train stop)

PRENOTARE
to book / to reserve

if you can’t reach the machine to validate your ticket you may need to ask a stranger to do it for you:

SCUSI, MI OBLITERA IL BIGLIETTO, PER FAVORE?
Excuse me, will be please validate my ticket?

if you can’t reach the button to request the next stop:

SCUSI, PRENOTA LA FERMATA, PER FAVORE?
Excuse me, could you please request the next stop?

With public transport being so crowded, it is recommended to be extremely aware of your surroundings.

For men, this means keeping your wallet in your front pocket. For women, this means keeping your handbag zipped up and locked under your arm. Backpacks are best worn in the front, rather than on your back.

12:19

Hiring a Car

Driving in Italy is crazy and dangerous. Italian drivers are undisciplined and tend to not respect many of the road rules. They are very skilled drivers, so unless you are extremely confident (and aggressive!), it is not recommended to hire a car for inner city travel. Also note that Italians drive on the right hand side of the road.

Italy has a great network of trains and coaches, so you can usually reach any destination, just using public transport. Trains are very frequent, affordable and they go nearly everywhere. If they don’t, there will be buses to help you complete the journey.

You should only consider hiring a car if the main intent of your journey is for a road trip or to stay for extended periods in the Italian countryside.

To hire a car you may be asked to present not only your license (LA PATENTE) but also an international license (PATENTE INTERNAZIONALE), which is something you need to sort out before leaving your home country.

As it is often the case in Italy, most rules and guidelines are applied on a one-by-one basis, so you might find a person or business requesting this, while others don’t. Just shop around to find the best and easiest deal.

Some essential vocabulary:

L’AUTONOLEGGIO
car rental place

IL NOLEGGIO AUTO
car rental place

NOLEGGIARE UNA MACCHINA
to hire a car

- GRANDE
big

- PICCOLA
small

- SPORTIVA
sports

- FAMILIARE
family

BUONGIORNO, VORREI NOLEGGIARE UNA MACCHINA FAMILIARE PER 5 GIORNI
Good day, I would like to hire a family car for 5 days.

VORREI SAPERE QUANTO COSTA NOLEGGIARE UNA MACCHINA FAMILIARE PER 5 GIORNO
I would like to know how much it is to hire a family car for 5 days.

I don’t suggest you try and memorize these expressions. They are way too long and it might get frustrating to do so! By now you should be able to make up your own sentences, using the vocab and expressions you have, and, at times, filling in with new words you find in a dictionary or around you.

Notice this:

I would like->vorrei(set phrase)

to know->sapere (dictionary entry)

how much it is/costs->quando costa (set phrase)

to hire->noleggiare (dictionary entry)

a family car->una macchina familiare (adjectives follow the nouns they describe)

for 5 days->per 5 giorni (literal translation)

Other useful vocab:

IL DOCUMENTO
form of ID

LA PATENTE
driver’s license

L’ASSICURAZIONE
insurance

LA FRANCHIGIA
excess

OFFRITE …
do you offer…

- IN NAVIGATORE
a GPS

- IL SEDILE PER BAMBINI
child seat

LA TARIFFA PER QUESTA MACCHINA È 80 EURO E INCLUDE L’ASSICURAZIONE
The rate for this car is 80 Euro and it includes insurance

QUAL’È LA FRANCHIGIA
what’s the excess?

TROPPO, TROPPO
too much! Too much!

If you booked your car in advance (highly recommended) on the Internet or through your travel agent, all you’d need to do is walk into the car rental place and say:

HO UNA PRENOTAZIONE
I have a booking / reservation

To which they are likely to respond with

A CHE NOME?
Under what name?

16:05

Public Transport

You can buy long distance train tickets directly from the national railway company’s website:

www.trenitalia.com

(they have changed their web address to only one ‘i” in the name, unlike what I said in the video)

There is a newcomer, with discounted but limited routes:

http://www.italotreno.it/en

It is advisable to buy your tickets online to avoid any kind of confusion or anxiety. This will also ensure you buy the right ticket, as all the necessary information is displayed on the screen (for example, whether a seat reservation is required etc).

An alternative to buying tickets (long or short distance) right at the station is by using the automated vending machines:

LA BIGLIETTERIA AUTOMATICA also knowns as LA BIGLIETTERIA SELF-SERVICE

For short distance you can buy tickets at:

LA STAZIONE (DEI TRENI)
Train Station

LA STAZIONE (DEGLI AUTOBUS)
Bus Station

LA TABACCHERIA
tobacconist

L’EDICOLA
newsagent

Here are some useful expressions:

VENDETE BIGLIETTI PER …
Do you sell tickets for…

- IL TRENO
- the train

- L’AUTOBUS
- the bus

- IL TRAM
- the tram

- ROMA
- Rome

You can also ask:

AVETE BIGLIETTI …
Do you have …

- INTEGRATI
- “integrated” tickets

- DEL TRENO
- train tickets

- PER ROMA
- tickets to Rome


BIGLIETTI INTEGRATI are daily, return tickets that allow you to travel for a given amount of kilometers, PLUS give you unlimited rides on public transport in the main city (Rome, for example).

MORE EXPRESSIONS (for you to work out!)

Let’s assume you want/need to say the following:

Where can I buy bus/train tickets?

What’s the word for “where”?

DOVE

How do I say “can I”?

Well, in Italian “I can” and “can I” are the same thing… POSSO

How do I say “buy”?

COMPRARE (after POSSO you always have the dictionary entry of a verb)

How about “bus tickets”?

This is tricky, because you have to remember that in Italian you cannot have two nouns together like we do in English. So you should always ask yourself “what am I really talking about here? Buses or Tickets? What do I want to buy? Tickets, right? So… BIGLIETTI

What kind of tickets?

Bus tickets! So they are tickets for the bus, right? BIGLIETTI PER L’AUTOBUS or BIGLIETTI DELL’AUTOBUS.


What bus goes to…?

QUALE AUTOBUS VA A … (QUALE means Which)


Is this the bus to Rome?

QUESTO È L’AUTOBUS PER ROMA? (Italian uses PER to express the destination of any means of transport)

You could also say:

È QUESTO L’AUTOBUS PER ROMA?


What’s the stop for…?

QUAL’È LA FERMATA PER…


Other useful expressions:

IN CHE DIREZIONE VA?
Which direction are you going?

SALE?
Are you getting on?

SCENDE?
Are you getting off?


Catching Taxis

Taxis are also available. Just beware of possible scams! You should try to find out what “official” taxis look like in each town so that you avoid getting on illegal taxi services. It’s also advisable to enquire about the potential cost before you get on a taxi:

QUANTO PER ANDARE A…?
How much to get to…?

Other useful expressions include:

MI PORTA A…
Please take me to…

PUÒ TENERE IL RESTO
You can keep the change

IL RESTO, SCUSI!?
Excuse me, where’s my change??

15:42

Booking Accommodation

In Italy you will find mainly two types of hotel accommodation:

ALBERGO or HOTEL (pronounced “Otel”, the H is silent)
Hotel

PENSIONE
similar to a Motel

Both types of accommodation have their own Star rating System, so a “Albergo a 3 Stelle” (3 Star Hotel) is not the same as a “Pensione a 3 Stelle”

There are not many Youth Hostels and the few ones will only take youth. Accommodation will probably be the biggest expense you’ll have to face in Italy.

Alternatives to ALBERGO/PENSIONE are:

BED & BREAKFAST
Bed and Breakfast

AGRITURISMO
Farm-Stay

CONVENTO / MONASTERO
Convent - Monastery

I recommend booking all your accommodation in advance using your Travel Agency or the Internet. There are plenty of sites for this, one being www.booking.com.

If you do need to call to make a reservation, or just walk into to a hotel these expressions will serve you:

VORREI FARE UNA PRENOTAZIONE
I’d like to make a booking

CAMERA
room

- SINGOLA
- single

- DOPPIA
- twin share

- MATRIMONIALE
- double

APPARTAMENTO
apartment

POSTO LETTO
bed in a dormitory

BUONGIORNO, VORREI PRENOTARE UNA CAMERA SINGOLA
Good morning, I’d like to book a single room

If you need to ask them whether they have vacancies, then you already know how to do that… right?

AVETE UNA CAMERA SINGOLA?
Do you have a single room?


Other expressions

PER ___ NOTTI
for ___ nights

PER UNA NOTTE
for one night

CON ARRIVO IL + date
with arrival on + date

E PARTENZA IL + date
and departure on + date

04:34

How to tell the date

Telling the date in Italian is very easy. All you need is IL followed bythe straight up number (cardinal numbers), followed by the month of the year. For example:

IL SETTE APRILE
The 7th of April (April 7)

IL TRE MAGGIO
The 3rd of May(May 3)

IL VENTOTTO AGOSTO
The 28th of August (August 28)

The only exception is for the 1st of the month, in which case Italian uses the ordinal number: PRIMO

IL PRIMO GENNAIO
The 1st of January (January 1)

Here are the months of the year in Italian:

GENNAIO
January

FEBBRAIO
February

MARZO
March

APRILE
April

MAGGIO
May

GIUGNO
June

LUGLIO
July

AGOSTO
August

SETTEMBRE
September

OTTOBRE
October

NOVEMBRE
November

DICEMBRE
Dicembre

As you can see, they are fairly similar to English, so you should not have any problems understanding them when you hear them or when you need to use them (even if you’ve forgotten them and need to make them up!). Just be careful with MAGGIO (May), GIUGNO (June) and LUGLIO (July) as they can be confusing. Check the video for the correct pronunciation.

Once again, these are the days of week, in Italian:

LUNEDÌ
Monday

MARTEDÌ
Tuesday

MERCOLEDÌ
Wednesday

GIOVEDÌ
Thursday

VENERDÌ
Friday

SABATO
Saturday

DOMENICA
Sunday

You could use days of the week in booking your rooms, for example:

BUONGIORNO, VORREI PRENOTARE UNA CAMERA SINGOLA PER 3 NOTTI, CON ARRIVO GIOVEDÌ E PARTENZA DOMENICA.

Good morning, I would like to book a single room for 3 nights, arriving on Thursday and departing on Sunday.

15:27

Practice - Room Bookings

RECEPTIONISTA: Buongiorno

YOU: ask me whether we have a double room available for 4 nights

RECEPTIONISTA: A partire da stasera?

YOU: Agree with me

RECEPTIONISTA: Sì, certamente. La preferisce con o senza bagno?

YOU: Tell me you prefer the room with bathroom

RECEPTIONISTA: Benissimo! Allora, se mi da un documento…

YOU: Interrupt me and ask me how much it is

RECEPTIONISTA: Ah, scusi! Allora, la camera singola costa €70 a notte, quindi 4 notti €280. Va bene?

YOU: Agree with me. Ask me if the room has aircon.

RECEPTIONISTA: No, mi dispiace. Ma c’è il ventilatore in camera.

YOU: Ask me what that (ventilatore) means…

RECEPTIONISTA: Ah, il ventilatore… è quello così sul soffitto, quello che gira…

YOU: Tell me that you got it and that it is ok. Then ask me if breakfast is included.

RECEPTIONISTA: Sì, certamente. La colazione è compresa, ed è servita la mattina dalle 7 alle 10 nella sala ristorante lì. Se le interessa offriamo anche la mezza pensione o la pensione completa.

YOU: Tell me you are not interested. You are happy with just breakfast.

RECEPTIONISTA: Va bene. Allora mi da il passaporto.

YOU: Hand me your passport.

RECEPTIONISTA: Grazie… OK… Ecco fatto. Perfetto! Mette una firma? Ecco la chiave. La stanza è la numero 204, al secondo piano. L’ascensore è lì. Grazie mille e buona giornata!

YOU: Thank me and greet me goodbye (or see you later).

RECEPTIONISTA: Sì a dopo, arrivederci!

Below are possible answers to this dialogue. Just remember, your answers can be very different from the suggested one, but still effective. As long as you can express your opinion and make your point, any expression will work. Don’t worry if you left out some “”grammar bits” in your sentences. What matters is that you had all the key elements and were polite to the receptionist.

RECEPTIONISTA: Buongiorno

YOU: ask me whether we have a double room available for 4 nights

  • Avete una camera singola per 4 notti?
  • Vorrei una camera singola per 4 notti?
  • C`è una camera singola per 4 notti?
  • Certo una camera singola per 4 notti?

RECEPTIONISTA: A partire da stasera?

YOU: Agree with me

  • Sì!
  • Sì, sì, sì, certamente!
  • Esatto!
  • Giusto!

RECEPTIONISTA: Sì, certamente. La preferisce con o senza bagno?

YOU: Tell me you prefer the room with bathroom

  • Bagno!
  • Con bagno.
  • Preferisco la camera con bagno.

RECEPTIONISTA: Benissimo! Allora, se mi da un documento…

YOU: Interrupt me and ask me how much it is

  • Ah scusi! Quanto costa la camera?
  • Quanto viene la camera?

RECEPTIONISTA: Ah, scusi! Allora, la camera singola costa €70 a notte, quindi 4 notti €280. Va bene?

YOU: Agree with me. Ask me if the room has aircon.

  • Sì, sì, certamente!
  • Non c’è problema!
  • Perfetto!
  • C’è l’aria condizionata in camera?

RECEPTIONISTA: No, mi dispiace. Ma c’è il ventilatore in camera.

YOU: Ask me what that (ventilatore) means…

  • Che significa “ventilatore”?
  • Che cos’è il “ventilatore”?
  • Scusi, che significa?
  • Scusi, non capisco…

RECEPTIONISTA: Ah, il ventilatore… è quello così sul soffitto, quello che gira…

YOU: Tell me that you got it and that it is ok. Then ask me if breakfast is included.

  • Ah, sì, ho capito.
  • Ah, sì, capisco.
  • Va bene.
  • Va benissimo.
  • La colazione è compresa?

RECEPTIONISTA: Sì, certamente. La colazione è compresa, ed è servita la mattina dalle 7 alle 10 nella sala ristorante lì. Se le interessa offriamo anche la mezza pensione o la pensione completa.

YOU: Tell me you are not interested. You are happy with just breakfast.

  • No, no, va bene così.
  • No, va bene solo la colazione.
  • No, va bene la colazione, e basta!

RECEPTIONISTA: Va bene. Allora mi da il passaporto.

YOU: Hand me your passport.

  • Ecco!
  • A Lei!
  • Ecco a Lei!

RECEPTIONISTA: Grazie… OK… Ecco fatto. Perfetto! Mette una firma? Ecco la chiave. La stanza è la numero 204, al secondo piano. L’ascensore è lì. Grazie mille e buona giornata!

YOU: Thank me and greet me goodbye (or see you later).

  • Grazie.
  • Grazie mille!
  • Arrivederci.
  • A dopo.
  • A presto!

RECEPTIONISTA: Sì a dopo, arrivederci!

04:08

Verb VOLERE (wanting)

The verb VOLERE is irregular and should be memorized.

IO VOGLIO I want
TU VUOI You, my friend, want
LEI VUOLE You, ma'am/sir want
NOI VOGLIAMO We want
VOI VOLETE You guys want
LORO VOGLIONO They want


FOCUS

To simplify thing you should at least become familiar with the following forms:
LEI VUOLE, NOI VOGLIAMO, VOI VOLETE

There's no real need to learn the "IO" version as it's usually preferable to say VORREI (I would like) rather than VOGLIO (I want).

IMPORTANT
The verb VOLERE is often followed by a dictionary entry verb. For example:

VOLETE ORDINARE?
Do you (people) want to order?

VUOLE MANGIARE?
Do you want to eat?

02:45

Verb DOVERE (must / to have to)

The verb DOVERE is irregular and should be memorized.

IO DEVO I must / I have to
TU DEVI You, my friend, must / I have to
LEI DEVE You, ma'am/sir must / I have to
NOI DOBBIAMO We must / I have to
VOI DOVETE You guys must / I have to
LORO DEVONO They must / I have to


FOCUS

To simplify thing you should at least become familiar with the following forms:
IO DEVO, LEI DEVE, NOI DOBBIAMO, VOI DOVETE

IMPORTANT
The verb DOVERE is ALWAYS followed by a dictionary entry verb. For example:

DOVETE PARTIRE?
Do you (people) have to leave?

DEVE PRENDERE VIA MAZZINI...
You have to take Mazzini Street.

04:01

CONOSCERE (verb)

CONOSCERE renders the idea of “knowing” and it refers to the knowing of people or things that require emotional involvement and experience (“to be familiar with”). Here are some examples:

CONOSCO MARCO
I know Marco

CONOSCE FIRENZE?
Do you know Firenze (are you familiar with Firenze)?

CONOSCERE is irregular and needs to be memorized. Refer to the Video for pronunciation.

IO CONOSCO I know

TU CONOSCI You (casual) know

LEI CONOSCE You (formal) know, she knows

NOI CONOSCIAMO We know

VOI CONOSCETE You guys know

LORO CONOSCONO They know

FOCUS:

You can choose to focus mostly on the forms for IO, LEI, NOI and VOI.

IO CONOSCO LEI CONOSCE NOI CONOSCIAMO VOI CONOSCETE

Do not confuse CONOSCERE with SAPERE, which also means “to know”, but it’s used for things can be be “known” through a process of studying, reading, etc. Basically, SAPERE is used for facts and notions that can be acquired.

SO CHE ROMA È LA CAPITALE D’ITALIA
I know that Rome is the capital of Italy

SO CHE IN ITALIANO “DOOR” SI DICE “PORTA”
I know that in Italian you say “porta” to say “door”

SAPETE QUANTO COSTA?
Do you (guys) know how this costs?

05:36

PREFERIRE (verb)

PREFERIRE renders the idea of “preferring”, it’s irregular and needs to be memorized. Refer to the Video for pronunciation.

IO PREFERISCO I prefer

TU PREFERISCI You (casual) prefer

LEI PREFERISCE You (formal) prefer, she prefers

NOI PREFERIAMO We prefer

VOI PREFERITE You guys prefer

LORO PREFERISCONO They prefer

FOCUS:

You can choose to focus mostly on the forms for IO, LEI, NOI and VOI.

IO PREFERISCO LEI PREFERISCE NOI PREFERIAMO VOI PREFERITE

Just like it happens for PRENDERE (“to take”, “to have food or drinks”) and PIACERE (“to like”), the nouns that follows VOLERE and PREFERIRE always uses the article (“the” or “a”):

PRENDO UNA PIZZA
I’ll have a pizza / I’ll have pizza

PRENDETE IL CAFFÈ?
Are you (guys) having coffee?

MI PIACE IL GELATO ITALIANO
I like Italian ice cream

PREFERISCO I CANNELLONI
I prefer cannelloni (over lasagne, for example)


ISC Verbs

PREFERISCE has a very special irregularity, that we are calling “ISC” verbs. This basically means that some -IRE verbs insert ISC before we use the standard ending for each particular subject.

For example, -IRE verbs would normally use -O ending whenever “IO” is the subject, -E ending for “LEI” subject and so on.

Well, this group of verbs will actually add:

-ISCO (pronounced with the “SK” sound), whenever IO is the subject PREFER-ISCO

-ISCI (pronounced with the “SH” sound), whenever TU is the subject PREFER-ISCI

-ISCE (pronounced with the “SH” sound), for LEI or LUI subjects PREFER-ISCE

The irregularity DOES NOT apply to NOI PREFER-IAMO

The irregularity DOES NOT apply to VOI PREFER-ITE

And again, it applies to LORO, by attaching -ISCONO (“SK” sound) PREFER-ISCONO


Other ISC Verbs

Other important verbs to do this are:

FINIRE

FINIRE means “to finish”. Refer to the Video for pronunciation.


]IO FINISCO I finish

TU FINISCI You (casual) finish

LEI FINISCE You (formal) finish, she finishes

NOI FINIAMO We finish

VOI FINITE You guys finish

LORO FINISCONO They finish

FOCUS:

You can choose to focus mostly on the forms for IO, LEI, NOI and VOI.

IO FINISCO LEI FINISCE NOI FINIAMO VOI FINITE

Don’t worry too much about this verbs. It’s actually a lot easier for English speakers, precisely thanks to its irregularity, which makes it sound more like “finish”!


CAPIRE

CAPIRE means “to understand”. Refer to the Video for pronunciation.

IO CAPISCO I understand

TU CAPISCI You (casual) understand

LEI CAPISCE You (formal) understand, she understands

NOI CAPIAMO We understand

VOI CAPITE You guys understand

LORO CAPISCONO They understand

FOCUS:

You can choose to focus mostly on the forms for IO, LEI, NOI and VOI.

IO CAPISCOLEI CAPISCENOI CAPIAMOVOI CAPITE


PULIRE

PULIRE means “to clean”. Refer to the Video for pronunciation.


IO PULISCO I clean

TU PULISCI You (casual) understand

LEI PULISCE You (formal) understand, she understands

NOI PULIAMO We understand

VOI PULITE You guys understand

LORO PULISCONO They understand

FOCUS:

You can choose to focus mostly on the forms for IO, LEI and LORO (for the cleaning staff).

IO PULISCO LEI PULISCE LORO PULISCONO

06:46

Alternative types of accommodation.
Check the links.

01:32

Today we familiarize with the Italian currency, the Euro.

I did not produce these videos... they are a little weird but very informative! Enjoy!

There's also a video with footage of beautiful Italy, in case you needed more reasons for wanting to go there!

Section 10: [Week 4] Bonus Material
41:28

TOPICS
- why is there H in Italian words when it’s never pronounced?
- which article to use for words starting with H?
- how to get a quote from a taxi driver and other useful “taxi” expressions
- show we worry about SCIOPERI (strikes – for public transport)?
- how to organize transportation in Italy
- how to use an Italian coffee maker (CAFFETTIERA)

- different kinds of coffee in Italy

01:05:07

Watch this Practice Session help with other students of Italian.

The value of watching others having a go at speaking Italian is invaluable and you will learn heaps from these Practice Sessions.

Section 11: [Week 5] Bringing It All Together - Improving Your Italian
18:32

Asking Questions

The standard sentence structure for Italian statements and questions, as you already know, is the same. We simply make questions sound like questions by raising our pitch towards the end of the sentence.

This does not apply to “W” (question words) kind of questions. When we use a question word (like Where, When, Who, etc) Italian uses a slightly different structure, which is often different from English.

Let’s have a look at some of these “question” words.


QUANDO (“when”)

When does the train leave?

First thing we want to notice here is that in English we are using the word DOES (or DO) to create the question. Italian does not have such words. The correct structure in Italian is to have the VERB immediately follow the Question word. Then we can add the subject, if needed, and all the other specifics.

So in this case we’d have something like:

When leaves the train?
Quando parte il treno?

When are we eating?

This one is simpler. To say “are we eating” and “we are eating” is really the same thing in Italian. And that would be “mangiamo”. So we’d have:

When we eat?
Quando mangiamo?


DOVE (“where”)

Where are we going tonight?

Which becomes:

Where we are going tonight?

or simply:

Where we go tonight?

Dove andiamo stasera?

Where is Assisi?
Dove è Assisi?

Which Italians tend to shorten to:
Dov’è Assisi?

Where are you eating tomorrow?

Which becomes:

Where you eat tomorrow?

Dove mangia domani?


COME (“how”)

How do I get to Assisi by train?

It’s nearly impossible to find a good Italian equivalent for “get” as “get” has way too many meanings! So it’s always best to avoid using “to get” in your sentences, and to replace it with another verb. In this case, we could opt for “to go”, or, more appropriately, with “to arrive”. Can you guess what “to arrive” is in Italian? ARRIVARE!

How do I get to Assisi by train?
How do I arrive to Assisi by train?
How I arrive to Assisi by train?

Come arrivo a Assisi in treno?

I don’t know how to cook pasta.
Non so come cucinare la pasta.

How do we know where to take the bus?
How do we know where to take the bus?

How we know where to take the bus?
Come sappiamo dove prendere l’autobus?


QUANTO (“how much”)

How much does this cost?

Remember that in Italian we put the verb right after the “question” word, so we’d have something like:

How much costs this?
Quanto costa questo?


How much do you know?
How much you know?
Quanto sa?


I don’t know how much she eats…
I don’t know how much she eats…

Non so quanto mangia

followed by the subject, if needed, as in:

non so quanto mangia Maria

I don’t know how much Maria eats


QUANTO / QUANTA / QUANTI / QUANTE (“how much” or “how many” of something)

How much pizza do you want?
How much pizza you want?

Quanta pizza vuole

We are saying QUANTA because we are referring to PIZZA, which is a feminine singular item.

How much wine?
Quanto vino?

We are saying QUANTO because VINO is masculine and singular.

How many days are you staying in Italy?How many daysyou stayin Italy?

Quanti giornistate (you guys)in Italia?

We are saying QUANTI because GIORNI is masculine and plural.


QUAL / QUALE / QUALI (“which”)

QUAL and QUALE are used for singular items (regardless of gender - you will sometimes see QUAL used in some cases, but don’t worry!). QUALI is used for plural items.

Which bus do I take?
Which bus I take?

Quale autobus prendo?

We are saying QUALE because AUTOBUS is singular.

Which trains go to Rome?
Quali treni vanno a Roma?

We are saying QUALI because TRENI is singular.


CHE / CHE COSA / COSA (“what”)

In Italian you can say CHE, CHE COSA, or COSA to mean “What”? You choose the one you prefer! CHE tends to be used in the South of Italy, whereas COSA tends to be used in the North. Just be careful though; we can only use CHE COSA and COSA when the “What” that we mean is not followed by a noun.

So, for example:

What are you eating?

could be rendered with any of these:

Che mangia?
Che cosa mangia?
Cosa mangia?

BUT

What book do you want?

Can only be rendered with CHE. This is because we are actually meaning:

“Which book (out of this selection) do you want?

When “What” actually means “Which” Italian can only use CHE or QUALE.

Che libro vuole?

Quale libro vuole?

What train is this?

Che treno è questo?

Quale treno è questo?

What train goes to Rome?

Quale treno va a Roma?

Che treno va a Roma?

I don’t know what to order…

Non so che cosa ordinare (or prendere)
Non so che ordinare (or prendere)
Non so cosa ordinare (or prendere)


What is this?
Che cosa è questo?
Che è questo?
Cosa è questo?


CHI (“who”)

Italian uses the word CHI to mean WHO, predominantly in questions.

Who’s paying?
Who is paying?
Who pays?

Chi paga?

Just like in English, CHI must be treated as a third person (he/she) and therefore conjugated with the verb that you would normally use for Lei.

Who pays?
Chi paga?


Who are you?
Who you are?
Chi è?


Who is Marta?
Chi è Marta?

13:46

Advanced Sentences

As long as you remember to create your Italian sentences following pretty much the same blocks as English, you should be fine. There are obviously differences between the two languages, but at this level these differences should not show up very often and you should not worry too much about them.

In the associated video you will see how we can mentally process complex information like the sentences below. I am writing both English and Italian version, and refer you back to the video for the full mental process.


Tomorrow I would like to go to Florence to see Ponte Vecchio. Do you know what bus goes there?

Tomorrow
Domani

I would like
vorrei

to go
andare

to Florence
a Firenze

to see
vedere

Ponte Vecchio.
Ponte Vecchio.

Do you know
Sa

what bus
che autobus

goes
va

there?

The correct Italian sentences would be:

Domani vorrei andare a Firenze per vedere Ponte Vecchio. Sa che autobus va là?


I would like a room with air conditioning and a balcony. Is it possible to pay when I leave? Is there a fridge in the room?

I would like
Vorrei

a room
una camera

with air conditioning
con aria condizionata

and a balcony.
e un balcone.

Is it possible
È possibile

to pay
pagare

when I leave?
quando parto?

Is there a fridge
C’è un frigo

in the room?
in camera?

The correct Italian sentences would be:

Vorrei una camera con aria condizionata e balcone. È possibile pagare quanto parto? C’è il frigo in camera?


This monument is so beautiful… I like Roman architecture a lot… Do you know what this monument is called?

This monument
Questo monumento

is
è

so beautiful…
molto bello.

I like
Mi piace

Roman architecture
l’architettura romana

a lot…
molto...

Do you know
Sa

what is called
come si chiama

this monument
questo monumento?

The correct Italian sentences would be:

Questo monumento è molto bello. Mi piace molto l’architettura romana. Sa come si chiama questo monumento?

20:17

The Past Tense

While it is a rather big and scary topic, the Italian past tense can be simplified to an extent, and reduced to a couple of big points.

In Italian we mainly distinguish between two types of past tense. The passato prossimo and the Imperfetto. The Passato Prossimo is used to talk about stuff that happened in the past. HAPPENED being the keyword here. Anything that took place in the past, recent or distant past it doesn’t matter.

Some English examples:

Yesterday I went to Rome.
Last week I bought a shirt.
10 years ago I visited Italy.
Today I’ve already met 5 of my friends.

The Imperfetto, on the other hand, is used to DESCRIBE things in the past. With the Imperfetto we cannot make a point and tell a full story. The Imperfetto is mainly to create the setting of a story.

Some English examples:

Rome was beautiful.
Yesterday the beach was crowded.
When I was little I had a red bike.
The house where I lived was green.

In this course we are not going to worry about the Imperfetto, with the exception of this. The verb ESSERE (“to be”) is the most used verb in the Imperfetto, as we tend to describe things that were something (Rome was beautiful, the house was green, etc). Even as a traveler you will find knowing how to say “was” and “were” with this particular meaning very useful.

ERA
It was, you (sir, ma’am) were, she was, he was

Roma era bella. Rome was beautiful.
Ieri la spiaggia era affollata. Yesterday the beach was crowded.


The Passato Prossimo (Italian Past Tense)

The Italian past tense, used for things that HAPPENED/TOOK PLACE in the past is always made up of TWO words, just like the English Present Perfect (I have seen, I have gone, I have worked).

This means that, basically, Italians don’t say:

Yesterday I bought a shirt

But rather:

Yesterday I have bought a shirt

Italians don’t say:

Ten years ago I studied at Harvard.

But rather:

Ten years ago I have studied at Harvard.

It surely sounds weird in English, but that’s how it is in Italian, so just keep this in mind!

The fact that Italian uses a verb similar to the English Present Perfect is actually a good thing, as it makes speaking in the past a lot easier for you. Think about it, when you use the Present Perfect all you are really doing is using the present tense of the verb TO HAVE and the -ED version of the verb you are trying to express. For example:

I have worked I have ordered I have considered

She has worked He has ordered She has considered

As you can see worked, ordered and considered do not change and they are pretty easy to make up! Just remove the TO from the dictionary entry (“to work”) of the verb and attach -ED (“worked”). Of course there are lots of exceptions and irregular verbs (“eaten”, “gone”, “taken” etc), but that’s the main idea.

In Italian we do the same. We use the Present Tense of the verb AVERE (“to have”) followed by the Italian equivalent of an -ED form. First, let’s revise the Present Tense of AVERE.

HO I have

HAI You (my friend) have

HA You (sir, ma’am) have, he has, she has, it has

ABBIAMO We have

AVETE You guys have

HANNO They have

The -ED form of Italian verbs is created by removing the -ARE, -ERE, -IRE ending of the verb and respectively attaching -ATO, -UTO, -ITO.

-ARE->-ATO

-ERE->-UTO

-IRE->-ITO

LAVORARE (“to work”) LAVORATO (“worked”)

CONOSCERE (“to know/meet”) CONOSCIUTO (“known/met”)

FINIRE (“to finish”) FINITO (“finished”)

Most useful -ERE verbs have an irregular form, and there are not that many -IRE verbs in Italian, so, to make it easy on yourself, you could treat all verbs as -ARE verbs and hope for the best. Remember, we’re trying to get you speaking, not being perfect! Here is a partial list of irregular verbs that you will most likely need:

To take PRENDERE PRESO taken

To see VEDERE VISTO seen

To come VENIRE VENUTO come

To write SCRIVERE SCRITTO written

To read LEGGERE LETTO read

To put METTERE MESSO put

To open APRIRE APERTO opened

To close CHIUDERE CHIUSO closed

To ask CHIEDERE CHIESTO asked

To drink BERE BEVUTO drunken

To do/make FARE FATTO done/made

To be ESSERE STATO been

To stay STARE STATO stayed

To win VINCERE VINTO won

To lose PERDERE PERSO lost

to tell/say DIRE DETTO told/said

For more verbs just google “irregular past participles in Italian”. Here’s a big list (in Italian only):

http://inlinguaitaliana.blogspot.com.au/2010/06/participi-passati-irregolari.html

Also, have you noticed how most of these irregular verbs in Italian are also irregular in English (they do not end in -ED)? Can you tell why?

The easy answer is that whatever is very common in a language, that is, whatever is said a lot, tends to be slurred, mumbled, uttered and changed so that it becomes easier!

Now, going back to regular verbs. To express something in the past you will need to use the present tense of AVERE and the -ED form of the verb you’re trying to express, right? Here’s how.

If you want to say “I worked”, you would have to say something like “I have worked” in Italian.

What’s I HAVE? HO. Then you’d need the -ED form of the verb for working… LAVORARE, which gives you LAVORATO.

HO LAVORATO

To say “you worked” you’d say:

HA LAVORATO

To say “we worked” you’d say:

ABBIAMO LAVORATO

Where HO, HA, and ABBIAMO are simply present tense forms of the verb AVERE (I have, you have, we have).

Other examples (from the video):

HO MANGIATO
I ate / I have eaten

LEI HA FINITO
You finished / You have finished

ABBIAMO CONOSCIUTO
We met / we have met

AVETE VISITATO
You guys visited / you guys have visited


A Little Complication

While in English we always use the present tense of TO HAVE when constructing the Present Perfect (I have worked, I have gone, the cat has died), in Italian we sometimes use the verb TO BE.

It’s not easy to know which Italian verbs will use ESSERE (to be) and which will use AVERE (to have). Just go with this: most verbs use AVERE and only some use ESSERE.

But which ones?

The short answer is “intransitive verbs” use ESSERE and “transitive verbs” use AVERE as the first part of the Passato Prossimo. Intransitive verbs are verbs that do NOT allow or need an object.

To die, to fall, to faint, to come, to go are all examples of Intransitive verbs.

For more details on this ask Wikipedia:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intransitive_verb

You can quickly check the nature of a verb by making up a SUBJECT+VERB+OBJECT sentence like:

I die the cat.

I fall the pen.

I faint you.

I come Rome.

I go Rome.

As you can see, we are making up gramatically impossible sentences in English!

So, whenever we are using a verb that does not allow for an object, we must use ESSERE in the Passato Prossimo. Here’s a list of the most common Italian verbs that do that:

DICTIONARY ENTRY -ED FORM

To be ESSERE STATO

To go ANDARE ANDATO

To come VENIRE VENUTO

To become DIVENTARE DIVENTATO

To get on (a bus) SALIRE SALITO

To get off (a bus) SCENDERE SCESO

To arrive ARRIVARE ARRIVATO

To stay STARE STATO

So to say: We’ll say: And NOT:

I went SONO ANDATO HO ANDATO

You arrived È ARRIVATO HA ARRIVATO

Another thing that happens when using ESSERE as the first part of the past tense, is that the second part, the -ATO / -UTO / -ITO form, is treated just like an adjective, which means it reflects the gender and number ot the subject. For example, a woman will say:

SONO ANDATA

to mean “I went”. Two people will say:

SIAMO ANDATI

to mean “we went”.


How to simplify all this

If this is too much for you, don’t worry. Here are some suggestions on how you can make this work for you!

If you just, flat out, refuse to learn the past tense, you can try and make yourself understood by adding “time reference” words that suggest a past point in time:

IERI
Yesterday

L’ALTROIERI
The day before yesterday

[day of the week] SCORSO
Last [day of the week]
Lunedì scorso/last Monday

[number of days] FA
[number of days] ago
3 giorni fa/3 days ago

and then just use the Present Tense. It helps to use your hands to indicate “the past”.

If you do understand the Passato Prossimo but prefer to avoid the ESSERE/AVERE distinction, just use all verbs with AVERE as the first part of the past tense.

02:41

CHE + ADJECTIVE

CHE + NOUN

For example:

CHE BELLO!!
How beautiful! / That’s beautiful! Beautiful!

CHE GRANDE!!
How big! / That’s big!

CHE BRUTTO!!
How ugly! / That’s ugly!

CHE CASA!!
What a house! / That’s some house!

CHE VILLA!!
What a villa! / Impressive villa!

CHE MACCHINA!!
What a car! / That’s an awesome car!

CHE CASINO!!
What a mess! / Gee, it’s so loud in here!

Another way of using this structure is this:

CHE BEL + MASCULINE NOUN

CHE BEL CANE!
What a cute dog!

CHE BELLA + FEMININE NOUN

CHE BELLA CASA!
What a beautiful house!

05:48

Other cool expressions you can use include:

CHE BELLA GIORNATA
What a nice day!

È MOLTO CHE ASPETTA?
Have you been waiting for long?

MI SA CONSIGLIARE…
Can you suggest…

-UN RISTORANTE BUONO
-a good restaurant

-UN RISTORANTE CINESE
-a Chinese restaurant

-UN RISTORANTE VEGETARIANO
-a vegetarian restaurant

-UN NEGOZIO DI SCARPE
-a shoe shop

-UN CINEMA
-a cinema

LEI È DEL POSTO?
Are you a local?

How to Maximize Communcation
13:57
06:29

No matter how broken your Italian is, one thing that needs to be really good is your Italian Pronunciation.

If you need help improving how you sound when you speak Italian, check out my other course titled:

"Speak Italian Like an Italiano - Learn to pronounce, read and write anything in Italian in less than 3 hours".

Check the links for a 20% discount.

07:41

Great free tool to check your Italian verb conjugation: Verbix.

Only worry about the Indicativo -> Presente and Indicativo -> Passato Prossimo.

Telling and Understanding the Time
13:05
Talking about the Weather
07:22
Traveling Suggestions
21:24
Section 12: [Week 5] Bonus Material
01:18:50

TOPICS

- how to say “time flies’ in Italian
- how to distinguish between the different meanings of PIANO (“floor” and “slowly”)
- which University does Manu teach Italian at?
- becoming more comfortable with the CHE + adjective/noun expressions
- how to say “both” in Italian
- difference in meaning between A PRESTO and PRESTO
- how to use a wider range of vocabulary
- finding synonyms in Italian (online dictionaries)
- better understanding the PAST TENSE
- when to use ESSERE or AVERE in the Italian PAST TENSE
- gender and number in the PAST TENSE
- how to say “once in a blue moon” in Italian
- what’s next? Where to, after this course?

01:22:22

Watch this Practice Session help with other students of Italian.

The value of watching others having a go at speaking Italian is invaluable and you will learn heaps from these Practice Sessions.

Section 13: Conclusions
Conclusions
05:53
Section 14: Bonus Material
52:10
  • Benefitting from these Webinars [0:17]
  • Difference between CONOSCERE & SAPERE [4:14]
  • Others expressions to talk about the weather [9:10]
  • Clarity on -ISC verbs, NUTRIRE (to feed) [12:25]
  • Difference between BEL and BELLO, BEN and BENE [16:50]
  • More on the Definite Articles (the), when to use them etc [22:42]
  • How to say “you are right/wrong” [32:30]
  • Speaking in the past and how to get it right! [35:40]
  • Irregular past tense, help!! [40:40]
  • When to use the Future tense [42:45]
  • Words ending in -ENZA and -ANZA and their English equivalents [49:20]

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Instructor Biography

A Doctor in Translation from Italy, with over 20 years of experience in teaching Italian as a foreign language, I have developed techniques and strategies to help anyone pick up Italian easily and quickly.

Over the years I have traveled to 27 countries, studied 8 foreign languages and I am fluent in 4. You can rest assured that my strategies and teaching method will get you speaking and understanding Italian with ease.

As an academic, I know the difference between learning Italian for educational purposes and learning Italian to maximise your experience while traveling through Italy. They are different skills and there is no reason why you should have to learn Italian the hard way!

You can always reach out to me for support and advice. A presto, Manu

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