In a previous lesson, we discussed a couple of ways to talk about noticing things, or not. Each expression or verb that says roughly the same thing comes with its particular grammatical feature and each has nuances that can determine when people use one or the other.
The easiest and most direct way to notice things is with the transitive verb notare.
E Lei non ha notato niente di strano?
And you didn't notice anything strange?
Caption 18, Il Commissario Manara - S1EP3 - Rapsodia in BluPlay Caption
Accorgersi (to notice) is reflexive and comes with its grammatical baggage especially when using it in the present perfect (a very common way to use it). Accorgesene (to notice it) adds the complication of the ne particle. So it gets complicated, especially for beginners.
Abbiamo parcheggiato in divieto di sosta,
We parked in a no parking zone,
e io purtroppo non me ne sono accorto.
and I, unfortunately, didn't realize it.
Captions 12-13, Francesca - alla guidaPlay Caption
In a previous lesson we also talked about rendersi conto or rendersene conto as a way to realize something. It's a bit deeper than just noticing. It's to become aware of the significance of an oberservation. There are relevant discussions of accorgersi vs rendersi conto, on WordReference so check it out if you want to know more.
E allora ripensando a quella mattina, io mi sono resa conto
And so thinking back to that morning, I realized
che Lei entrò nello studio soltanto pochi secondi dopo di noi.
that you entered the study just a few seconds after us.
Captions 54-55, Il Commissario Manara - S1EP1 - Un delitto perfettoPlay Caption
Here's another modo di dire that Italians use quite a bit in conversation, especially when they fail to notice something or they want to fail to notice something on purpose, that is, to ignore something.
This expression is not reflexive so that's one point in its favor (on the easy-to-use scale), but we do have to contend with the particle ci which in this case stands for "about it" or "to it".
Let's look at the make up of this expression. Basically we have the verb fare (to make, to do) and the noun caso (case) and then we have ci which in this case stands for "about it" or "to it," or just "it." We can think of farci caso as "making a case out of something," "making an issue of something," "giving something importance."
And in some cases, that's what it means.
Se proprio vogliamo chiamarla debolezza...
If we really want to call it a weakness...
era un poco tirato nei quattrini, ecco.
he was a bit tight-fisted with money, that's it.
Ma io non c'ho mai fatto caso.
But I never made an issue of it.
Captions 73-75, Il Commissario Manara - S1EP11 - Beato tra le donnePlay Caption
But before making an issue of something, we notice it, we pay attention to it. And that's one common way it's used in everyday conversation. Here's a little scene from Commissario Manara between Sardi and her husband, Toscani.
Io da ieri sera sto ancora aspettando i pannolini, grazie.
I've been waiting since last night for the diapers, thank you.
-Sardi, io da ieri sera, non so se ci hai fatto caso,
-Sardi, since last night, I don't know if you noticed,
non sono rientrato neanche a casa.
I haven't even gone home.
Ci hai fatto caso, spero, sì?
You noticed, I hope, didn't you?
-Come non c'ho fatto caso?
-What do think, that I didn't notice?
Captions 6-10, Il Commissario Manara - S2EP6 - Sotto tiroPlay Caption
Here, we should keep in mind that in English we don't add an object pronoun or preposition, but in Italian, that's what the c' stands for, and is actually ci.
We should mention that another way to use this expression is when you are telling someone not to notice something, not to make an issue out of something. In other words, to ignore something. This can come up, for instance, when you hear someone saying bad things about you. A friend will say:
Non ci far caso. Non farci caso.
Don't pay attention to that. Ignore it.
If you watch Commissario Manara, you know that the coroner, Ginevra, has a personal way of talking about the dead people she examines. Someone is explaining that fact to a newcomer. The speaker is using the third person singular imperative which is used to address someone formally.
Non ci faccia caso, è fatta così.
Don't mind her, that's how she is.Play Caption
A really handy phrase to learn right now is Non c'ho fatto caso (don't forget that the c is pronounced like "ch," the h is silent, there's a nice double t in fatto, and the s in caso sounds like z):
Non c'ho fatto caso.
I didn't notice.
I didn't see that.
I didn't notice that.
I didn't pay attention to it.
It didn't jump out at me.
It didn't catch my eye.