Sorry! Search is currently unavailable while the database is being updated, it will be back in 5 mins!

New Beginnings: Punto e a capo

Knowing how to divide words by syllables is a bit different in every language. These days word processors avoid the problem by making everything fit without having to divide the words at all. But word processors can get it wrong, and there are times when we really do need to know how to divide a word at the end of a line before hitting the "return" key, and Marika lays out some clear-cut rules for us.

E quindi, per andare a capo, cioè nella riga successiva,

And so, to start a new line, that is, on the next line,

bisogna seguire queste regole.

one needs to follow these rules.

Captions 35-36, Marika spiega - La divisione in sillabe

 Play Caption



Please see both part one and part two of Marika's video lessons to get all the information you need about dividing words into syllables.


And, just like in English, Italian uses punctuation terms as metaphors. Punto (period) indicates that there will be no further discussion!

Pensavo che stessimo lavorando insieme a quest'indagine.

I thought we were working together on this investigation.

Infatti ci stiamo lavorando insieme

In fact, we are working together,

però di Ginevra me ne occupo io, punto.

but I will take care of Ginevra, period.

Captions 20-21, Il Commissario Manara - S1EP3 - Rapsodia in Blu - Part 6

 Play Caption


When we’re working on something and reach an impasse, we frequently have to start over. We start from scratch, we go back to square one, we go back to the drawing board. Having to start over happens quite frequently in criminal investigations, and Commissario Manara is no exception.


In one case, Luca uses an idiomatic expression/punctuation metaphor for this. In dictation, to indicate a new paragrafo (paragraph) or a new line, the term is punto e a capo (period, new line/paragraph).

Se la confessione di Perrone è vera, non abbiamo niente in mano.

If Perrone's confession is true, we're left with nothing in hand.

E siamo punto e a capo.

And we're back to square one.

Captions 5-6, Il Commissario Manara - S1EP7 - Sogni di Vetro - Part 16

 Play Caption


Here’s another way to say the same thing:

Già! E noi siamo di nuovo al punto di partenza.

Yeah! And we're back to the starting point [square one] again.

Caption 22, Il Commissario Manara - S1EP5 - Il Raggio Verde - Part 8

 Play Caption



In yet another episode, Luca seems to be losing patience with a witness or suspect, and uses daccapo to mean “from the beginning.” He could have said da capo just as easily, but it’s often used as a single word with a double c, originating from (and meaning the same as) da capo (from the beginning). Da capo is also used universally in music to indicate a repeat of the beginning of a piece.

Allora, ricominciamo daccapo, va!

So, let's start over again from the beginning, come on!

Com'è andata?

What happened?

Captions 4-5, Il Commissario Manara - S1EP7 - Sogni di Vetro - Part 15

 Play Caption


Check out punto (point) and capo (head) on for their various meanings and sfumature (nuances), and see this Yabla lesson about “Getting to the Point.”

You May Also Like