We have already talked a bit about the verb anticipare because it is the opposite of posticipare (to postpone). But let's look at some examples to get a feel for the verb and then look at the noun.
Eh, c'è un caso delicato e ho dovuto anticipare il rientro.
Uh, there is a delicate case and I've had to move up my return.Play Caption
We might just say, "I had to go back earlier" or "I had to return ahead of schedule."
Ma no, sulle prime sembrava che fosse quel giorno, poi invece gli scritti li hanno anticipati e li ho dati un mese fa.
But no, at first it seemed like it was that day, but then they moved the written exams up and I did those a month ago.
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If I answer your question before you ask it, you might say:
Mi hai anticipato (you preceded me, you beat me to it).
When I have told you something earlier and refer to it now, I might say something like:
Vediamo un po' in quale altro modo si usa, perché, come ti avevo anticipato, ci sono vari modi.
Let's look a bit into what other way it's used. Because, as I told you earlier, there are various ways.
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Sometimes, instead of words or information, it's money!
Walter m'aveva chiesto di anticipare i soldi per il viaggio ai Caraibi...
Walter had asked me to advance him the money for the trip to the Caribbean...Play Caption
It's also common, when talking about money, to use the noun form we mentioned earlier: un anticipo.
Ma il nostro accordo era un anticipo subito e il resto alla consegna.
But our agreement was an advance payment right away and the rest upon delivery.Play Caption
We could also use "down payment" to mean anticipo here. You might ask your boss for un anticipo (an advance).
And when something or someone is early, or arrives early, ahead of schedule, most of the time we say in anticipo. It functions as an adverb.
Sono in anticipo?
Am I early?Play Caption
We can also say con anticipo when we want to say "in advance." Here anticipo is a noun, and it has an adjective in front of it.
Il problema è che spesso le strutture sono sovraffollate, per cui, eh, devi agire con molto anticipo rispetto agli esami che vuoi fare
The problem is that often, the facilities are overcrowded, so uh, you have to act long in advance with respect to the exams that you want to do
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But we can also say in netto anticipo (well in advance) and here it again functions pretty much like an adverb. It is more important to be able to use this word than to know its part of speech. Sometimes the confines are blurry.