The word "discuss" or "discussion" elicits the image of business meetings or family dinners — people talking normally together in order to reach a conclusion, people exchanging their opinions or knowledge.
The verb discutere in Italian sounds pretty similar, especially in its past participle discusso, leading us to think it means the same thing. And, well, it can and often does.
Qui, Federico Secondo ha discusso con i suoi consiglieri le questioni di Stato o dei rapporti con i Papi e promulgato le costituzioni, codice unico di leggi per l'intero regno di Sicilia.
Here, Frederick the Second discussed with his advisors questions of state or relations with the Popes, and promulgated charters, a unique legal code for the entire Reign of Sicily.
Captions 30-31, Itinerari Della Bellezza Basilicata - Part 2Play Caption
But more often than not, in everyday conversation, it has another sfumatura (nuance) that you'll want to know about. Gaging someone's level of emotion is not always easy in a foreign language. How many times have you thought two Italians were arguing heatedly, but they were just talking about il calcio (soccer)?
In a current video on Yabla, a woman is describing the evening of her husband's murder.
Quella sera abbiamo discusso.
That evening, we argued.Play Caption
If you don't know about this nuance, you might think, "OK, so what? They discussed their schedules." So we have to watch for the context, the mood, to determine what kind of "discussion" they had. They might well be talking about an argument.
Another way to tell that discutere means "to argue" is that there is no direct or indirect object of the verb, although there might very well be the preposition con (with), indicating the other person in the argument. In the following example, the indirect object comes in the form of a question "with whom."
Nemici? Che nemici avrebbe dovuto avere? Qualcuno con cui aveva discusso ultimamente, magari anche sul lavoro.
Enemies? What enemies should he have had? Someone he had recently argued with, maybe even at work.
Captions 19-21, Il Commissario Manara S2EP8 - Fuori servizio - Part 3Play Caption
Let's note that in English, the verb "to discuss" is transitive.
What did you discuss? -We discussed our schedules.
But in Italian, discutere can be either transitive or intransitive. When it means "to argue," discutere is intransitive. When it means, "talking about something," then the preposition di (about) will be used.
Che sei venuta a discutere di cucina esotica? -No.
What, did you come to talk about exotic cuisine? -No.Play Caption
When we are having an argument (una discussione), the noun discussione can come out in a different way.
È fuori discussione, Manara!
That's out of the question, Manara!Play Caption
The previous example uses the Italian noun discussione and the English noun question. In the following example, however, there is a verbal phrase in the Italian — mettere in discussione — to equal the verb "to question" in English. This can be part of a normal discussion, not an argument, but it's good to know!
però penso non possa essere messa in discussione la sua onestà professionale.
but I don't think his professional honesty can be questioned.Play Caption
Putting it in a simpler, indicative mood:
Non lo metto in discussione (I'm not questioning that).
As you watch movies and shows on Yabla, or anywhere else you see Italian content, be on the lookout for the verb discutere in all its forms and nuances.
This lesson will explore some of the vocabulary we use to talk about the sense of taste. We use nouns, verbs and adjectives, so once again, we'll divide the lesson up into these three different parts of speech.
When we talk about the noun "taste," one noun we use in Italian is il gusto (the taste). It can be used literally to talk about food. In the following example, we are talking about the particular taste of good olive oil:
perché avendo un pane più saporito si perderebbe il gusto dell'olio.
because having a more flavorful bread, you'd lose the taste of the oil.
Caption 13, L'olio extravergine di oliva Spremuto o franto?Play Caption
We can also use the noun il gusto as we do in English, to talk about someone's good or bad taste in music, clothing, furniture, etc. In this next example, it's all about a tie someone wears to a wedding.
Eh, va be'. -Vedi, è questione di buon gusto, no?
Well, OK. -See? It's a question of good taste, right?Play Caption
So with the noun form, il gusto functions much as "the taste" does in English.
Another noun we use to talk about how something tastes is il sapore (the taste). But in contrast to il gusto, il sapore is mostly about how something tastes.
L'olio esalta anche il sapore delle pietanze.
Oil also brings out the taste of dishes.
Caption 17, L'olio extravergine di oliva Spremuto o franto?Play Caption
Il sapore can be used metaphorically as well, as in sapore di mare (the feeling of the seaside), but it is about the item we are tasting.
It tastes good (ha un buon sapore) or it tastes bad (ha un cattivo sapore)
But il buon gusto/il cattivo gusto can also be about the person who has good or bad taste in things.
Ha buon gusto-ha cattivo gusto (he/she has good taste-he/she has bad taste).
When we are talking about tasting something, for example, to see if the water has been salted properly for cooking the pasta, the noun we go to is assaggiare (to taste). This is a transitive verb.
Non vedo l'ora di assaggiare la pappa al pomodoro!
I can't wait to taste the tomato and bread soup!
Caption 69, L'Italia a tavola La pappa al pomodoro - Part 1Play Caption
Toscani ha assaggiato il vino e ha detto che era aceto.
Toscani tasted the wine and said it tasted like vinegar.Play Caption
Let's keep in mind that there is a noun form connected to assaggiare — un assaggio — that is useful to know. It implies a mini-portion of something and is sometimes offered on menus in restaurants.
One way restaurants offer these assaggi is by calling them by the number of mini-portions included: un tris (three mini-portions) or un bis (two mini-portions). See this lesson about that! Tris di Assaggi (Three Tidbits).
The verb assaggiare implies tasting something to see how it is. Maybe you are testing it for the salt, or you are trying something for the first time.
The verb gustare on the other hand is connected with savoring something, enjoying the taste, or making the most of it.
Per gustare bene un tartufo bisogna partire dal presupposto che i piatti devono essere molto semplici
To properly taste a truffle you have to start with the assumption that the dishes have to be very simple
Captions 51-52, Tartufo bianco d'Alba Come sceglierlo e come gustarloPlay Caption
This might be a good time to mention the noun il disgusto along with the verb disgustare. You can easily guess what they mean. And there's also disgustoso. These are strong words so use them only when you really mean them.
Whereas we use the verb assaggiare and the noun assaggio, there is no relative adjective. But in the case of il gusto and gustare, we do have a relative adjective, gustoso (tasty, flavorful).
Più gli ingredienti sono di qualità, più il panzerotto risulterà gustoso.
The higher the quality of the ingredients, the more flavorful the “panzerotto” will turn out.Play Caption
The adjective connected to il sapore is saporito. It can mean "very tasty," but it often implies something is on the salty side, as in the following example.
Ma poi il pecorino è molto saporito, quindi dobbiamo stare attente con il sale. -Esatto.
And then, sheep cheese is very flavorful so we have to be careful with the salt. -Exactly.
Captions 20-21, L'Italia a tavola Culurgiones D'Ogliastra - Part 2Play Caption
To give more flavor to something, we can use the verb insaporire (to make something more flavorful).
Userò l'aglio, sia per, eh, insaporire, quindi l'olio,
I'll use the garlic, both for flavoring, that is, the oil,Play Caption
One last thing. Sapere is a verb meaning to have the taste (or smell) of (in addition to meaning "to know"). This would be a perfect time to read our lesson about that!
Let us know if you have questions or suggestions at email@example.com. We look forward to hearing from you.
This lesson explores the sense of smell and how to talk about smelling things and how things smell, since it works a bit differently than it does in English. We'll divide the lesson into three parts of speech having to do with the sense of smell.
When we use the noun "smell" to mean "odor," as in, "There's a funny smell in here," or, "What's that smell?", just remember that if it is a neutral smell, the cognate odore works just fine. Cos'è quel odore (what is that smell)? If it isn't neutral, then we use other words or we qualify odore (odor).
If it's a particularly unpleasant smell, it's una puzza (a stink or a stench). There are other words to use, too, but for now, let's keep it simple. Che puzza! (something stinks!)
We can also talk about un cattivo odore (a bad smell) or un buon odore (a good smell). We might need the verb avere (to have) to complete the sentence.
I get a new car and I like the way it smells inside:
Questa macchina ha un buon odore (this car smells good).
You sniff the milk container:
Questo latte ha un cattivo odore, sarà andato a male (this milk smells bad, it must have gone sour).
If it is a good smell, either the flower kind or the food kind, we can use the cognate profumo.
I walk into someone's kitchen and say che buon profumo! I mean "It smells great in here!"
The English cognate "perfume" is usually reserved for flower essences used in beauty products, but in Italian, it can represent "a good smell." So let's keep in mind that in Italian we use a noun and in English, we use the intransitive verb "to smell" for this (much of the time).
Another good and easy cognate to know is aroma because it means pretty much the same thing as "aroma" in English. We usually use it for food, herbs, and spices.
Le cipolle hanno un sapore e un aroma molto forte,
Onions have a strong smell and taste,
Caption 56, In cucina con Arianna la panzanella - Part 1Play Caption
The most common Italian verb corresponding to the transitive verb "to smell" in English is sentire which we can equate with "to sense," with your nose, your ears, or your tongue.
Senti che buon profumo.
Senti che bella canzone.
Senti questo sugo. C'è abbastanza sale?
But if want to talk about using my nose to sniff something, I can use annusare (to sniff).
Annusa questi fiori, senti che profumo! (smell these flowers, how good they smell).
Let's say I have some flowers, but they have no smell. Non odorano (they don't have a scent). The verb is odorare (to have a scent). Odorare can also be transitive, like annusare, but it's not one of those everyday verbs you need to know.
Finally, there is fiutare, which means the same thing, "to sniff." But again, you might come across the word, but you don't need it in everyday conversation.
Please see the lesson Taste and Smell - Sapere Part 2 for more on this, plus some examples.
Italians like to have clean, ironed clothes, and they use ammorbidente (fabric softener) that also serves to give a nice scent to the laundered items.
When the laundry comes off the clothesline, it smells lovely: il bucato è profumato.
Some people like scented candles: candele profumate.
We also have the adjective odoroso (having an odor, usually strong). It's not used a lot in normal day-to-day conversation, so don't worry about this adjective...
In cooking, Italians like certain aromatic herbs — erbe aromatiche, such as basilico (basil), rosmarino (rosemary), and salvia (sage).
Sometimes the challenge is understanding what someone tells you in Italian, but sometimes it's about coming up with the right Italian word for what we are trying to say (when we happen to be thinking English). So let's start with an English word this time. Let's start out with the English noun "way." We can translate it into Italian in a few different ways.
the way - la via
the way - il modo
the way - la maniera
What's the best way to solve this problem or get out of the situation? We're pretty much talking about a direction here, either literal or figurative. Which way? What route or path do we take?
Sembra che non ci sia più via d'uscita.
It looks like there won't be any way out.
Caption 31, Anna e Marika in La Gazza Ladra - Part 2Play Caption
We can often use the word "pathway" for via. Via, being more about "by what means," and also meaning "road," stands out from the other words we will be talking about, which are more about "how": the way to do something.
If we are talking about the way someone does something, then we will likely use il modo (the way, the manner).
Ma questo modo di conservare gli alimenti, paradossalmente, è un po' più rispettoso della natura...
But this way of conserving food, paradoxically, is a bit more respectful of nature...
Captions 28-29, L'arte della cucina La Prima Identitá - Part 4Play Caption
Le stagioni hanno specifici colori, clima, temperatura, e influenzano il nostro modo di vivere.
The seasons have specific colors, weather, temperatures, and influence the way we live.
Captions 5-6, Adriano Le stagioni dell'annoPlay Caption
Infatti, parliamo allo stesso modo... e facciamo le stesse cose.
In fact, we talk the same way... and do the same things.
Captions 5-6, Amiche sulla spiaggiaPlay Caption
A question to ask with modo is: in che modo (in what way, how)? It often goes hand in hand with the question come (how)?
We can use modo when we ask for or give instructions, such as in cooking. How should we slice the onion?
La nostra cipolla va affettata in modo molto sottile.
Our onion is to be sliced very thinly.Play Caption
Keep in mind that in many cases in which we might likely use an adverb in English (in this case "thinly"), an adjective after modo seems to work better in Italian (in modo sottile).
Here are a few more examples of this:
a roughly chopped onion - una cipolla tagliata in modo grossolano
uniformly - in modo uniforme
strangely - in modo strano
unusually - in modo insolito
messily - in modo disordinato
When you don't like someone's manner, you don't like the way they go about doing things, you can use modo.
Non mi piace il suo modo di fare (I don't like the way he does things).
The cognate for maniera is "manner," which often means "way." So that's easy.
In questa maniera, usando la pasta all'uovo la stessa ricetta, lasagna se ne vende a profusione qui da noi.
This way, the same recipe using egg pasta, lasagna sells profusely here at our place.
Captions 49-50, Anna e Marika Hostaria Antica Roma - Part 2Play Caption
Modo and maniera are very similar, and are pretty interchangeable, but keep in mind that modo is masculine and maniera is feminine.
Ha una maniera strana di parlare (he has a strange way of talking).
Parla in modo strano (he has a strange way of talking).
We have one more translation for "way," and that is senso.
Strangely enough, in the dictionary, we don't immediately see il senso as an Italian translation of "the way." Yet, when we look up il senso, "the way" turns up as the fourth choice as a translation.
Senso is a great word, and one Italians use all the time. Let's talk about 2 popular ways it is used to mean "way." When used in a statement, it's common to find the adjective certo (certain) before it. We have translated it, but you could also leave it out: "In a way..."
e in un certo senso, l'abbiamo anche conquistata
in a certain way, we even conquered it
Caption 22, Fratelli Taviani La passione e l'utopia - Part 3Play Caption
The other way Italians use senso is when they want a more complete explanation of something they didn't quite understand.
They'll ask, In che senso?
Perché? -Perché così nessuno avrebbe saputo che erano false. False? -False? -False in che senso, scusi? -Falsissime.
Why? -Because that way no one would have known they were fakes. Fakes? -Fakes? -Fakes in what way, sorry? -Very fake.
Captions 54-55, Il Commissario Manara S1EP4 - Le Lettere Di Leopardi - Part 16Play Caption
They are asking, "In what way?" but they might also be asking, "What do you mean by "fake"?" or "How do you mean?"
We might want to keep in mind that another meaning of il senso is "meaning."
il senso della vita (the meaning of life)
Check out these lessons that explore the noun, il senso.
Here's how we generally put these different ways of saying "way" into context:
in un certo senso (in a way)
in che senso (how do you mean, what do you mean by that)?
in qualche modo (in some way, somehow)
in qualche maniera (in some way, somehow)
ad ogni modo (anyway, anyhow)
per quale via (by what means)?
Now when you watch Yabla videos, maybe you will be a bit more tuned in to how people use via, modo, maniera and senso. They all mean "way."
Here are some examples of how volta is commonly used:
Sarà la volta buona (this time you’ll make it)!
Ancora una volta (one more time, or “once again”).
Un'altra volta ("some other time").
After many failures, la volta buona is the successful attempt at something.
Nel senso, magari è la volta buona che ti fai una bicicletta pure tu.
I mean, maybe this will be the time that even you get yourself a bike.
Captions 4-5, La Tempesta film - Part 2Play Caption
When we want to or have to postpone something we talk about un'altra volta (another time). Not this time, but another time.
Va bene, delle disavventure tropicali di mio fratello ne parliamo un'altra volta.
All right, about the tropical misadventures of my brother we'll talk about them another time.
Captions 31-32, La Tempesta - film - Part 2Play Caption
But the same thing can mean "again."
E' sparito un'altra volta! -Ma stai scherzando,
He disappeared again! -But you're kidding,Play Caption
With the preposition a (at) in front of the plural of volta—volte, we get a volte meaning "sometimes" or "at times."
A volte tengono la loro "a". OK?
Sometimes they retain their "a," OK?Play Caption
A volte is another way of saying qualche volta. They both mean “sometimes.” A volte can be also translated as “at times.”
We can use una volta in thinking about the future:
Una volta mi piacerebbe andare a Londra.
Sometime I’d like to go to London.
But it can also mean “one time."
Io ci sono stata una volta.
I went there once.
And we can use it to refer to the past:
We can translate it as "once" or "at one time."
Una volta servivamo il papa e il re, ∫ eravamo anche colti e magnanimi
Once, we served the pope and the king. At one time, we were even cultured and magnanimous,
Captions 44-45, Volare - La grande storia di Domenico Modugno Ep. 1 - Part 23Play Caption
A Yabla subscriber has asked us to shed some light on the difference between noioso and annoiato. They are both adjectives and can be used to describe a person. There are some intricacies involved with these words, which we'll get to, but let's start out with the noun: la noia.
What a bore!
Caption 9, Acqua in bocca Un amico per Pippo - Ep 1Play Caption
What is tricky about this noun (and its related adjectives) is that it can indeed imply boredom," but it can also mean "the bother" or "the nuisance." In fact, in the previous example, we don't know the context, but the meaning could also have been "what a nuisance," or "what a pain." The noun noia rarely refers to a person him- or herself, as "bore" would in English.
The following example is from Tuscany where noia is used a great deal to mean "bother." And it's often used with the verb dare (to give) — dare noia (to be a bother, to be annoying, to be in the way).
Erano alberi che davano noia e basta,
They were trees that were a bother and nothing more,
Caption 30, Gianni si racconta L'olivo e i roviPlay Caption
So che noia can mean "what boredom" or "what a pain!" And dare noia can be interpreted as bothering, or being a bother, or being in the way.
We also have the verb annoiare that does remind one of the verb "to annoy." Indeed, that is one of the meanings and comes from the Latin "inodiare" — avere in odio (to have hateful feelings for).
Mi disturba, mi annoia,
You're bothering me, you're annoying me,
Caption 11, L'Italia a tavola Interrogazione sul PiemontePlay Caption
But it is much more common for this verb to be used in its reflexive form annoiarsi. In this case it's always about being bored or possibly fed up.
Io non mi annoio mai quando sto con lui, mai.
I never get bored when I am with him, ever.Play Caption
We've seen that noia isn't just about boredom, so likewise, noioso can mean boring, but not necessarily. Let's look at some examples of the different nuances.
Noioso can describe a person who is not very interesting, a dull person:
Abbiamo solamente avuto un piccolo flirt. Genere depresso e noioso, capisci?
We just had a little fling. Depressed and boring type, you understand?Play Caption
It can also describe a movie, for example:
Il film era noioso, purtroppo (the movie was boring, unfortunately).
Here's a perfect example of something that is not boring. It's annoying. And in fact, the N and O sounds can hint at that.
Eh, povero Dixi, il singhiozzo è noioso
Oh, poor Dixi, the hiccups are bothersome
Caption 15, Dixiland Il singhiozzoPlay Caption
Annoiato can be used as the past participle of annoiare, or more often, as we mentioned above, the past participle of the reflexive verb annoiarsi. In this case, it means "to get or to be bored."
Oppure: "No, non andrò alla festa di Marcello. Ci sono già stato l'anno scorso e mi sono annoiato".
Or: "No, I won't go to Marcello's party. I already went to it last year and I got bored."
Captions 48-49, Corso di italiano con Daniela Particella Ci e Ne - Part 2Play Caption
But as often occurs, past participles are also used as adjectives. With annoiato, this can describe one's state of being.
Ciao. Sei annoiato o annoiata e ti vuoi divertire e rilassare?
Hi. Are you bored (m) or bored (f) and you want to have a good time and relax?
Captions 3-4, Marika spiega Il cinemaPlay Caption
Let's try using all these forms in a silly, made-up dialogue.
Lei: Sembri annoiato, è così? (you seem bored. Are you?)
Lui: No, ho solo sonno (no, I'm just sleepy). E inoltre, come posso annoiarmi ad ascoltare i tuoi racconti per l'ennesima volta? (And besides, how can I get bored listening to you tell your stories for the umteenth time?
Lei: Beh, so che posso essere un po' noiosa a volte, scusami (Well, I know I can be a bit boring at times, sorry). Allora smetto di darti noia, e me ne vado (I'll stop bothering you, then, and I'll leave).
Lui: No, aspetta, se vai via mi annoierò davvero (If you leave, I will get bored for real). E tra l'altro, ho dei lavori noiosissimi da fare e non ne ho nessuna voglia (and besides, I have some really tedious jobs to do and I have no desire to do them).
Lei: OK, so che sono noiosa, ma non sarebbe meglio fare quei lavori dato che siano anche urgenti (OK, I know I am being a pain, but wouldn't it be better to do those jobs, given that they're urgent)?
Lui: OK, ora sei noiosa davvero. Mi sono ampiamente annoiato con questa storia (Ok, now you are really being boring/irritating. I'm pretty sick of this thing), quindi forse è meglio se te ne vai... (so maybe it's better if you do leave).
OK, ciao. Non ti voglio annoiare con un'altra delle mie storie noiose. (OK, bye. I don't want to bore you with another of my boring stories).
There are different ways to travel. It can be for pleasure or work, it can be for multiple days, weeks, or months, or it can be a day trip or an overnight, an excursion.
So, let's look at an interesting alternative to the true cognate, escursione (that works just fine, too):
la gita, una gita, andare in gita.
So the noun is la gita. But where does it come from? It originally comes from the verb ire (to go). People don't use this verb much at all, in fact we could say they never use it in converstion, as it is literary (we mostly use andare), but those of you who know Latin, Spanish, or other Romance languages, will most likely recognize it.
A dialectical version of ire has a g sound in front of it, turning it into gire. We can trace it to the feminine past participle: andata — ita — gita. You don't need to know this, but some of us enjoy knowing where words come from.
In practical terms, una gita implies traveling somewhere, not necessarily sleeping over, but maybe.
For example, kids in school might go on una gita scolastica (a class trip).
E perché? -Partono, per la gita scolastica! Fuori di casa due giorni da soli. -Mamma, siamo in trentadue! E quattro insegnanti.
And, why? -They're leaving on a school trip! Away from home for two days, all alone. -Mom, there are thirty-two of us! And four teachers.
Captions 5-8, Acqua in bocca Allarme gita - Ep 9Play Caption
Erica works at the tourist office of Palaia in Tuscany. She's talking about her job.
E quindi è un po' il punto di arrivo, eh, di tutte quelle persone che vengono qua in vacanza, o anche semplicemente per fare u', una gita o una, una breve sosta qui, in questo territorio, che è la Valdera.
And so it's kind of the point of arrival uh, for all those people who come here on vacation, or even just to make a, a day trip, or a quick stop here, in this area, which is the Valdera.
Captions 14-17, Professioni e mestieri Erica - archeologa - Part 2
Check out this Yabla mini-series about a girl who goes on an outing — Una gita al lago (a day trip to the lake).
The verb gire sounds kind of like the verb girare, which means "to go around." Girare and gire don't have the same root, but they are related through one definition of girare:
andare qua e là, andare in giro, vagare, con o senza uno scopo determinato
(to go here and there, to go about, with or without a specific purpose).
Firenze è una città piccola, si può girare benissimo a piedi.
Florence is a small city, you can go around very easily on foot.
Caption 9, In giro per l'Italia Firenze - Part 1Play Caption
The noun form is il giro. Un giro can be a bike ride, a walk, a ride in a car... anything really, even a swing, or one of the machines at a gym.
Continuando il mio giro in bicicletta sulle mura di Lucca, mi sono fermata davanti a questo bellissimo palazzo.
Continuing my bike ride around the Lucca walls, I stopped in front of this very beautiful villa.
Captions 1-2, In giro per l'Italia Lucca - Part 4
Fare un giro can mean "to take a turn."
Let's say I am on the treadmill at the gym, and there is someone waiting. I can ask, ci vuoi fare un giro (do you want to take a turn on it, do you want to have a go)?
Italians love diminutives, so we also have un giretto, or un girettino (or some say una girata or girattina) more like a brief stroll, synonymous with passeggiata, or passeggiatina.
E nonna, ho fatto un bel giretto nel bosco.
Well Grandma, I had a nice walk around the woods.Play Caption
Note that we use the verb fare (to make, to do) with the noun una gita, —fare una gita or the noun un giro —fare un giro. Or we use the verb andare (to go) and the preposition in (on a) before gita or giro. Andare in gita, andare in giro. Tuscans often say andare a giro. It means the same thing.
Sono sicura che passeremo una bellissima giornata in giro per la città.
I'm sure we'll have a great day going around the city.
Caption 6, In giro per l'Italia Firenze - Part 1
There is plenty more to say about in giro, but that will be for another lesson. Meanwhile, let's try to assimilate the meanings we have talked about here by looking at some questions and some possible answers. Feel free to write to us with your attempts. Mistakes are welcome. That's how we learn.
E tu? Che fai oggi? Vai in gita? Fai un giro? Fai una passeggiata? Vai in giro?
And you? What are you doing today? Are you going on an excursion? Are you going to go out and about? Are you going to take a walk? Are you going to cruise around the area?
Here are some possible answers:
Facciamo una gita turistica. Viviamo a Pisa, e andremo a visitare Siena.
We're going on a day trip. We live in Pisa and we're going to go and see Siena.
Andiamo in gita, che bello!
We're going on an outing, how great!
Facciamo il giro dell'isolotto.
We're going to walk around the block.
Facciamo un giro.
Let's go and have a look around.
Facciamo un giro in bici.
We're going on a bike ride.
Ho fatto una passeggiata vicino a casa.
I took a walk close to home.
Siamo andati in giro per la toscana.
We went for a ride around Tuscany.
Feel free to send us some of your own examples. If they work, we'll add them to this list. write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
A single verb that expresses the idea of "making do" is accontentarsi (to be content with something/to make oneself be content). The adjective it stems from is contento (happy, content). The non-reflexive verb accontentare can be translated as "to satisfy."
Me lo avete chiesto voi, eh, quindi io vi accontento.
You asked me for it, huh, so I will satisfy you.
Caption 6, Marika spiega I verbi cavare e toglierePlay Caption
You are giving someone what they want. You are making them happy.
Quando ho molto tempo, preferisco mangiare frutta, latte e cereali; quando ho poco tempo, mi accontento del classico caffè e del cornetto o brioche.
When I have lots of time, I prefer to eat fruit, milk and cereal; when I have little time, I make do with a classic espresso and croissant or brioche.
Captions 20-23, Adriano GiornataPlay Caption
The verb accontentarsi has a lot of information in it, but Italians have an expression that enhances it even further. Italy, being a Roman Catholic country historically, is not lacking in monasteries and convents. While in English, "convent" tends to be understood as a convent of nuns, in Italian, un convento implies a religious community and may be either di suore (of nuns = convent) or di frati (of monks = monastery). Many conventi around Italy offer hospitality to travelers, but the food that is served is the humble and simple fare the monks or nuns are served. And of course, they don't complain about it.
So let's say someone asks you to stay for dinner on the spur of the moment and doesn't have anything special to offer.
Se ti accontenti di quel che passa il convento, sei il benvenuto (if you make do with what the convent is serving [what we have on hand], you are welcome to stay for dinner).
But the expression is used outside of the realm of food, too. In this clip, we're talking about what kind of work one can get.
Guardi che Gigi c'ha pure due lauree. -E fa il deejay? -E questo passa il convento.
Look, Gigi even has two degrees. -And he is deejaying? -Well, that's what the convent offers [beggars can't be choosers].
Captions 13-15, La Ladra EP. 8 - Il momento giusto - Part 7Play Caption
In an episode of Volare, the expression is used rather vulgarly, referring to a woman. But now, when you watch the video, you'll understand what's behind this expression.
Me so' [romanesco: mi sono] accontentato di quel che passava il convento.
I made do with what the convent was serving.Play Caption
-I'm talking to my husband about lunch:
Vuoi anche un secondo o ti accontenti di un piatto di pasta e un'insalata? (do you want a second course or are you happy with pasta and salad)?
-My boss asks me:
Mi puoi fare una bozza per domani (can you give me a rough draft by tomorrow)?
Non so se ce la faccio, ma farò del mio meglio per accontentarti (I don't know if I'll be able to, but I'll do my best to satisfy you).
Many of us like to watch movies. Let's have a quick look at some of the terms that Italians use when they talk about the movies.
A movie is usually called un film. That's an easy one, because in English we can say "film," as well.
But when we talk about "the movies" in general, it's il cinema. That's another word we understand, but we have to think of using. Forget about the word "movie!"
And then, when we want to go to the movies, andiamo al cinema (we go to the movies/let's go to the movies).
Ciao. Sei annoiato o annoiata e ti vuoi divertire e rilassare? Bene, puoi andare al cinema.
Hi. Are you bored (m) or bored (f) and you want to have a good time and relax? Good. You can go to the movies.
Captions 3-5, Marika spiega Il cinemaPlay Caption
Siamo andati al cinema e abbiamo visto un bel film. Adoro il cinema
(We went to the movies and we saw a great movie. I love the movies)!
When we talk about the star of the movie, if it's a guy, it's il protagonista and if it is a female, it's la protagonista. It always ends in a and is basically a feminine noun! It's also used to mean "the main character."
Perché Marcello, il protagonista di questo film, è uno come noi.
Because Marcello, the main character of this film, is someone like us.Play Caption
Just like in English, we have l'attore e l'attrice (the actor and the actress).
When they are acting, however, we use the verb recitare. They recite their lines.
È come recitare una parte in fondo, no?
It's like acting a part, deep down, right?
Caption 16, Sposami EP 2 - Part 9Play Caption
E... come attore insisti, hai recitato benissimo. -Grazie.
And... and you have to keep at it as an actor. You acted very well. -Thank you.Play Caption
When we talk about movie stars, Italians often use the English word, la star (the star). Otherwise, it's la stella (the star).
Grazie. -Alla nuova stella del musical.
Thanks. -To the new star of musicals.
Caption 22, La Ladra Ep. 4 - Una magica bionda - Part 14Play Caption
Nowadays, there are often various screening rooms in a multi-plex movie theater. Each of these is called una sala. We can also call a movie theater una sala cinematografica, when we are referring to a room within a building, or a building devoted to screening movies. So when you buy your ticket they will tell you sala 4 or sala 8. Sala is akin to "hall" or "large room." Il teatro (the theater) refers to theaters (for plays) and opera houses. It also refers to the activity or study of acting or drama. Un corso di teatro is a drama course. If you have studied acting, you can say:
Ho studiato teatro
Ho studiato recitazione teatrale
Yabla Italian has various movies you can watch in Italian with or without subtitles (try only Italian, only English, none, or both!). Take advantage of moments when going to the movies might not be a great option. It might just the right time to broaden your horizons with a nice movie in Italian. Here are some suggestions:
Il Tempesta This movie takes place in il Veneto, the region Venice is in. But the story takes place in the nearby city of Treviso. It involves a photographer, an adopted Belarus orphan, and a girl who works at the Tognana porcelain factory.
Sei mai stata sulla luna? (have you ever been to the moon? The film is the story of Guia, a 30-year-old woman who works for a prestigious international fashion magazine, travels around by private jet and lives between Milan and Paris. She has everything, or at least she thinks she does until she finds herself in a remote village in Puglia where she inherited a large family farm.
L'oro di Scampia (The Gold of Scampia) is based on a true story, adapted from Gianni Maddaloni's book, La mia vita sportiva (My Life in Sports). Scampia is a suburb made up of massive public housing blocks north of Naples. Camorra criminals rule the area and make life very difficult for Enzo Capuano, a hospital worker, who runs a Judo school in his spare time.
Keep in mind that each segment of a movie comes with a vocabulary review, multiple-choice and fill-in-the-blank exercises, and the patented dictation exercise, Scribe, so you can learn while enjoying the movie. But you can also just soak it in, and watch the entire movie, which is useful in itself. Getting used to hearing how real people (and good actors) speak — paying attention to the rhythm, flow, and lilt of the language gives you what learning individual words and constructed sentences cannot. Sometimes it's all about how Italian connect the words to each other fluidly.
Of course, there are also plenty of movies on the various streaming platforms available for the watching. They are often available in lingua originale con sottotitoli. Maybe you can watch a movie in Italian that you have already seen dubbed into English or some other language. Fun!
In this lesson, we look at 3 expressions with the noun la forza, which basically means "force" (easy cognate) or "strength." The meaning might help us grasp the expressions somewhat, but let's take the opportunity to shine a light on each one. They are all very common, and good to have in your repertoire of idioms.
We have seen this a million times in Yabla videos. It usually has an exclamation point following it. We can best translate it with "come on." It's funny because there are several Italian expressions that are translated the same way, such as Dai! Su! Vai! Coraggio!
Dove stiamo andando? -Forza! A lavoro, forza!
Where are we going? -Come on! To work, come on!
Captions 35-36, Il Commissario Manara S1EP1 - Un delitto perfetto - Part 5Play Caption
But it can also just be another way to say "come on" or "go on." Another way to say dai, as Italians often do at the end of a sentence. It's a bit stronger, but the inflection matters a lot, too.
Vabbè entra. Chiudi la porta, forza.
All right, come in. Shut the door, go on.Play Caption
This is a kind of adverbial phrase. We can get the sense of what it means: literally "through force." We use it to mean "necessarily," "inevitably," "begrudgingly" — in other words, "there's no choice." "That's the way it has to be." It might even mean "obviously," "clearly," in certain cases.
Let's look at some examples in context.
Allora, noi le tasse di successione, quelle dobbiamo pagarle per forza.
So, the inheritance taxes, those we are obliged to pay.
Caption 25, Sei mai stata sulla luna? film - Part 2Play Caption
C'è che tua madre vuole per forza trasformare il nostro matrimonio in un evento.
It's that your mother wants, at all costs, to transform our wedding into an event.
Caption 31, Sposami EP 1 - Part 19Play Caption
Ho preso un tassì e sono scappata dal Pronto Soccorso. -Ma ti sei fatta visitare? -Per forza!
I took a taxi and ran off from the emergency room. -Did you get examined? -I had no choice!
Captions 1-3, La Ladra Ep. 7 - Il piccolo ladro - Part 15Play Caption
Tu non mi hai visto a me! Io so' [sono] sparito. Tu mi vedi? No, per forza, so' [sono] sparito.
You haven't seen me! I've disappeared. Do you see me? No, of course not. I've disappeared.
Captions 36-37, Chi m'ha visto film - Part 10Play Caption
Two further idiomatic sayings come to mind using this adverbial phrase:
Per amore o per forza (one way or another, one way or the other)
O per volere o per forza (by hook or by crook)
The image we can glean from this expression is of a hammer that keeps hammering. Or a lie someone keeps repeating so many times that in the end you believe it.
In the first example below, the police are looking for a DVD that could be really anywhere... a needle in a haystack. But they keep looking for it. They're saying they'll go into retirement before they find the DVD, it's taking so long.
Mi sa che ci [sic: ce ne] andiamo in pensione a forza di cercare 'sto [questo] DVD. E speriamo che ci andiamo in pensione, prima che ci sbranano i topi.
I think that we'll go into retirement from all the looking for this DVD. And let's hope that we retire at all, before the mice chew us up.
Captions 33-35, Il Commissario Manara S2EP8 - Fuori servizio - Part 14Play Caption
In this example, we have another modo di dire: mettersi la mano sulla coscienza (to examine one's conscience).
Non lo so, mettiti una mano sulla coscienza. -Senti, a forza di mettermi la mano sulla coscienza, quella è morta soffocata.
I don't know. Put a hand on your conscience [examine your conscience]. -Listen, by putting my hand on my conscience so much, it died from suffocation.
Captions 49-51, Sposami EP 2 - Part 25Play Caption
Although both of these examples are humorously expressed comments, a forza di is also used in serious matters.
Mi fanno male le gambe a forza di stare seduto (by sitting so much, my legs hurt).
Structurally, we note that after a forza di comes a verb in the infinitive. In the English translation, we often find a gerund.
Forza! Andiamo via. Dobbiamo per forza arrivare al supermercato prima della chiusura perché è finito il caffè. -Per forza è finito il caffè. Tu ne bevi a litri. A forza di bere tutti questi caffè non dormirai mai più.
Come on, let's leave. We have to absolutely get to the supermarket before closing time because we're out of coffee. Of course we're out of coffee. You drink gallons of it. By drinking so much you will never sleep again.
A forza di studiare l'italiano e guardare dei video su Yabla (e facendo gli esercizi, bene inteso), imparerai la lingua!
Let's look at a word used in a recent episode of Volare that has both a verb and a noun form. It's an easy cognate, but you might not think of it, since "to deserve" is the verb we would use in English, and alas, it has no cognate in Italian.
So meritare is a good verb to know. The noun form is il merito. In English, we would usually say "Thanks to [someone or something]." Or we might say, "The credit is all yours/his/hers/theirs." So, you'll probably understand these words when you see them, especially when they are in a clear context, but you might not add them to your vocabulary if you are thinking in English. They are worth adopting, though. "Being worth it" is another way to translate meritare!
È merito della signora se sono qui, eh. -No, Lei è qui perché se lo merita, non deve ringraziare nessuno.
It's thanks to the lady if I am here, huh. -No. You are here because you deserve to be. You don't have to thank anyone.
Captions 22-24, Volare - La grande storia di Domenico Modugno Ep. 1 - Part 9Play Caption
You might have noticed that the speaker uses the reflexive form of meritare, meritarsi. Both ways are OK, but when it's reflexive it feels a bit more personal (and it's a bit more complicated to use).
Il successo l'hai meritato.
Il succeso te lo sei meritato.
Let's look at some examples from Yabla videos:
Se hai una pessima idea di me, me lo merito.
If you have a bad impression of me, I deserve it.Play Caption
Se questa operazione è riuscita, il merito è tuo. Brava, Sardi.
If this operation succeeded, it's thanks to you. Very good, Sardi.Play Caption
Eh, va be', però bisogna avvertirlo, perché il critico ha dato tutto il merito a te.
Well, all right, but you should let him know because the critic gave you all the credit.
Caption 24, La Ladra Ep. 5 - Chi la fa l'aspetti - Part 1Play Caption
Pensavo di meritare di più dalla vita.
I thought I deserved more from life.Play Caption
Poi sicuramente Pisa merita una visita con la sua torre pendente che non casca mai.
Then, of course, Pisa is worth a visit with its leaning tower that never falls.
Captions 75-76, L'Italia a tavola Interrogazione sulla ToscanaPlay Caption
As you can see in the final example, to deserve something and be worth something are very close. Sometimes they are interchangeable. They are in Italian too, so check out our lesson about valere (to be worth).
When you're playing a game, you have to follow the rules. When you don't, someone might say:
Non vale (it doesn't count).
This comes from the verb valere (to have value, to be worth, to be valid).
Devi chiudere gli occhi però, se no non vale. Vai.
You have to close your eyes, though, otherwise it doesn't count. Go.
Captions 10-11, Sposami EP 2 - Part 20Play Caption
So in this case, the verb valere is used to mean something isn't valid, it doesn't count.
But we also use it when we talk about something being worth it. In English, we can say something is worth the trouble or simply "worth it." In Italian, we need to say the whole phrase:
Vale la pena (it's worth the trouble, it's worth it).
Insomma, la vita è una cosa meravigliosa e vale la pena viverla.
So, life is a marvelous thing and it is well worth living.
Captions 41-42, Amiche FilosofiePlay Caption
In the previous example, we have a subject: life. "Life is worth living." But we can also just say, "It's worth it." In this case, we use a sort of prop word, the particle ne.
We use ne when we comment on something being worth it or not. We know what we're talking about, but we don't need to repeat it. So we use ne.
Here's the negative version:
[Qualcosa] non vale la pena ([something] is not worth it).
Non ne vale la pena (it's not worth it).
We can say the same exact thing as a question: Here too, we'll use the particle ne if we don't include the subject (the thing that isn't worth it).
Vale la pena (is [something] worth it/worth the trouble)?
Ne vale la pena (is it worth it)?
The third way we use valere is to say something is applicable.
Questa regola vale soltanto per il singolare, quando io parlo della mia famiglia in singolare.
This rule applies only to the singular, when I talk about my family in the singular.
Captions 14-15, Corso di italiano con Daniela Aggettivi Possessivi - Part 5Play Caption
Vale la pena studiare l'italiano? Speriamo di sì!
Although we can sometimes use the noun il turno to mean "the turn," as in, "Wait your turn" (aspetta il tuo turno), there's another (colloquial) expression we use in Italian, more often than not. We use the verb toccare (to touch). In the following clip, Dino and Melody are making wishes with blueberries:
Adesso tocca a te.
Now it's your turn.
Caption 9, Sposami EP 2 - Part 20Play Caption
Tocca a te (it's your turn).
Tocca a me (it's my turn).
The question you might get in a shop where various people are waiting their turns:
A chi tocca (whose turn is it)?
The answer can be tocca a me, tocca alla signora, tocca a lei, tocca a loro...
Twisting this expression a bit turns it into something you have to do.
Mi tocca (I have to do it).
Ti tocca (you have to do it).
Ho faticato tanto per averla, e adesso mi tocca venderla.
I worked so hard to get it, and now I have to sell it.Play Caption
The important thing to remember in using this expression is that the person is the indirect object. The preposition of choice is a (to, at). The subject is a general "it," implied, or absent, actually.
In some places, you take a number and then wait your turn, at the supermarket, for example, at the bread counter, or the counter where you get prosciutto. Otherwise, you can ask, Chi è l'ultimo (who's the last [in line])?
Let's look at a false friend. Not always false, but frequently.
When something bad happens, like an accident, or a natural disaster, one word Italians commonly use is una disgrazia. È successa una disgrazia (something bad happened/there's been an accident).
Domani, me [mi] capiterà 'na [una] disgrazia. -Che disgrazia? -Qualcosa de [di] male. Perché oggi sto troppo bene, canterino.
Tomorrow, some calamity will happen to me. What calamity? -Something bad. Because, today, I feel too good, songbird.
Captions 3-6, Fratelli Taviani La passione e l'utopia - Part 13Play Caption
The woman says it: something bad. In the following example, a suspect is describing someone dying as a terrible accident, not a murder.
È caduto e ha battuto la testa, ma non volevo! È stata, è stata 'na [una] disgrazia!
He fell and hit his head but I didn't want that. It was, it was a terrible accident.
Captions 20-21, Il Commissario Manara S1EP6 - Reazione a Catena - Part 13Play Caption
Here, again, a terrible tragedy:
Era sull'autobus dove è successa la disgrazia.
She was on the bus where the tragedy occurred.Play Caption
The cognate is, of course, "a disgrace," but if we look up disgrace, we see other words that are used more commonly, such as una vergogna.
Tu sei la vergogna della nostra famiglia. Vergognati!
You are the disgrace of our family. Shame on you!
Captions 46-47, La Ladra EP. 8 - Il momento giusto - Part 11Play Caption
So, disgrazia often refers to a natural disaster or someone dying suddenly. It's just something to keep in mind (tenere a mente or tenere presente). Because it might happen that when you are traveling in Italy, you'll get some bad news. It's important to know that disgrazia might refer to a tragedy, an accident, a misfortune. Not necessarily will the speaker be talking about a disgrace.
As we have mentioned in the past, Italian and English don't always correspond regarding parts of speech.
Italians love to call each other names (just like lots of folks). One way to say that someone did something you totally do not approve of is to call them a disgraziato (a disgraceful fellow). We have to be a bit careful because it can either mean someone who has fallen on misfortune, but it can also mean someone who ought to be ashamed of himself, so context is key.
Don't take our word for it. Let's look at some examples:
Disgraziato, ti ho scoperto con le mani dentro al sacco!
You bastard, I've discovered you with your hands in the bag!Play Caption
Io non sono come quei disgraziati che parte [sic: partono] per fame, ma'. Io vado a Roma per fare lu [pugliese: il] cinema, ma', sia chiaro, eh, cinema.
I'm not like those poor guys who leave because they're hungry, Ma. I'm going to Rome to make movies, Ma, to be clear, uh, the movies.
Captions 41-43, Volare - La grande storia di Domenico Modugno Ep. 1 - Part 4Play Caption
Keep in mind that when you want to call someone a disgraziato, you need to distinguish between masculine and feminine and singular and plural.
Disgraziato can be used as an adjective or as a noun. We could say that as an adjective it is more likely referring to misfortune:
Tu cosa diresti? -Be'... direi... povera disgraziata la signora! -Eh. -Eheh!
What would you say? -Well... I would say... poor unlucky lady! -Uh-huh. -Uh-huh!
Captions 49-50, Un medico in famiglia S1 EP1 - Casa nuova - Part 6Play Caption
As a noun (especially if well-articulated) it might very well be talking about a "bad" person:
Disgraziato! Delinquente! Assassino!
Scoundrel! Delinquent! Murderer!
Caption 58, Psicovip Super Minivip - Ep 17Play Caption
Or it can be a combination.
Speriamo la prossima stazione di questo disgraziato sia qui vicino.
Let's hope the poor bastard's next stop is near here.Play Caption
Let's talk about the noun la luce (the light). Basically the noun is used much as it is in English (and feel free to do a search of luce in Yabla videos), but there is a special meaning of this noun, especially in colloquial speech, that you need to know about. Simply put, it means "electricity." It's used especially in reference to the electric bill or electrical current in general.
Perhaps the first use of electricity in Italian households was for lightbulbs. Likely, households were still heating with la cucina economica (a wood stove used both for heating and cooking), but the advent of the lightbulb must have been a huge change. So "light" is what "electricity" might have meant for Italian households at the beginning. In any case, the term luce stuck and is still in common usage.
Ci stanno le bollette da pagare, luce, gas! Io non teng 'na lira. Scusa.
There are the utility bills to pay: electricity, gas! I don't have a dime. I'm sorry.
Captions 10-12, L'oro di Scampia film - Part 6Play Caption
Ci tagliano la luce? E noi ci alleniamo a lume di candela.
They cut off our electricity? So we'll train by candlelight.
Captions 27-28, L'oro di Scampia film - Part 7Play Caption
One other way Italians often refer to electricity is with the noun la corrente (the electrical current).
Oh, a proposito di luce, vedi che qua corrente [elettrica] non ce ne sta, eh.
Oh, speaking of light, you see that here there's no electricity, huh.
Caption 25, Chi m'ha visto film - Part 9Play Caption
Of course, in English, we often use the word "power" to mean "electricity." In fact, we have an object called a powerstrip. We can plug in multiple plugs, and the powerstrip gets plugged into the outlet. So how do we say that in Italian?
You'll never guess. It's called una ciabatta. Una ciabatta is a house slipper! It's also the name of a kind of bread! From Wikipedia:
Ciabatta is an Italian white bread made from wheat flour, water, salt, yeast, and olive oil, created in 1982 by a baker in Adria, province of Rovigo, Veneto, Italy, in response to the popularity of French baguettes.
If you can't think of the word ciabatta when buying a powerstrip, you can also use the compound noun una presa multipla (a multiple socket).
So if we want to talk about the male and female parts of an electrical connection, we have la spina (the plug —the male part) and la presa (the socket — the feminine part).
There's always more to learn. It's kind of fun to learn about the (sometimes colorful) words Italians use to talk about mundane things like electricity and plugs.
There are some verbs that are hard to use in Italian because they work differently from in English in terms of subjects and objects (who does what to whom?).
We have talked about piacere (to like) where things are really turned around. See the lesson: . Another verb that can cause a whole lot of confusion in a similar way is mancare. There is already Mi piacea lesson about this verb, a verb that is used in various ways. But right now, let's look at the verb when we use it to say something like "I miss you," or "Do you miss me?" It is very tricky because it often involves pronouns, and we all know that distinguishing between subject and object pronouns isn't always so easy.
In next week's episode of La Ladra, Lorenzo and Dante are talking about the fact that Dante misses Eva and Eva misses Dante.
Nel senso che anche [a] te manca mia madre? Mi sa che manchi anche a lei, eh.
Because you miss my mother, as well? I think she misses you, too, huh.
Captions 10-11, La Ladra Ep.12 Come ai vecchi tempi - Part 10Play Caption
In English "to miss" is a transitive verb, and the definition we are talking about here is not even the first one. In WordReference it is number 6!
to regret the absence or loss of:
[~ + object]I miss you all dreadfully.
[~ + verb-ing]He missed watching the African sunsets.
In Italian, we have to think of things a bit differently. The definition of mancare is "to be lacking in" or "to be missing." So we're close.
But in Italian, the verb mancare has to agree with the person who is being missed. Weird, right?
So if I am feeling your absence, I miss you. You are missing from my life.
Expressed in Italian,
Sento la tua mancanza. Mi manchi. (I feel your absence. You are missing from my life right now!)
Let's look at some practical examples. Keep in mind that in this context, mancare is intransitive, so we need a preposition before the person who is feeling the absence. When we use the name of a person, we need to add the preposition a (to), but the tricky thing is that when we're using pronouns, the preposition is often included in the indirect pronoun. Mi = a me (to me), Ti = a te (to you).
Giovanni sente molto la mancanza di Anna. Lei sta studiando all'estero (Giovanni feels the absence of Anna. She is studying abroad). (She is missing from his life.)
A Giovanni manca Anna. Gli manca (Giovanni misses Anna. He misses her).
Gli stands for a lui (to him).
Non ti vedo da una vita. Mi manchi. (I haven't seen you in a long time. I miss you). (You are missing from my life)
Mi manca andare in ufficio tutti it giorni (I miss going to the office every day). (It's missing from my life.)
Now here, in the next example, who is being missed is in the plural: Parents. So the verb mancare is in the plural, too.
I miei genitori stanno a Roma. Io sto a Bologna. Mi mancano i miei genitori (My parents live in Rome. I live in Bologna. I miss my parents). (They are missing from my life.)
Ti mancano i tuoi genitori? So che stanno a New York (Do you miss your parents? I know they live in New York). (Are they missng from your life?)
You have to turn your mind around a bit to nail this, but with time and practice, you'll get it. And it's not something you want to get wrong.
Here are some Yabla video examples of people using mancare when they miss someone or something.
In this example, a woman is talking to her ex-husband about her new partner. She still misses her ex-husband and is telling him so.
A volte con Carlo è difficile, ma non riesco a lasciarlo. Anche se a volte mi manchi da morire.
Sometimes, Carlo is difficult, but I can't manage to leave him. Even if sometimes I miss you to death [like crazy].
Captions 6-8, Adriano Olivetti La forza di un sogno Ep. 1 - Part 15Play Caption
To be clearer, she could have said, Anche se a volte tu mi manchi da morire.
In this example, Manara is trying to get used to living in Tuscany, as opposed to Milan.
Qui da Lei sto benissimo, eh. -Ah, ah. -Però mi manca la città, il traffico, il rumore, capisci?
At your place, I'm really fine, you know. -Ah, ah. -But I miss the city, the traffic, the noise, you understand?
Captions 38-39, Il Commissario Manara S1EP3 - Rapsodia in Blu - Part 1Play Caption
Here's an example where someone is being interviewed. The question is formal, but the answer is very colloquial.
Capisco. Quindi adesso il suo amico Le manca? -E cazzo se mi manca, sì, sì.
I understand. So, now you miss your friend? -Sure as shit, I miss him, yes, yes.
Captions 39-40, Chi m'ha visto film - Part 16Play Caption
Here's an example where you really need to turn your mind around. Gli manco. I am missing from his (Luca's) life. He misses me.
Con Luca tutto bene? -Non vede l'ora di tornare. Gli manco.
Everything all right with Luca? -He can't wait to come back. He misses me.
Captions 33-34, La Ladra EP. 8 - Il momento giusto - Part 10Play Caption
When we go into the passato prossimo (present perfect tense structure), it's important to remember that in this context, we need the auxiliary verb essere (to be), not avere (to have).
Amore, quanto mi sei mancato! -Sono tornato, ma non è cambiato niente.
Love, I've missed you so much! -I'm back, but nothing has changed.
Captions 49-50, La Ladra EP. 8 - Il momento giusto - Part 10Play Caption
1) In this case, Eva is talking to her son, but what if she had been talking to her daughter?
2/3) Can you turn the first part into a question? You are asking the person if they missed you. Are you a male or a female? The ending of the past participle will change accordingly.
Think about all the people you miss, the people you can't get together with. A single person? An animal? A city? A country? Mancare will be in the third person singular. If it's parents, friends, animals, then it will be in the third person plural.
If you are writing to a couple, your parents, then you will want to conjugate mancare in the second person plural (mancate).
If someone misses you, then you are the one who gets conjugated. You are missing from someone's life.
There are other ways to use the verb mancare, as you'll see if you look it up or do a Yabla search, but in this lesson, we wanted to isolate a particular situation. It's the trickiest one.
If you have trouble, let us know and we'll help. You'll want to get this right.
1) Amore, quanto mi sei mancata! -Sono tornata, ma non è cambiato niente.
2) Amore, [quanto] ti sono mancato?
3) Amore, [quanto] ti sono mancata?
The noun pazienza certainly does look a lot like "patience." And sometimes the two words do mean the same thing, especially when the article is present.
Mi scusi, signorina, però suo cugino, ogni tanto, mi fa perdere la pazienza.
Excuse me, Miss, but your cousin, every now and then, makes me lose my patience.
Captions 10-11, Sei mai stata sulla luna? film - Part 8Play Caption
Something to keep in mind: In English, we use a possessive pronoun: my patience. Italians do it differently. They use a definite article la, but the possession happens with an indirect object pronoun. "It makes me lose the patience."
Although the adjective paziente (patient) does exist in Italian, Italians often opt for the noun form.
Ma no, è che ci vuole soltanto un po' di pazienza. Dai fiducia all'allievo e nel momento giusto lo lasci andare. -Sì.
No, it's that you just need to be a bit patient. Give the student some confidence, and at the right moment, let him go. -Yes.
Captions 23-24, Sposami EP 2 - Part 18Play Caption
And let's not forget that, similar to English, il or la paziente can also be a noun meaning "the patient." It can have a feminine or masculine article, depending on the gender of the patient.
A me risulta invece che vi conoscesse [sic: conosceste] da prima, e che Lei fosse stata anche sua paziente.
Instead, it is my understanding that you knew each other before that, and that you had also been his patient.
Captions 27-28, Il Commissario Manara S1EP9 - Morte in paradiso - Part 11Play Caption
It's common in Italy to ask someone to "have patience" but it isn't necessarily patience they are asking for.
They use the imperative for this, and are asking for your understanding, tolerance, or to bear with them. It can be used with different tones, including sarcasm.
In the following example, Orazio is upset with his wife who barged in on a meeting, and had to apologize to his clients he had to ask to leave. So saying abbia pazienza can be a way of apologizing for an inconvenience. In this case, he also said scusi (excuse me [formal], sorry), but he could have just said abbia pazienza in the way of apologizing.
Scusi, sa, eh, abbia pazienza.
Excuse me, you know, eh, bear with me.
Caption 32, Un Figlio a tutti i costi film - Part 12Play Caption
Actually, Orazio is also quite annoyed with his client, who wants to get out of paying taxes for reasons not exactly on the up and up. So in this case, and often, especially when the formal version is being used, abbia pazienza, uttered with an exasperated or annoyed tone, is an "excuse me" that's a bit indignant. It's almost a way of saying you are the one losing your patience.
1) How would you say this if you were on familiar terms with other person?
But the expression is also used, for example, when you have an appointment but they make you wait. Someone might say, abbia pazienza as a way of saying, "Sorry we are making you wait." Or if your doctor or lawyer has to answer a call while you are talking to him or her:
Abbia pazienza, devo prendere questa chiamata. (Sorry, I have to take this call).
If someone really does want you to be patient, they might say, Solo un attimo di pazienza.
Signore, solo un attimo di pazienza, adesso vi facciamo qualche domanda.
Ladies, just a moment of patience. Now we're going to ask you some questions.
Captions 67-68, Il Commissario Manara S1EP11 - Beato tra le donne - Part 1Play Caption
The second example of an expression is one of those wonderful one-word expressions that say plenty. You will want this in your toolbox, for sure. It's often coupled with a va' be' (short for va bene [all right or OK]), but doesn't need to be.
Mi dispiace. Sabato arrivano quelli della filiale dal Sud America e purtroppo ho una riunione con loro. Ho capito. Va' be', pazienza. -Mi dispiace. -Ingegnere?
I'm sorry. Saturday, the people from the South America branch are coming and, unfortunately, I have a meeting with them. I understand. Oh well, too bad. -I'm sorry. -Sir?
Captions 41-44, Adriano Olivetti La forza di un sogno Ep.2 - Part 5Play Caption
What are some good occasions for saying pazienza as a one-word expression?
You are at a shop and ask for an item you can't find on the shelves. You ask the clerk:
Non trovo la polenta istatanea (I can't find the instant polenta).
Ah, mi dispiace, è terminata (Oh, I'm sorry, we're out of it).
Ah, pazienza. Farò senza (Oh, no big deal. I'll do without it).
Some other ways to translate pazienza in English:
So be it.
Nothing to do about it.
It is what it is.
Some synonyms for pazienza in Italian:
Non importa (it doesn't matter)
Non fa niente (it doesn't matter)
Fa niente (it doesn't matter)
È lo stesso (it's all the same)
Perhaps as you go about your day, there will be situations in which pazienza could be a comment you make as a reaction to something that didn't go as you wished. You wanted a dash of milk in your coffee, but you're out of it. Pazienza, lo prenderò senza latte. You wanted to watch the news, but you forgot. Pazienza!
1) Scusa, sai, eh, abbi pazienza.
The word for "to follow" in Italian is seguire. It's a transitive verb most of the time, but not all the time. In many cases, it works just like English. It's used for following instructions:
Quindi, ho cominciato a seguire le istruzioni e, e nell'arco di un'oretta, ho montato la cassettiera.
So, I started following the instructions and in just about an hour, I assembled the chest of drawers.
Captions 14-15, Marika spiega Gli attrezziPlay Caption
1,2) What if 2 people are trying to put together this chest of drawers. How could the sentence change? (more than one possibility)
When Italians take a course in something, they "follow it."
Allora, innanzitutto, quando si ha la passione del doppiaggio o del... della narrazione, è importante seguire un corso:
So, first of all, when one has a passion for dubbing, or for... for narration, it's important to take a course:
Captions 10-11, Arianna e Marika Il lavoro di doppiatricePlay Caption
Alternatively, they do a course with fare.
Certo, ho fatto il corso su internet. Vuol vedere l'attestato?
Of course, I've taken the online course. Would you like to see the certification?
Caption 59, Psicovip Buon Natale Minivip Ep 26Play Caption
Seguire is used for following someone, literally.
Ciao. Oggi ti mostro alcune direzioni. Seguimi.
Hi. Today I'm going to show you some directions [prepositions of place and direction]. Follow me.
Captions 1-2, Marika spiega DirezioniPlay Caption
3) What if you are asking someone you don't know to follow you?
This can also be figurative when following what someone is saying.
Do you follow me?
4) What if you are asking someone you don't know if they follow what you are saying?
You have seen the expression, "Follow us on facebook" which is a figurative way to say you check in on that person or organization, you see what they are up to. Fellini was talking about his audience, his fans, in the following clip.
Siamo sempre seguiti da una platea di romani così molto... che ci segue con molto affetto e simpatia... specialmente stasera,
We're always followed by an audience of Romans, so very... who follow us, with a lot of affection and warmth... especially this evening,
Captions 3-4, Fellini Racconta Un Autoritratto Ritrovato - Part 4Play Caption
But there is another way Italians use the verb seguire.
It's somewhat akin to the way fans follow a star, or a trend, but it's a little different. Because rather than "following the leader or the trend," it's the leader, teacher, therapist, or doctor who is checking in on you, treating you, in the case of a doctor or health worker. This way of using seguire is used a whole lot in teacher-pupil relationships, or doctor-patient relationships and the like, and has to do with following a pupil or patient's progress, or simply giving them support, or attention, treatment, or checking in to see how things are going. In some instances, we might say, seguire is "to give guidance on a continuing basis."
We have an example of this use in a new video this week.
It's part of the story about a couple who had to go through quarantine because of Covid-19.
È un metodo attraverso il quale non congestionano i, gli ospedali, per i casi meno gravi, e ti seguono telefonicamente.
It's a method whereby they don't overcrowd the, the hospitals, for the less serious cases, and they attend to you over the phone.
Captions 25-28, COVID-19 3) La quarantenaPlay Caption
When we use seguire this way, it basically means someone is there for you in a professional way. We all know what it feels like to have a teacher or doctor who seems like they don't really care about you. They don't seem invested.
Non ti seguono.
They don't check in on you.
But it can also simply mean "to treat," as in giving a treatment.
Sì, sì, ho parlato anche col professore che lo segue. -OK.
Yes, yes. I even spoke with the professor who is treating him. -OK.
Caption 43, Questione di Karma Rai Cinema - Part 14Play Caption
5) What if there is a team of doctors who treat the patient in question?
If you watch Yabla videos, you will see the verb seguire a lot, in all sorts of conjugations and nuances of meanng. Sometimes it's translated as "to follow," but not always.
Let us know if you a translation you don't understand, and we'll try to help out.
1) Quindi, abbiamo cominciato a seguire le istruzioni e, e nell'arco di un'oretta, abbiamo montato la cassettiera.
2) Quindi, hanno cominciato a seguire le istruzioni e, e nell'arco di un'oretta, hanno montato la cassettiera.
3) Salve. Oggi le mostro alcune direzioni. Mi segua.
4) Mi segue?
5) Sì, sì, ho parlato anche coi professori che lo seguono. -OK.