When you meet someone new, what do you say?
One way to introduce yourself is to say Ciao and then who you are:
Ciao, io sono Ida.
Hi, I'm Ida.
Caption 23, Non è mai troppo tardi - EP 2Play Caption
In the following example, Ida recognizes Ricotta, so she says:
Tu devi essere il famoso Ricotta. Ciao, piacere.
You must be the famous Ricotta. Hi, nice to meet you.
Captions 19-20, Non è mai troppo tardi - EP 2Play Caption
And you can combine these two and say something like:
Ciao, piacere, sono ____________.
Hi, nice to meet you, I'm _______________.
Young people will usually say Ciao (hi) and then their name. After ciao, there is usually the verb essere (to be)
Ciao, sono __________.
Hi, I'm ____________.
But if you are not the first to speak, you can just say,
Piacere, [your name].
Nice to meet you, I'm [your name].
In this case, you can leave out the verb essere (to be) in Italian. It is enough to just say your name. Piacere, in this case, is a noun, meaning "pleasure." So, you don't need an article, you don't need a verb. You just need the one word, piacere and your name. How simple is that?
Piacere, Grazia. -Piacere, Adriano.
How do you do? Grazia. -A pleasure, Adriano.
Caption 23, Adriano Olivetti - La forza di un sogno Ep. 1Play Caption
The word "no" is pretty clear. It means the same thing in both English and Italian. But there are a few things to remember when using this word. When you want to say, "No" just say, "No." It will be absolutely clear. No (No)!
But when you are asking someone to give you a yes or no answer about something, or talking about someone saying "yes," or "no," then you usually add the preposition: di (of). At that point, it is no longer directly reported speech and therefore no quotation marks are necessary. Keep in mind that leaving out the preposition is not wrong, it's just much more common to use it.
Instead of just using the word "no," we say:
Per fortuna Manrico non ce l'ha fatta a dire di no a Melody.
Luckily, Manrico didn't succeed in saying no to Melody.
Caption 38, Sposami - EP 2 - Part 13Play Caption
E quindi dissi di no.
And so I said no.
Quando mi mandarono le foto di Ulisse, non so perché,
When they sent me the photo of Ulisse, I don't know why,
è scattato qualcosa dentro di me
something clicked inside me
e... ho detto di sì.
and... I said yes.
Captions 21-24, Andromeda - La storia di UlissePlay Caption
Although we are primarily talking about the word no in this lesson, the same goes for sì (yes). And if we replace dire (to say) with another verb, such as sperare (to hope), we do the same thing. In the following example, actress Alessandra Mastronardi says the same thing in two different ways:
Ma, io spe' [sic], mi auguro di sì.
Well, I ho' [sic], I hope so.
Alla fine è stato coronato il sogno che tante persone volevano,
In the end the dream many people wanted was crowned,
quello che si ritor' [sic], si riformasse la famiglia e che Eva e Marco... fortunatamente...
the one in which the family retur [sic], re-forms and in which Eva and Marco... fortunately...
e così è andata, quindi spero di sì.
and that's how it went, so I hope so.
Captions 40-43, Alessandra Mastronardi - Non smettere di sognarePlay Caption
As we have seen, she uses two different ways to say "I hope so." Mi auguro di sì and spero di sì. Mi auguro di sì is a bit stronger, a little bit more personal (your eyes open wider). Maybe you are worried that things are not going to go as you hoped, or else, the end result is really crucial. It might also be that you are fully expecting something to happen in a certain way: It had better! It's kind of the difference between "I hope so" and "I certainly hope so." When using augurare or sperare, we can't leave out the di (of).
1) We can put this in the negative in the exact same way: Is your landlord going to kick you out? Can you give a couple of answers?
2) What if you are talking about when you asked someone out on a date. How did he or she answer you? M'ha...
One very common expression, as a retort, uses the word "no" to mean "yes" or rather, "for sure!" "of course!" It's a way to confirm something, and literally means, "how not?" Or we could say, "How could that not be?" "How could you doubt it?"
Anche se la politica non ci ha aiutati, ce l'abbiamo fatta, no?
Even if politics didn't help us, we did it, didn't we?
Captions 31-32, Adriano Olivetti - La forza di un sogno Ep. 2 - Part 18Play Caption
The important thing here is, first of all, to understand that when someone says, "Come no!" they are saying something positive, like "of course!". Then, once you have heard it many, many times, you might be ready to use it yourself.
In English we have the dreaded question tags... dreaded by people trying to learn English, that is. In Italian, however, it is way easier. All you have to do is add no and a question mark to the end of your statement. That's all the question tag you need.
Be', non dovrebbe essere difficile far entrare il carrello, no? -Io...
Well, it shouldn't be so hard to put the carriage back in, should it? -I...Play Caption
3) Can you say this in a more positive way?
È carino, no? Ti piace?
It's cute, isn't it? Do you like it?Play Caption
4) What if you put a question tag after ti piace (you like it)?
Using no as a question tag should come as a relief to Italian learners. You didn't know there was such an easy way to insert one, did you?
Another way to get the same result is to use the adjective vero (true) with a question mark. It's short for non è vero (isn't it true)? So I might say the same thing with the question tag, vero?
Be', non dovrebbe essere difficile far entrare il carrello, vero? -Io...
5) In reference to the previous example with carino, what if you think something is nice but you don't think the other person likes something?
1) Mi auguro di no! Spero di no!
2) M'ha detto di sì. Mi ha detto di no.
3) Be', dovrebbe essere facile far entrare il carrello, no? -Io...
4) È carino, no? Ti piace, no?
5) È carino, no? Non ti piace, vero?
There is more to say about saying no in Italian and using the word no... so stay tuned!
In the last lesson, we talked about the generic verb sistemare. Now, let's talk about a verb that is more specific when it comes to repairing things, but which has some surprising additional meanings.
This true cognate is an easy word to remember since it is so close to the English verb "to repair."
Io non ci metto le mani.
I'm not going to touch it.
La mandi a riparare in fabbrica.
You can send it to the factory to be repaired.Play Caption
Ripara le ruote e le gomme delle automobili,
He fixes wheels and tires of cars,
delle biciclette e delle motociclette.
bicycles and motorcycles.
Caption 48, Marika spiega - Il nome dei negoziPlay Caption
Riparo can be the first person singular of the verb riparare.
Venga, la riprenda.
Come, take it back.
Mi spiace, ma io questa non la riparo.
I'm sorry, but I'm not repairing this one.
Captions 4-5, Adriano Olivetti - La forza di un sogno Ep. 1Play Caption
But il riparo is also a noun. The following example gives us an idea of what it means.
Perché questo luogo è sempre stato in lotta
Because this place has always been fought over
con la sete dei conquistatori:
due to the thirst of conquerors:
Saraceni, Longobardi, Normanni.
Saracens, Longobards, Normans.
Ma è anche un luogo che ha offerto riparo,
But it's also a place that has offered shelter.
Captions 12-14, Itinerari Della Bellezza - BasilicataPlay Caption
So riparo means "shelter," but what's interesting is that we can also use the verb riparare to mean "to shelter," "to protect." We can also use it reflexively ripararsi to mean "to take refuge." In this case, it's intransitive. This meaning is closely related to that of a similar verb, parare (to protect, to shield, to fend off).
Uè, però tirate piano, altrimenti non riesco a parare niente.
Hey, kick lightly though, otherwise I can't block anything.
Caption 41, L'oro di Scampia - filmPlay Caption
As a matter of fact, just as other Italian verbs with the prefix ri often have the same or similar meanings to the verb without the prefix (for example tornare, ritornare [to return]), sometimes, riparare and parare can mean the same thing. Parare is straightforwardly transitive.
Para, the third person singular of parare, is often used as part of the kind of compound noun that tells you what something does.
On a car, we have il parabrezza (the windshield). It fends off the wind.
We have parafanghi (fenders) on bicycles (fango = mud). It fends off the mud.
Un parasole (an awning, a parasol) helps to block the sunlight.
Riparare (when it means protection or shielding) is often used in the context of protecting things from the elements — things such as plants, animals, objects, people, houses, camping spots, etc. The preposition of choice is da (from).
L'ombrellone ti ripara dal sole. The beach umbrella protects you from the sun.
The following example has to do with an animated elephant who needed to do something in private. The past participle of riparare easily becomes an adjective!
C'era da trovare alla svelta un angolino riparato.
A sheltered corner needed to be found quickly.
Caption 13, Dixiland - La magia di TriboPlay Caption
Riparare can also mean "to remedy," "to make up for," "to put right." In English, we can use "to repair" in this case, too, but there are other, easier Italian verbs for these nuances.
What we have tried to provide here are the words you will most commonly hear in everyday speech, and the ones you will want to know if you need to choose a spot for a picnic in Tuscany, get your shoes fixed, or find some shelter when out hiking and it starts raining.
We may think of Italians as being relaxed, but they have to rush around just like the rest of us. And since they do so much rushing around, there is some variety in how they talk about it. There are verbs, nouns, and adverbs to choose from. Let's take a look.
Come in ritardo?
What do you mean "late?"
Senta, Barbara, lasci perdere le scuse e cerchi di sbrigarsi invece.
Listen, Barbara, forget these excuses and try to hurry up instead.
Captions 28-29, La Ladra - Ep. 5 - Chi la fa l'aspettiPlay Caption
It's common to use the familiar form with a family member or friend. The following example is in the second person singular, so don't forget to stress the first syllable, not the second! The three consonants in a row make it fun to say. The "s" always has a "z" sound when it comes before "b."
Dai, sbrigati che ci perdiamo l'inizio del film.
Come on, hurry up, otherwise we'll miss the beginning of the movie.
Caption 47, Adriano Olivetti - La forza di un sognoPlay Caption
By the way, dai (come on) is just an interjection that is generally used in the second person singular regardless of whom you are talking to (although you wouldn't say it at all to someone you need to be formal with).
If I want to tell two or more friends or family members to hurry up, then I need to say sbrigatevi. Here, the stress is on the second syllable (the "a")!
Io vado avanti, vi aspetto là, eh, sbrigatevi.
I'm going ahead, I'll wait for you there, eh, hurry.
Ah, ricordatevi le cinture di sicurezza!
Oh, remember your seat belts!
Captions 40-41, Un medico in famiglia - S1 EP1 - Casa nuovaPlay Caption
If we need to say the same thing using the polite form, it's si sbrighi in the singular. This might be used by a police officer who is asking to you move your car out of the way. The plural would be si sbrighino.
So this verb isn't super easy to use, but if you memorize the second person singular familiar, it will come in very useful.
One more thing: sbrigare in its non-reflexive form means to "to deal with."
Va be', noi andiamo che abbiamo un sacco di lavoro da sbrigare.
All right, we're going, because we have a lot of work to get done.Play Caption
Another way to tell someone to hurry is fai in fretta. Note that here the verb is fare which means both "to make" and "to do."
Fai in fretta, ti prego.
Be quick, please.
Caption 57, Il Commissario Manara - S1EP5 - Il Raggio VerdePlay Caption
Often fretta goes hand in hand with furia. In fretta e furia (in a big hurry).
Se tu trovi un cadavere in una stanza d'albergo
If you find a dead body in a hotel room
e scopri che l'occupante della stanza ha pagato per altri due giorni in anticipo,
and you discover that the occupant of the room had paid in advance for two more days,
però se ne va prima in fretta e furia,
but he leaves beforehand in a big hurry,
ti insospettisci, no? -Eh!
you become suspicious, don't you? -Yeah.
Captions 11-14, Il Commissario Manara - S1EP7 - Sogni di VetroPlay Caption
If you see someone rushing out of the house, you might say:
Dove vai così in fretta e furia (where you are off to all of a sudden)?
In some parts of Italy, in Tuscany, for instance, people just say ho furia to mean ho fretta, sono di corsa. I'm in a hurry.
Non è neanche passato a salutarlo?
You didn't even stop by to say goodbye?
No. Dovevo andare via, c'avevo furia [toscano: fretta].
No. I had to leave. I was in a hurry.
Captions 9-10, Il Commissario Manara - S2EP8 - Fuori servizioPlay Caption
You might get asked if you are in a particular rush, for example, when someone wants to talk to you or spend some time with you. If you're in Tuscany they might say:
Hai furia o possiamo fermarci per prendere un caffè (are you in a rush or can we stop for a coffee)?
Anywhere else in Italy, they would probably say:
Hai fretta o possiamo fermarci per prendere un caffè (are you in a rush or can we stop for a coffee)?
"Scusa, ma vado di corsa".
"Sorry, but I'm in a rush."
"Parliamo più tardi".
"We'll talk later."
Captions 55-56, Marika spiega - Gli avverbi di modoPlay Caption
We shouldn't think that these are the only ways to talk about being in a hurry, or telling someone to hurry up. But they will give you a good start. In substance, they have similar meanings, but they are used differently, and that's where it can get a bit tricky. Vado di fretta or ho fretta both work. Vado di corsa works, but not
ho corsa. So keep your antennae up, and you will gradually absorb these words into your vocabulary. You'll have your favorites, too.