We have spoken from time to time about how to say, "I can't wait" in Italian. It's an informal way of saying, "I am very much looking forward to something." In Italian, it's Non vedo l'ora. For the record, Non vedo l'ora! translates, literally, as "I can't see the hour," (which makes no sense). We can use the expression just as it is, conjugating the verb vedere.
Vuoi assaggiare un poco di... -Certo. -arancello? -Non vedo l'ora.
Do you want to taste a bit of... -Of course. -arancello? -I can't wait.
Caption 51, Adriano L'arancello di MarinaPlay Caption
Ma se anche lui non vede l'ora!
But if even he can't wait!
Although we can use the expression as is, we can also continue it, specifying what it is we can't wait for. Here's where it can get a bit more complex. There are basically 2 ways to continue the phrase.
1) We use di plus the infinitive of the verb in question:
Non vedo l'ora di vederti (I can't wait to see you).
Non vedo l'ora di partire in vacanza (I can't wait to leave on vacation).
Ma invece adesso sono convintissima, motivata e non vedo l'ora di cominciare.
But now however I'm totally convinced, motivated and I can't wait to start.
Caption 4, Francesca alla guida - Part 2Play Caption
These sentences are all about you, in other words, something you are going to or want to do. It can also be about another person but the structure of the sentence remains the same:
Pietro non vede l'ora di cominciare il corso di francese (Pietro can't wait to start the French course).
Maybe you can come up with some on your own. Try using:
visitare Firenze (to visit Florence)
vederti (to see you)
finire questo libro (to finish this book)
cenare (to have dinner)
2) We use the conjunction che (that). With che, we start a new (subordinate) clause and here, we need the subjunctive form of the verb.
So let's say you are on the train, traveling from Milan to Venice. It may be fun to look out the window, but you really want to get to Venice!
You can say:
Non vedo l'ora di arrivare a Venezia (I can't wait to arrive in Venice).
You can also refer to the train or to "us.":
Non vedo l'ora che questo treno arrivi a Venezia (I can't wait for this train to arrive in Venice).
Non vedo l'ora che arriviamo a Venezia (I can't wait for us to arrive in Venice)
Non vedo l'ora che finisca il viaggio (I can't wait for this trip to end).
From a translating standpoint, when you use "for" plus a verb in English in this expression, you will likely need che + the verb in the subjunctive (agreeing with noun, expressed or implied) in Italian.
Noi li amiamo tantissimo e non vediamo l'ora che un giorno possano anche giocare.
We love them very much and we can't wait for the day when they can also play.
Captions 59-60, Andromeda La storia di UlissePlay Caption
There are various things we can imagine a couple expecting a baby to say, as they try to wait patiently.
One of them can say:
Non vedo l'ora di veder nascere questo bambino (I can't wait to see this baby be born).
We've used di + the verb vedere.
Or, one of them can say:
Non vediamo l'ora che nasca questo bambino (we can't wait for this baby to be born).
Here, we have used che + the verb nascere, which refers to the baby (third person), and thus we need the subjunctive.
And if they happen to be expecting twins?
Non vediamo l'ora che nascano questi bambini (we can't wait for these babies to be born).
So, as you can see, there are easy ways to use the expression Non vedo l'ora: by itself, or with di + infinitive. There is also the harder way, which entails knowing the subjunctive form of the verb you want to use. But as you become fluent in Italian, you will find that we tend to say the same things over and over again, so maybe you might want to learn the subjunctive forms of certain verbs you might need, such as cominciare (to begin), finire (to finish), chiamare (to call).
Tip: You can sidestep the subjunctive by forming 2 different sentences.
Comincierà presto la lezione? Non vedo l'ora (is the lesson going to start soon? I can't wait).
Meanwhile, keep an eye out for this expression in Yabla videos. See how people use it — by itself, with di + infinitive, or with che + subjunctive.
Looking at the word verso, we can detect a couple of cognates: "verse" and "versus," abbreviated as "vs" or "v." We can also see the word in words like "reverse..."
Verso is actually a wonderful word that can be used in so many circumstances. But where to start? Let's start in earlier times.
If you look at a medieval manuscript, for example, and think of how they numbered the pages, it's pretty interesting.
Instead of pages, they considered the whole sheet or leaf. Think of a looseleaf notebook. A leaf, or a sheet of paper (or parchment), has two sides. When scribes started numbering these leaves (in the twelfth century "foliation" became a rule. Before that there were different ways of keeping track), the number would be placed in the upper right-hand corner, for example: "XXX" (roman numerals were commonly used). This was the right side, the front side, the "recto." The backside of the leaf was called the "verso," the reverse side. So if you were indicating where a song or chapter started, you would say folio XXX r or XXX v.
The word verso comes from the Latin verb "vertĕre," meaning "to turn" — in its past participle form, "versus." The Italian verb meaning "to turn" is voltare which has common origins with volgere, the Italian for Latin "vertere." So the backside of a sheet is the one you have "turned."
Considering the above, it seems appropriate to discuss the noun form il verso next.
Il verso can certainly mean, as we have seen, "the reverse side," especially when talking about a coin, medal, or sheet or leaf of parchment.
It can also mean "direction" or "way."
...e per trenta minuti si gira in un verso, lentamente,
...and for thirty minutes, you stir it in one direction, slowly,
Caption 35, Adriano L'arancello di MarinaPlay Caption
Le parti basse dell'ulivo vanno tolte perché sono secche e non permettono alla pianta di, di crescere nel giusto verso.
The lower parts of the olive tree have to be removed because they're dry, and they don't allow the plant to, to grow in the right direction.
Captions 25-26, Gianni si racconta L'olivo e i roviPlay Caption
In colloquial speech il verso can mean "the way," used figuratively.
Pezzo di pane... -Bisogna saperlo prendere per il verso giusto.
Piece of bread... -You have to know how to handle him the right way.Play Caption
...ma non c'è stato verso di farla ragionare.
...but there was no way to get her to reason.Play Caption
When talking about marble, it means "the correct direction," or "the grain."
Eh, il verso e il contro sono due termini, eh, conosciuti diffusamente tra gli art', gli artigiani del marmo,
Uh, the grain and against the grain are two terms, um, well known to art', marble artisans,
Captions 6-8, Claudio Capotondi Scultore - Part 1Play Caption
We also have the word inverso in Italian, meaning "inverse" or "opposite."
Quando "venire" è contrapposto esplicitamente ad "andare", indica movimento inverso, perché i due verbi esprimono insieme un movimento alternato e ripetuto nei [due] sensi.
When “venire” is explicitly juxtaposed with “andare,” it indicates an inverse movement, because the two verbs together express alternate and repeated movements, direction-wise.
Captions 42-45, Marika spiega I verbi venire e andare - Part 2Play Caption
Other meanings of il verso as a noun are:
-the sound an animal makes.
-a line of poetry
Verso is a preposition, too, again having to do with direction.
Verso can mean "towards." It can also be interpreted as "facing,"
Perciò ti volti verso di lui. -Certo.
So, you turn towards him. -Of course.Play Caption
Note that when we use personal pronouns as an object, we need the extra preposition di. If it's a noun, then no extra preposition is needed.
Poi andando sempre più verso il Duomo, si vede appunto il Duomo
Then still going towards the Duomo, you can see just that, the Cathedral,
Captions 27-28, In giro per l'Italia Firenze - Part 4Play Caption
When we're talking about directions rather than concrete destinations, we use neither an extra preposition nor an article.
Poi, andando verso sinistra si vede il Palazzo Vecchio,
Then, going towards the left you can see the Palazzo Vecchio [the old building]
Caption 34, In giro per l'Italia Firenze - Part 4Play Caption
The English word "versus," has the same Latin origin as the preposition verso, but has come to mean "against." Two people or teams face each other when they are against each other.
Verso can mean "around" especially when talking about time.
La signora ha cenato e poi verso le nove è uscita.
The lady had dinner and then around nine, she went out.Play Caption
Finally, we mention the verb versare, because the first person singular happens to be verso. But versare deserves a lesson all to itself, because it's used often, but with various nuances in specific contexts.
The simple preposition di can be combined with an article to form what is called una preposizione articolata. In doing this, it is transformed a bit, so this is just something we need to learn. Marika has a video series about the prepositions, and begins with the common preposition di. In this lesson we will set out to put things in a visual context with a list of how di can combine with definite articles, and we'll give you some examples from Yabla videos, so you can hear them in context.
Here is how we combine the preposition di with the various definite articles (that all mean "the"): The main thing to notice is that the i in di is transformed in e.
di + il = del
di + lo = dello
di + l’ = dell’
di + la = della
di + i = dei
di + gli = degli
di + le = delle
Let's look at each combination in context:
It will usually precede a masculine noun or the adjective that describes it.
In tutte le città del mondo ci sono ristoranti italiani.
In all the cities of the world, there are Italian restaurants.
Caption 8, Adriano Pizzeria Pinocchio - Part 1Play Caption
In the following example, note that before the noun there is an adjective, famoso (famous) which also agrees with the masculine noun.
Pinocchio è il protagonista del famoso romanzo dell'autore Collodi:
Pinocchio is the main character of the famous novel by the author Collodi:
Caption 29, Adriano Pizzeria Pinocchio - Part 1Play Caption
Note that there is another example of dello in the title of the episode. Translated it would be: The shark's gold.
Chi ha aggiustato la porta dello spogliatoio?
Who fixed the door of the locker room?
Caption 30, La Ladra Ep. 3 - L'oro dello squalo - Part 13Play Caption
In the following example, even though we say il colore, not
lo colore, we do use di plus the definite article lo and it becomes dello. This is because before the noun, we have the adjective stesso which begins with an s + the consonant t. So we need the definite article lo. Like when we say: È lo stesso (It's all the same). That's something to remember. Later in this lesson, we will look at a similar construction with a feminine noun.
E una bella borsa dello stesso colore.
And a nice handbag of the same color.
Caption 37, Corso di italiano con Daniela I colori - Part 3Play Caption
Le pulizie della casa, dell'appartamento si chiamano anche "faccende domestiche" oppure "pulizie casalinghe".
The cleaning of the house, of the apartment, is also called "housework" or "household cleaning."
Captions 32-33, Marika spiega Le pulizie di primavera - Part 1Play Caption
Sometimes this same construction turns out to be feminine! It's a truncated version of della, which we'll look at next.This can be a headache for learners:
Io mi occupo della contabilità dell'azienda.
I take care of the accounts of the business.Play Caption
La grande tragedia della guerra lascia memorie che non si cancellano.
The great tragedy of the war leaves memories that don't get erased.
Caption 43, L'arte della cucina Terre d'Acqua - Part 5Play Caption
Now let's move on to di plus a plural definite article.
Da quando in qua un uomo si deve occupare dei neonati?
Since when should a man have to take care of [the] newborns?Play Caption
Note that Italian uses the definite article, where in English, none is necessary. This is common and takes some effort in getting used to it.
In the next example, we have the combined preposition followed by the possessive pronoun miei (the plural masculine form of mio). Here too, the article is there (attached to di = dei ).
È una ricetta dei miei nonni che coltivavano le arance di Sicilia.
It's a recipe from my grandparents, who cultivated Sicilian oranges.
Caption 12, Adriano L'arancello di MarinaPlay Caption
Degli is hard to pronounce for lots of folks. Here, too, the definite article is included, while English leaves it out.
Pensate che il novanta percento degli italiani beve caffè quotidianamente.
Just think that ninety percent of Italians drink coffee on a daily basis.
Caption 7, Adriano Il caffèPlay Caption
Sarà la forma delle note a stabilire qual è la durata dei suoni,
It's the shape of the notes that determines the duration of the sounds,
Caption 37, A scuola di musica con Alessio - Part 3Play Caption
If you look at the transcript of just about any video, you will be able to pick out several examples of these preposizioni articolate. Look for common phrases and start repeating them, getting them into your repertoire.
For other preposizioni articolate, check out:
Meanwhile, if you have any questions or doubts, write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org