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Comodo: Comfortable or Handy?

The adjective comodo (comfortable) is easy to find in the dictionary, and is easy to understand, too, in a normal context.


Che dici, sarà comodo questo letto per la tedesca con la puzza sotto il naso?

What do you say? Will this bed be comfortable for the snobbish German lady?

Captions 12-13, Sposami EP 3 - Part 5

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Quindi non dimenticatevi di indossare delle scarpe comode, un abbigliamento comodo per potervi godere questo spettacolo meraviglioso.

So don't forget to wear comfortable shoes, comfortable clothing, to be able to enjoy this marvelous show.

Captions 45-46, Marika spiega Expo 2015 - Part 2

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Grammar corner

As you can see, comodo ends in "O." So when using it to describe a noun, you have to pay attention to both the gender and the number of the noun it's describing. There are 4 possibilities: o, a, i, and e. Here are some examples.

Questo vestito è comodo (this dress is comfortable).

Questa gonna è comoda (this skirt is comfortable).

Questi pantaloni sono comodi (these pants are comfortable).

Queste scarpe sono comode (these shoes are comfortable).



Try making sentences with other appropriate nouns you know, such as la sedia, il letto, la maglietta, il cappotto, gli stivali, i calzini, l'anello, il divano, il cuscino, i guanti, 


The opposite of comfortable

To say "uncomfortable," we use the famous "S" prefix: scomodo.  Quite often, but certainly not always, the S prefix will indicate the opposite of the original meaning of the word. For more about how the S prefix works, examples, see this lesson

Ma perché le donne devono aver un abito così scomodo?

But why do women have to have such uncomfortable clothing?

Caption 52, L'Oriana film - Part 23

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Try doing the same exercises as above (with comodo) with scomodo. It works the same way! Make sure and say your sentences out loud, if possible.


Being comfortable

Up until now, we have talked about things that are or aren't comfortable. We can use the verb essere (to be). But when it comes to how we are feeling, such as sitting in an armchair, we use comodo and scomodo  with the verb stare, also translated as "to be." We're talking about our state of being. Let's assume a woman is talking. She might say:

Su questa sedia, sto un po' scomoda. Manca un cuscino (I'm kind of uncomfortable on this chair. There's no cushion).

Su quell'altra, sto piuttosto comoda, invece (but on that other one, I am pretty comfortable).


❇️ Food for thought:

What if a guy were talking?

What if a couple were talking together about how they feel sleeping on the ground?

What if you were asking someone if they are comfortable, when it's clear they are not comfortable?


Stare is also used with comodo in another situation. Sometimes comodo specifically implies remaining seated, as in the command:

 Stai comodo (don't bother getting up).


Getting comfortable

When you get comfortable, the verb is mettersi (to put oneself). We use the reflexive form of mettere (to put) as if to say, "Put yourself" into a comfortable position or state.

Quando torno a casa, la prima cosa che faccio è mettermi comodo.

When I get back home, the first thing I do is to get comfortable.

Caption 39, Adriano Giornata

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If I invite you to my place, and you are just standing in the entranceway, I might say:

Mettiti comodo (relax, make yourself at home, take off your shoes if you want, have a seat). 


Comodo meaning "convenient"

There are other contexts in which comodo is used in Italian, and these might be a bit harder to grasp. Comodo can mean "convenient," as in an easy answer, as in over-simplifying.


Ho cambiato idea, me ne ero dimenticato, non gliel'ho detto?

I changed my mind, I had forgotten, didn't I tell you?

Troppo comodo, Manara.

Too convenient, Manara.

Ormai le sue dimissioni saranno già protocollate.

At this point, your resignation will have been registered.

Captions 33-35, Il Commissario Manara - S1EP12 - Le verità nascoste

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And to talk about inconveniencing someone, the verb is scomodare

Non ti voglio scomodare (I don't want to inconvenience you).


Fare comodo

A common expression is fare comodo (to be or to come in useful, handy, or to be convenient). So in Italian, the verb is fare, while in English it's "to be" or "to come in."


Here's an example that's close to home for Yabla users:

Fa molto comodo avere i sottotitoli in due lingue, no?

Having subtitles in two languages is very handy, isn't it?

Having subtitles in two languages comes in very handy, doesn't it?


The following example is in the past conditional. They wished they'd had a beach umbrella.


Che caldo!

It's so hot!

Certo, un ombrellone nelle ore centrali del giorno  avrebbe fatto veramente comodo.

Of course, an umbrella for the middle of the day would have come in really handy.

Captions 1-2, Una gita - al lago - Part 3

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In a future lesson, we'll talk about comodo as a noun.