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7 Ways to Share Information in Italian

We've talked about noticing things or not in various ways.

And we mentioned a couple of standalone phrases or expressions regarding noticing things, such as:

Ti rendi conto (do you realize)?

C'hai fatto caso (did you notice)?

Non c'ho fatto caso (I didn't notice).

 

There are other ways to call someone's attention to something, give them information, or a warning about something. Here are seven. We note that these verbs are almost always followed by the conjunction che (that). Since we are not talking about hypotheses, but rather statements of fact, we don't use the subjunctive in this case, as we often do after che

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New feature: At the end of each example, there's a little grammar question, giving you the chance to expand on the example itself. You'll find the answers at the bottom of the page. Don't worry if they give you trouble, as they are aimed at more advanced learners. It may be an opportunity to find out what you don't know and to ask us questions! We'll be glad to oblige.

1) Far notare

We looked at notare in another lesson. Instead of using notare (to notice) by itself, in the imperative, for example, we can say far notare (to "make someone notice," to point out). There is often a particle representing the object pronoun and the preposition in the mix. In following example, Daniela is pointing out something to her class so she uses the second person plural vi (to you). Note that it comes before the verb!

 

Infine, vi faccio notare che

To finish up, I will point out to you that

"in effetti", come espressione a sé stante,

"in effetti," as a standalone expression,

come espressione singola,

as an expression on its own,

senza aggiungere altre parole dopo,

without adding other words after it,

si usa per affermare che si è convinti di qualcosa.

is used to affirm that we are convinced of something.

Captions 47-51, Corso di italiano con Daniela - Infatti - In effetti

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Q1) If Daniela were giving a private lesson, and thus were speaking to just one person, what do you think she would say? 

2) Far presente

Similar to far notare is fare presente. I'm calling your attention to some fact or situation. I'm presenting you with some information. I'm making you aware of it.

 

Ottimo lavoro, Arianna.

Great work, Arianna.

Ti ringrazio per avermi fatto presente la situazione.

Thank you for letting me know about the situation.

Captions 45-46, Italiano commerciale - Difficoltà con colleghi e contratti

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Q2) If I were speaking on behalf of my company, how could I change this sentence?

3) Segnalare

 

Ma anche la città di Genova, con i suoi vicoli, è molto affascinante

But also the city of Genoa, with its alleys, is very appealing

e da segnalare anche l'Acquario di Genova,

and one should also mention the Genoa Aquarium,

che è molto famoso.

which is very famous.

Captions 79-80, L'Italia a tavola - Interrogazione sulla Liguria

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In the previous example, we could have translated it with "to point out" or "to call attention to."

 

Q3) If you were telling one other person about about the Genoa acquarium, what could you say? This is harder than the previous example, and there is not only one possibility.

4) Avvertire

 

Signor Pitagora, La volevo avvertire

Mister Pitagora, I wanted to let you know

che per trovare i soldi per la sua operazione,

that to get the money for your operation,

mio fratello ha rinunciato a tutti i diritti sull'azienda.

my brother gave up all his rights to the company.

Captions 95-97, Questione di Karma - Rai Cinema

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There are other nuances of avvertire, but for now we will stick with the one that means "to warn," "to let someone know."  You are turning someone's attention to something. Avvertire can be used with a menacing tone, as a warning.

 

Q4) The example uses the (singular) polite form (which is actually the third person singular), but what if you were telling a colleague or friend the same thing? What might you say?

5) Comunicare

 

I fratelli Troisgros,

The Troisgros brothers,

quando comunicai loro che volevo tornare a Milano,

when I communicated to them that I wanted to return to Milan,

ci rimasero male.

were disappointed.

Captions 45-46, L'arte della cucina - I Luoghi del Mondo

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This is a cognate that is easy to understand, but in addition to its meaning "to communicate" in general, Italians often use it to let you know something, sort of like avvertire. It might have been more authentic to translate it as "when I let them know that I wanted to return to Milan..." or "when I informed them..."

This is an interesting example because it contains the verb comunicare (to communicate) in the passato remoto (remote past tense), first person singular. And in addition, the object personal pronoun is the third person plural. We don't see this very often in everyday conversation.

 

Q5) It would be perhaps more common these days to hear this kind of sentence expressed in the passato prossimo, which, we recall, is used, not as the present perfect in English, but as the simple past tense: something over and done with. Try conveying this same message using the passato prossimo.

6) Avvisare

 

Be', ma allora dobbiamo subito avvisare qualcuno, eh.

Well, so then we should alert someone right away, huh.

Caption 35, Provaci Ancora Prof! - S1E3 - Una piccola bestia ferita

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Q6) In the previous example, we don't know who to alert. But we do have to alert someone. What if we do know who to alert? Let's say we have already been talking about that person, say, someone's father— Masculine, singular. How could we construct this sentence? There's more than one correct solution.

7) Informare

Another cognate is of course, informare. So if nothing else comes to mind, informare works as a great verb for letting someone know something.

 

Be', ho dovuto informare tutti i nostri attuali inserzionisti

Well, I've had to inform all our current advertisers

che tutti i contratti futuri

that all future contracts

subiranno un aumento del prezzo del trenta per cento.

will undergo a thirty percent increase in cost.

Captions 21-22, Italiano commerciale - Difficoltà con colleghi e contratti

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Eh... -Va bene, va bene, va bene, tenetemi informato.

Uh... -OK. OK. OK. Keep me informed.

Caption 33, Il Commissario Manara - S1EP4 - Le Lettere Di Leopardi

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In the previous example, we have a new element: the verb tenere (to hold, to keep). It's pretty close to how we do it in English, which is great news, vero?

 

Q7) What if you are telling just one person to keep you informed? How would you say that?

 

As you can see, each verb has a slightly different meaning, but all are used to call attention to something and to share information. 

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Answers:

A1) Ti faccio notare che...

 

A2) Ti ringrazio per averci fatto presente la situazione.

 

A3) e ti segnalo anche l'acquario...

e ti posso anche segnalare l'acquario...

 

A4) Susanna, ti volevo avvertire che...

 

A5) I fratelli Troisgros, quando ho comunicato loro che volevo tornare a Milano, ci sono rimasti male.​

 

A6) Be', ma allora lo dobbiamo  avvisare subito, eh.

Be', ma allora dobbiamo  avvisarlo subito, eh.

 

A7) Tienimi informato (or if you are a female: tienimi informata).

 

What are some expressions you use everyday that you wish you knew how to say in Italian? Let us know and we'll try to provide some answers. 

Alimenti, Ravioli, and Pinzimonio

Alimenti: Food and fuel

 

In an episode of Commissario Manara, someone is worried about having to pay alimenti (alimony).

 

Sto aspettando il divorzio dalla mia ex moglie e... conoscendola quella... veniva a saperlo, poi mi tartassava con gli alimenti.

I'm waiting for a divorce from my ex-wife and... knowing her, that one... if she found out, she would have hit me hard for alimony.

Captions 66-67, Il Commissario Manara - S1EP5 - Il Raggio Verde

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But there’s much more to this word than supporting one’s ex. The various forms of the word have to do with fuel, energy, food, and nutrition. Here are a few related terms:

 

  • L’alimentari (small grocery or deli)
  • Il reparto alimentare (the food section of a department store)
  • Il cavo d’alimentazione (power cord)
  • Alimentare (to feed, to fuel)
  • Un alimento (a specific food): La carne è un alimento ricco di proteine. Meat is a food rich in protein.
  • L’alimentazione (food in general, eating): un’alimentazione sana (healthy eating).

And speaking of alimentazione sana...

 

Elegant finger food

 

In an episode of La Ladra, there’s a discussion about pinzimonio between Eva and her new cook, Dante.

 

Come vuole Lei, solo pensavo che con il suo pinzimonio una salsa in più ci stesse bene. Eh?!

As you wish, I just thought that with your raw vegetable dish one more sauce would fit in well. Huh?

Captions 24-25, La Ladra - Ep. 1 - Le cose cambiano - Part 13

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There’s no good one-word translation of pinzimonio, but it’s certainly worth explaining (and tasting). Basically, it’s an elegant method (called in pinzimonio) of eating plain raw vegetables by dipping them into a little dish filled with good olive oil and salt. Pepper, vinegar, and other ingredients may be added at the diner’s discretion. You can’t get simpler than pinzimonio, but if the olio extravergine d’oliva is of good quality, and the vegetables are fresh and appealing, then it’s a wonderful way to eat a light second course, side dish, or appetizer.

 

Vegetables used for la verdura in pinzimonio are, to name a few: carote (carrots), cipolla fresca (fresh spring or green onions), finocchio (fennel bulbs), young tender carciofi (artichokes), cetrioli (cucumbers), il sedano bianco (white celery), la belga (Belgian endive), peperoni (bell peppers), and ravanelli (radishes).

 

The verb pinzare means “to clamp” or “to pinch closed,” so it’s easy to visualize holding a piece of carota or sedano between thumb and fingers in order to dip it in the olive oil.

 

And for those (like most Italians) who love their pasta...

 

Pasta ripiena

 

Yabla has a series about cooking called L'Arte della Cucina (the art of cooking) and in a segment about chef Gualtiero Marchesi, he talks about il raviolo. Usually we see this word in the plural, i ravioli, because there’s usually more than one of them sul piatto (on the plate). In this particular case there was just one large beautiful raviolo on each plate.

 

Un giorno, sentendo un'amica che diceva che aveva mangiato dei ravioli tutti aperti, sai, quando stanno [ci sono] i banchetti, così, mi venne in mente così di fare il raviolo aperto, è stato un tutt'uno.

One day, talking with a friend who said she had eaten ravioli all opened, you know, when there are banquets, and such, that's how it came to mind to make an open "raviolo," it was all one thing.

Captions 26-28, L'arte della cucina - I Luoghi del Mondo - Part 17

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We’re talking here about pasta ripiena (filled pasta). With the exception of Marchesi’s “open” raviolo, there are normally two layers of la sfoglia (fresh egg pasta dough) with a ripieno di carne (meat filling) or ripieno di spinaci e ricotta (spinach and ricotta filling), but there are many variations.

 

Ravioli, tortelli, tortelloni, agnolotti, or pansotti each have their traditional forme (shapes), ripieni (fillings), and condimenti (sauces), which range from simple burro e salvia (butter and sage) to an elaborate ragù (meat sauce). Tortellini and cappelletti are filled pasta, but are bite-sized, and almost exclusively made with a ripieno di carne. One favorite way to eat them is in brodo (in broth). Don’t forget the parmigiano!

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Ravioli and other types of filled pasta are best eaten in restaurants where they’re a specialty. There are plenty of calories in pasta, and especially in pasta ripiena, so why not follow it (or precede it) with a pinzimonio to maintain un’alimentazione sana!

Buon appetito!

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