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50 Italian good-to-know adjectives part 4 - emotions

Good-to-know Italian Adjectives Describing Someone’s Mood or Feelings

31) felice (happy)

Apart from its most common meaning, felice can also mean “fitting” or "well-chosen.” We can also make this adjective into its opposite by adding the prefix in: infelice = unhappy.

Sono felice di averLa conosciuta.

I'm happy to have met you.

Caption 48, Adriano Olivetti La forza di un sogno Ep. 1 - Part 1

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32) triste (sad)

Il canile è un luogo molto triste per un cane.

The dog pound is a very sad place for a dog.

Caption 11, Andromeda La storia di Ulisse

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Whereas infelice is a general state, triste more often describes a momentary feeling or something that brings on feelings of sadness, such as a sad story.

33) arrabbiato (angry)

When you eat in an Italian restaurant, you often find penne all’arrabbiata on the menu. The color is red, and it’s hot with peperoncino (hot pepper). The color red is associated with anger. The adjective comes from the verb arrabbiare (to get angry).

È arrabbiato con la moglie, allora se la prende con tutti.

He's angry with his wife, so he takes it out on everyone.

Caption 18, Il Commissario Manara S2EP11 - Uno strano incidente di caccia - Part 1

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34) fiducioso (hopeful, confident, optimistic, trusting)

Italian doesn’t have a cognate for “hopeful,”— or rather, it does — speranzoso, but it is rarely used. As a result, fiducioso is a good bet, especially when you are optimistically hopeful. Fiducioso comes from the reflexive verb fidarsi (to trust) and the noun la fiducia (the trust).

Ma io sono fiduciosa.

But I am confident.

Caption 17, Sei mai stata sulla Luna? film - Part 13

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35) volenteroso (willing)

Non l'ho fatta io questa palla di neve, ma sicuramente qualcuno molto più volenteroso di me.

I didn't make this snowball, but for sure, somebody much keener than me.

Captions 39-40, Francesca neve - Part 3

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This adjective is used to describe a person who pitches in and helps, or is willing to learn. It comes from the verb volere (to want, to want to). Someone who is volenteroso will likely offer his or her services as a volunteer, a cognate to help you remember its meaning. See this Yabla lesson: Being Willing with Volentieri. When someone asks you to do something you would like to do, you can answer, Volentieri (I'd love to).

36) scoraggiato (discouraged, disheartened)

The s prefix turns incoraggiare (to encourage) into scoraggiare (to discourage), and the adjective scoraggiato comes from the past participle of the verb scoraggiare.

Sì, ma guarda, ne ho sentiti trentadue, un disastro. Sono veramente scoraggiata.

Yes, but look, I have heard thirty-two of them, a disaster. I am really discouraged.

Captions 9-10, Un medico in famiglia Stagione 3 S3EP4 Lo stagno del ranocchio - Part 10

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37) stufo (fed up, sick and tired)

This is a great adjective to have in your toolbox, and comes from stufare (literally, “to stew”). It’s commonly used in the reflexive — stufarsi (to get fed up with) — but the adjective is good to know, too.

Fabrizio, basta. Basta. Sono stufa delle tue promesse.

Fabrizio, that's enough. Enough. I'm sick of your promises.

Captions 67-68, Il Commissario Manara S2EP9 - L'amica ritrovata - Part 5

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38) svogliato (unenthusiastic, listless)

Svogliato has the s prefix, indicating the opposite of the original word (often making it negative) and comes from the verb volere (to want). This is a great word for when you really don’t feel like doing what you have to do.

Oh, guarda un po' se c'è un programma per riattivare un marito svogliato?

Oh, look and see if there's a program for reactivating a listless husband.

Caption 49, Il Commissario Manara S1EP3 - Rapsodia in Blu - Part 5

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39) nervoso (tense, irritable, stressed out)

False friend alert! Nervoso really seems like a great translation for “nervous,” and it does have to do with nerves, but when you are nervous, there’s a different word (next on our list). Nervoso is more like when your kids are acting up and you have work to do and you are having trouble staying calm and collected. Irritable is a good equivalent. Stressed out works, too. See this Yabla lesson: Emozionato or Nervoso? What’s the Difference? 

Non ti innervosire, mica... -No, non sono nervoso, Toscani.

Don't get stressed out... it's not as if... -No, I'm not stressed out, Toscani.

Caption 14, Il Commissario Manara S2EP5 - Mondo sommerso - Part 1

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40) emozionato (nervous, excited, moved, touched, thrilled).

Diciamo, adesso sono un po' emozionato, è la prima volta, vedo la cinepresa, registi, ciak, cose, insomma per me è una grande emozione questo momento.

Let's say, right now, I am a bit nervous. It's my first time. I see the camera, the directors, the clapperboard, in short, for me this is a moment of great excitement.

Captions 14-16, Volare - La grande storia di Domenico Modugno Ep. 1 - Part 7

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See part 1

See part 2

See part 3

Learn more!
Practical examples of these adjectives can be found throughout Yabla videos. Yabla offers you the possibility of learning at your own pace through videos pertaining to your interests. Expand your horizons by learning one of the most romantic languages in the world.


2 Words about Trying:Provare and Provarci

Provare is a verb that has so many meanings and nuances that it merits some attention. In one episode of La Ladra, it has a special meaning that is important to be aware of, especially for those who are thinking about dating.


But first, let's go to the basic meanings of this verb. Provare is one of several synonyms meaning "to try." See this lesson about this meaning of provare.

Ora ci provo. Vediamo se ci riesco.

I'm going to try now. Let's see if I succeed.

Captions 50-51, Francesca neve - Part 3

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This exact same construction takes on a different meaning when we're talking about people being sentimentally interested in one another.  Every language has different terms that come into general use when talking about relationships, like "going out," "dating," "going steady" in English, and in Italian, stare insieme (to be together, to be a couple, to go steady).


But before that happens, there is usually an approach. We used to call this courting. These days it can be in person, by text, by phone or in person. It can start with a flirtation. But one person has to approach the other. He or she has to try to get the other person's attention. Because there isn't a true equivalent in Italian, flirtare (to flirt) has become a verb we find in the dictionary. 


But generally, this stage of the game, the approach, especialy when it's not very subtle, is described in Italian with provarci.


So if I want to say, "That guy was flirting with me!" I might say: Ci stava provando con me!


It can also mean something a bit more sexual, as someone trying to seduce someone. 


Literally, it means "to try it" as in our first example, but ci, as we know from previous lessons, means many things, and it can mean "to or with something or someone."

Ci vengo anch'io. I'll come with you [there].


In this week's episode of La Ladra, Barbara, an employee, is interested in her boss and she doesn't want any interference, and so she gives Alessia, her co-worker, a rough time and accuses her of flirting with him. In reality, poor, shy Alessia has no such intentions, and is quite shocked to be accused of anything of the sort. In this specific context, provarci means to try to get the sentimental attentions of someone (often by flirting).

Ma questo non significa che io... 

But that doesn't mean that I...
Ho visto come lo guardi, sai?

I've seen how you look at him, you know.
Ma tu, con Aldo, non ci devi neppure provare.
But you with Aldo, you mustn't even try to get his attention.
Io? Ma sei matta?

Me? But are you nuts?

Captions 20-23, La Ladra - Ep. 5 - Chi la fa l'aspetti - Part 4

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On a general level, however, provarci just means "to try it," as in our first example. In English we leave out any object: we just say "I tried." In Italian, there is usually ci as a general, even neutral, object. It is often shortened to a "ch" sound in a contraction. C'ho provato (I tried). Provaci is an informal command: "Give it a try!"


The Italian title for an old Woody Allen film is Provaci ancora, Sam.

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Workplace Vocabulary - Part 2

There’s an interesting word that is used a lot in the workplace, but not only. Originally, it’s a verb: impiegare (to use, to employ, to spend time), to invest.


But as often happens, the past participle of a verb becomes an adjective and/or noun, in this case: impiegato.


We might use the past participle when we refer to time or energy spent or used for something.


In the following example, Francesca has made a big snowball. Admittedly, it has nothing to do with the workplace, but it has to do with spending time doing something.


Ah, che fatica, amici!

Oh, what a job, friends!

Ho veramente impiegato molto tempo e molta energia

I truly spent a lot of time, and lots of energy

per creare questa enorme palla di neve,

to create this enormous snowball,

che somiglia quasi a una slavina.

which almost resembles an avalanche.

Captions 31-34, Francesca - neve

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Just as we can use the verb “to employ” to mean “to use” or “to hire” in English, Italian uses impiegare in much the same way.

Ho impiegato questo coltello come cacciavite.
employed this knife as a screwdriver.


When referring to an office situation, we often use impiegato (the past participle of the verb impiegare) as a noun. Un impiegato is an employee or clerk in some kind of office, whereas “employee” in English is a bit more general.

Susanna lavora come impiegata nell’azienda di suo padre. 
Susanna works as a clerk/office worker in her father’s company.
Suo fratello invece è operaio.
Her brother is a worker, on the other hand.


The following example is from a Totò comedy film.


Ma un giorno mi farete vostra sposa?

But one day will you make me your bride?

Mia sposa? No, non posso.

My bride? No, I can't.

Come oso?

How dare I 

Sposare voi, un umile impiegato morto di fame e sempre squattrinato.

marry you, [me] a humble, starving employee/office worker and always penniless.

Captions 25-28, Totò e Lia Zoppelli - Romeo e Giulietta

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We can also use the noun un impiego (a job, a post, employment). Il Centro per l’impiego is a center for finding employment when you are unemployed. To collect unemployment, you have to go there to prove you are looking for a job.


When we use the term operaio, it usually implies manual labor, in a factory or on a site, but not in an office, not at a desk.


Questi pettini vengono utilizzati dagli operai

These combs are used by workers

per scuotere le foglie e le olive stesse.

to shake down the leaves and the olives themselves.

Captions 9-10, Olio Extra Vergine Pugliese - Come avviene la raccolta delle olive

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Another word commonly used to mean “employee” is dipendente. It looks like “dependent,” and in fact, it implies that someone works for someone else and is dependent on them for his or her monthly or weekly paycheck. A business may have ten employees: dieci dipendenti. They may have different roles. Some may be operai, some may be impiegati, but they all work for il capo (the boss) and are called dipendenti.


Nel mese di dicembre, chi è lavoratore dipendente,

In the month of December, those that are hired employees,

riceve la cosiddetta tredicesima,

receive the so-called thirteenth,

quindi uno stipendio ulteriore a quegli [sic] presi precedentemente.

that is, a paycheck in addition to the one already received.

Captions 15-16, Anna e Marika - in TG Yabla Italia e Meteo

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In the above example, dipendente is used as an adjective, but it is very often used as a noun: un dipendente, più dipendenti.


Some people have the security of a regular paycheck and a Christmas bonus: la tredicesima, an “extra, thirteenth” paycheck at Christmastime. They are lavoratori dipendenti or dipendentiOthers are lavoratori autonomi (self-employed workers). They have to drum up work, make out invoices, and get paid by their clients.


We’ll talk about the paycheck itself in a future lesson. There is more to a paycheck than just the money you take home.