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.
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.
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 effettiPlay Caption
Q1) If Daniela were giving a private lesson, and thus were speaking to just one person, what do you think she would say?
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 contrattiPlay Caption
Q2) If I were speaking on behalf of my company, how could I change this sentence?
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 LiguriaPlay Caption
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.
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 CinemaPlay Caption
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?
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.
Captions 45-46, L'arte della cucina - I Luoghi del MondoPlay Caption
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.
Be', ma allora dobbiamo subito avvisare qualcuno, eh.
Well, so then we should alert someone right away, huh.Play Caption
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.
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 contrattiPlay Caption
Eh... -Va bene, va bene, va bene, tenetemi informato.
Uh... -OK. OK. OK. Keep me informed.Play Caption
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.
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.
We hear about i compiti in videos about school and family.The singular il compito (the assignment, the task) can refer to classwork, or a written test: il compito in classe: I compiti is the plural of il compito and generally refers to homework when in the plural: i compiti a casa (homework, assignments).
Alla scuola di polizia lui non aveva molta voglia di studiare
At the police academy he didn't have much desire to study
e io facevo i suoi compiti e i miei.
and I did his homework and mine.
Captions 48-49, Il Commissario Manara - S1EP1 - Un delitto perfettoPlay Caption
Un compito can also refer to an assigned task that has nothing to do with school. Sometimes it’s just a job to do.
Mi crede così ingenuo da affidare a Lei un compito così delicato?
Do you think I'm so naive that I would entrust such a delicate task to you?Play Caption
“A job” in English is often translated as un lavoro:
Non aveva un lavoro fisso lui, no.
He didn't have a steady job, no.
Caption 54, Il Commissario Manara - S1EP3 - Rapsodia in BluPlay Caption
But if you can replace “job” with “task,” then compito can work in Italian.
In the above example, it’s not possible. A job is a job — an occupation. Someone has a job, or does a job, and (hopefully) gets paid for it, or somebody goes to work.
In English we often use “job” to mean “task,” or “responsibility.” So, if I say, “It was my job to look at the proofs.” then I use compito:
Era il mio compito guardare le bozze.
A task is something you do whether you are paid or not, and it can be momentary or recurring. This can either be translated as un compito (a job to do), or un lavoro (a job) that needs doing.
Compito, used as a noun, actually comes from the past participle of the verb compire (to carry out, to finish), so it makes a certain amount of sense. Two other verbs, compiere andcompetere sound similar and are also relevant. We'll look at these in an upcoming lesson.
In Europe, there is a tradition of final exams being oral rather than written, or in addition to written ones, and this carries over into the schoolroom as well. Oral quizzes are the norm, butthey’re not always surprise quizzes, they’re often announced, so that the students can prepare (or plan to be absent). They don’t always know whom the teacher will call on.
The Italian verb for this oral quiz is interrogare, which sounds a bit like a police station or torture room, but is just a normal everyday classroom happening. In the following example, it's a girl student who is asking the question.
Professoressa, potrei essere interrogata domani?
Teacher, could I be quizzed tomorrow?Play Caption