How to compliment to somebody in Italian

If you want to compliment someone on their achievements, you can say: (Che) Bravo! Good job! Bravissimo! Excellent job! If you want to compliment somebody in the specific circumstances like a wedding or graduation or a promotion at work, you can easily say: Congratulazioni! Congratulations! Complimenti! Congratulations! You might want to add depending on the context:[…]

Fermare & Smettere: what’s the difference?

I often notice my students misusing the verbs fermare and smettere, and I understand that the confusion comes from the fact that both verbs are translated into English with to stop. In Italian fermare and smettere are used differently, depending on the nature of the action they are stopping. Let’s see how to use them[…]

Using correctly the adverbs Già & Ancora

Già has two different primary meanings. The most common one is when già is used with the sense of already. Often used with the passato prossimo, già is always placed between the auxiliary verb and the past participle Hai già fatto colazione? Have you already had breakfast? Sono già stato in Italia. I have already been[…]

Using the Italian adjectives BELLO & QUELLO

Everybody knows that quello means ‘that’ and bello means ‘nice or beautiful,’ however now and then you might have read or listened to the forms ‘quegli/begli’, quei/bei, quel/bel. How come? Let’s start from quello You should be able to distinguish when quello is used as a pronoun (replacing a noun) and when used as adjective[…]

Fare bene & fare male: how to use them

In this article, I will explain how to use two expressions with the verb fare which are often used in spoken Italian to show approval or disapproval towards something: fare bene & fare male Fare bene expresses approval or satisfaction towards somebody. For example, a friend tells you that he quit his job because could[…]

How to express positive emotions in Italian

Italians have a reputation to be emotional and sentimental, and this is entirely right. No need to say, we like to express positive and (negative) emotions with friends and family and we do it often. Have you ever wondered what the most common ways to say in Italian ‘Well Done‘ or ‘I was happy about..‘[…]

How to find the perfect online Italian tutor

I love learning languages solo, or at least I used to be. These days with my busy schedule I find it harder and harder finding the time and the focus to concentrate on language learning on my own. Currently, I have been studying Portuguese and Russian and hiring online tutors for both languages. The main[…]

Lì or là? Qui or Qua? The difference

What’s the difference between là and lì? Qui and qua? Many times I am asked during my Italian online lessons if there is any difference between the two of them, well there is, even tough is a small one. Both là and lì means there and are indicating something that is far from the person[…]

5 ways to use the Italian word PROPRIO

1. As an adverb (invariable form) As ad adverb, proprio, means ‘really’ Quello studente é proprio bravo! Mi piace proprio il nuovo film di Sorrentino And sometimes it means ‘just’, often combined with the adverbs of time (adesso, ora ) or a numeral adjective. Ho finito di cenare proprio adesso Maria mi ha chiamato proprio[…]

GIORNO and GIORNATA: how to use them

Today I decided to write about something that I am very often asked by my students: the difference between the words giorno e giornata  and how to use them. Giorno and giornata are essentially synonyms, with slight differences of usage. Giornata is used when referring to the approximate duration of the day from morning to[…]

HOW TO USE THE ITALIAN VERB METTERSI

Mettersi is an Italian verb verbs that a non-native speaker might find difficult to use. However it is widely used in the spoken Italian and you must want know how to use it. First things first, the verb  mettersi is a reflexive  verbs and when it appears in a compound verb, e.g. passato prossimo the[…]

ITALIAN PHRASES TO USE AT A RESTAURANT IN ITALY

These sentences might come in handy when at a restaurant in Italy. It is a customary to be seated or to make a reservation,  especially at weekends. On paying, unlikely from many other countries a tip is not expected because included in the bill under the voice ‘coperto’. However if the service was excellent you[…]

Finalmente vs alla fine

Durante i miei corsi ho notato che spesso fanno confusione tra l’uso di finalmente e alla fine. Sebbene i due avverbi si somiglino molto hanno un significato diverso e di conseguenza si usano diversamente. Allora, vediamo qual è la differenza tra finalmente, alla fine e infine. Finalmente esprime soddisfazione per la realizzazione di un evento lungamente atteso[…]

Valentine’s day post:14 names Italian use between lovers

As Valentine’s day is approaching I thought about listing the most popular names that Italians use between lovers (and in same cases between close friends). The listing is accompained with the literal English translation, however all of the followings might sound in English like darling, sweetheart, honey and the likes.   Tesoro (and the abbreviation[…]