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[…]

5 things you need to know about Possessives in Italian

1. Key differences with English In English possessives are never used with articles. However, in Italian, they are always accompanied with articles (except for some cases discussed below). The possessive agrees in gender and number with the nouns they are proceeding la mia borsa il mio libro la sua ragazza il suo lavoro 2. When are the[…]

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[…]

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[…]

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[…]

5 modi di dire con la parola ‘punto’.

Punto means point .However when combined with some verbs or other words can take a whole different meaning. These five collocations will surely make your Italian more sofisticated when used!   Mettere a punto means either to develop or finalize a project or to define a question. IBM ha messo a punto un nuovo super computer[…]

Le tradizioni di Natale in Italia

Le famiglie italiane in genere tirano fuori l’albero di Natale durante la prima settimana di dicembre e lo mettono via il 6 gennaio.   Agli italiani piace decorare la propria casa con addobbi e decorazioni natalizi.   Molti italiani mettono una ghirlanda sulla porta di casa.   Abete a parte, esiste un pianta tipica del[…]

La preposizione semplice ”DA”

The Italian preposition DA means most of times from, but it is also used  with different meaning, such as: since/for, to, at etc… DA is typically used to express: Time, together with an indicative tense and a period of time: example: verb + DA + period of time Da quanto tempo studi l’italiano? Studio l’italiano[…]

ESSERE VS STARE. What’s the difference?

I often happened to be asked by my students what is the actual difference between the verbs ESSERE and STARE, as they both can be translated into one single verb in many other languages (French, English, German, Polish…), that is to say TO BE. Let’s start from clarifying that the Italian translation of ‘TO BE’[…]

15 popular Italian idioms with animals

1.Muto come un pesce. Literally: Quiet as fish. Figurative: to  be very quiet. Giuro che sarò muto come un pesce – I swear I won’t say a word. 2.Sano come un pesce. Literally: Fit as a fish. Figurative: very healthy. Sono sano come un pesce. I am fit as a fiddle. 3. Essere un asino[…]

How to form the IMPERATIVE with Italian verbs

The imperative in Italian is used to give orders or exhortations. As you will find out it is a rather regular tense. Also, the imperative exists just in the present tense! And the first and third persons singular (IO e LUI/LEI) do not exist.   TU and VOI are the same as in the indicative,[…]

Making a proposal, accept it or turn it down in Italian!

Italians have a reputation to be people that love hanging out with friends and family. Making an invitation, as well as accpeting or rejecting it might come you in handy if you happen to live in Italy or having Italian friends. There are several different ways to ask somebody out… Andiamo al cinema  / a[…]