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 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[…]

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..‘[…]

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[…]

12 Latin words (and sentences) used in spoken Italian

By most measures, in the Romance language family, Italian is the closest language to Latin. Many Latin words and even some entire Latin phrases have become so naturalized in Italian that we use them, in full, without a second thought. By learning them your Italian will sound more natural and fancier. Idem Exclamation meaning ‘same[…]


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[…]

6 Great Texbooks to expand your Italian Vocabulary

Have you ever wondered why building an extensive vocabulary is so important and which are the best textbooks to improve your Italian vocabulary? Words are one of the most important tools to facilitate and empower communication.  Since vocabulary is so important, it is wise to extend the size of your vocabulary whenever you can. A[…]

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[…]

Canzoni Italiane: Vita Spericolata di Vasco Rossi (livello A2)

Vita spericolata è una  famose canzone scritta da Vasco Rossi  e  presentata per la prima volta nel 1983 al XXXIII Festival di Sanremo (Festival della Canzone Italiana) È una delle canzoni italiane più conosciute dai giovani italiani e una delle canzoni più rappresentative del rock italiano. Il brano, nella sua prima stesura, doveva essere  dedicato ad[…]

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[…]

Espressioni con ESSERE & AVERE

In Italian there is a certain amount of popular expressions that use the verb avere when English uses the verb essere and viceversa. Below I wrote a list of the most popular ones. AVERE avere sonno: to be sleepy avere fame: to be hungry avere sete: to be thirsty avere freddo: to be cold avere[…]

6 modi di dire con il mare

  Avere un mare di cose da fare – to have a million things to do Non riesco a venire alla riunione domani, ho un mare di cose da fare. Cercare per mari e per monti – to search for something in every possibile place Abbiamo cercato per mare e per monti la tua borsa,[…]