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 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..‘[…]

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[…]

How to use in Italian ECCO & CIOE’

Ecco and cioè are Italian adverbs that Italians use all the time. Hard to translate into English, they will come in handy when you travel to Italian or speak with you Italian friends. Here is a list of how and when to use them. Buona lettura! Ecco It describes the appearance of something or somebody,[…]

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[…]

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[…]

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[…]

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[…]

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[…]

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[…]