Level 6: mi-ti-si | ci-vi-si

A1: Love (6)

A2: Italian Cuisine (6)

B. Action Words

Dire + venire

Sextets of –ere action words (Group 2)

Reflexive action words

Future Stems

C. Words

Preview of Level 7

D. Rules

Personal pronouns

che (2)

Capitalization

Numbers

E. Dialogue

Il cellulare

The cell phone

Words

F. Results & Preview

 

* * *

 To acquire the basics of the Italian language, continue here with the next episode of Giulia, Giacomo and their friends (‘A1: Love’) and Pasta del povero (‘A2: Italian Cuisine’). Download the audio files from www.4elisa.com and listen until you know them by heart. Then go on to Level 7. If, instead, you want a more in-depth coverage of Italian grammar, continue with sections B, ‘Action Words’, C, ‘Words’, D, ‘Rules’, etc.

Today we’ll explore the Group 2 action words, those ending in –ere and having past participles that end in –uto: avere/avuto (to have/had), credere/creduto (to believe/believed). Group 2 words show two pecularities: 1) Many of them put the stress on the antepenultimate syllable (the third-to-last one) and 2) some have irregular past participles, ie:

chiedere / chiesto

to ask / asked

prendere / preso

to take / taken

vivere / vissuto

to live / lived

leggere / letto

to read / read

In Level 6 you will also discover reflexive action words and describe things we do to ourselves, for example lavarsi to wash oneself or amarsi to love oneself. Managing them is reasonably simple because all you need to do is associate them with mi-ti-si | ci- vi-si.

Then, we’ll make a short excursion into irregular future stems, and, finally, we’ll get the global picture of personal pronouns, your final great intellectual challenge in Italian. From there on, you’ll be definitely in calmer waters. We promise!

As always, make extensive use of the audio files. Listen to them enough times so you can make out every single word.

A1: Love (6)

{AUDIO} In the cafeteria, Luca crashes into a girl. A coffee cup falls to the ground and breaks. Luca kneels down and recognizes Sara.

Sara: Non potevi stare attento, Luca? Guardo che cosa hai fatto! Sei il solito pasticcione.

S.: Couldn’t you pay attention, Luca? Look what you’ve done! You’ve made the usual mess.

Luca: Cosa vuoi dire?

L.: What do you mean?

Sara: Che combini solo guai. E quando non rompi le tazze, racconti delle bugie. Perché hai detto che avevi visto Giulia con Maurizio?

S.: That you are nothing but trouble. And when you don’t break cups, you tell lies. Why did you say that you had seen Giulia with Maurizio?

Luca: Non li ho visti io, li hanno visti i miei amici e…

L.: I didn’t see them myself, my friends saw them and…

Sara:e con le verità dei tuoi amici rovini il rapporto tra Giulia e Giacomo. Sei un coglione!

S.: … and the word of your friends ruins the relationship between Julia and Giacomo. You’re an asshole!

Luca: Grazie, sei elegante come sempre. E tu, che cosa hai riferito a Giulia? È vero, Giacomo e Valeria sono rimasti a lungo nell’aula di farmacologia…

L.: Thanks, you’re as elegant as always. And you, what did you say to Julia? True, Giacomo and Valeria remained for quite some time in the pharmacology classroom…

Sara: e si sono incontrati anche in altre occasioni. Me l’hanno confermato due amiche mie…

S.: … and they met on other occasions as well. Two friends of mine confirmed to me that…

 

Words

{AUDIO}

stare attento

to pay attention

solito

usual, customary

il pasticcione

someone who makes a mess

dire

to say

combinare guai

to cause harm/trouble

solo

only

rompere (p.p.: rotto)

to break

la tazza

cup

raccontare delle bugie

to tell lies

la verità

truth

rovinare

to ruin

il rapporto

relationship

il coglione

asshole

elegante

elegant

come sempre

as always

riferire

to report, recount

è vero

it’s true

rimanere

to stay, remain

loro sono rimasti

they remained

a lungo

for quite some time

l’aula

classroom

la farmacologia

pharmacology

incontrarsi

to meet

l’occasione (f)

occasion

altro

other

confermare

to confirm

l’amica, pl.: amiche

friend (female)

 

A2: Italian Cuisine (6)

{AUDIO} Pasta del povero… generally a one-person meal.

Per 1 persona: 120 g di pasta. Condimento: 250 ml di passata di pomodoro in bottiglia, 1 cipolla tagliata in 4 pezzi, un filo di olio, sale, pane.

For one person: 120 g of pasta. Dressing: 250 ml of bottled tomato sauce, 1 onion, cut in 4 pieces, a little oil, salt, bread.

Portare a ebollizione 250 ml della passata di pomodoro con la cipolla e un cucchiaio di olio.

Bring to boil 250 ml of tomato puree with the onion and a tablespoon of oil.

Aggiungere la pasta cruda (!) e far cuocere a mezza fiamma il doppio del tempo della cottura indicato. Aggiungere ogni tanto un cucchiaio di acqua per tenere il sugo liquido.

Add the uncooked (!) pasta and cook on medium flame for double the cooking time indicated. Add a tablespoon of water once in a while to keep the sauce liquid.

Chi è ricco può aggiungere qualche foglia di basilico, un po’ di parmigiano e ancora olio.

Whoever is rich can add a few leaves of basil, a little parmesan and more oil.

Servire in un piatto o mangiare direttamente dalla padella. Usare il pane per fare la scarpetta a fine pasto.

Serve on a plate or eat directly from the pan. Use the bread to mop up after the meal.

 

Words

{AUDIO}

povero

poor

la passata di pomodoro

tomato puree

la bottiglia

bottle

la cipolla

onion

il pezzo

piece, part

l’ebollizione (f.)

boiling; excitement

crudo

raw, uncooked

mezzo

half

la fiamma

flame

doppio

double

il tempo

time

indicato

indicated, specified

ogni tanto

once in a while

tenere

to keep, maintain

liquido

liquid

ricco

rich

qualche

some

un po’ di

a little of

ancora

again, still

il piatto

plate, dish

mangiare

to eat

usare

to use

il pane

bread

fare la scarpetta

to mop up

a fine pasto

after the meal

 

B. Action Words

Dire + venire

{AUDIO} The present tense of dire to say and venire to come.

dire to say
I say, etc.
venire to come
I come, etc.

io

dico

vengo

I

tu

dici

vieni

you

lui/lei

dice

viene

he/she

noi

diciamo

veniamo

we

voi

dite

venite

you

loro

dicono

vengono

they

 

Sextets of –ere action words (Group 2)

To explore Group 2 action words, those ending in -ere, we’ll choose credere to believe. The participio passato is creduto believed. The overview:

{AUDIO}

Infinito

credere

Participio passato

creduto

Gerundio presente

credendo

Imperativo

credi | creda | crediamo | credete | credano

 

Presente

Passato prossimo

Imperfetto

io

credo

ho creduto

credevo

tu

credi

hai creduto

credevi

lui/lei

crede

ha creduto

credeva

noi

crediamo

abbiamo creduto

credevamo

voi

credete

avete creduto

credevate

loro

credono

hanno creduto

credevano

 

Futuro semplice

Condizionale pres.

Passato remoto

io

crederò

crederei

credetti/credei

tu

crederai

crederesti

credesti

lui/lei

crederà

crederebbe

credette/credé

noi

crederemo

crederemmo

credemmo

voi

crederete

credereste

credeste

loro

crederanno

crederebbero

credettero/
crederono

 

Congiuntivo
presente

Congiuntivo
imperfetto

che io

creda

credessi

che tu

creda

credessi

che lui/lei

creda

credesse

che noi

crediamo

credessimo

che voi

crediate

credeste

che loro

credano

credessero

 

With the exception of the passato remoto, all tenses look familiar. Let’s go into the details.

1.

Presente

Passato prossimo

I, you believe, he/she believes
we, you, they believe

I, you, he/she believed
we, you, they believed

(io)

credo

(io)

ho creduto

(tu)

credi

(tu)

hai creduto

(lui/lei)

crede

(lui/lei)

ha creduto

(noi)

crediamo

(noi)

abbiamo creduto

(voi)

credete

(voi)

avete creduto

(loro)

credono

(loro)

hanno creduto

 

{AUDIO} For the presente you cut the ending –ere and add to the root cred– the endings –o, -i, -e | -iamo, -ete, -ono.

 

Non credo a quello che dice.

I don’t believe what he says.

 

To build the passato prossimo (I believed, etc.), combine ho-hai-ha | abbiamo-avete-hanno with the past participle.

Please build the presente and passato prossimo sextets of the following action words:

vedere / visto

to see / seen

perdere / perso

to lose / lost

uccidere / ucciso

to kill / killed

discutere / discusso

to discuss / discussed

 

2.

Imperfetto

Trapassato prossimo

I, you, he/she believed/used to believe
we, you, they believed/used to believe

I, you, he/she had believed
we, you, they had believed

(io)

credevo

(io)

avevo creduto

(tu)

credevi

(tu)

avevi creduto

(lui/lei)

credeva

(lui/lei)

aveva creduto

(noi)

credevamo

(noi)

avevamo creduto

(voi)

credevate

(voi)

avevate creduto

(loro)

credevano

(loro)

avevano creduto

 

{AUDIO} For the imperfetto cut the ending –ere and add the endings –evo, evi, eva | evamo, evate, –evano.

 

Credevi seriamente a Babbo Natale?

Did you seriously believe in Santa Claus?

 

To build the trapassato prossimo (I had believed, etc.), combine avevo-avevi-aveva | avevamo-avevate-avevano with the past participle.

Please build the imperfetto and trapassato prossimo sextets of the following action words:

chiedere / chiesto

to ask / asked

prendere / preso

to take / taken

vivere / vissuto

to live / lived

insistere / insistito

to insist / insisted

3.

Futuro

Futuro anteriore

I, you, he/she will believe
we, you, they will believe

I, you, he/she will have believed
we, you, they will have believed

(io)

crederò

(io)

avrò creduto

(tu)

crederai

(tu)

avrai creduto

(lui/lei)

crederà

(lui/lei)

avrà creduto

(noi)

crederemo

(noi)

avremo creduto

(voi)

crederete

(voi)

avrete creduto

(loro)

crederanno

(loro)

avranno creduto

 

{AUDIO} The endings are the same as with Group 1 action verbs (compare with pensare of Level 5).

 

Crederà che l’ho fatto apposta.

He’ll believe that I did it on purpose.

 

To build the futuro anteriore (I will have believed, etc.), combine avrò-avrai-avrà | avremo-avrete-avranno with the past participle.

Please build the futuro and futuro anteriore sextets of the following action words:

scrivere / scritto

to write / written

decidere / deciso

to decide / decided

ricevere / ricevuto

to receive / received

leggere / letto

to read / read

 

4.

Condizionale presente

Condizionale passato

I, you, he/she would believe
we, you, they would believe

I, you, he/she would have believed
we, you, they would have believed

(io)

crederei

(io)

avrei creduto

(tu)

crederesti

(tu)

avresti creduto

(lui/lei)

crederebbe

(lui/lei)

avrebbe creduto

(noi)

crederemmo

(noi)

avremmo creduto

(voi)

credereste

(voi)

avreste creduto

(loro)

crederebbero

(loro)

avrebbero creduto

 

{AUDIO} The endings are the same as with Group 1 actions verbs (see pensare, Level 5).

 

Credereste tutto quello che vi dicono.

You’d believe everything they tell you.

 

To build the condizionale passato (I would have believed, etc.), combine avrei-avresti-avrebbe | avremmo-avreste-avrebbero with the past participle.

Please build the condizionale presente and condizionale passato sextets of the following action words:

mettere / messo

to put / put

smettere / smesso

to stop / stopped

chiudere / chiuso

to close / closed

piangere / pianto

to weep / wept

 

5.

Congiuntivo presente

Congiuntivo passato
that I, you believe, he/she believes
…that we, you, they believe
that I, you, he/she believed
…that we, you, they believed

che io

creda

che io

abbia creduto

che tu

creda

che tu

abbia creduto

che lui/lei

creda

che lui/lei

abbia creduto

che (noi)

crediamo

che (noi)

abbiamo creduto

che (voi)

crediate

che (voi)

abbiate creduto

che (loro)

credano

che (loro)

abbiano creduto

 

{AUDIO} These endings are new to you. To obtain the congiuntivo presente, add to the root cred– the endings –a, a, –a | iamo, iate, -ano.

 

Penso che non crediate in Dio.

I think that you don’t believe in God.

 

To build the congiuntivo passato (to be translated into English generally with a simple that I believed, etc.), combine abbia-abbia-abbia | abbiamo-abbiate-abbiano with the past participle.

Remember: the congiuntivo is used after action words which express the idea that things can happen or not; that things could happen or not; or that things could have happened or not (after action words that express doubts, thoughts, wishes, beliefs, and worries). In Level 5, you saw Voglio che… I want that…, Dubito che… I doubt that…, Mi piace che… I’d like that… and others. Here are some conjunctions that also require the congiuntivo:

prima che…

before

affinché…

so that, in order that…

a meno che…

unless…

nel caso che…

in case…

 

Please build the congiuntivo presente and congiuntivo passato sextets of the following action words:

rispondere / risposto

to answer / answered

correre / corso

to run / run

rompere / rotto

to break / broken

nascondere / nascosto

to hide / hidden

6.

Congiuntivo imperfetto

Congiuntivo trapassato
that I, you, he/she believed/used to believe
…that we, you, they believed/used to believe
that I, you, he/she had believed
…that we, you, they had believed

che io

credessi

che io

avessi creduto

che tu

credessi

che tu

avessi creduto

che (lui/lei)

credesse

che (lui/lei)

avesse creduto

che (noi)

credessimo

che (noi)

avessimo creduto

che (voi)

credeste

che (voi)

aveste creduto

che (loro)

credessero

che (loro)

avessero creduto

 

{AUDIO} To obtain the congiuntivo imperfetto, add to the root cred– the endings –essi, –essi, –esse | –essimo, –este, –essero.

 

Pensavo che voi non credeste in Dio.

I thought (that) you didn’t believe in God.

 

To build the congiuntivo trapassato (that I had believed, etc.), combine avessi-avessi-avesse | avessimo-aveste-avessero with the past participle.

Please build the congiuntivo imperfetto and congiuntivo trapassato sextets of the following action words:

ridere / riso

to laugh / laughed

sorridere / sorriso

to smile / smiled

difendere / difeso

to defend / defended

7.

Passato remoto

Trapassato remoto

I, you, he/she believed
we, you, they believed

I, you, he/she had believed
we, you, they had believed

(io)

credetti/credei

(io)

ebbi creduto

(tu)

credesti

(tu)

avesti creduto

(lui/lei)

credette/credé

(lui/lei)

ebbe creduto

(noi)

credemmo

(noi)

avemmo creduto

(voi)

credeste

(voi)

aveste creduto

(loro)

credettero/crederono

(loro)

ebbero creduto

 

{AUDIO} Please note that the 1st person singular (credetti/credei), the 3rd person plural (credette/credé) and the 3rd person plural (credettero/crederono) have two variants.

 

As you have noticed, the differences between the endings of Group 1 (pensare to think) and Group 2 (credere to believe) are modest. In most cases, only the initial vowel changes (usually –a– becoming –e–). Some endings don’t change at all (futuro and condizionale presente). Here is a summary of Group 2 endings. The differences with regard to Group 1 are shown in bold.

Presente

-o, -i, –e | -iamo, –ete, –ono

Imperfetto

evo, –evi, –eva | –evamo, –evate, –evano

Futuro

-erò, -erai, -erà | -eremo, -erete, -eranno

Condizionale
presente

-erei, -eresti, -erebbe | -eremmo, -ereste, -erebbero

Congiuntivo presente

 a, –a, –a | -iamo, -iate, –ano

Congiuntivo
imperfetto

 essi, –essi, –esse | –essimo, –este, –essero

Passato remoto

-etti, -esti, -ette | –emmo, –este, –ettero
(or: –
ei, –esti, –é | –emmo, –este, –erono)

Reflexive action words

Some of the actions we perform are reflexive because we do something to ourselves. We can wash ourselves or love ourselves. To express this type of reflexive behavior, Italian uses reflexive action words. What you need to know about them can be summarized in five rules:

  1. To get the infinitive, cut the final –r and add –si: lavare to wash becomes lavarsi to wash oneself, amare to love becomes amarsi to love oneself.
  2. To form the compound tenses, you need to use essere + the participio passato: mi sono lavato I washed myself.
  3. To express oneself-yourself-himself/herself | ourselves-yourselves-themselves put mi-ti-si | ci-vi-si 1) before the action word or 2) before sono-sei-è | siamo-siete-sono if you have a compound tense (for example of the passato prossimo; see below).
  4. The final vowel of the participio passato follows the ‘o-a | i-e’ idea and is o/-a/-i/-e according to gender and number of the subject: ci siamo lavati we washed ourselves (boys); ci siamo lavate we washed ourselves (girls). If it is a mixed group, it is masculine by default: ci siamo lavati we washed ourselves (1 boy and 7 girls)…
  5. Many Italian reflexive action words are NOT reflexive in English.

{AUDIO}

Infinito

lavarsi to wash oneself

Participio passato

lavatosi

Gerundio presente

lavandosi

Imperativo

lavati | si lavi | laviamoci | lavatevi | si lavino

 

Presente

Passato prossimo

Imperfetto

io

mi lavo mi sono lavato/a mi lavavo

tu

ti lavi ti sei lavato/a ti lavavi

lui/lei

si lava si è lavato/a si lavava

noi

ci laviamo ci siamo lavati/e ci lavavamo

voi

vi lavate vi siete lavati/e vi lavavate

loro

si lavano si sono lavati/e si lavavano

 

Futuro semplice

Condizionale pres.

Passato remoto

io

mi lave mi laverei mi lavai

tu

ti laverai ti laveresti ti lavasti

lui/lei

si laverà si laverebbe si lavò

noi

ci laveremo ci laveremmo ci lavammo

voi

vi laverete vi lavereste vi lavaste

loro

si laveranno si laverebbero si lavarono

 

Congiuntivo
presente

Congiuntivo
imperfetto

che io

mi lavi mi lavassi

che tu

ti lavi ti lavassi

che lui/lei

si lavi si lavasse

che noi

ci laviamo ci lavassimo

che voi

vi laviate vi lavaste

che loro

si lavino si lavassero

 

Translation of the 1st persons singular

Presente

I wash myself

Perfetto

I washed myself

Imperfetto

I washed myself

I used to wash myself

Futuro semplice

I will wash myself

Condizionale presente

I would wash myself

Passato remoto

I washed myself

Congiuntivo presente*

(that) I wash myself

Congiuntivo imperfetto*

(that) I washed myself

* The congiuntivo allows generally for more than one translation. For details, please check Level 9.

 

Exercise

Please take the table above and adapt it to the following action words. Attention: many action words are reflexive in Italian, but not in English.

innamorarsi

to fall in love

chiamarsi

to be called / named

annoiarsi

to be bored

arrabbiarsi

to get angry

laurearsi

to graduate

 

Examples

Mi sono innamorato. [boy]

I fell in love.

Mi sono innamorata. [girl]

I fell in love.

Ci siamo innamorati. [boys]

We fell in love.

Ci siamo innamorate. [girls]

We fell in love.

Vi siete annoiati? [boys]

Were you bored?

Vi siete annoiate? [girls]

Were you bored?

Ci siamo annoiati da morire. [boys]

We were bored stiff.

Ci siamo annoiate da morire. [girls]

We were bored stiff.

Non arrabbiarti!

Don’t get angry!

Svegliati!

Wake up!

Non vi sentite bene?

Don’t you feel well?

 

Take also a look at these fairly common reflexive action words:

truccarsi

to put on makeup

sedersi

to sit down

spogliarsi

to undress

baciarsi

to kiss each other

addormentarsi

to fall asleep

svegliarsi

to wake up

Future Stems

{AUDIO} You know that the futuro and the condizionale presente are the most regular tenses in Italian because the endings are identical for all action words:

Futuro

-ò, -ai, -à | -emo, -ete, -anno

Condizionale presente

-ei, -esti, -ebbe | -emmo, -este, –ebbero

All you need to know is where to attach these endings to. In Level 5, you saw that Group 1 action words form the future stem by cutting –are and adding –er.

Group 1

Future stem

ricordare (to remember)

ricorder

ascoltare (to listen)

ascolter

trattare (to treat)

tratter

aspettare (to wait)

aspetter

portare (to bring)

porter

Group 2 and 3 future stems are still easier to construct. Just cut the final –e of the infinitive… and that’s it!

Group 2

Future stem

perdere (to lose)

perder-

uccidere (to kill)

uccider-

discutere (to discuss)

discuter-

chiedere (to ask)

chieder-

prendere (to take)

prender-

 

Group 3

Future stem

dormire (to sleep)

dormir-

finire (to finish, end)

finir-

divertire (to amuse)

divertir-

uscire (to go out, come out)

uscir-

riuscire (to succeed)

riuscir-

 

Only a few words have irregular future stems, but they are all extremely important. Don’t forget to memorize the future stems today!

Infinitive

Future stem

andare

to go

andr-

avere

to have

avr-

venire

to come

verr-

dovere

must

dovr-

essere

to be

sar-

potere

can

potr-

sapere

to know

sapr-

vedere

to see

vedr-

vivere

to live

vivr-

volere

to want

vorr-

cadere

to fall

cadr-

fare

to do/make

far-

giocare

to play

giocher-

pagare

to pay

pagher-

cominciare

to start

comincer-

mangiare

to eat

manger-

 

A few examples: andrò I’ll goavrai you’ll haveverrà he’ll comedovremo we’ll have to sarete you’ll be (pl.) potranno they’ll be able to saprei I would know vedresti you would see vivrebbe he would live vorremmo we would want giochereste you would play pagherebbero they would pay

C. Words

Preview of Level 7

{AUDIO} In Level 7, you will find some of the following words. Please take a first look at them.

partire

to leave

sentire

to hear; to feel

dormire

to sleep

scoprire

to discover

agire (-isc-)

to act, behave

reagire (-isc-)

to react, respond

finire (-isc-)

to finish, end

suggerire

to suggest

divertire

to amuse

servire

to serve; to be needed

vestire

to get dressed

ripartire

to leave again; to distribute

coprire

to cover

consentire

to allow

bollire

to boil

inseguire

to chase, pursue

mentire

to lie

sfuggire

to escape

consentire

to allow

eseguire

to perform

apparire

to dwell, live

comparire

to appear, participate

morire

to die

salire

to go up, rise

uscire

to go out,
come out

riuscire

to succeed

udire

to hear, listen

 

D. Rules

Personal pronouns

{AUDIO} Now comes the last big chunk of Italian grammar: five pages of personal pronouns. Are you ready? Please don’t walk away now. Clench your teeth and go through to the end. Come back tomorrow and look again and come back the day after tomorrow, too. In a week, personal pronouns will be second nature.

1. Personal subject pronouns

In the second column of the following table you see the PSPs, the personal subject pronouns. You know them all.

 

PSP*

POP**

Weak forms

Strong forms

1st singular

io

I

mi

me

me

me

2nd singular

tu

you

ti

you

te

you

3rd singular

lui

he

lo | gli – si

him

lui – sé

him

lei

she

la | le – si

her

lei – sé

her

1st plural

noi

we

ci

us

noi

us

2nd plural

voi

you

vi

you

voi

you

3rd plural

loro (m)

they

li – si

them

loro – sé

them

loro (f)

they

le – si

them

loro – sé

them

* PSP: Personal subject pronouns
** POP: Personal object pronouns

 

2. Personal object pronouns

In Level 5, we introduced the ‘personal object pronouns’ (POPs) of the 3rd person lo, la, li, le (him, her, them):

Masculine

Feminine

Singular

lo

la

Plural

li

le

 

Lo amo.  I love him.

La amo.  I love her.

Li amo.  I love them (boys).

Le amo.  I love them (girls).

 

Direct object pronouns

Let’s now extend the list and explore I love you, you love me, etc. Proceed to Columns 3 and 4: POPs, weak and strong. You will use these personal object pronouns when you declare your love. Let’s first check the weak forms and, among these, the direct object pronouns mi-ti-lo/la | ci-vi-li/le. What is a direct object? The direct object is the ‘recipient of the action’. It answers the question whom? or what?

I love those girls.

Whom do I love ?

The girls.

He writes a message.

What does he write?

A message.

 

In these sentences girls and message are direct objects. Action words that take direct objects – in our examples to love and to write – are called transitive action words. Action words that CANNOT take a direct object, for example dormire to sleep, andare to go, venire to come, are called intransitive action words.

Direct object pronouns are usually placed immediately before the transitive action word:

1st singular

mi

Mi ami?

Do you love me?

2nd singular

ti

Ti amo.

I love you.

3rd singular

lo

Lo amo.

I love him.

la

La amo.

I love here.

1st plural

ci

Ci ami?

Do you love us?

2nd plural

vi

Vi amo.

I love you. (pl.)

3rd plural

li

Li amo.

I love them. (masc.)

le

Le amo.

I love them. (fem.)

 

Indirect object pronouns

Some action words also have indirect object nouns and pronouns. What is an indirect object? An indirect object answers the question to whom? or for whom? While the prepositions to and for are often omitted in English, in Italian you must use the preposition a:

Could you tell Marco the story, please?

Potresti raccontare la storia a Marco, per favore?

Indirect noun:
Marco
I gave the teacher my mobile number.

Ho dato il mio numero di cellulare alla professoressa.

Indirect noun: la professoressa

I explained the situation to the physicians.

Ho spiegato la situazione ai medici.

Indirect noun:
i medici

 

Now listen carefully:

1)      mi, ti, ci and vi are both direct and indirect pronouns.

2)      lo, la, li, and le are only direct pronouns!

3)      The equivalent indirect forms are gli to him/for him, le to her/for her, and loro to them/for them.

I’ll tell him the story.

Gli racconterò la storia. Indirect pronoun: gli
I gave her my mobile number. Le ho dato il mio numero di cellulare.

Indirect pronoun: le

I explained the situation to them.

Ho spiegato loro la situazione.

Indirect pronoun: loro

 

Complete overview:

1st singular

mi

Mi dai quella mela?

Are you giving me that apple?

2nd singular

ti

Non ti do niente.

I am not giving you anything.

3rd singular

gli

Gli dai un bacio?

Are you giving him a kiss?

le

Le dai un bacio?

Are you giving her a kiss?

1st plural

ci

Ci racconterai tutto?

Will you tell us everything?

2nd plural

vi

Non vi racconterò niente.

I won’t tell you anything.

3rd plural

loro

Date loro uno schiaffo.

Give them (masc. + fem.) a slap.

 

3. Reflexive object pronouns

The reflexive object pronouns are familiar from the reflexive action words we introduced above.

Presente

Passato prossimo

lui/lei

si lava si è lavato/a  3rd person singular

loro

si lavano si sono lavati/e  3rd person plural

4. Strong POPs forms

Strong personal object pronouns (POPs) are used to create emphasis. Put after an action word, they often clarify that only one person is meant, at the exclusion of all the others (or only one group of persons, at the exclusion of all other groups).

 

1st singular

me

Ami me?

Do you love me? (and nobody else)

2nd singular

te

Amo te.

I love you. (and nobody else)

3rd singular

lui

Amo lui.

I love him.

lei

Amo lei.

I love here.

1st plural

noi

Ami noi?

Do you love us?

2nd plural

voi

Amo voi.

I love you. (pl.)

3rd plural

loro

Amo loro.

I love them. (masc.+fem.)

 

In addition, you’ll use strong POPs after prepositions:

Posso salire con te?

Can I come up with you?
Certo, vieni con me. Certainly, come with me.

Ho fatto tutto questo per voi.

I’ve done all this for you. (pl.)

Lei pensa solo a sé stessa.

She thinks only of herself.

5. Managing two POPs: me lo – te lo – glielo, etc.

We won’t go into the details of managing two personal object pronouns before an action word, for example, I give it to you. Check this:

Te lo dico io. I say it to you. (Really: Believe me!)
Me lo puoi spiegare? Can you explain it to me?
Glielo dico io. I’ll tell (it to) him.

What do you see?

  1. First comes the indirect pronoun, then the direct pronoun.
  2. The vowel i of the indirect pronoun (mi, ti, ci, vi, si) changes to e (me, te, ce, ve, se).

  3. gli and lo fuse to glielo.

Another four examples:

Te lo do subito.

I’ll give it to you right away.

Me lo dai?

Can you give it to me?

Ce l’ha dato ieri.

He gave it to us yesterday.

Ve l’ho spiegato.

I explained it to you.

Please find more about the use of two personal pronouns in Level 10.

che (2)

{AUDIO} In level 5, you encountered the relative pronoun che which is generally translated with who, whom, which or that.

la ragazza che ho incontratato l’anno scorso

the girl [whom] I met last year

 

Now let’s see some other functions of the extremely versatile Italian che.

 

1. Conjunction

Che is also used as a so-called conjunction that joins two or more words, phrases or clauses. You either translate it into that or you omit it; in Italian you cannot omit che.

So che hai ragione.

I know [that] you are right.

Dice che non puoi venire von noi.

He says that you cannot come with us.

Penso che sia troppo difficile.

I think [that] it’s too difficult.

 

2. Question word

Che is further used to ask questions (Which? What?). It can either appear as a so-called interrogative adjective…

Che macchina prendiamo? Which car shall we take?
Che frutta preferisci? Which fruit do you prefer?
Che giorno è oggi? What day is it today?

 

or as an interrogative pronoun. In these cases, che and che cosa have generally the same meaning:

Che (cosa) vuoi dire? What do you want to say?
Di che (cosa) state parlando? What are you talking about?

 

3. Exclamation

Che is also used as an exclamation. In these cases, it is translated with what or how:

Che bella ragazza! What a lovely girl!
Che macello! What a mess!
Che buono! How delicious!
Che bello! How nice! (masculine singular)
Che bella! How nice! (feminine singular)
Che belli! How nice! (masculine plural)
Che belle! How nice! (feminine plural)

 

4. Imperative phrases

You have already learned how to give orders to people you are talking to. You may also express orders or suggestions for people who are absent. In this case, the action word appears in the congiuntivo presente:

Che pensi un po’! Let him think a little!
Che pensino un po’! Let them think a little!
Che si alzino prima se vogliono venire al mare con noi! Let them get up earlier if they want to go to the beach with us!

 

5. Comparative sentences           

When comparing 1) two action words, 2) two adjectives referred to a person or a thing or 3) two pronouns preceded by a preposition, the English than is translated with che:

Leggere è meno faticoso che scrivere. Reading is less tiring than writing.
Lui è più intelligente che dolce. He is smarter than sweet.
Mi diverto più con te che con lei. I have a better time with you than with her.

 

Capitalization

{AUDIO} Most words that are capitalized in English are capitalized in Italian too, like names of persons, institutions, streets, suburbs, cities, countries, continents, stars and planets, etc. However, some words are not capitalized and include: Mr., Mrs., and Miss; nationalities; the days of the week; the months of the year.

Le presento il signor Campus. Let me introduce Mr. Kamps to you.
Sei italiano? Are you Italian?
Ha detto che arriverà venerdì. He said that he’ll arrive Friday.

Sono nato a gennaio.

I was born in January.

Numbers

{AUDIO} Let’s count to one billion.

cento

100

centouno

101

centodue

102

centodieci

110

centoundici

111

centoventi

120

centonovantonove

199

duecento

200

trecento

300

mille

1,000

 

milleuno

1,001

millenovecentosessantotto

1,968

duemila

2,000

duemilauno

2,001

duemilaquindici

2,015

tremila

3,000

diecimila

10,000

centomila

100,000

un milione

1,000,000

un miliardo

1,000,000,000

 

What do you see? Up to 999,999, Italian numbers are stitched together. Only milioni, miliardi, bilioni, biliardi, trilioni, triliardi, etc. do not run together.

 

E. Dialogue

{AUDIO}

Il cellulare

The cell phone

Bastianeddu, cos’è successo? Sono giorni che non carichi nuove foto su Instagram. Non vuoi più condividere la tua vita? Bastianeddu, what happened? You haven’t uploaded new photos to Instagram for days! Don’t you want to share your life anymore?
Ho un problemino con il mio cellulare. Sabato sera mi è scivolato dalle mani mentre eravamo in barca… I have a little problem with my cell phone. Saturday night it slipped out of my hands while we were on the boat…
– … e si è rotto il vetro? – … and the glass broke?
Magari! Il vetro è intatto, ma siccome stavamo pescando degli sgombri, nel fondo della barca c’era acqua di mare mescolata con il sangue dei pesci. If only! The glass is intact, but since we were fishing for mackerel, in the bottom of the boat there was sea water mixed with fish blood!
Non mi vorrai dire che il cellulare è caduto dentro quel brodo? Che schifo! Il cellulare ha reso l’anima? You don’t want to say that the phone fell into that broth? That’s disgusting! So the phone doesn’t work?
No, funziona tutto: telefono, sms, internet, la chat, i giochi, il navigatore… tutto tranne la macchina fotografica. No, it all works: phone, sms, internet, chat, games, navigation… everything except the camera.
Che sfiga! Mi piacevano tanto le tue foto. Cosa farai adesso? What bad luck! I liked your photos so much. What will you do now?
Ricomincerò a fare delle foto con la mia vecchia compact. In fondo, non mi dispiace, è come una disintossicazione dal cellulare. Siamo sinceri: dobbiamo veramente fotografare e condividere tutto ciò che accade nella nostra vita? I’ll start again and take pictures with my old compact. After all, I don’t mind, it’s like a phone detox. Let’s be frank: do we really have to photograph and share everything that happens in our lives?
Si, forse hai ragione, però… Yeah, maybe you’re right, but…
In effetti, forse ho ragione. Scattare una foto, fare l’upload, scrivere un commento, controllare a chi piace la foto, rispondere ai commenti… insomma, non si finisce mai. Hai già fatto la somma di tutti questi piccoli momenti in una giornata? Sprechiamo una buona parte della nostra vita in fesserie. Yeah, maybe I’m right! Taking a picture, uploading it, writing a comment, checking who likes the photo, responding to comments… well, you never stop. Have you already done the sum of all these small moments in a day? We waste a good part of our lives on that bullshit.
Ah, Bastianeddu, sei il solito esagerato! Dai, tranquillo, rilassati, vivi con il tuo tempo. Come vuoi passare la tua vita? Davanti alla TV? Ah, Sebastian, you are the same old exaggerated person! Come on, calm down, relax, live with the times. How do you want to spend your life? In front of the TV?
Perché no? La TV, gestita con intelligenza, è forse meglio dei giochi stupidi al computer! Ma piuttosto che scrivere messaggini, preferisco parlare con i miei amici al telefono – e piuttosto che parlare con gli amici al telefono, preferisco vederli direttamente. Su, coraggio, ammettilo: la vita vera è più divertente del cellulare! Why not? TV, handled with intelligence, is perhaps better than silly games on your computer! But rather than writing text messages, I prefer to talk to my friends on the phone – and rather than talking with friends on the phone, I prefer to see them directly. Come on, have courage and admit it: real life is more fun than a mobile phone!

Words

{AUDIO}

il cellulare

mobile phone

succedere (p.p.: successo)

to happen

il giorno

day

sono giorni che

for days

caricare

to charge, upload

nuovo

new

la foto

photo

condividere (p.p.: condiviso)

to share

la vita

life

il problemino

little problem

sabato

Saturday

scivolare

to slip

mentre

while

la barca

boat

rompersi

to break

il vetro

glass

magari!

if only!; maybe; probably

intatto

intact

siccome

as, because

pescare

to fish

lo sgombro

mackerel

il fondo

bottom; fund, capital

l’acqua di mare

sea water

mescolare

to mix

il sangue

blood

il pesce

fish

non vorrai

you don’t want to

cadere

to fall

dentro

in; within, inside

il brodo

broth, soup

che schifo!

that’s disgusting!

rendere l’anima

not work anymore

funzionare

to function

il gioco

game

il navigatore

navigator

tranne

except, save

la macchina fotografica

camera

che sfiga!

what bad luck!

tanto

so much

ricominciare

to start again

la compact

compact camera

in fondo

after all

dispiacere

to mind; to dislike

la disintossica-zione

detox

condividere

to share

tutto ciò che

everything that

accadere

to happen

in effetti

indeed

scattare

to shoot (picture)

scrivere (p.p.: scritto)

to write

il commento

comment

controllare

to control

rispondere (p.p.: risposto)

to answer

insomma

well; in other words

finire

to finish, end

la somma

sum

sprecare

to waste

la fesseria

bullshit

solito

usual, same old

esagerato

exaggerated

tranquillo!

don’t worry

rilassarsi

to relax

passare

to spend

davanti a

in front of

gestire

to manage, organize

l’intelligenza

intelligence

meglio di

better than

piuttosto che

rather than

il messaggino

SMS

preferire

to prefer

coraggio

courage

ammettere (p.p.: ammesso)

to admit

divertente

amusing

 

F. Results & Preview

Can you say

dico-dici-dice | diciamo-dite-dicono

+

vengo-vieni-viene | veniamo-venite-vengono?

And do you remember

vedere/visto

to see/seen

mettere/messo

to put/put

prendere/preso

to take/taken

scrivere/scritto

to write/written

leggere/letto

to read/read

vivere/vissuto

to live/lived

perdere/perso

to lose/lost

+

prima che…

before

affinché…

so that, in order that…

a meno che…

unless…

nel caso che…

in case…

 

Of course, you are comfortable with irregular future stems and have memorized andrò I’ll goavrai you’ll havecadrà he’ll falldovremo we’ll have to sarete you’ll be (pl.) potranno they’ll be able to.

Now take another look at the weak and strong POPs (personal object pronouns):

POP*

Weak forms

Strong forms

1st singular

mi

me

me

me

2nd singular

ti

you

te

you

3rd singular

lo | gli – si

him

lui – sé

him

la | le – si

her

lei – sé

her

1st plural

ci

us

noi

us

2nd plural

vi

you

voi

you

3rd plural

li – si

them

loro – sé

them

le – si

them

loro – sé

them

 

Most importantly: Do you know how to say that you have fallen in love?

Mi sono innamorato. [boy]

I’ve fallen in love.

Mi sono innamorata. [girl]

I’ve fallen in love.

Ci siamo innamorati. [boys]

We’ve fallen in love.

Ci siamo innamorate. [girls]

We’ve fallen in love.

 

Well then, you’re now promoted to Level 7!

*  *  *

In Level 7, you will make a brief tour of the 3rd and last group of action words, those ending in –ire; then, you’ll discover another realm of essere and see how to form the passive mode of action words; and, finally, some small odds and ends: adverbs, comparisons and superlatives, ordinal numbers. All this will be reasonably relaxing. Level 7, and with it the first volume of ‘Italian with Elisa’, ends like a typical Italian passeggiata, a calm late afternoon promenade. Enjoy!