Category: Grammar

  • BUON NATALE A TUTTI VOI! Let’s write our greetings…

    Tanti auguri di Buon Natale e Felice Anno Nuovo a tutti! Do you want to send some Italian Christmas greetings this year? Perhaps, you’d also like to say Happy New Year and show off your Italian subjunctive… Here are some suggestions, pick the ones that suit you best! The most common of our Italian Christmas […]

  • The POWER of the PRESENT tense

    Don’t worry, this is nothing to do with self help, but you might find it interesting that the present is a very important tense in Italian and that it is used very much more than its corresponding English tense.  Here are some examples of present tenses: vado a scuola (I go to school, I am […]

  • Che bellino questo cagnolino… ha proprio un bel canino… What kind of Italian is that??

    It is curious, isn’t it? Che bellino questo cagnolino’ means how nice this doggy is. ‘Ha proprio un bel canino’ means ‘he really has a beautiful canine (tooth)’. Do not worry, do not panic if, in spite of your excellent Italian, you could not get it immediately. Bellino is an adjective, but it has been […]

  • Al fresco, outside or locked up?

    We laughed so much the other evening with my students about this expression… Al fresco! I found out that two students named their golf team ‘Al fresco’ and after reading this story you will know why it is so funny. You use the expression ‘al fresco’ to say that you want to eat outside, but it […]

  • ‘Hai una bella figura’ or ‘hai fatto una bella figura’, which one is the right Italian expression?

    Frequently, and especially during our Conversation Classes, the expression ‘bella figura’ crops up when we are talking about how someone looks so as to pay a compliment. This is probably because you have the word figure in English which, among many other meanings, refers to ‘the shape of the human body and especially a woman’s […]

  • Curiosity about our lasagne

    Did you ever eat lasagne? Yes, it is written ‘lasagne’ and it is not  a mistake, trust me! It comes as a surprise for many of my students to know that what they always called lasagna, due to the fact that many restaurants actually call it that, does not make much sense for an Italian […]

  • Mi mangio la pizza, mi guardo un film… mistakes or what?

    Many of my students stumble over this particular use of the reflexive form which is not academic or formal but, nonetheless, sounds truly Italian. In Italian we use some verbs which are called ‘Riflessivi’ or ‘Reflexive’ such as, lavarsi (to wash oneself), pettinarsi (to comb oneself), radersi (to shave oneself) and so on. The majority […]

  • Grammar or no grammar?

    Italian is a very easy language to learn. In fact, it is very easy to read as we pronounce it as it is written. In addition, no stress is involved in reading as you should read slowly and take your time when you pronounce the vowels; they should be over pronounced in comparison with English […]