Italian

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Ordering Food and Drink in Italian

If you visit Italy without trying some of the food, you haven't really visited Italy. (You're also probably rather hungry.) The following phrases can come in handy whether you need a bottle of water or [more…]

Getting Started with Italian Numbers

Be sure to know your numbers in Italian. In Italian-speaking areas, you'll be dealing with numbers for transportation, while shopping, and when dining. Use this chart to get a good start with learning [more…]

Italian For Dummies Cheat Sheet

Planning a trip to Italy? Learn some basic Italian to make it more fulfilling. Get to know Italian greetings, question words, numbers, and the days of the week. Also, be sure to know how to ask for help [more…]

10 Common Italian Idioms

Italian idioms add color to a language and make you sound competent and comfortable. Using idioms (may) make Italians think you know more of their language than you actually do. That's good because it [more…]

5 Useful Italian Hand Gestures

Hand gestures, non-verbal Italian, are used a good deal — but you must be careful with them. Many Italian hand gestures can't be used in polite society. Here are five useful, everyday hand gestures to [more…]

4 Ways to Form Compound Verb Tenses in Italian

Of the fourteen verb tenses in Italian, four are compound. A compound verb tense means that more than one verb is involved: You form them with a helping verb [more…]

Quick Guide to Simple, Friendly Italian

Everyone knows at least one Italian word — apart from pizza, ravioli, and lasagna — and that word is ciao (hi, bye). You use it to say hello and good bye to friends and acquaintances. [more…]

Italian Verbs: Present Perfect Indicative of Essere Sincero and Mentire

In Rome, the Bocca della Verità (Mouth of Truth) encourages you to conjugate the present perfect indicative of the Italian verbs essere sincero/a (to be sincere/honest/truthful [more…]

Texting and Chatting in Italian

Every day, Italians send more than 167 million text messages, for a total of 60 billion texts annually. Texting and chatting in Italian means learning new grammar rules, a new vocabulary, and a peculiar [more…]

Colors as Italian Adjectives and Idioms

In Italian, colors aren't just everyday adjectives; they also appear in idioms to express emotions, fears, feelings, and passions. Colors charge idioms with poetic nuance. [more…]

Figure Out the Future Tense in Italian

When learning the Italian future tense, imagine a romantic scenario involving the gorgeous Trevi Fountain in Rome. Tradition holds that you can ensure a return visit to the Eternal City by standing with [more…]

Building on Verb Conjugations in the Present Tense in Italian

The verbs venire (to come) and dire(to say, to tell) conjugate irregularly in the present tense. Prendere (to take) has a regular conjugation. All three take prefixes and allow you to build vocabulary [more…]

Conjugating Italian Verbs with “Ci”

Some verbs add on two letters — ci (literally, here, there) — to the end of the infinitive and before their conjugated forms and thereby change their meanings. These verbs follow regular conjugation patterns [more…]

Pronouncing Italian Verbs with an Accento Sdrucciolo — Slippery Accent

Certain Italian verbs, usually those with Latin roots, are accented differently from the norm. Instead of the stress falling on the usual next-to-lastsyllable, the stress falls on the third-to-last syllable [more…]

Italian Grammar For Dummies Cheat Sheet

Of all the vocabulary needed to speak a language, nothing is nearly as valuable as verbs. Without them, your language is stagnant and incapable of showing action. To make the most of Italian verbs, you [more…]

Crafting Common Idiomatic Expressions in Italian

Whether you're learning Mandarin, Farsi, German, or Italian, idioms enrich communication — but can't be translated literally. In Italian, the most common idioms use the following verbs: [more…]

Learning Italian: When to Capitalize Formal Titles before Names

Fine-tune your command of the Italian language by knowing when to capitalize a person's title. If you have to write a formal letter or e-mail to VIPs, such as the principal of your child's school, show [more…]

Summing Up Italian Articles, Nouns, and Adjectives

In Italian, nouns have gender and number — masculine or feminine, and singular or plural. Articles (a, an, the, and so on), which are associated with nouns, are also masculine, feminine, singular, or [more…]

How to Conjugate Italian Verbs in the Present Indicative Tense

In Italian, the present indicative tense works much like the present tense in English. To conjugate Italian verbs in the present indicative tense, you first need to understand that Italian infinitives [more…]

Italian All-in-One For Dummies Cheat Sheet

The Italian language is adapting to the rhythms of modern life with the introduction of new idioms and the construction of simpler, more concise sentences and paragraphs. The basic rules of the Italian [more…]

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