Italian All-in-One For Dummies
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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 that you're familiar with the rules of Italian "bureaucratic" etiquette.

Names that represent a particular title — by birth, merit, or qualification — should be capitalized. You write:

  • il Presidente (President)

  • l'Onorevole (Honorable)

  • il Rettore (Dean)

  • il Preside (Principal)

  • il Professore (Professor)

However, when these titles are accompanied by a proper name, using lowercase is preferable:

  • il presidente Rossi

  • l'onorevole Verdi

  • il rettore Bianchi

  • il conte Cavour

  • il re Vittorio Emanuele II

In the plural, these titles aren't capitalized (such as ministers or senators). For example, i senatori hanno approvato una nuova legge sul lavoro (The senators have approved a new labor law).

About This Article

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About the book authors:

Antonietta Di Pietro is a coauthor of Italian All-in-One For Dummies. Francesca Romana Onofri lived several years abroad and has worked as an Italian and Spanish teacher, as well as a translator and interpreter at cultural events. She was an Italian coach and teacher at the Opera Studio of the Cologne Opera House. In Italy, Francesca has edited several Berlitz Italian books and is working as a translator of art books, as well as a cultural events organizer and educator. Teresa L. Picarazzi, PhD, teaches Italian at The Hopkins School and has lived and worked in Cortona, Florence, Ravenna, Siena, and Urbino. Karen Antje Möller is a veteran language teacher and author. She has worked with Berlitz Publishing on German-Italian projects and Italian exercise books. Daniela Gobetti is a coauthor of Italian All-in-One For Dummies. Beth Bartolini-Salimbeni is a coauthor of Italian All-in-One For Dummies.

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