La quarta persona più importante (Italian Edition)

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Asking if you may do something, saying you want to or have to do something The word posso. You have already met the present of dovere singular. Can you carry this for me? Vuole andare a Firenze domani? Do you want to go to Florence tomorrow? Deve veramente partire? Mi dispiace. Do you really have to leave? Vuoi giocare a tennis? Do you want to play tennis? Devi andare a Roma? Do you have to go to Rome? We shall look at the conditional in detail in Unit I ought to go to Rome tomorrow, I could leave on the 7 a. Asking whether something is possible You saw in Unit 3 that you can use this to ask if something is possible.

Exercise 4 How would you say the following in Italian? I have to go to Milan. It can be adapted: secondo me te lui lei Paolo Dialogue 2 Cinque cartoline per favore Joe intends to send postcards to friends back home. He goes into a Tabaccheria, which has some attractive displays of cards.

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JOE: Posso vedere le cartoline? JOE: Quanto costano? JOE: Allora, prendo cinque di quelle normali e cinque grandi. Allora, sono 4 euro e 75 in tutto. Vuole anche i francobolli? Desidera altro? JOE: No, grazie. Cultural point In Italy tobacco and cigarettes come under a state monopoly and are therefore sold though licensed outlets.

This explains why tobac- conists also sell stamps and, at one time, salt, which was also under a state monopoly. For mail within Italy and Europe a relatively new service: prioritaria, for which you pay extra, seems to get letters to their destinations quickly, in a way that used to be unknown in Italy.

Language points Plurals of nouns Singular ending Plural ending -o m. He repeats the orders to the customers, but in each case he gets it wrong. Be the customers and correct him as indicated. Example: Un vino rosso, vero? You say: No, due vini rossi. Exercise 6 Here are some nouns, sometimes with adjectives describing them. Prendo questo. Mi piace quella fontana. I like that fountain. Questo pr. This one is bigger; that one is more interesting. Say them to yourself. We are with them. Parte con voi? Is he leaving with you?

Vuole venire con noi. He wants to come with us. For all verbs, the noi form is -iamo. For the loro form, the -are verbs have -ano, the others -ono. The stressed vowel is indicated above by the underlining. Exercise 8 How would you complete the following sentences in Italian? We give you the verb to use. Now you probably understand why the question is sometimes quanto costa?

How much does it cost? Quanto costano? How much do they cost? Can you write down the correct form in each case? General- mente la sera 2 guardare la TV, 3 leggere o 4 invitare amici. Ma questa sera 5 volere cambiare. Generalmente 2 cominciare a lavorare alle 7. Se 6 volere andare al cinema o a teatro 7 dovere mangiare rapidamente. Il teatro comincia alle 9. Spesso ci sono contadini che vengono dalla campagna con i loro prodotti: uova, frutta e verdura, noci, funghi, dipende dalla stagione. I bar, i ristoranti e le strade sono pieni di persone che chiacchierano con animazione.

Un attimo, per favore. Le passo subito il signor Rossi. Buongiorno, signora, come va? Senta, vengo in Italia la setti- mana prossima. Possiamo vederci per parlare del nuovo progetto? Quando Le va bene?


Va bene? Accetto con piacere. Arrivederci alla settimana prossima. Exercise 1 Using the words given above, how do you think you might say the following? All are masculine, except la domenica. Note also that trentun works like un, as do other numbers ending in uno. Today is the twentieth of April. Or, when you know the month but are not sure of the day: Quanti ne abbiamo oggi?

Oggi ne abbiamo What day is it today? That is the usual word order; the number is not put after the month. And when abbreviating, the order is the European one: Mark, my English friend, is coming to Italy in July. Exercise 2 Say these dates aloud in Italian and then write them down. With inverno and estate, di can also be used. When dialling from outside Italy, do not omit the 0 of the area code.

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So in Milan, calling a Milan number, you dial the area code 02 and then the number. Calling from outside Italy, you dial 00 39 code for Italy 02 and then the number. Unit 6: Engagements 87 Italians vary in how they say telephone numbers. The dialling tone in Italy is a short tone followed by a longer tone. When the number is ringing you hear a long tone, repeated. If the number is engaged you get a repeated short tone. It has been argued that it is another means by which the usually tight-knit Italian family keeps a check on its members!

Text messaging, however, does not seem to have developed the same lively special language as it has in English. Perhaps Italian lends itself less to creative abbreviation. The most usual thing is to eliminate the vowels in words, thus non sono libero becomes nn sn libero. Older generations are often completely unaware of the practice. However, Italian is a language of long words and suppressing some of the vowels when you text can save time!

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Dialogue 2 Andiamo al cinema Alberto telephones Marisa to ask her to go to the cinema with him. Casa Rossini? Chi parla? Sono Alberto. Che dici? Andiamo a vederlo? Il 10, vero? Dove ci troviamo? Ti vengo a prendere alle 7. It works the same way. The full table can be found in the Grammar section at the end of the book. Warning: These very common prepositions a, di, da, in, su should be handled with care. They are arguably the trickiest thing to learn to use correctly in Italian.

Nonetheless, you should not be too inhib- ited by this warning, as a mistake in a preposition does not usually obscure your meaning. Direction or place going to or being in is indicated in the verb. There are fewer idiomatic uses with these. Complete it by putting articulated prepositions in the blanks. We indicate which preposition you should use e. Note: salute is feminine. You should be able to work out the gender of the other nouns. Come si chiama? The present tense of chiamarsi is: mi chiamo ci chiamiamo ti chiami vi chiamate si chiama si chiamano mi, ti etc.

Si vedono ogni sabato. They see each other each Saturday. Exercise 5 The printer has got the following sentences muddled up. They describe what I do every morning. Put them into a more logical order. Exercise 6 Lucio has done a series of drawings of his morning routine. What does he do? Here are the verbs you need: pettinarsi, fare la doccia, vestirsi, svegliarsi, fare colazione, alzarsi, prepararsi.

You will need them a lot — but you will also hear them a lot, which will help you. Come facciamo a trovare la sua casa? Exercise 7 Here are two lists. Can you sort them out? Viene a trovarlo stasera. Unit 6: Engagements 97 Telling people to do something — the imperative You have met a number of examples of this. For instance: Giri a destra. Prenda la terza sulla sinistra. Turn right. Take the third on the left. Excuse me. All these are examples of the imperative, the form of the verb used to give orders or instructions.

They were all used in the formal form, addressed to people when using lei. How can we make sense of this? But what about friends? Alberto said to Marisa: senti. But you have not met other forms yet, as you have mostly met formal conversations. We suggest that you choose two imperatives you hear frequently in Italy and make them your models. For example, scusare and sentire. Similarly friends will attract your attention by saying: Senti, Joe etc.


These two make excellent models. In fact, for regular -ere and -ire verbs, the tu form of the present is also the imperative form. This is also true for some irregular verbs e. This is also an imperative. Telefoniamo a Gianni! Mangiamo alle otto! Facciamo gli spaghetti! To tell several people to do something, you use the voi form of the verb, again without voi. Andate presto! Go quickly! Unit 6: Engagements 99 Telling someone not to do something You simply use non and the verb: Non dica questo. Non giri a sinistra, vada dritto. The verbs have been left out. Choose the correct ones from the list that follows to make sense of your instructions.

You may use two of them twice. As Mario is a friend, you use tu when talking to him. YOU: 1 Yes, signore. Mi dispiace, signore, il volo per Amsterdam ha due ore di ritardo. Devo essere a Amsterdam a mezzogiorno. YOU: 3 Be patient , signore. Non posso fare niente. Il sabato molti adulti non lavorano ma i bambini sono a scuola la mattina. Durante la stagione calcistica, i tifosi vanno allo stadio a vedere la partita. Vocabulary dunque so, therefore augurio wish, greeting spesso often auguri!

Frances has been delegated to go into the Albergo della Fontana in a little Tuscan town to see whether they have rooms for tonight. Una camera singola o doppia? Una per me e mio marito, una per i nostri amici. E preferiamo camere tranquille. Per una notte? Prendo le chiavi. Venga pure. They can usually provide a continental breakfast, however some guests may prefer to go to a nearby bar. The bar is the place to go for really good coffee see Unit 1.

A verb used in this way is called an impersonal verb, that is, the subject is not a person. Look out for others. The plural of nouns and adjectives ending in -co and -go, -ca and -ga Most nouns and adjectives ending in -go keep the hard g sound in the plural and therefore insert an h to indicate this: un albergo due alberghi Nouns ending in -co are less predictable. Lists of exceptions are confusing for the beginner, so we are not giving them here. However, amico is such a common word, you should learn it. And remember: if in doubt, consult a dictionary.

As your Italian becomes more sophisticated you can gradually aim to get these details correct. In numbers 1 to 8, change to two of everything. Make the whole word group plural. Vado a chiamare mio marito e i nostri amici. Quando esce, giri a sinistra. Posso avere un docu- mento, per cortesia? Vado a mangiare. I am going to eat. Va a lavorare.

Exercise 2 Joe McDonald needs to book into a hotel for the night. Here is his conversation with the receptionist. Unfortunately the printer has got the order all wrong and forgotten to indicate whether Joe or the receptionist is talking. Can you sort it out so that it makes sense? Avete una camera? What are they? Quanto costano le arance? Sono molto dolci, quelle piccole, ottime per la spremuta. E ho bisogno anche di banane. E due pompelmi. E poi? Grazie, signora, arrivederLa, buongiorno.

I need some postage stamps. Ho bisogno di sapere la risposta. I need to know the answer. Hai bisogno di me? Do you need me? Using altro? When asking a customer if she he needs anything else a shop- keeper may say altro? And then? After that? Is that all?

Are these enough bananas? Bastano dieci euro? Are 10 euros enough? Can one get there in one day? Basta telefonare.

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Weights and measures The metric system is used in Italy, as elsewhere in Europe. For weight, the basic measures are the gram grammo and the kilo- gram chilogrammo , 1, grams. The grapes are very good. Un chilo di uva bianca, per piacere. A kilo of white grapes, please. Yes, but we needed to tell you before the next exercise. But, in the next exer- cise, try to get it right, while it is fresh in your mind. You can always look it up when you have to write. Exercise 3 You are at a fruit stall in a market. Ask how much the fruits listed above cost.

Tre etti. Del prosciutto crudo. Basta un etto. E poi, 3,30 il prosciutto. Grazie, arrivederLa. The Po Plain produces grana padano and parmigiano reggiano, which are very similar to each other. All these cheeses are used for grating as well as being delicious eaten as cheese. Grated cheese is much used in Italian cooking, on pasta, risotto, soups etc. Another very special Italian speciality is prosciutto crudo, cured ham.

Exercise 4 Say out loud and then write down in words the prices in Dialogue 4. How would she tell the shop assistant she wants some of the following? Joe, in Florence, wants to buy presents to take home. He, like many other tourists, goes to the very large street market near the church of San Lorenzo. There is one he likes displayed on a stall. Posso vedere quella maglia? Fatta a mano. JOE: No, per mia sorella. Ha 16 anni. Ci sono altri colori? JOE: Mi piace quella verde. Di che misura ha bisogno? JOE: Le piace portare le maglie grandi. Prendo quella verde.

Language point Colours, i colori The singular of i colori is il colore. Here is some more practice. Write the correct form for the various subjects suggested. Where it might be more usual to leave the subject pronoun out, it is put in brackets. Example: lavorare Carlo. Carlo lavora. Anna e Paola.

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Anna e Paola lavorano. Non ho tempo. Reading Il mio primo computer Il pc ideale per un bambino? Processore di ultima generazione e memoria potente. It is about buying a computer. For what sort of use? There is a feminine form, ending in -a.

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When used in a general way, as here, the masculine includes the feminine. An earlier part of the article, not included here, talked about toy computers for pre-school children. An adjective used as the noun for laptop computer. A rivenditore serio is one who can be trusted. Really a reseller, i.

Usually implies the regular household shopping. They need not worry you and possibly you did not notice them. You will prob- ably agree that the meaning is guessable. We will deal with them later in the book. Use it, and the text on p. Are the following statements true or false? Rosa M. Di questi tre, solo il Monte Rosa ha la cima interamente in territorio italiano. Gli Appennini sono montagne vulcaniche. La Sicilia e la Sardegna sono due grandi isole italiane. Il mare e le isole, con le montagne e la campagna, costi- tuiscono mete turistiche piacevolissime.

The regions have responsibility for matters such as regional planning, economic development etc. Each region regione f. Provinces have more limited functions. The basic level of local administration is the municipality comune m.

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They are now subdivided into circoscrizioni wards in a move to involve people at local level. At each level of admin- istration there is an elected council, which delegates executive powers to a giunta, composed of assessori. The comune and giunta are chaired by a mayor sindaco. Mayors are now directly elected by the citizens. Unit 8: A little geography Language points The points of the compass The words for the points of the compass each have corresponding adjectives: nord — settentrionale sud — meridionale est — orientale ovest — occidentale The compass points can be combined as in English: sud-ovest, nord- est.

Given the shape of Italy, it is more frequent to talk of the north and south than east and west; the north of the country and south are in fact very different. Sulla ricchezza. Government beaten twice on the reform. Cultural point You may like to try reading some Italian newspapers, especially the section called cronaca, which contains news items of a non- political sort crime, road accidents etc. Start with the headlines. Newspapers tend to be relatively local in Italy. The best known are probably Il Corriere della Sera, the Milan daily, and La Stampa, the Turin daily; both date back to the nineteenth century.

Much more recent is La Repubblica, a national paper founded in the late twentieth century. Il Sole 24 Ore is business orientated; whereas the Gazzetta dello Sport is what it says it is, a sports daily. The plain is cultivated. Development is based on the wealth of the agriculture. Service is included. Note: The past participle agrees with the subject, behaving like an adjective. Unit 8: A little geography To say who or what things were done by, i. The hotel is managed by the owner. The plain is surrounded by mountains.

It tends to belong to formal language. We shall meet it and the past participle again. We met it in Unit 4 and it often conveys ideas which in English would be in the passive: Qui si parla italiano. Italian is spoken here. Come si scrive questa parola? This is called: fare il ponte, making a bridge. Dialogue 1 Fare il ponte nel Bel Paese Here, George, an American working temporarily in Milan, asks a colleague for advice about how he and Jane, his wife, might spend the long weekend. Jane ed io abbiamo pensato di fare il ponte e partire per quattro o cinque giorni. Vogliamo a tutti i costi andare via e cambiare aria.

Un lago forse? O il mare? Io vorrei riposarmi, non vorrei passare troppo tempo in macchina. Unit 8: A little geography Verona, the Roman Arena. Courtesy Archivio Provincia di Verona. Zeno, romanica, bellissima; ci sono anche altri monu- menti e tanti angoli pittoreschi. Poi potreste continuare verso Vicenza e vedere qualche opera del Palladio. E poi. Exercise 2 Jane and George are telling someone about their weekend. George echoes everything Jane says. G: Interessantissima. As an adverb it is invariable. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. Lists with This Book.

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