This episode’s audio doesn’t exist, and we have technology to blame (poof! gone into cyberspace!). Instead of listening to this episode, feel free to use the notes below to learn more about the topic. And if you’re like, “CHER, NO. I NEED THIS EPISODE,” then let me know in the comments below. I’ll put it on my list to record again!
Between life, classes, and too many or not enough dates, it’s easy to forget all of the rules that you learned in your first year or two of Italian.
Fear not though as I’ve compiled a list of the top 10 rules that you might have forgotten but need to remember if you’re going to continue learning it and becoming conversational.
1.) In Italian, you’re not just hungry, but you have hunger. So you use the expression ‘avere fame’ instead of ‘essere fame’.
Conjugation: Ho fame, hai fame, ha fame, abbiamo fame, avete fame, hanno fame
2.) The majority of nouns that end in -zione, -gione, -sione, -tà, -tù, -udine, -i, and -ie are feminine.*
Per esempio, la stazione, la crisi, l’abitudine, e l’università
3.) Lots of verbs are irregular in the past tense. Some common ones are listed below.
Per esempio, chiudere = chiuso, dire = detto, fare = fatto, leggere = letto, scrivere = scritto, e prendere = preso.
4.) When referring to places/locations, you use ‘a’ with cities and small islands.
You use ‘in’ when referring to regions, countries, or states.
Per esempio, vivo in Italia. Vivo a Las Vegas.
More detail on this + exceptions are talked about in this post: Pesky Prepositions ‘A’ and ‘In’ (&when the hell do you use them?)
5.) There is a grand difference between direct and indirect objects. Although they often make me upset, they are necessary to understand if you want to sound fluid while speaking Italian.
Read this post if you want to fit in and use direct and indirect objects like the rest of the Italians: The Grand Difference Between Direct & Indirect Objects (& yes, you have to know them)
6.) When you’re describing a job that you have, you would describe it using the verb ‘fare’ = to do, to make.
So, faccio la segretaria, or using ‘essere’ – sono una segretaria.
7.) La classe is not used to describe a class that you attend or a classroom.
L’aula is used for classroom, and la lezione is used for the class that you’re attending. If you’re taking a class, you can call it il corso.
8.) The entire trapassato prossimo tense. Like, was I sleeping during this lesson?
Anyway, apparently you use the imperfect tense with ‘avere’ and ‘essere’ and then tack on the past tense of whatever verb has the action.
It’s used when two actions occurred at different points in the past.
Read more about it using this article here.
9.) When nouns begin with ‘z’ or ‘s + consonant’, then the (definite) article will be ‘lo’.
Per esempio, lo zaino o lo studente
Following that, the plural form of ‘lo’ is ‘gli’
Per esempio, gli zaini o gli studenti
With a feminine noun, the article will remain feminine like with la zia, le zie, or la zaffata.
CPF (cocktail party fact): ‘Gli’ has this really interesting throat sound to it.
Make a mini mission of 2-3 days for mastering this sound using this Youtube video as a guide:
10.) You know how usually you would put the article ‘il’ or ‘la’ before showing possession?
Here’s some good news that you might’ve forgotten.
You don’t have to use the article before the word when you’re showing possession with a family member.
Per esempio, mio zio, mia sorella, e mio fratello.
How about you? Do you struggle with any of these things? Have you attempted to conquer them? Let me know in the comments below!
*referenced In Viaggio: Moving Toward Fluency