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Get By in Italian VII - oh yes !

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UK
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Get By in Italian VII - oh yes !

I thought I'd started the new thread.... but it looks like I hadn't !

The previous one has become unwieldy.... yet again !

So here we go....

Si comincia da capo - we're starting again....

all queries re Italian language and customs...no matter how trivial, there's a few of us here willing and able to give everyone else a hand !

Avanti !

Redlands, California
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1. Re: Get By in Italian VII - oh yes !

I'm sure this has been dealt with but. . .what is the current, 2007 usage for "you" informal/formal? Tu/Lei, Voi/Loro? Can I pick one of the two forms to remember or are both commonly used. . .and if so, the nuances?

Ohio
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2. Re: Get By in Italian VII - oh yes !

Nolana, I'm so happy you've started again. This is what I'm eager to understand..... The structure of a basic sentence. In English a proper sentence contains a noun and a verb and in a certain order. Can you give me a sentence in English and then a literal translation in Italian followed by a proper translation in Italian? I think this would be helpful to me. Thanks much.

en route
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3. Re: Get By in Italian VII - oh yes !

Great idea.

Would this be correct:

I will be in Rome next June.

Andro a Roma la prossima giugno.

Verona, Italy
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4. Re: Get By in Italian VII - oh yes !

Andrò means I will go so how about Sarò a Roma---I will be in Rome.

Ciao Nolana I have watched all of your other threads and you have such a great patience and desire to help with the language. Brava e buon ferragosto carissima!!

UK
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5. Re: Get By in Italian VII - oh yes !

Dreamingof$$ and Ohsodolce.... welcome ! I think you can generally say that in Italian the word order and meanings are very similar to the 'English' ones... mangio patatate ma non mangio pane.... I eat potatoes but I don't eat bread.... well - the first part is o.k. . As for the negative part 'but I don't eat bread' this is an 'English way' of speaking... using 'I do'' and I do not' .... in Italian, you simply put 'non' in front of the relevant verb (action) word and you get the negative.

Non fumo . = I don't smoke

Parlo inglese e italiano = I speak English and Italian (no capitals in Italian)

Non parlo inglese e italiano = I don't speak English and Italian

Parlo solo spagnolo = I speak only Spanish (but in English you could say 'I only speak Spanish'.... it would sound stilted if you put the 'solo' at the front in Italian)

As you get used to the way italian is spoken, you can be a little more adventurous and turn some word order around for style effect, but you should listen and learn first, it doesn't always work !

ecosseresurgam, ciao ! I wonder if we've met in a previous 'existence'.... your interest in certain items of high fashion on another thread...and the use of 'carissima' ...I'm certainly glad to hear from you again if that's the case, and happily return the 'carissima' .... if you're a new person... non importa (it doesn't matter) sono contenta lo stesso (I'm happy just the same !) it's nice to have friends and to be friendly ... well... we'll see !

more language answers.... next posting !

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6. Re: Get By in Italian VII - oh yes !

vnrose52 - ciao ! Yes... the usage of the various forms of 'you' still continues. I think you'll find that a lot of younger people use 'tu' with each other, even if they've never met before - but those would be in their teens and early twenties... Generally speaking, you would be considered impolite to stop a stranger in the street and use 'tu' - and certainly those younger people would use 'Lei' when talking to an 'older' or more 'senior' person - especially if they are in employment, because they would be used to using 'Lei' to a 'superior' (who would generally be older than they are) at work. I'm afraid you will just have to learn the different versions !

I can remember when people would use 'Lei' to each other at work, with surnames... but then switch to 'tu' and Christian names when meeting socially outside work ! I don't know if this still happens, or if people at work are becoming more 'familiar' and using 'tu' more often. I suspect that if 'in the public eye' they may still continue to use 'Lei' with colleagues at least in public - e.g. bank employees. Although, I must admit, one bank manager was talking to a client a few years ago, in a small town I was visiting in Puglia, and I noticed that he and the customer used 'tu'.... I smiled and commented 'you know each other well !' He laughed and gave the reason 'we were at school together !' ... so friendship always wins out ! I don't know if they would have used 'tu' if they were colleagues though... and one was senior - at least in public.

The 'voi' version for the polite singular 'you' is used in some areas more than others - probably more likely to be heard as you go further south - in some parts, it's considered slightly less formal than 'Lei' and to be used when showing respect to someone older or more senior, but who is closer to you 'emotionally' or is a relative. So an uncle or an elderly aunt, or even a grandparent (where some families are more formal towards them) would necessitate the use of 'voi' within the family.

As for nuances, in these areas, where people are 'friendlier' and use 'voi' instead of 'lei', if relations are cooling between you, or you have caused offence, it can first be noticed by the other person slipping into the 'Lei' form instead of the 'voi'.... ! A sort of verbal 'distancing'....

As for 'loro' (polite form plural) I think this has probably dropped out of use in many areas - being replaced by 'voi' for the plural 'you' in general. But I would leave this discussion to the Italian natives/locals to complete, because they are in Italy all the time, and perhaps more aware of how things are nowadays as regards the use of the familiar and polite forms at work and at home/play... I need to go back and spend more time there soon.... and not just for keeping up with the language.... I'm getting withdrawal symptoms... the atmosphere, the gelati, the cannoli, the authentic pizze ...the sounds.... the music,... the sunshine.... the aromas.... orange blossom and coffeee.....uhhhh !

UK
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7. Re: Get By in Italian VII - oh yes !

dreamingofdollar$$ and Ohsodolce.... some phrases just can't be put in the same word order as English....

I like.... mi piace (literally: to me it pleases...)

I like bread .... mi piace il pane = to me, it pleases (the bread)

I like bananas ... mi piacciono le banane = to me, they please, (the bananas)

But this is a specific item - and will be treated separately in your grammar or course book.

Simple phrases in a shop... I would like some butter = vorrei del burro (literally: 'I would like', from the verb 'volere' , of the butter - remembering that you have to combine 'di' and the word for 'the' - in this case 'il' for il burro - producing 'del' , in order to say 'some').

I would like some bread = vorrei del pane

I would like some grapes = vorrei dell'uva (this fruit is treated as singular)

I would like some vinegar = vorrei dell'aceto

When you start adding pronouns to the sentences, (and using compound past tenses) then things regarding word order start becoming more complicated !

He has bought some flowers = ha comprato dei fiori

he has bought them = li ha comprati (them he has bought)

He has bought me some flowers = mi ha comprato dei fiori (to/for me he has bought some flowers)

He has bought me some = me ne ha comprati (to/for me, of them, he has bought)

This is where you need an old-fashioned grammar book which shows you the order in which pronouns of particular types go in a sentence !

Perhaps someone on the last thread of Get By was right ... I do need to write a book !!!!

Maplewood
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8. Re: Get By in Italian VII - oh yes !

Come si chiamo vs. Come si Chiama? For what's your name, do you use Chiamo when asking a guy and chiama when asking a girl, or does it matter? I am doing Italian in 15 minutes a day, and sometimes don't understand when they cahnge the endings. As for all that you informal vs. formal I was hoping I could just get by with 1 version of you, do you think with the limited amount of Italian we are learning for a trip that we need to try to remember which is which? i.e. if I just learn and use the formal version of you will people look down on me for not knowing both versions?

Dublin
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9. Re: Get By in Italian VII - oh yes !

Come si chiama? = how are you (formal) called?

Come ti chiami? = how are you (informal) called?

A masculine noun usually ends with the letter o, and a feminine noun usually ends with the letter a; usually, but not always. Chiamare is a verb. Chiamo is I call, chiami is you call, chiama is s/he calls. The o and a ending there is part of the verb and nothing to do with masculine or feminine.

Redlands, California
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10. Re: Get By in Italian VII - oh yes !

Nolana, thank you so much--as a traveller, I will stick with "Lei" to be safe when talking to one person; if I have to talk to more than one I still don't know what I'll do! (I'm just trying to minimize the verb endings I need to remember!)