Italian Lesson #69

Cari Italian Tribune readers,

tom-means-webMy name is Tom Means and I am very happy to recommence this column on la bella lingua. As some of you may recall, I wrote this column for several years; I have since had un bellissimo bambino, and I have dedicated a lot of my time to raising him…in italiano!

Going forward, I will continue to teach you proper Italian and I will also share anecdotes on the triumphs and challenges of raising a child in New York/New Jersey area while only speaking and reading to him in italiano. The rest of our family speaks and reads to him in English so now at age two, his bilingualism is emerging beautifully. Capisce e parla italiano ed inglese! Although difficult to maintain, I have never directly spoken to him in English (well, okay, maybe an “I love you” has slipped out on occasion!). But even when an “I love you” slips out, I make sure to follow it up with a ti voglio bene!

A related goal of mine with this column is to invite readers to share their Italian language experiences with me, and I will then address the triumphs and challenges that you are kind enough to share. By this, I mean things like:

  • How Italian was used in your family
  • How your Italian was improved
  • How your Italian faded with time
  • Why you study Italian
  • What your goals are with la bella lingua

Now let’s get back to some Italian practice: Last week you worked on regular –are verbs, and this week we have some more for practice:

 Esercizio 1:  Fill in the blanks with the cues given:

  1. Gianni ___________(aspettare) qui.
  2. Loro___________(comprare) un giornale.
  3. Domani noi____________(guardare) il film.
  4. “Alessio, quando____________(mandare) la lettera?”
  5. Io _____________(mangiare) con Pietro stasera.

As you form the present tense in Italian, keep in mind how flexible it is compared with the present tense in English. Let me show you what I mean by taking the Io form of the verb guardare.

“Guardo” could be translated three different ways into English:  I am watching; I watch; I do watch.

This “triple translation” applies to all Italian verbs in the present tense. One more example with the noi form of mangiare: Mangiamo = We are eating; We eat; We do eat

 Last week’s answers:  Exercise 1:

  1.  aspetto, aspetti, aspetta, aspettiamo, aspettate, aspettano.
  2.  ballo, balli, balla, balliamo, ballate, ballano
  3.  ritorno, ritorni, ritorna, ritorniamo, ritornate, ritornano.
  4.  cucino, cucini, cucina, cuciniamo, cucinate, cucinano


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