Do you know how to say “it makes sense” in Italian? It’s one of those phrases that you need to be a little bit careful with because it’s easy to end up saying something totally different by accident! 

Learn more in episode #76 of five minute Italian

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Vocabulary: How to say “it makes sense” in Italian

  • Ma non ha senso! = But it doesn’t make sense!
  • Non = make a sentence negative
  • Ha = it has
  • Senso = sense
  • Ha senso = it makes sense (lit. it has sense)
  • Fare = to do or to make
  • Fa = it makes
  • Fa senso = it makes me cringe/it’s disgusting
  • Il sangue fa senso = blood is disgusting/makes me cringe
  • La carne fa senso = meat is disgusting/makes me cringe
  • La tua idea ha senso = your idea makes sense
  • Sono d’accordo = I agree
  • Hai ragione = you’re right (lit. you have reason)

Quiz: How to say “it makes sense” in Italian

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Flashcards: How to say “it makes sense” in Italian

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Transcript: How to say “it makes sense” in Italian

Please note, this is not a word for word transcript.

Katie: Ciao a tutti e benvenuti a 5 Minute Italian. I’m Katie. 

Matteo: And I’m Matteo. Ciao! 

K: Recently we’ve been looking at ways to agree in Italian. It’s really handy to have these little phrases in your Italian toolkit because they help you keep the conversation going smoothly. 

M: Today we’re going to learn how to say “it makes sense”

K: And you have to be a bit careful with this one because one little slip and you could end up saying something totally different! 

M: To learn how to say it, let’s start by listening to a phrase Katie often says when she’s trying to file her taxes in Italy:

M: Ma non ha senso!

K: But it doesn’t make sense! When you’re navigating the Italian tax system, the struggle is real. Word for word, that’s:  

Non = used to make a sentence negative

Ha = has

Senso = sense

K: We know that to make a sentence negative, we add “non” to the beginning. So let’s zoom in on the last part. To say “it makes sense” we say “ha senso”. Which is literally “it has sense”. So if you’re agreeing with someone, you can say: 

M: Sì sì sì, ha senso, ha senso. 

K: Italians like to repeat for emphasis so we get yes yes yes, it makes sense, it makes sense. Ha = it has, senso = sense. Now, it’s important to remember to use “have” and not just translate the phrase directly, as this can lead you down the wrong path. Do you know how to say “it does” or “it makes” in Italian? 

M: Remember that do and make are the same in Italian – we say “fare”. To say “it makes”, we say “fa”. 

K: And we don’t want to say this, because the expression “fa senso” exists in Italian, but it actually means “it’s gross” or “it makes me cringe”. For example, you can say: 

M: Il sangue mi fa senso

K: Il sangue is “blood”, so if you say “il sangue mi fa senso” you’re saying “blood makes me cringe”. Another example is, if you’re vegetarian, you could say: 

M: La carne mi fa senso 

K: Which means something like “meat makes me cringe” or “I find meat gross or disgusting”. 

And here, you can see how it’s very easy to make this mistake in Italian. You don’t want to say to someone “la tua idea fa senso”, which would mean… I find your idea disgusting.

If you want to agree with someone and say “your idea makes sense” you actually have to say “your idea has sense” 

M: La tua idea ha senso.

K: So to say “it makes sense” we say “ha senso”. 

K: For a quick review, can you remember the other ways to agree in Italian? We had “I agree” which is literally “I am of accord”

M: Sono d’accordo

K: And we also looked at “you’re right”, literally “you have reason”

M: Hai ragione

K: If you’re like me and you find it useful to see all this stuff written down, on our website you’ll find the transcripts and other bonus materials like a quiz and flashcards to help you remember the phrases from today’s lesson. Go to www.joyoflanguages.com/italianpodcast and scroll down to episode 76. You can also practice chatting Italian with us in our facebook group, you can find the link in the show notes. 

See you next time, or as we say in Italian

Alla prossima!

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Related episodes

You have reason! How to say “you’re right” in Italian

How to say I’m hungry in Italian

Do you know how to say “you’re right” in Italian? 

As we started talking about last week, Italian has some funny expressions with “have”. In this lesson, you’ll learn a really important one: to be right, or literally, to “have reason”.

Find out more in episode 75 of five minute Italian.

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Vocabulary: How to say “you’re right” in Italian

  • Hai ragione = you’re right
  • Lo so = I know
  • Ho sempre ragione = I’m always right
  • Ha ragione = he/she’s right
  • Abbiamo ragione = we’re right
  • Avete ragione = youPlural are right
  • Hanno ragione = they’re right

Quiz: How to say “you’re right” in Italian

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Flashcards: How to say “you’re right” in Italian

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Transcript: How to say “you’re right” in Italian

Please note, this is not a word for word transcript.

Katie: Ciao a tutti e benvenuti a 5 Minute Italian. I’m Katie

Matteo: And I’m Matteo, ciao! 

K: Last week, we started talking about some funny expressions with “have” in Italian. For example, in Italian, we don’t say “I am hungry”. We say “I have hunger”. 

M: Ho fame

And I don’t say “I am my age” for example, I am thirty-six, I say I “have” my age: Ho trenta-sei anni

K: In this episode, we’re going to look at another really useful phrase that follows the same logic. 

K: Let’s listen to a mini conversation that happens often in our house…

Hai ragione

M: Lo so, ho sempre ragione

Whenever I say to Matteo “you’re right” (hai ragione) he always likes to reply with: 

M: “I know, I’m always right”. 

K: That’s why I try not to say it that often. To say you’re right, Italians literally say “you have reason”. 

M: Hai ragione

K: Word for word, that’s: 

M: 

Hai = you have

Ragione = reason

K: So thats you have, “hai” spelt h, a, i, but the h is silent. 

M: Hai

K: Then ragione, spelt r-a-g-i-o-n-e

M: Ragione

K: Let’s break down the reply too: 

M: 

Lo so = I know

Ho = I have

Sempre = always

Ragione = reason

K: So to say “I’m right” we say “I have reason”

M: Ho ragione

K: That’s I have, spelt h-o, but the h is silent. 

K: And to say “you’re right”, we say “you have reason”

M: Hai ragione

K: How would we say it for other people? If you know the forms of have (avere), it’s simple. If you don’t, no problem, we’ll do a quick review. How do we say “he or she has” in Italian?

M: Ha 

K: Spelt h – a, but the h is silent. So how would you say “he’s right” or “she’s right” literally he or she has reason? 

M: Ha ragione

K: And how do we say “we have”?

M: Abbiamo

K: Spelt a-b-b-i-a-m-o. We’re right, or we have reason?

M: Abbiamo ragione

 K: In Italian, we have a “you plural” form, which we use when we’re speaking to two or more people, a bit like saying “you both” or “you all” or even “y’all” or youse, if you have that form in your dialect. You have in the plural would be: 

M: Avete

K: Spelt a – v- e- t- e. You all/both are right?

M: Avete ragione

K: Finally, they have?

M: Hanno

K: Spelt h-a-n-n-o but the h is silent. They’re right? 

M: Hanno ragione

K: Now we have a little favour to ask – if you’re enjoying these podcasts, please head over to itunes and write us nice review as this helps us reach more students. To do this, you can click on the link in the show notes, listen on apple podcasts, then when it opens up itunes, click on “write a review” and you should be good to go. 

Grazie to everyone who’s been in touch via reviews or emails – we really do love to hear from you, it makes our day! 

If you’re like me and you find it useful to see all this stuff written down, on our website you’ll find the transcripts and other bonus materials like a quiz and flashcards to help you remember the phrases from today’s lesson. Go to www.joyoflanguages.com/italianpodcast and scroll down to episode 75. 

See you next time, or as we say in Italian

Alla prossima!

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Related episodes

How to agree in Italian

How to say I’m hungry in Italian

Fare: the magic verb that will help you sound more Italian

Do you have hunger?

Languages don’t always express things in the same way, and this little phrase is a great example.

Italians aren’t hungry, they have hunger.

Learn more expressions with “have” in episode 74 of 5 Minute Italian.

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Vocabulary: How to say I’m hungry in Italian

  • Ho fame = I’m hungry (lit. I have hunger)
  • Ho = I have
  • Fame = hunger
  • Hai sempre fame = you’re always hungry
  • Hai = you have (spelt h-a-i, but the h is silent)
  • Sempre = always
  • Fame = hunger
  • Sì, ma adesso ho molta fame = yes, but now I’m really hungry
  • Sì = yes
  • Ma = but
  • Adesso = now
  • Ho = I have
  • Molta = lots of
  • Fame = hunger
  • Anch’io ho fame = I’m hungry too.
  • Anch’io = also I
  • Ho = I have
  • Fame = hunger
  • Allora mangiamo qualcosa? = So shall we eat something?
  • Allora = so/well/then (depending on the context)
  • Mangiamo = we eat/let’s eat
  • Qualcosa = something
  • Ha fame = he/she is hungry (lit. has hunger)
  • Abbiamo fame = we have hunger
  • Avete fame = youPlural have hunger
  • Hanno fame = they have hunger
  • Ho pazienza = I’m patient (I have patience)
  • Ho paura = I’m afraid (I have fear)
  • Ho trentatre anni = I’m 33 (lit. I have 33 years)
  • Quanti anni hai? = how old are you?
  • Quanti = how many
  • Anni = years
  • Hai = you have
  • Quanti anni hai? = how many years do you have (how old are you).
  • Ho trentasei anni = I’m 36 (lit. I have 36 years).

Quiz: How to say I’m hungry in Italian

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Flashcards: How to say I’m hungry in Italian

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Transcript: How to say I’m hungry in Italian

Please note, this is not a word for word transcript.

Katie: Ciao a tutti e benvenuti a 5 Minute Italian. I’m Katie

Matteo: And I’m Matteo, ciao! Let’s listen to a conversation we have almost every day.

K: Matteo, ho fame.

M: Hai sempre fame.

K: Sì, ma adesso ho molta fame.

M: Anch’io ho fame. Allora mangiamo qualcosa?

K: In that little conversation, you heard the expression “ho fame”, which means “I’m hungry”. Literally, it’s:

M:

Ho = I have (spelt h o, but the h is silent)

Fame = hunger

K: So Italians don’t say “I’m hungry”, they say “I have hunger”. Ho fame. Next you heard:

M: Hai sempre fame

K: You’re always hungry. Literally:

M:

Hai = you have (spelt h-a-i, but the h is silent)

sempre = always

fame = hunger

So following the pattern, to say “you’re hungry” we say “you have hunger” hai fame. Then you heard:

M: Sì, ma adesso ho molta fame

K: Which means “yes, but now I’m really hungry”. Literally:

Sì = yes

Ma = but

Adesso = now

Ho = I have

Molta = lots of

Fame = hunger

K: So because in Italian, we say “I have hunger”, to say “I’m really hungry”, we literally say “ho molta fame”. We say molta with an a at the end, because fame (hunger) is a feminine noun, la fame. Next you heard:

M: Anch’io ho fame

K: I’m hungry too. Literally:

M:

Anch’io = also I

Ho = I have

Fame = hunger

M: Allora mangiamo qualcosa?

K: So shall we eat something?

M:

Allora = so/well/then (depending on the context)

Mangiamo = we eat/let’s eat

Qualcosa = something

K: So we know how to say “I’m hungry”, literally “I have hunger”

M: Ho fame

K: And “you’re hungry”. Literally “you have hunger”.

M: Hai fame

K: What about the other people. How do you say “he/she has”

M: Ha

K: Spelt (h – a) but the h is silent. We’ve got lots of silent letters in this episode, so if you want to see it all written down you can head over to our website, we’ll give you the details at the end. So He/she has is “ha”. How would you say “he or she is hungry” (has hunger)

M: Ha fame.

K: And how do you say “we have”?

M: Abbiamo

K: We’re hungry (we have hunger)

M: Abbiamo fame

K: Now Italian has a plural you for speaking to more than one person. How do you say “you plural have”

M: Avete

K: Imagine you’re with a group of people. How would you ask “are you hungry” literally: you have hunger?

M: Avete fame?

K: Finally they have.

M: Hanno

K: Spelt h-a-n-n-o. The h is always silent in Italian: hanno. They’re hungry (they have hunger)

M: Hanno fame.

K: Interestingly, there are a few other expressions that have the same structure in Italian. For example, to say “I’m patient”, we literally say “I have patience”

M: Ho pazienza

K: To say “I’m afraid”, we say “I have fear”

M: Ho paura

K: Then, you may have come across this one before. To talk about ages, I don’t say “I am 33”, but rather “I have 33 years”

M: Ho trentatre anni

K: That’s for me, I have thirty three years: ho trentatre anni. And then I can ask Matteo: Quanti anni hai? Let’s break that down:

M:

Quanti = how many

Anni = years

Hai = you have

Quanti anni hai? = how many years do you have (how old are you).

K: So Matteo, quanti anni hai?

M: Ho 36 anni

K: Did you get that? He said “ho” (I have) trentasei anni (36 years)

K: If you enjoyed this episode, per favore, head over to itunes and give us a nice review – it’s really important as this helps other people find these Italian lessons too. Grazie in advance.

And as we mentioned before, we had a lot of silent letters in this one, so to see the words and expressions from today’s lesson head over to our website joyoflanguages.com/italianpodcast and scroll down to episode 74. You’ll also get bonus materials like a quiz and flashcards. And you can join our Facebook group by going to facebook.com/groups/5.minute.italian/, where you’ll find our fab community who practises chatting in Italian together.

Ciao for now, see you next time or as we say in Italian,

M: Alla prossima!

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Fare: the magic little word that will help you sound more Italian

Do you agree?

Italians have a funny way of saying this – but there’s an easy way to remember it. Find out more in episode 73 of 5 Minute Italian.

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How to say I agree in Italian: Vocabulary

  • Sono d’accordo = I agree
  • Sono = I am
  • Di = of
  • Accordo = accord
  • Non sono d’accordo = I don’t agree
  • Sei d’accordo = you agree
  • Sei d’accordo? = do you agree?
  • È d’accordo = he/she agrees
  • Siamo d’accordo = we agree
  • Siete d’accordo = you all/both agree (you plural)
  • Sono d’accordo = they agree (same as I agree)
  • D’accordo? = agreed?

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How to say I agree in Italian: Transcript

Please note, this is not a word for word transcript.

Katie: Ciao a tutti e benvenuti a 5 Minute Italian. I’m Katie

Matteo: And I’m Matteo, ciao!

K: And in today’s lesson, you’ll learn one of those really useful little phrases that you’ll find yourself saying all the time “I agree”. It’s different compared to in English, but it’s similar enough to be able to remember quite easily.

M: Sono d’accordo. Sei d’accordo?

K: Sì, sono d’accordo. Sei d’accordo?

M: No, non sono d’accordo.

K: In that silly little conversation, you heard lots of examples of how to say “I agree”. To say “I agree” in Italian, we say:

M: Sono d’accordo.

K: Let’s break it down. The first word of this expression is “sono”. Which means “I am”.

M: Sono.

K: Then we’ve got the next part of the phrase:

M: d’accordo

K: Which is a d followed by an apostrophe. D – apostrophe – accordo. Di means “of” and accordo means accord. So taken together, it means “of accord”

M: Let’s listen to the phrase again: Sono d’accordo

K: Sono = I am; D’accordo = of accord. So Italians literally say “I am of accord”.

M: So the next time you want to say “I agree” in Italian, just think “I am of accord”. Sono d’accordo.

K: And there are a couple of interesting little things to say about this phrase. The first is the d apostrophe.

M: This happens because when you have the word “di” before a vowel, you can change the i into an apostrophe.

K: And if you’re thinking right about now that it would be nice to see this written down, you’ll find the transcript by going to our website, you’ll find details at the end of the episode.

M: So the rule is: when you have di before a vowel, like the a in accordo, you can use d apostrophe if you like. In most cases it’s optional, but when you have fixed phrases like “d’accordo”, the d apostrophe is the standard form.

K: The second thing is that normally when you say “sono” as in “I am”, the describing word that comes after has to agree with the gender of the person.

M: For example, an American man would say “sono Americano”, while a woman would say “sono AmericanA”.

K: But this doesn’t happen with this phrase. Because we have the “di” in the middle. So I’m not assigning a quality to myself, like with a nationality. I’m talking about a thing – a bit like saying “I’m of the opinion.” So we know how to say “I agree” or “I am of accord” which is:

M: Sono d’accordo.

K: How would you say “I don’t agree”?

M: Non sono d’accordo.

K: And there are all the other people as well, so you agree. All you need to do is change the first word. In the first one, we have “I am d’accordo”, which is “sono d’accordo”. How would you say “you are”

M: Sei

K: So you agree (literally, you are of accord)

M: Sei d’accordo.

K: And you can ask this as a question, like you heard at the beginning:

M: Sei d’accordo?

M: How do you say “he/she is”

M: è

K: So he or she agrees would be:

M: è d’accordo

K: And how do you say “we are”?

M: Siamo.

K: We agree:

M: Siamo d’accordo.

K: Then in Italian we’ve got the you plural, which is a bit like saying “you all” or “you both are”. Do you know how to say this in Italian?

M: Siete

K: You all/both agree

M: Siete d’accordo

K: And finally “they are” which is handy because it’s exactly the same as “I am”:

M: Sono

K: They agree

M: Sono d’accordo.

K: To make sure you remember how to say “I agree” in Italian, head over to our website joyoflanguages.com/italianpodcast and scroll down to episode 73. You’ll see all of this written down and get bonus materials like a quiz and flashcards. And you can join our Facebook group by going to facebook.com/groups/5.minute.italian/, where you’ll find our fab community who practises chatting in Italian together.

Ciao for now, see you next time or as we say in Italian,

M: Alla prossima!

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3 different ways to say “you” in Italian

Do you know the difference between eggs and grapes in Italian?

It should be simple, but it’s easy to mix them up.

Learn how to differentiate these words (and avoid making an embarrassing mistake) in episode 72 of 5 minute Italian.

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Today’s Italian Vocabulary

  • uovo = egg
  • uova = eggs
  • un uovo = one egg
  • due uova = two eggs
  • L’uva = (the) grapes

Take the quiz

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Click here to take the quiz for this episode: Eggs or grapes?

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Transcript

Please note, this is not a word for word transcript.

Katie: Ciao a tutti e benvenuti a 5 Minute Italian. I’m Katie

Matteo: And I’m Matteo, ciao!

Katie: And in today’s episode, we’re going to talk about two words which sound similar in Italian: eggs and grapes. It’s kind of cruel, because they’re very easy to get mixed up, but as you can imagine, it can sound quite silly! Let’s get started.

M: Cominciamo.

K: Do you know how to say “egg” in Italian?

M: Uovo

K: That’s 3 syllables: oooo – wo – vo. oooo – wo – vo. (uovo). Now in Italian, the plural of eggs is a bit crazy – it doesn’t follow the rules at all.

M: In the singular, “uovo” is masculine. Un uovo.

K: If you want to see this written down, you can get the transcript by going to www.joyoflanguages.com/italianpodcast and scrolling down to this episode. So in the singular, egg is masculine. L’uovo. What happens in the plural?

M: It becomes feminine. But there is something else strange. The last letter changes to “a”. So we get due uova.

K: Don’t stress too much about the logic of this, because it’s very irregular. Just remember that to say one egg, we say “un uovo” and to say “two eggs” we say “due uova”. And this is where the confusion with grapes comes in. How do we say “grapes” in Italian Matteo?

M: Uva

K: That’s two syllables: oooo – vaaa. oooo – vaaa. And the interesting thing about grapes is that they’re not plural in Italian. They’re treated like one thing. A bit like how we say rice or pasta, even though they’re made up of lots of little pieces, we don’t say rices, or pastas. In Italian, grapes are like that – they’re treated like one mass. Uva. Next, we almost always say “the” in Italian, so we’d say “the grapes” rather than just “grapes”. Uva starts with a vowel. To say “the” before a word which starts with a vowel, we say “l” plus apostrophe. L’. So to say the grapes, we get:

M: L’uva.

K: Now let’s learn a little trick to differentiate: uovo (egg) uova (eggs) and uva (grapes). It’s a little bit silly, but the sillier something is, the more memorable it is, so let’s give it a go.

Uovo and uova (egg and eggs) start with a wo sound. So you can imagine a chicken laying a huge egg. You look at the giant egg, and you say “woooahhh!”

Next, let’s imagine grapes. Uva. Grapes are fancy, you can imagine all these fancy pictures of Romans being fed grapes. You see someone being fed grapes, and you could say “ooooh fancy”. And that will remind you that the first sound for grapes is “ooooo”. Uva.

M: Let’s hear the words one more time.

K: How do you say “egg”? Imagine seeing a huge chicken egg.

M: Uovo.

K: Eggs?

M: Uova. With an -a. Uova.

K: How do you say grapes. Imagine looking at a painting of someone being fed grapes. Oooh fancy.

M: Uva.

K: To make sure you remember the difference between “grapes” and “eggs” head over to our website joyoflanguages.com/italianpodcast and scroll down to episode 72. You’ll see all of this written down and get bonus materials like a quiz and flashcards. And you can join our Facebook group by going to facebook.com/groups/5.minute.italian/, where you’ll find our fab community who practises chatting in Italian together.

Ciao for now, see you next time or as we say in Italian,

M: Alla prossima!

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Invidioso vs. geloso: how to say jealous in Italian

Do you make these typical tourist mistakes?

Did you know? Italian has two different words for jealous: geloso and invidioso.

But watch out, because they’re not interchangeable.

Find out the difference in episode 71 of 5 minute Italian.

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Today’s Italian Vocabulary

Sono geloso = I’m jealous (a man talking about “love” jealousy)

Sono gelosa = I’m jealous (a woman talking about “love” jealousy)

Sono invidioso = I’m jealous (a man talking about “I want what you have” jealousy)

Sono invidiosa = I’m jealous (a woman talking about “I want what you have” jealousy)

Take the quiz

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Click here to take the quiz for this episode: Geloso vs. invidioso: How to say jealous in Italian

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Transcript

Please note, this is not a word for word transcript.

Katie: Ciao a tutti e benvenuti a 5 Minute Italian. I’m Katie

Matteo: And I’m Matteo, ciao!

K: This week’s episode is dedicated to Kathy Coventry, Vahagn, Lisa, Joe, and Susanna, who came along to our immersion in Florence, and were all part of an interesting conversation we had about the word “jealous” in Italian.

One evening, a few students climbed up to the top of the dome on the cathedral in Florence with our teacher Stefano, while others came for pre-dinner drinks with me. Sitting in a caffè having a beer with Joe, Lisa and Susanna, when we got a message on the whatsapp group from the students who had climbed up, with a picture of the beautiful views they could see of sunset over the rooftops in Florence. We were chatting in Italian, and Lisa wanted to joke and say “to make us jealous”.

Come si dice “jealous” in Italian? How do you say “jealous” in Italian? This started an interesting conversation about how there are actually two words. So what are they and how are they different?

M: In Italian, we have two different kinds of jealousy. The first is how you feel when you are in love. If you are worried your boyfriend or girlfriend, your husband or wife is attracted to someone else, we use “geloso”.

So for example, if I was paranoid, and worried that Katie was in love with another man, I’d say “sono geloso”.

K: Sono geloso. That means “I’m jealous” in the romantic sense. Matteo would say “sono geloso” because he’s a man. But I’m a woman. So let’s imagine now I’m all paranoid and worried that Matteo is in love with another woman. How would I say “I’m jealous” as a woman?

I would say “sono gelosa” with an “a” at the end.

M: Next, we have the other kind of jealousy, which is when you want what someone else has. This is “invidioso”. It’s similar to the English word “envious”.

K: So let’s imagine that Matteo is jealous because a friend has got a promotion that he wanted. How would he say “I’m jealous”?

M: Sono invidioso.

K: Now imagine that I’m jealous because my friend has just won the lottery. How would I say “I’m jealous” as a woman?

Sono invidiosa.

So the take home message of today’s episode is, if you’re talking about romantic jealousy, say “geloso” or “gelosa”. And if you’re talking about “I want want what you have” jealousy, use “invidioso” or “invidiosa”.

And the end, after chatting about the differences between geloso and invidioso, we decided to reply with a picture of us drinking beer and wine in a little caffè, to make them invidiosi too.

To make sure you remember the difference between “geloso” and “invidioso” head over to our website joyoflanguages.com/italianpodcast and scroll down to episode 71. You’ll see all of this written down and get bonus materials like a quiz and flashcards. And you can join our Facebook group by going to facebook.com/groups/5.minute.italian/, where we have a lovely community who practises chatting in Italian together.

Ciao for now, see you next time or as we say in Italian,

M: Alla prossima!

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How to say sorry in Italian: the difference between “scusa” and “mi dispiace”

How to say “I love you” in Italian (and avoid an embarrassing mistake!)

Molto, molti, molta, molte… what’s the difference? And when should you use them? Find out in episode 70 of 5 minute Italian.

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Today’s Italian Vocabulary

Molto = very/lots of

Molto grande = very big

Molto felice = very happy

Molto vecchio = very old

Molto veloce = very fast

Molto difficile = very difficult

Molto cibo = lots of food

Molti pomodori = lots of tomatoes

Molta pioggia = lots of rain

Molte banane = lots of bananas

Take the quiz

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Click here to take the quiz for this episode: When to use molto (and when to use molti, molta and molte).

Flashcards.

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Transcript

Please note, this is not a word for word transcript.

Katie: Ciao a tutti e benvenuti a 5 Minute Italian. I’m Katie

Matteo: And I’m Matteo, ciao!

K: This week’s episode is dedicated to Cathy, Cheryl and Rick, who came along to our immersion in Florence last week. As we were sitting eating breakfast on the terrace, an interesting question came up. Which was: in Italian, you have “molto”, “molti” “molta”, and “molte”. When do you use “molto” and when do you use the others?

This was a great question, and a question that I think many people wonder about, so today, we’re going to clear up some of the mystery around “molto”.

M: Molto can mean “very”, as in “molto bello” (very beautiful). But it can also mean “a lot” as in “molto cibo” (lots of food).

K: And therein lies the difference.  When “molto” means “very”, as in “molto bello”, it’s a describing word. We can also have examples like:

M:

Molto grande = very big

Molto felice = very happy

K: When we use “molto” as a describing word, it never changes, we always have “molto”. It can never be molta, molti or molte. Here are some more examples:

M:

Molto vecchio = very old

Molto veloce = very fast

Molto difficile = very difficult

K: So that was the first kind of “molto” that never changes. Now let’s move onto the second kind, that can change. We know that we can also use “molto” to mean “a lot” as in “molto cibo”. In this case, we’re talking about quantity. Lots of food. And when we use molto to talk about quantities, it has to change to agree with the thing you’re talking about. For example:

M:

Molto cibo = lots of food

Molti pomodori = lots of tomatoes

Molta pioggia = lots of rain

Molte banane = lots of bananas

K: Let’s break that down quickly:

M: Molto cibo = lots of food

K: cibo is a masculine singular, so we say “molto”.

M: Molti pomodori = lots of tomatoes

K: Pomodori is a masculine plural, so we say “molti”

M: Molta pioggia = lots of rain

K: Pioggia (rain) is a feminine singular, so we use “molta”

M: Molte banane = lots of bananas

K: Banane is a feminine plural, so we way “molte”.

K: The message to remember from today’s episode is: if you use molto to describe something, like “molto bello” it never changes, while if you’re using it for quantities, or to count something, like “molte banane” (lots of bananas), it should agree with the gender and number of the word you’re describing, in this case “molte” for “le banane”.

That’s it for today, I hope you found that useful, and if you’d like to see all this stuff written down, remember you can see all the words and phrases from today’s lesson by going to joyoflanguages.com/italianpodcast and scrolling down to episode 70. You’ll also find bonus materials like flashcards and a quiz to help you remember what you learnt. You can also practice chatting with us in Italian in our Facebook group, by going to facebook.com/groups/5.minute.italian. You’ll also find the links in the show notes.

Ciao for now, see you next time or as we say in Italian,

M: Alla prossima!

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Related episodes

#64: How to say “the” in Italian: the basics

#26: Dove sono le banane? How to ask for things in supermarkets

Yesterday, I was eavesdropping on a conversation in an Italian bar (as I like to do) and I overheard someone say something that made me smile, including a very useful little word that Italians use all the time: “casino”.

It may not mean what you think it does as it’s quite different in English and Italian.

Learn what “casino” means and eavesdrop on an Italian conversation with us in episode 69 of 5 minute Italian.

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Today’s Italian Vocabulary

ll governo ci costa un sacco di soldi. E fa sempre casini. = The government costs us loads of money. And they’re always making a mess.

il governo = the government

ci = us

costa = costs

un sacco di = loads of

soldi = money

e = and

fa = makes

sempre = always

casini = messes

ho fatto un casino = I made a mess

non fare casini = don’t make a mess

che casino = what a mess

fare casino/casini = make a mess

casinò

un sacco di = loads of

un sacco di soldi = loads of money

un sacco di rumore = loads of noise

un sacco di cose = loads of things

 

Take the quiz

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Click here to take the quiz for this episode: What does “casino” mean in Italian? (it might not be what you think)

Flashcards.

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Transcript

Please note, this is not a word for word transcript.

Katie: Ciao a tutti e benvenuti a 5 Minute Italian. I’m Katie

Matteo: And I’m Matteo, ciao!

K: Yesterday morning, I was drinking my usual morning caffè in the bar around the cornerwhen I overheard an Italian say something that was not only interesting and funny, but also had some mini Italian lessons in it.

M: The sentence was: ll governo ci costa un sacco di soldi. E fa sempre casini. 

K: Let’s listen to the sentence again nice and slowly and see how much you can get from it:

M: ll governo ci costa un sacco di soldi. E fa sempre casini. 

K: So the guy I was eavesdropping on was complaining about the government, and he said: “The government costs us loads of money. And they’re always making a mess”.

Literally:

M:

il governo = the government

ci = us

costa = costs

un sacco di = loads of

soldi = money

e = and

fa = makes

sempre = always

casini = messes

K: So there are a few interesting things in this sentence that we’ll come back to, but first I wanted to talk about the word “casino” which is a word that you’ll hear all the time in Italian and has a rather interesting history. When you hear the word “casino”, you might think of the English word “casino”. And they are related, but they’re not exactly the same.

M: In modern Italian, “casino” is a slang word for “mess”. It’s important to notice that the pronunciation is different too. In Italian, we say casino, which is pronounced as z.

Here are some examples:

Ho fatto un casino = I made a mess

Or

Non fare casini = don’t make a mess

K: Sometimes you’ll hear it in the singular “casino”, or the plural “casini”, like the guy in the bar. So what’s the relationship to the English “casino”, where people play blackjack? Well once upon a time, a casino was the name for gentlemens club, where men used to go and play cards. Overtime, probably because of the other things they got up to in gentlemen’s clubs, the word casino took on the meaning of “brothel”. And for a long time in Italy, until quite recently, “casino” was considered a swear word or curse word.

M: Nowadays, it’s not a curse word any more. It’s more just like slang and Italians use it all the time in informal situations.

K: You can say:

Che casino = what a mess.

Or you can use it with the word “fare” which means to make and say

Fare casino/casini = make a mess

And the meaning is actually broader than “mess” in English. You could also use it when someone is making lots of noise, or when they cause trouble.

So the next question: how do Italians say “casino” in the sense of the place you can go to play cards and bet money?

M: They say “casinò”, with the stress on the last ò. So to say “a mess”, you say “casino” and for the place where you play cards, you say “casinò”.

K: To finish off, let’s just look quickly at another couple of interesting things in the phrase I overheard. We had:

M: Il governo ci costa un sacco di soldi. 

K: Ci costa is interesting, because “ci” means “us” and “costa” means “costs”. So we see here how Italians literally say “us, it costs”. You can find out more about this by going to episode 61.

M: Next, we have this lovely phrase “un sacco di”. It’s another example of Italian slang, that Italians use all the time.

K: It literally means: “a sack of”, but Italians use it to mean “loads”. For example:

M:

Un sacco di soldi = loads of money

Un sacco di rumore = loads of noise

Un sacco di cose = loads of things

And if you’re one of those people who learns best by seeing things written down (like most of us!) remember you can see all the words and phrases from today’s lesson by going to joyoflanguages.com/italianpodcast and scrolling down to episode 69. You’ll also find bonus materials like flashcards and a quiz to help you remember what you learnt. Don’t forget, you can also practice chatting with us in Italian in our Facebook group, by going to facebook.com/groups/5.minute.italian. You’ll also find the links in the show notes.

Ciao for now, see you next time or as we say in Italian,

M: Alla prossima!

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Related episodes

#61: Indirect Object Pronouns in Italian: The Ultimate Guide

#7: What shall we eat today?

#8: Shall we start now? OK

What’s the difference between “da” and “per”? In English, they can both translate as “for”, but they’re not interchangeable in Italian. Find out more in episode 68 of 5 minute Italian.

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Today’s Italian Vocabulary

Da quanto tempo = how long

Da quanto tempo studi l’italiano? = how long have you been studying Italian for?

Da = since

Quanto = how much

Tempo = time

Studi = you study

l’italiano = the italian

Studio l’italiano da due anni = I’ve been studying Italian for two years

Studio = I study

L’italiano = the Italian

Da = since

Due = 2

Anni = years.

Studio l’italiano da due anni = I’ve been studying Italian for two years

Ho studiato l’italiano per due anni = I studied Italian for two years (but I don’t anymore).

Aspetto da 10 minuti = I’ve been waiting for 10 minutes

Ho aspettato per 10 minuti = I waited for 10 minutes (but I’m not waiting anymore).

Take the quiz

How much did you learn? Find out in the 5-minute Italian quiz!

Click here to take the quiz for this episode: DA vs PER: What’s the difference?

Flashcards

Remember the vocabulary from your 5 Minute Italian lessons by downloading the digital flashcard pack.

Transcript

Please note, this is not a word for word transcript.

Katie: Ciao a tutti e benvenuti a 5 Minute Italian. I’m Katie

Matteo: And I’m Matteo, ciao!

K: And in today’s lesson, we’re going to continue talking about “how long”. in the sense of “how long you’ve been doing something”, or “how long you did something for”. This week, we’re looking at the difference between “DA” and “PER”.

Let’s start with the question “how long have you been learning Italian?” This is an important phrase to learn, because when you get into conversations with Italians, one thing they’ll likely ask you is “how long have you been learning Italian?”. How would you say that in Italian?

M: If you listened to last week’s lesson, you’ll know that to ask this question, we start with “DA”.

K: Which is like saying “for” or “since”. To ask “how long”, Italians literally say “since how much time”.

M: Da quanto tempo.

Da = since

Quanto = how much

Tempo = time

K:  So now we have our “how long” = da quanto tempo. To say “have you been studying”, it’s actually much simpler in Italian than in English.

M: Italians use the present. They say “since – how long – you – study – Italian”.

K: We know that how long is “da quanto tempo”, so how would you say “you study Italian”?

M: Studi l’italiano. Da quanto tempo studi l’italiano.

K: So let’s take that sentence again:

M:

Da = since

Quanto = how much

Tempo = time

Studi = you study

l’italiano = the italian

K: And to answer, how would you say “I’ve been studying Italian for two years”. Remember, in Italian, we just use the present tense, plus DA and the time period. Literally: “I study Italian since two years”.

M: Studio l’italiano da due anni

Studio = I study

L’italiano = the Italian

Da = since

Due = 2

Anni = years.

M: Now, I have a question for you: what’s the difference between these two sentences?

Studio – l’italiano – DA – due anni.

And

Ho – studiato – l’italiano – PER – due – anni.

K: In the first sentence, we’ve got the present tense – studio l’italiano (I study Italian). Then we have DA, followed by the time period, due anni (two years). In the second sentence, we’ve got the past tense – ho studiato l’italiano (I studied Italian). Then PER followed by the same time period, due anni (two years).

I’ll give you a clue. In one of these sentences, you studied Italian for two years at some point in the past, but you don’t anymore. In the other sentence, we’re talking about something that you are still doing, so you started studying Italian two years ago, and you’re still learning now.

M: Can you guess which one is which?

K: In the first sentence, the use of DA, shows us that you are still studying Italian. So this structure: present tense, plus da, plus the time period – studio l’italiano da due anni, shows us that you are still doing it. In the second sentence: past tense, plus per, plus the time period: ho studiato l’italiano per due anni, shows us that you did something for two years in the past, but now it’s finished. Let’s practice with another example. What’s the difference between these two sentences:

M:

Aspetto – DA – 10 – minuti

Ho – aspettato – PER – 10 – minuti

K: So in the first sentence we have:

M:

Aspetto = I wait

DA = since

10 minuti = ten minutes

K: Am I still waiting, or is the waiting finished? The present tense “aspetto” (I wait) plus DA, means that the action is still happening. I’ve been waiting for 10 minutes and I’m still waiting. Aspetto DA 10 minuti.

The other sentence was:

M:

Ho = I have

Aspettato = waited

PER = for

10 minuti = 10 minutes.

K: Here we have the past tense “ho aspettato” (I waited) plus “per”, which means that the action happened in the past. I waited for 10 minutes, but I’m not waiting anymore.

That’s it for today’s episode, remember that you can see all of these words and sentences written down by going to joyoflanguages.com/italianpodcast and scrolling down to episode 68. You’ll also get bonus materials like flashcards and a quiz to help you remember what you learnt. You can also practice chatting with us in Italian in our Facebook group, by going to facebook.com/groups/5.minute.italian. You’ll also find the link in the show notes.

Ciao for now, see you next time or as we say in Italian,

M: Alla prossima!

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Related episodes

#67: How long have you…? Using “da” in Italian

How long have you been learning Italian? How long have you been living where you live now? Questions and answers with “how long” are quite different in Italian compared to in English, but they’re actually quite simple when you know how. All you need is the little word “da”. Find out more in episode 67 of 5 minute Italian.

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Learn to speak and understand Italian faster by joining the 5 minute Italian club! When you sign up, you’ll get:

  • Mini Italian lessons + bonus materials delivered to your inbox.
  • Access to the private Facebook group where you can practice chatting in Italian.
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If you’d like to join us, click here to become a member of 5 Minute Italian.

Today’s Italian Vocabulary

Da quanto tempo vivi in Italia? =  How long have you been living in Italy?

Da =  since

quanto tempo = how much time

Vivi = you live

in Italia = in Italy

Da quanto tempo = how long have you…. (lit. since how much time)

Vivo in Italia da quasi 10 anni = I’ve been living in Italy for almost 10 years.

Vivo = I live

in Italia = in Italy

da = since

quasi = almost

dieci anni = ten years

E tu? = And you?

Ovviamente vivi in Italia da tutta la vita, più o meno = Obviously you’ve been living in Italy for your whole life, more or less.

Ovviamente = obviously

vivi = you live

in Italia = in Italy

da = since

tutta la vita = the whole life

più = more

o = or

meno = less

Ma da quanto tempo vivi a Milano? = But how long have you been living in Milan?

Ma = but

Da = since

Quanto tempo = how much time

Vivi = you live

A Milano = in Milan

Vivo a Milano da 8 anni = I’ve been living in Milan for 8 years.

Vivo = I live

a Milano = in Milan

Da = since

8 anni = eight years

Vivo IN Italia = I live in Italy (for countries)

Vivo A Milano =  I live in Milan (a for cities)

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Click here to take the quiz for this episode: How long have you…? How to use “da” in Italian

Flashcards

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Transcript

Please note, this is not a word for word transcript.

Katie: Ciao a tutti e benvenuti a 5 Minute Italian. I’m Katie

Matteo: And I’m Matteo, ciao!

K: And in today’s lesson, we’re going to learn how to talk about how long you’ve been doing something, using the word “da”. The good news is, it’s actually a lot simpler compared to English.

M: Let’s listen to the dialogue.

K: Cominciamo. Let’s start.

M: Da quanto tempo vivi in Italia?

K: Vivo in Italia da quasi 10 anni. E tu? Ovviamente vivi in Italia da tutta la vita, più o meno. Ma da quanto tempo vivi a Milano?

M: Vivo a Milano da 8 anni.

K: So the first question you heard was:

M: Da quanto tempo vivi in Italia?

K: How long have you been living in Italy? Word for word, that’s

Da =  since

quanto tempo = how much time

Vivi = you live

in Italia = in Italy

K: So here we can see this structure that Italians use to ask about how long you’ve been doing something. They literally say “since how much time” (da quanto tempo) followed by the verb in the present tense. In this case “vivi”, which means “you live”.

If you need a little fresher on verbs in the present tense, you can go back and listen to episode #39. For now, let’s break down the rest of the conversation. I replied:

M: Vivo in Italia da quasi 10 anni.

K: I’ve been living in Italy for almost 10 years. Literally:

M:

Vivo = I live

in Italia = in Italy

da = since

quasi = almost

dieci anni = ten years

K: And here we can see the reply. To talk about how long you’ve been doing something in Italian, use “da” (since) plus the verb in the present tense. In this case “vivo” which means “I live”. So to say “I’ve been living in Italy for almost 10 years, we literally say “I live in Italy since 10 years”. Vivo in Italia, da 10 anni. Next, I said to Matteo.

M: E tu?

K: And you?

And I followed up my question with:

M: Ovviamente vivi in Italia da tutta la vita, più o meno.

K: Obviously you’ve been living in Italy for your whole life, more or less.

M:

Ovviamente = obviously

vivi = you live

in Italia = in Italy

da = since

tutta la vita = the whole life

più = more

o = or

meno = less

K: And here again, we hear this structure “da” + present tense. Vivi in Italia da tutta la vita. Literally, you live in Italy since your whole life. Next, you heard the question

M: Ma da quanto tempo vivi a Milano?

K: But how long have you been living in Milan?

M:

Ma = but

Da = since

Quanto tempo = how much time

Vivi = you live

A Milano = in Milan

K: And here we have the question again: how long have you…? Which in Italian is literally:  “since how much time”. “Da quanto tempo…?” plus the present tense. Da quanto tempo vivi a Milano? And Matteo replied:

M: Vivo a Milano da 8 anni

K: I’ve been living in Milan for 8 years.

M:

Vivo = I live

a Milano = in Milan

Da = since

8 anni = eight years

K: Another nice example of this structure “da” plus the present tense. Vivo a Milano da otto anni. Literally: I live in Milan since 8 years. Vivo a Milano da 8 anni. In a moment, we’ll listen to the conversation again, but before we do, I’ll quickly chat about one more little detail.

Did you notice the difference between “Vivo IN Italia” (I live in Italy) and “vivo A Milano” (I live in Milan)?

M: This is because we use “in” for countries. Vivo in Francia (I live in France), vivo in Inghilterra (I live in England). But we use “A” for cities. Vivo A Parigi (I live in Paris), Vivo A Londra (I live in London.

Let’s listen to the conversation again.

M: Da quanto tempo vivi in Italia?

K: Vivo in Italia da quasi 10 anni. E tu? Ovviamente vivi in Italia da tutta la vita, più o meno. Ma da quanto tempo vivi a Milano?

M: Vivo a Milano da 8 anni.

K: Another example of when you could use this structure is:

M: Da quanto tempo studi l’italiano?

K: How long have you been studying Italian? And how would you answer?

M: Studio l’italiano da….

K: And then say how much time. So for example, to say “I’ve been studying Italian for 2 years”, you could say….”

M: Studio l’italiano da due anni.

K: Perfetto.

Before we go, we have some news. If you’ve been studying Italian for a little while now, but you still struggle with speaking, we have something for you. You’re invited to join our mini Italian conversation course. It’s completely free, and we’ll send you the first lesson as soon as you sign up. You’ll find the link in the show notes. We’d love to see you in there!

That’s it for today’s episode, ciao for now, see you next time or as we say in Italian,

M: Alla prossima!

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