Dialogue - Italian

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Vocabulary

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agosto August
senese of Siena
meglio better
diventare to become, develop into, turn
affollato crowded
fiume river
troppo too much
violento violent
affollare to crowd, to fill

Lesson Notes

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Grammar

The Focus of This Lesson Is on the Modal Verb Potere ("To Be Able to," "Can").
Verissimo, comunque puoi vedere il Palio anche in TV.
"Very true; by the way, you can watch the Palio on TV as well."


In Italian, we have three modal verbs: potere ("to be able to," "can"), volere ("to want," "to wish"), and dovere ("to have to," "must"). We use these verbs to give additional information about the main verb, and they indicate respectively the possibility, the will, or the necessity to do a determinate action. These verbs are followed by an infinitive verb without any linking preposition and are irregular.

In the "present indicative tense," the presente indicativo, potere means "to be able to" or "can."

For Example:

  1. Posso parlarti?
    "May I (can I) talk to you?"
  2. Puoi aprire questa bottiglia?
    "Can you (are you able to) open this bottle?"

In the "present perfect tense," the passato prossimo, potere means "to be able to" or "to succeed."

For Example:

  1. Non ho potuto finire i compiti.
    "I could not finish my homework."
  2. Finalmente ho potuto vedere questo nuovo film.
    "I was finally able to see this new movie."

Potere ("to be able to," "can") at the present indicative

Italian

"English

io posso

"I can"

tu puoi

"you can"

lui/lei può

"he/she/it can"

noi possiamo

"we can"

voi potete

"you can"

loro possono

"they can"

Please note that in order to form the passato prossimo tense and other compound verbs, the past participle for this verb is potuto and the auxiliary verb is avere ("to have") except when followed by those verbs that express movement such as andare ("to go"), venire ("to come"), salire ("to get on"), scendere ("to get off"), and so forth. In these cases, we use the auxiliary verb essere ("to be").

 

Lesson Transcript

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INTRODUCTION
Consuelo: Hello everyone! I'm Consuelo, and welcome to ItalianPOD101.com.
Marco: With us, you'll learn to speak Italian with fun and effective lessons.
Consuelo: We also provide you with cultural insights...
Marco: ...and tips you won't find in a textbook.
Marco: In today's class, we will focus on the modal verb potere, meaning "to be able to" or "can."
Consuelo: This conversation takes place on the streets of Siena.
Marco: It's between Alessio and Melissa.
Consuelo: They will be speaking informal Italian.
DIALOGUE
Melissa: Hai mai visto il Palio di Siena?
Alessio: Non ho mai potuto vedere il Palio, di solito ad agosto vado al mare.
Melissa: La guida dice che è una festa molto importante per la città di Siena e i senesi la amano molto.
Alessio: Verissimo, comunque puoi vedere il Palio anche in TV.
Melissa: Ah bene, forse è meglio, perché la città diventa molto affollata.
Alessio: Affollata?! Diventa come un fiume di persone!
Melissa: Queste feste medievali sono proprio interessanti.
Alessio: A Firenze noi abbiamo il calcio storico fiorentino.
Melissa: Sì, l'ho visto, ma è troppo violento!
English Host: Let’s hear the conversation one time slowly.
Melissa: Hai mai visto il Palio di Siena?
Alessio: Non ho mai potuto vedere il Palio, di solito ad agosto vado al mare.
Melissa: La guida dice che è una festa molto importante per la città di Siena e i senesi la amano molto.
Alessio: Verissimo, comunque puoi vedere il Palio anche in TV.
Melissa: Ah bene, forse è meglio, perché la città diventa molto affollata.
Alessio: Affollata?! Diventa come un fiume di persone!
Melissa: Queste feste medievali sono proprio interessanti.
Alessio: A Firenze noi abbiamo il calcio storico fiorentino.
Melissa: Sì, l'ho visto, ma è troppo violento!
English Host: Now let’s hear it with the English translation.
Melissa: Hai mai visto il Palio di Siena?
Marco: Have you ever seen the Palio of Siena?
Alessio: Non ho mai potuto vedere il Palio, di solito ad agosto vado al mare.
Marco: I've never been able to see the Palio; in August I usually go to the seaside.
Melissa: La guida dice che è una festa molto importante per la città di Siena e i senesi la amano molto.
Marco: The guidebook says it is a very important festival for the city of Siena, and Siena's people love it a lot.
Alessio: Verissimo, comunque puoi vedere il Palio anche in TV.
Marco: Very true; by the way, you can see the Palio on TV as well.
Melissa: Ah bene, forse è meglio, perché la città diventa molto affollata.
Marco: Oh, good, maybe it's better because the city becomes very crowded.
Alessio: Affollata?! Diventa come un fiume di persone!
Marco: Crowded? It becomes like a river of people!
Melissa: Queste feste medievali sono proprio interessanti.
Marco: These medieval festivals are really interesting.
Alessio: A Firenze noi abbiamo il calcio storico fiorentino.
Marco: In Florence, we have the historical Florentine football.
Melissa: Sì, l'ho visto, ma è troppo violento!
Marco: Yes, I saw it, but it's too violent!
POST CONVERSATION BANTER
Consuelo: "Ciao." Marco, in this season we continue following Alessio and Melissa.
Marco: Yep, and they're still in Siena.
Consuelo: They're talking about the Palio.
Marco: Oh, the Palio is so famous; people from all over Italy go to see it, am I right?
Consuelo: Yes, right, but not only Italians—all the foreign tourists who can resist the Italian heat in August try to visit Siena during the Palio.
Marco: People are still very enthusiastic about these ancient festivals!
Consuelo: Oh, you can say that! In the dialogue, Alessio mentioned, "Il calcio storico fiorentino." "Do you know what that is?" "Lo conosci," Marco?
Marco: Yes, it is the representation of ancient football. They play it in Firenze every year in June.
Consuelo: "Bravo," that's the one. Melissa says it is violent because players can use both their feet and their hands and there are not so many rules. Furthermore, they play in Piazza Santa Croce in a giant sand pit.
Marco: "Grazie," Consuelo, I hope some of our listeners have a chance to see these festivals, which are a good part of Italian tradition.
VOCAB LIST
Marco: Let's take a look at the vocabulary for this lesson.
The first word we shall see is:
Consuelo: agosto [natural native speed]
Marco: August
Consuelo: agosto [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Consuelo: agosto [natural native speed]
: Next:
Consuelo: senese [natural native speed]
Marco: of Siena
Consuelo: senese [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Consuelo: senese [natural native speed]
: Next:
Consuelo: meglio [natural native speed]
Marco: better
Consuelo: meglio [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Consuelo: meglio [natural native speed]
: Next:
Consuelo: diventare [natural native speed]
Marco: to become, develop into, turn
Consuelo: diventare [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Consuelo: diventare [natural native speed]
: Next:
Consuelo: affollato [natural native speed]
Marco: crowded
Consuelo: affollato [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Consuelo: affollato [natural native speed]
: Next:
Consuelo: fiume [natural native speed]
Marco: river
Consuelo: fiume [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Consuelo: fiume [natural native speed]
: Next:
Consuelo: troppo [natural native speed]
Marco: too much
Consuelo: troppo [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Consuelo: troppo [natural native speed]
: Next:
Consuelo: violento [natural native speed]
Marco: violent
Consuelo: violento [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Consuelo: violento [natural native speed]
: Next:
Consuelo: affollare [natural native speed]
Marco: to crowd, to fill
Consuelo: affollare [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Consuelo: affollare [natural native speed]
VOCAB AND PHRASE USAGE
Marco: Let's have a closer look at the usuage for some of the words and phrases from this lesson.
Marco: So consuelo, what expression are we studying today?
Consuelo: The usage for "-issimo" attached to an adjective.
Marco: You can hear many times an adjective ending in "-issimo" because it means "very."
Consuelo: In the dialogue, we have "verissimo."
Marco: Very true. Let's make some other examples.
Consuelo: Okay, listen carefully because the ending changes according to the noun it refers to.
Marco: Let's start.
Consuelo: "Una borsa costosissima."
Marco: "A very expensive purse."
Consuelo: "Un film interessantissimo."
Marco: "A very interesting movie."
Consuelo: "Degli spaghetti buonissimi."
Marco: "Some very good spaghetti."
Consuelo: "Delle persone simpaticissime."
Marco: "Some very fun people."
Consuelo: So take off the last vowel of the adjective and simply add "-issimo," "-issima," "-issimi," or "-issime" depending on the noun. It's super easy!
Marco: "E' semplicissimo!"

Lesson focus

Consuelo: Let's take a look at today's grammar point.
Marco: In today's lesson, we are focusing on the modal verb…
Consuelo: "Potere."
Marco: "To be able to" or "can."
Consuelo: In Italian, we have three modal verbs. I was just saying "potere" but we also have "volere"
Marco: "To want" or "to wish"
Consuelo: And "dovere."
Marco: "To have to" or "must."
Consuelo: We use these verbs to give additional information about the main verb, and they indicate respectively the possibility, the will, or the necessity to do a determinate action.
Marco: These verbs are irregular and are followed by an infinitive verb without any linking preposition.
Consuelo: In the dialogue, we've heard "poter vedere." "Vedere means" "to see." and "poter vedere"...
Marco: means "to be able to see."
Consuelo: In the present indicative tense, "potere" means "to be able to" or "can."
Marco: In the dialogue, we had "you can watch the Palio on TV as well."
Consuelo: "Puoi vedere il palio anche in TV."
Marco: Can you say another example at the present indicative?
Consuelo: Sure. "Puoi aprire questa bottiglia?"
Marco: "Can you/are you able to open this bottle?"
Consuelo: When conjugated at the present perfect tense, "potere" means…
Marco: "To be able to" or "to succeed," as in the dialogue.
Consuelo: "Non ho mai potuto vedere il Palio."
Marco: "I've never been able to see the Palio."
Consuelo: Please note that in order to form the "passato prossimo" tense and other compound verbs, the past participle is "potuto."
Marco: Basically, the auxiliary verb is "avere," meaning "to have."
Consuelo: Except when followed by those verbs that express movement such as "andare"
Marco: "To go"
Consuelo: "Venire"
Marco: "To come"
Consuelo: "Salire"
Marco: "To get on"
Consuelo: "Scendere"
Marco: "To get off," and so forth.
Consuelo: In these cases, the auxiliary verb used is "essere," meaning "to be," as in "Non sono potuta andare a scuola."
Marco: "I couldn't go to school."
Consuelo: "Non sono potuta salire sulla Tour Eiffel."
Marco: "I couldn't get on the Eiffel Tower."
Consuelo: Now, we give you the conjugation of the verb "potere" at the present indicative.
Marco: Oh, this is very useful. Let's start!
Consuelo: "Io posso."
Marco: "I can."
Consuelo: "Tu puoi."
Marco: "You can."
Consuelo: "Lui, lei può."
Marco: "He, she, it can."
Consuelo: "Noi possiamo."
Marco: "We can."
Consuelo: "Voi potete."
Marco: "You can."
Consuelo: "Loro possono."
Marco: "They can."

Outro

Marco: That just about does it for today.
Consuelo: Listeners, can you understand Italian TV shows, movies or songs?
Marco: How about friends and loved ones? conversations in Italian?
Consuelo: If you want to know what's going on, we have a tool to help.
Marco: Line-by-line audio.
Consuelo: Listen to the lesson conversations Line-By-Line, and learn to understand natural Italian fast!
Marco: It's simple really.
Consuelo: With a click of a button, listen to each line of the conversation.
Marco: Listen again and again, and tune your ear to natural Italian.
Consuelo: Rapidly understand natural Italian with this powerful tool.
Marco: Find this feature on the lesson page under Premium Member resources at ItalianPod101.com.