Dialogue - Informal Italian

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Dialogue - Formal Italian

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Vocabulary

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ciao hello, hi, bye
Piacere di conoscerti. Pleased to meet you.
per piacere please
chiamami call me (informal)
salve hello (formal or informal)

Lesson Notes

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Grammar

The Focus of This Lesson is Introducing Yourself in Italian
Ciao, mi chiamo Peter.
"Hello, my name is Peter."


chiamarsi "to be called"

Italian (singular)

"English"

Italian (plural)

"English"

(io) mi chiamo

"my name is"

(noi) ci chiamiamo

"our names are"

(tu) ti chiami

"your name is"

(voi) vi chiamate

"your names are"

(lui/lei) si chiama

"his/her name is"

(loro) si chiamano

"their names are"

Chiamarsi is a reflexive verb. This means that the action of the verb happens to the subject of that verb. Literally, mi chiamo means, "I call myself...." Because it is a reflexive verb, the object pronoun (in this case, myself, yourself, etc.) has to change to match the subject of the verb, Io mi chiamo ("I call myself"), or tu ti chiami ("you call yourself"), among others as you can see in the chart above.

People use the expression come very often when a person doesn't catch what someone says. It is a polite way to ask someone to repeat what he or she has just said.

Altrettanto has no good literal translation. It means "and you" or "you, too." You can use it to return good wishes to the other person. For example, Peter says, "piacere di conoscerti," and Elena responds, "altrettanto." Another example would be if someone said, "have a nice day," (buona giornata), an appropriate response is altrettanto.

Cultural Insights

Italian Nicknames


Just as in English, Italians like to give and use nicknames. The Italian word for nickname is soprannome. The most common way to create a nickname in Italian is to take the first two syllables of someone's name-just as Elena does. Other examples are Lore, which is short for Lorenzo, and Eli, short for Elisa. For people with two-part names, such as MariaTeresa, they often take the first syllables of each part and put them together. MariaTeresa, for example, becomes MariTé.