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Lesson Transcript

Marco: Marco here! Beginner series Season 1, Lesson 28 - Why Won't You Talk about Your Italian Date?
Cinzia: Hi! My name is Cinzia and I’m joined here by Marco. Ciao Marco, come stai?
Marco: Sto molto bene, grazie. E tu?
Cinzia: Benissimo, grazie. Hello everyone and welcome to the 28th lesson of the beginner series.
Marco: Here, we take a broad approach to the language, emphasizing listening comprehension…
Cinzia: Speech and grammar…
Marco: And vocabulary and usage.
Cinzia: So, join us for this lesson of ItalianPod101.com. In today’s dialogue, we will see una conversazione tra ragazzi.
Marco: Oh, a conversation between boys, right?
Cinzia: Yes. So, last time, in the beginner lesson no. 27, we saw Elena and Anna talking about boys.
Marco: And today…
Cinzia: We will see Luca and Peter, but I have no idea, what are they talking about?
Marco: Well, they’re boys so they’ll be talking about beer.
Cinzia: Beer?
Marco: No, it’s a joke, but–
Cinzia: I think they’re talking about girls.
Marco: Nah, we’ll see in just a few seconds. But first of all, they are friends, so the dialogue is informal Italian, and what is today’s grammar about?
Cinzia: Oh, today’s grammar is about imperfetto tense.
Marco: Interesting and a bit complex, but…
Cinzia: As always, we will make it easier.
Marco: I hope.
Cinzia: Okay, let’s start.
Marco: Cinzia, you can sit down. My dialogue.
Cinzia: Thank you.
Luca: Com’è andata?
Peter: Al bar? Be’, era molto interessante.
Luca: No, intendevo con Anna.
Peter: Ah, be’ lei era molto carina. Ero sorpreso, gli italiani non bevono molta birra.
Luca: Perché non vuoi parlare di Anna?
Marco: Let's hear it slowly now.
Cinzia: Ascoltiamolo lentamente.
Luca: Com’è andata?
Peter: Al bar? Be’, era molto interessante.
Luca: No, intendevo con Anna.
Peter: Ah, be’ lei era molto carina. Ero sorpreso, gli italiani non bevono molta birra.
Luca: Perché non vuoi parlare di Anna?
Marco: And now, with the translation.
Cinzia: E ora, con la traduzione.
Luca: Com’è andata?
Luca: How did it go?
Peter: Al bar? Be’, era molto interessante.
Peter: At the bar? Well it was very interesting.
Luca: No, intendevo con Anna.
Luca: No, I meant with Anna.
Peter: Ah, be’ lei era molto carina. Ero sorpreso, gli italiani non bevono molta birra.
Peter: Ah, well she was really nice. I was surprised, Italians don't drink a lot of beer.
Luca: Perché non vuoi parlare di Anna?
Luca: Why don’t you want to talk about Anna?
Marco: Okay, Cinzia, come back here.
Cinzia: I’m here.
Marco: Is it true that Italians don’t drink so much beer?
Cinzia: You mean Italian girls?
Marco: No! Also Italian boys. I mean if you went out with your friends, okay, one whole evening.
Cinzia: Yeah.
Marco: How many beers would you drink? Three? Four? Five? No, really.
Cinzia: Do you really want to know?
Marco: Our listeners are waiting to hear it.
Cinzia: Two or three.
Marco: That’s not a lot, is it?
Cinzia: No, it’s not much.
Marco: I mean, maybe in 5 hours of…
Cinzia: But guys can drink more.
Marco: But still, Italian boys don’t drink that much compared to maybe Americans, Australians, British, so on.
Cinzia: Actually, we have the habit to go out, to drink and eat together.
Marco: Yes.
Cinzia: Not only to drink.
Marco: Yes also, but when we’re at the bar, in this case, a Bar Sport, last lesson they were in a Bar Sport.
Cinzia: Yeah.
Marco: We go there for, yes, have a drink, maybe one drink in 40 minutes, the next drink in another 40 minutes.
Cinzia: Yes, that’s true.
Marco: But the aim is to talk with friends, watch some TV maybe, watch some partita, soccer game.
Cinzia: Yes, being in good company and have a drink. But why isn’t Peter talking about Anna? He just had a date with her.
Marco: Well, he did say she was molto carina. That means really nice, really cute.
Cinzia: So that means that he likes her.
Marco: Yes, but I think he was more surprised about Italian drinking habits.
Cinzia: That’s strange anyway.
Marco: Mm-hmm.
Cinzia: And maybe, he’s just shy and doesn’t want to talk to Luca about Anna.
Marco: Italians tend to ask so many questions. Maybe he wants to be left more alone.
Cinzia: Probably.
Marco: So let’s take a look at today’s vocabulary.
Marco: First word…
Cinzia: be’ [natural native speed]
Marco: well
Cinzia: be’ [slowly - broken down by syllable] be’ [natural native speed]
Marco: Next word…
Cinzia: bello [natural native speed]
Marco: nice, good
Cinzia: bello [slowly - broken down by syllable] bello [natural native speed]
Marco: Next word…
Cinzia: intendere [natural native speed]
Marco: to mean
Cinzia: intendere [slowly - broken down by syllable] intendere [natural native speed]
Marco: Next
Cinzia: essere sorpreso [natural native speed]
Marco: to be surprised
Cinzia: essere sorpreso [slowly - broken down by syllable] essere sorpreso [natural native speed]
Marco: Next word…
Cinzia: bere [natural native speed]
Marco: drink
Cinzia: bere [slowly - broken down by syllable] bere [natural native speed]
Marco: And last word…
Cinzia: birra [natural native speed]
Marco: beer
Cinzia: birra [slowly - broken down by syllable] birra [natural native speed]
Cinzia: And now, let’s take a look at the usage for some of the words and expressions.
Marco: The first word is…
Cinzia: The first word is be’.
Marco: Hmm, strange.
Cinzia: What word is this?
Marco: Be’... be’... It sounds like–
Cinzia: It’s a sheep.
Marco: Yeah, it’s a sheep. It sounds like a sheep, doesn’t it?
Cinzia: Do you say it often?
Marco: Be’... qualche volta, well, sometimes.
Cinzia: Yeah, yeah, yeah.
Marco: So that’s the usage, right?
Cinzia: Be’... sì. It’s like “well.”
Marco: So, the well that we say when maybe we’re thinking about something or we’re starting an answer, right?
Cinzia: Yes. When you just don’t know how to start a conversation or an answer.
Marco: Or a question also. For example, the sample sentence is…
Cinzia: Be', cosa facciamo stasera?
Marco: Well, what are we going to do tonight?
Cinzia: The next word we will look at is bello.
Marco: And the sample sentence is…
Cinzia: Quella casa è bella.
Marco: "That house is nice."
Cinzia: Next word is intendere.
Marco: And the example sentence is…
Cinzia: Cosa intendi?
Marco: "What do you mean?"
Cinzia: Next, we have an expression, which is essere sorpreso.
Marco: Oh, very interesting. And the example sentence is…
Cinzia: Sono piacevolmente sorpreso!
Marco: "I am pleasantly surprised!” By what?
Cinzia: By me.
Marco: Surprised is the word. Pleasantly, I don’t know. Next word is…
Cinzia: The next word that we will look at is bere.
Marco: And the example sentence is…
Cinzia: Bevo un po' di vino.
Marco: "I drink some wine."
Cinzia: And the last word we will look at is birra.
Marco: And the example sentence is…
Cinzia: Bevo una birra.
Marco: "I drink a beer."
Cinzia: What do you like most, beer or wine?
Marco: Huh, tough question.
Cinzia: Do you drink?
Marco: Well, summertime, a nice beer and Sprite is so refreshing, Panaché. You know Panaché?
Cinzia: No! I don’t know it. What is it?
Marco: Okay. You take a beer.
Cinzia: Yes.
Marco: That would be one of those…
Cinzia: And the Sprite?
Marco: Yes.
Cinzia: And you mix them?
Marco: Yes. I’d say two parts Sprite, one part beer, or if you really wanna drink more, two parts beer, one part Sprite. Try it, it’s refreshing!
Cinzia: Really?
Marco: Yes!
Cinzia: I have some doubts, but…
Marco: No, you can try it. Don’t worry.
Cinzia: I’ll try it, okay.

Lesson focus

Marco: Whoa, the imperfetto tense, it is so tense!
Cinzia: You mean tiring?
Marco: Yes.
Cinzia: Come on, Marco, it’s not tiring. It’s just the imperfetto indicativo and it’s pretty straightforward, thanks to us.
Marco: That’s for sure. And it is one of the most widely used Italian tenses.
Cinzia: Yes, but our listeners have to remember just a few things. In particular, two cases in which they can use the imperfetto indicativo tense.
Marco: Okay then, so let’s tell them.
Cinzia: So the first case is about when we want to describe qualities, features, characteristics and the intrinsic traits of living beings and inanimate objects.
Marco: Well, we saw it in Peter’s statements, right?
Cinzia: Yes, in the dialogue.
Marco: He says - era molto interessante "it was very interesting" and then era molto carina "she was really nice."
Cinzia: Yes. So, in this case, the imperfetto tense is just employed to describe an attribute of the evening Peter was spending with Anna.
Marco: So, a simple description, right?
Cinzia: Yes, you’re right!
Marco: What about the second usage?
Cinzia: The second case is very, very easy. It’s just when you talk about past habits.
Marco: And it doesn’t matter if it happened 2 weeks ago or 300 years ago. They’re still habits, right?
Cinzia: Yes, habits in the past.
Marco: So, for example - Quando ero in Italia, bevevo il cappuccino al mattino.
Cinzia: Oh, "When I was in Italy, I used to drink a cappuccino in the morning." That’s a nice example. Com’eri quando eri bambino? “How did you use to be when you were a kid?”
Marco: Quando ero bambino ero molto agitato, “When I was a kid, I was very agitated.”
Cinzia: Oh really?
Marco: Yes.
Cinzia: Whoa, I would never tell, actually.
Marco: My nickname was Agitation.
Cinzia: Agitazione?
Marco: It was a mix between Italian English. Anyway, forget it.
Cinzia: Okay, okay.
Marco: We have another fairly common usage of imperfetto tense, right?
Cinzia: Yes. Actually, this usage doesn’t really get into the two cases, but it can be heard very often.
Marco: Yes, or you can read it very often.
Cinzia: Yes, especially from children - c’era una volta tanto tempo fa.
Marco: “Once upon a time” or “a long, long time ago.” It’s used to introduce, for example, children’s stories or fables, right?
Cinzia: Yes, fiabe, favole, storie per bambini. And then what else do we have in today’s grammar, Marco?
Marco: Intendi - intendere?
Cinzia: Of course, intendo, intendere.
Marco: Do you mean intendere?
Cinzia Yes.
Marco: As we saw in the dialogue, Luca says - No, intendevo con Anna “No, I meant with Anna.” So, this verb intendere “to mean” is usually followed by the infinitive of another verb, particularly in formal Italian. So, the verb that follows it is never conjugated and always uses the infinitive tense. For example, intendo parlarti.
Cinzia: “I mean to talk to you.”
Marco: And as you can see in this example, at the end of parlarti, we have the direct object pronoun “-ti.”
Cinzia: Yes. And parlare, it's infinitive.


Marco: So, I think that’s enough for today!
Cinzia: Intendi, è tutto per oggi?
Marco: Intendo dire che andiamo a casa, “I mean to say we’re going home.”
Cinzia: Thank you, listeners. Bye-bye!
Marco: Ciao!