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Lesson Transcript

Cinzia: Buongiorno! Mi chiamo Cinzia.
Marco: Beginner series Season 1, Lesson 8 - What Did You Do This Weekend in Italy? My name is Marco.
Cinzia: And I’m Cinzia.
Marco: Come stai, Cinzia?
Cinzia: Benissimo, Marco, grazie. Wonderful, thank you, Marco. E tu?
Marco: Anche io sto bene. I am also well.
Cinzia: So Marco, what are we talking about today?
Marco: In this lesson, you will learn how to discuss finished actions and events using the passato prossimo (present perfect) tense of Italian verbs.
Cinzia: This conversation takes place at a train station.
Marco: And it is between Anna and Elena.
Cinzia: Who are friends, so they will be speaking informal Italian.
Elena: Allora? Che cosa ha detto?
Anna: Mi ha chiesto cosa faccio questo fine settimana.
Elena: Cosa gli hai detto?
Anna: Che non sono sicura di essere disponibile.
Marco: One more time, slowly.
Elena: Allora? Che cosa ha detto?
Anna: Mi ha chiesto cosa faccio questo fine settimana.
Elena: Cosa gli hai detto?
Anna: Che non sono sicura di essere disponibile.
Marco: Once again, this time, with a translation.
Elena: Allora? Che cosa ha detto?
Elena: So? What did he say?
Anna: Mi ha chiesto cosa faccio questo fine settimana.
Anna: He asked me what I am doing this weekend.
Elena: Cosa gli hai detto?
Elena: What did you tell him?
Anna: Che non sono sicura di essere disponibile.
Anna: That I am not sure if I am free.
Marco: So Cinzia, what do you think? Are they dating this weekend or not?
Cinzia: I don’t know, Marco. I don’t think Anna is very happy to go out with Peter.
Marco: Why is that?
Cinzia: She says, non sono sicura “I’m not sure,” which means that she’s not really in the mood for going out with him, which, according to me, and in women’s language means I’m not interested.
Marco: Oh, you don’t know that for sure.
Cinzia: Yeah, well, but I know for sure that if I wanna go out with someone, I just say yes. Why should I say no?
Marco: Well, only the future of this story will tell us what happened, really.
Cinzia: Okay, so let’s see what happens.
Marco: The first word is…
Cinzia: allora [natural native speed]
Marco: so, then
Cinzia: allora [slowly - broken down by syllable] allora [natural native speed]
Marco: Next
Cinzia: disponibile [natural native speed]
Marco: available, free
Cinzia: disponibile [slowly - broken down by syllable] disponibile [natural native speed]
Marco: Next
Cinzia: chiedere [natural native speed]
Marco: to ask
Cinzia: chiedere [slowly - broken down by syllable] chiedere [natural native speed]
Marco: Next
Cinzia: fine settimana [natural native speed]
Marco: weekend
Cinzia: fine settimana [slowly - broken down by syllable] fine settimana [natural native speed]
Marco: Next
Cinzia: dire [natural native speed]
Marco: to say
Cinzia: dire [slowly - broken down by syllable] dire [natural native speed]
Marco: Next
Cinzia: sapere [natural native speed]
Marco: to know
Cinzia: sapere [slowly - broken down by syllable] sapere [natural native speed]
Marco: Next
Cinzia: sicura [natural native speed]
Marco: sure, certain (feminine singular)
Cinzia: sicura [slowly - broken down by syllable] sicura [natural native speed]
Cinzia: Let’s have a look at the usage for some of the words. The first word we will look at is allora.
Marco: Cinzia, can you give us an example sentence, please?
Cinzia: Allora? Che cosa ha detto?
Marco: “So, what did he say?”
Cinzia: Okay. The next vocabulary word is - volere.
Marco: Let’s have an example.
Cinzia: Peter vuole una mela.
Marco: “Peter wants an apple.”
Cinzia: Okay. The next vocabulary word is - disponibile.
Marco: One example please, Cinzia.
Cinzia: Forse, Anna non è disponibile.
Marco: Maybe, Anna isn’t available.
Cinzia: Next, we have an expression and it’s - fine settimana.
Marco: One example, please.
Cinzia: Cosa fai questo fine settimana?
Marco: “What will you do this weekend?” This wraps it up for the vocabulary usage.

Lesson focus

Cinzia: In order to express past actions and events, Italian language has a very rich and detailed variety of verbal modes and tenses.
Marco: In the dialogue, both Anna and Elena used a past verbal tense called passato prossimo (present perfect).
Cinzia: The passato prossimo is a compound tense composed of two words; the auxiliary verb and the past participle. It is used to express finished actions and events at the time of speaking.
Marco: This tense, Cinzia, corresponds to two different tenses in English, right? It’s a bit complex.
Cinzia: Yes, it is complex, Marco.
Marco: Now, it corresponds to the simple past, for example…
Cinzia: I visited Italy last year.
Marco: And the present perfect, for example…
Cinzi: I have visited Italy for a month.
Marco: So, the English "I visited" and "I have visited" are the same in Italian, isn’t it?
Cinzia: Yes! I would say that the translation in Italian is the same, but obviously, the meanings are different.
Marco: Now, auxiliary verbs are avere "to have" and essere "to be."
Cinzia: In today’s lesson, we will see the passato prossimo of transitive verbs (verbs that transfer action to a direct object).
Marco: Yes! And remember that all transitive verbs require the auxiliary, avere.
Cinzia: Don’t forget it.
Marco: To make the passato prossimo, you need the present tense of avere followed by the past participle of the verb you want.
Cinzia: You should already know the present tense of avere (Io ho, tu hai, etc.), so you now need to learn how to make the past participle.
Marco: Exactly. Now, it sounds so complex. All these words we’ve seen–
Cizia: Oh no, come on, Marco. Don’t frighten our students.
Marco: No, no.
Cinzia: Please.
Marco: Just the opposite. What I want to say is that we’ve spent so many words, but in a few examples here, we will make it all so clear.
Cinzia: Yes, don’t worry because with us, everything is gonna be much easier.
Marco: Yes, with Cinzia, it’s always so…
Cinzia: Funny?
Marco: Easy. Yeah, funny, funny, true. Okay, so, as alway, please check the PDF, because it may help you better understand written Italian, but here, we’ll try and make the explanation as painless as possible. So, this is how it works, verbs for the first conjugation. For example…
Cinzia: parlare
Marco “To speak,” for the past participle, changing to…
Cinzia: parlato
Marco. Perfect. Instead, verbs of the second conjugation that is, for example…
Cinzia: ricevere
Marco: “To receive,” for the past participle, changing to…
Cinzia: ricevuto
Marco: And lastly, verbs of the third conjugation, for example…
Cinzia: finire
Marco: “To finish,” for the past participle, changing to…
Cinzia: finito
Marco: Now, this is the easy part. We’ve said so many things, but it’s just very, very simple, because -are becomes…
Cinzia: -ato
Marco: -ere becomes…
Cinzia: -uto
Marco: And -ire becomes…
Cincia: -ito
Marco: Very simple! So, the vast majority of Italian verbs follow the rules we have just explained, don’t they?
Cinzia: Yes, Marco, you’re right. But dear listeners, please be careful because it’s not always like this. Because, Marco, tell us, what did we have in the dialogue?
Marco: Yes, yes, in the dialogue, sorry, listeners, we had two irregular verbs, I mean two verbs with an irregular past participle, and the verbs are…
Cinzia: chiedere
Marco: “To ask” and…
Cinzia: dire
Marco: “To say.” So, chiedere “to ask,” how does it become when it changes to past participle?
Cinzia: It becomes chiesto.
Marco: Perfect. And what about dire? What is the past participle of dire?
Cinzia: It’s detto.
Marco: Perfect. So, chiedere becomes…
Cinzia: chiesto
Marco: And dire becomes…
Cinzia: detto
Marco: Well, we hope we made it easier.


Cinzia: Be sure to check out the vocabulary list with audio in the Learning center at ItalianPod1010.com. Also, ask us a question in the forum or leave us a comment. Thank you, everyone and a presto! Ciao ciao!
Marco: Ciao a tutti!

Video Vocabulary