Vocabulary (Review)

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Lesson Transcript

Let's take a closer look at the conversation.
Do you remember how Ben asks,
"How much does this cost?"
Quanto costa questo?
Let's start with the word, questo, "this." Questo. Questo.
You can use this word while pointing at something near you. It's useful when you want to refer to something you don't know the word for in Italian.
In Italian, all nouns have grammatical gender and are either singular or plural. Questo is masculine and singular — a fact which will determine the form of other words in the sentence.
Next is costa. "Costs" as in ''this costs.'' Costa.Costa.
Costa is from the verb costare, ''to cost.'' Costare.
Last is Quanto, "how much," in this context. Quanto. Quanto.
All together, it's Quanto costa questo? This literally means, ''How much costs this?'' but translates as "How much does this cost?"
Quanto costa questo?
Let's take a closer look at the response.
Do you remember how the shop clerk says,
"It costs two euro."
Costa due euro.
Let's start with due euro, ''two euro.'' Due euro.
First is due, "two." Due. Due.
Next is euro. "Euro," the name of the currency. Euro. Euro.
Note the singular and plural form of euro are the same.
Together it's due euro, ''two euro.'' Due euro.
Before this is costa, "[it] costs." Costa. Costa.
The word "this" is omitted as it is understood from context.
All together, it's Costa due euro. Literally, this means ''Costs two euro,'' but it translates as "it costs two euro."
Costa due euro.
The pattern is
Quanto costa {ITEM}?
"How much does {ITEM} cost?"
Quanto costa {ITEM}?
To use this pattern, simply replace the {ITEM} placeholder with the thing you'd like to know the price of.
Note: when naming specific items, you'll need to use the correct corresponding article.
For example, imagine you'd like to know the price of a coffee, un caffè.
Caffè. ''coffee.'' Caffè. Caffè.
Note that caffè is masculine and singular.
Un is also masculine and singular to agree with caffè.
Un. Think of this like "a," in English. Un. Un.
Ask, ''How much does a coffee cost?''
Quanto costa un caffè?
"How much does a coffee cost?"
Quanto costa un caffè?
Note: If you ask for un caffè, ''a coffee,'' it is assumed you are asking for an espresso.
If you'd like a less strong coffee, you would request a caffè lungo or caffè americano.
The word, questo, can be used to discuss an item without knowing its name in Italian. Questo can be used for things close to you, and quello, ''that,'' for things farther from you. Quello.
If you don't know the name of an item and consequently its gender, you can use these masculine pronouns.
When you want to ask for an item by name, rather than by pointing it out, you need to include the indefinite article.
The indefinite article is like the English ''a,'' as in a menu.
The masculine indefinite articles are un, as in un menù, and uno, when the following word starts with st, sp, gn, ps, z, y, x or pn, as in uno yogurt,
The feminine indefinite article is una, as in una pizza margherita, a margherita pizza, and un', when the following word begins with a vowel, as in un'occasione, an occasion.