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Lesson Transcript

Betsey: Hi everyone! Welcome back to ItalianPod101.com. This is Lower beginner Season 1 Lesson 17 - Postcards from Italy. I’m Betsey.
Ofelia: Ciao! Ofelia here!
Betsey: In this lesson, you will learn how to describe a place.You will also learn about c’è and ci sono. Such as…
Ofelia: La città è splendida: ci sono piazze antiche e musei importanti.
Betsey: “The city is splendid: there are many old squares and important museums.” The conversation takes place at the university cafeteria.
Ofelia: Jack e Mieke parlano insieme.
Betsey: The conversation is between Jack and Mieke. The speakers are friends, so they’ll be using informal language.
Ofelia: Ascoltiamo
Ofelia: In this lesson we’ll talk about what to see in Torino, which is known in English as Turin.
Betsey: Where is it?
Ofelia: It is the capital of Piedmont, which in Italian is Piemonte.
Betsey: Hmm, the Winter Olympic games were held in Turin not long ago…
Ofelia: Yes, it’s one of the most famous cities in Italy, especially after the Winter Olympic Games in 2006.
Betsey: Where is Turin exactly?
Ofelia: It’s located between the west Alps and the Po Valley, and is home to the biggest river in Italy, the Po River.
Betsey: Can you tell us more about its history?
Ofelia: Well, Torino was the city of the royal family, The Savoia, for centuries, and also became the first capital of Italy from 1861 to 1865.
Betsey: I guess there are some important monuments and buildings which tell about its glorious past…
Ofelia: There sure are. Like the Palazzo Reale, the Royal Palace, in the heart of the city in the Piazza Castello; the former residence of the Savoia family, or Palazzo Madama, the first Senate of the former Italian Kingdom.
Betsey: And I think I’ve heard about an Egyptian museum too...
Ofelia: Yes, you’re right, Torino is also famous for the Egyptian Museum, il Museo Egizio, and also for The National Museum of Cinema.
Betsey: Is there anything interesting to visit outside Turin?
Ofelia: Around the city, there are some famous villas like the Royal palace of Venaria, a huge site built between 1658-79 by Carlo Emanuele II, who wanted to create a small Versailles near Torino.
Betsey: I’d love to see it.
Ofelia: Well in that case, you are lucky! The Reggia has just re-opened to the public after a long period of renovation.
Betsey: So definitely check it out if you have the chance, listeners. Ok, now onto the vocab.
Betsey: Let’s take a look at the vocabulary and phrases for this lesson.
Ofelia: The first word is... ‘ALCUNI-E’
Betsey: which means “SOME”
Ofelia: This adjective is used only in the plural masculine and feminine form. It means ‘some’. The singular forms also exist, but the usage is different. This adjective only comes before the noun, and it declines according to the noun that follows.
Betsey: Let’s hear two examples.
Ofelia: Ogni mese mia sorella legge alcuni libri gialli.
Betsey: Every month, my sister reads some thrillers.
Ofelia: Gioco sempre a calcio con alcuni amici.
Betsey: I always play football with some friends.
Betsey: What's the next word we'll look at?
Ofelia: ANTICO
Ofelia: When this adjective refers to a plural masculine noun, it becomes antichi, while if the noun is feminine plural. it becomes antiche. Please remember to add ‘h’ between the ‘c’ and the ‘i’ or ‘e’, to keep the same [k] sound as in the singular forms.
Betsey: Hmm, let’s hear some examples.
Ofelia: Roma possiede tanti monumenti antichi.
Betsey: Rome has many ancient monuments.
Ofelia: Ecco le antiche mura della città.
Betsey: Here are the ancient town walls.
Betsey: The last word we'll look at is...
Ofelia: The Italian word for ‘postcard’, CARTOLINA, comes from carta meaning “paper”, while the word for ‘card’ is actually very different. It is biglietto.
Betsey: What are some examples?
Ofelia: In estate ricevo cartoline dagli amici in vacanza.
Betsey: In summer I receive postcards from my friends on holiday.
Ofelia: Ecco il mio biglietto da visita!
Betsey: “Here is my business card!” Okay, everyone, now onto the grammar.

Lesson focus

Betsey: The focus of this lesson is how to say ‘there is’ and ‘there are’.
Ofelia: ‘C’è’ and ‘ci sono’ correspond to the English ‘there is’ and ‘there are’. They state the existence or presence of something or somebody.
Ofelia: C’è is made of two parts: ci, which is the pronoun of space, and can be translated as ‘there’, and è, the third person singular of the verb essere, meaning “to be”. Since ci ends in a vowel and è is also a vowel, the ‘i’ is dropped. C’è is always followed by a singular noun.
Betsey: Can you give us a sample sentence?
Ofelia: C’è una ragazza molto simpatica.
Betsey: There is a very friendly girl.
Ofelia: Sul tavolo c’è un vaso di fiori.
Betsey: On the table there is a vase of flowers.
Ofelia: C’è can also be followed by uncountable nouns.
Betsey: For example…
Ofelia: Non correre. C’è tempo.
Betsey: “Don’t run. There is time.”
Ofelia: Let’s now look at ci sono.
Betsey: This is made up of two parts.
Ofelia: The pronoun of space, ‘ci’ and ‘sono,’ the third person plural of the verb essere, meaning “to be”.
Betsey: It should be always followed by a plural noun. Let’s hear two examples.
Ofelia: A Bergamo ci sono 100 chiese.
Betsey: In Bergamo there are 100 churches.
Ofelia: Ci sono tante persone alla tua festa di compleanno.
Betsey: There are many people at your birthday party.
Ofelia: Remember that ci sono can also be followed by a list of singular nouns.
Betsey: For example?
Ofelia: In questa casa ci sono una cucina, un salotto, un bagno e due camere.
Betsey: In this house there is a kitchen, a living room, a bathroom and two bedrooms.
Ofelia: C’è and ci sono also mean ”being here”/”being there.”
Betsey: Listen carefully to the following example
Ofelia: Scusi, c’è Antonio?
Betsey: Excuse me, Is Antonio there?
Betsey: So we can use this expression to ask for a person on the phone as well?
Ofelia: Yes we can
Betsey: Ok, please give us an example of a telephone conversation.
Ofelia: Pronto? C’è Marco?
Betsey: Hello? Is Marco there?
Ofelia: The answer could be: ‘No, non c’è. Torna alle 5.’
Betsey: “No, he isn’t in. He comes back at 5.” Now let’s take a look at how to use c’è and ci sono in the negative form.
Ofelia: In the negative, you just have to place the adverb non before ci.
Betsey: What’s a sample sentence?
Ofelia: Non c’è fretta.Sono solo le 2.
Betsey: “There is no rush. It’s only 2.” Listeners, remember you can always check the lesson notes to reinforce what you’ve learned in this lesson.


Betsey: OK. That's all for this lesson.
Ofelia: Thank you all for listening!
Betsey: See you next time!
Ofelia: A presto!

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Ciao a tutti!

Which city would you like to visit in Italy?