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Lesson Transcript

Betsey: Hi everyone! Welcome back to ItalianPod101.com. This is Lower Beginner, Season 1 Lesson 19 - Can You Smoke in this Italian Hotel Room? I’m Betsey.
Ofelia: Ciao! I’m Ofelia.
Betsey: In this lesson, you’ll learn how to make requests.
Ofelia: You'll also learn how to use the verb potere. For example, Posso avere una coperta ed un cuscino?
Betsey: “May I have a blanket and a pillow?” This conversation takes place at a hotel room.
Ofelia: L’addetto alla reception e Claudio parlano insieme.
Betsey: The hotel receptionist and Claudio are talking over the phone. The speakers are a hotel receptionist and a client, so they’ll be using formal language.
Ofelia: Ascoltiamo
Ofelia: In this lesson we’ll talk about hotels. More specifically, we’ll talk about hotels that are a bit different from the norm.
Betsey: So you’re telling us about places where we can have an unconventional hotel experience when travelling in Italy, right?
Ofelia: Exactly!
Betsey: This sounds interesting…
Ofelia: Ok, let’s start with Gubbio, a medieval city in the heart of Umbria, in central Italy.
Betsey: What’s your hotel recommendation in Gubbio?
Ofelia: Well, there is a medieval castle, called Castello di Petroia, which is now a beautiful hotel. It’s located in a remote area, and it’s surrounded by forests.
Betsey: It sounds charming…
Ofelia: It is! In this castle, you can even sleep in the room that’s in the old tower, which dates back to the 14th century. Lots of steps to climb, but they are worth the view you have from the room.
Betsey: It sounds like it!
Ofelia: Now, let’s move to Treviso, in Veneto, in the North-East of Italy.
Betsey: What kind of hotel will we find there?
Ofelia: It’s called the Locanda Rosa Rosae, and it is a hotel created inside an old windmill from 1570. There is a mill stream running just near the hotel.
Betsey: Wow, I bet it’s really picturesque…
Ofelia: Definitely, and the last hotel I’d like to talk about is in Venice.
Betsey: Is it in the shape of a gondola?
Ofelia: Almost! It’s a hotel that’s like a little yacht. The hotel’s name is Sarah and as you can imagine, rooms are a little smaller than the average hotel, but this is a great way to spend a night in Venice, which is the city of canals.
Betey That’s good to know! Okay, now onto the vocab.
Betsey: Let’s take a closer look at the usage of some of the words and phrases for this lesson.
Ofelia: The first word is... CHIAMARE
Betsey: This means TO CALL
Ofelia: Like in English, it’s also used in the meaning of ‘to telephone’. It requires a direct object with no preposition.
Betsey: What’s an example?
Ofelia: Puoi chiamare Sara?
Betsey: Can you call Sara?
Betsey: What's the next one we'll look at?
Ofelia: CAMERA
Ofelia: Here's a sample sentence. Viviamo in un appartamento con tre camere.
Betsey: We live in an apartment with three bedrooms.
Ofelia: The word camera mainly means “bedroom”. Camere is the plural form.
Betsey: Some examples?
Ofelia: Questa casa ha tre camere.
Betsey: This house has three bedrooms.
Ofelia: In a hotel there are camera singola (“single room”) or camera matrimoniale (“double room”).
Betsey: Let’s hear a sample sentence.
Ofelia: Vorrei prenotare una camera matrimoniale e una singola.
Betsey: I would like to book a double room and a single room.
Betsey: The last word we'll look at is...
Ofelia: This is a compound noun made by porta, from the verb portare meaning “to bring”, “to take”, “to hold” and cenere meaning “ash”. Even though cenere is a feminine noun, the noun portacenere is masculine - il portacenere.
Betsey: I see, can you give us an example?
Ofelia: Mi può prestare un portacenere?
Betsey: “Can you lend me an ashtray?” Okay, everyone, now onto the grammar.

Lesson focus

Betsey: In this lesson, you’ll learn how to use the verb...
Ofelia: potere.
Betey Which means “to be able to”, “can”, “may”.
Ofelia: It’s a modal verb and has irregular conjugation.
Betsey: Here is the conjugation
Ofelia: Io posso
Betsey: [I can]
Tu puoi
Betsey: [You can ]
Lui/lei può
Betsey: [He/she can]
Noi possiamo
Betsey: [We can ]
Voi potete
Betsey: [You can - plural]
Loro possono
Betsey: [They can]
Betsey: It’s always followed by a verb in the infinitive or by a direct object. Ofelia:, please give us an example.
Ofelia: Puoi fare la spesa per stasera?
Betsey: Can you do the shopping for tonight?
Ofelia: Potere is used to make a request in polite or formal situations.
Betsey: What kinds of situations are formal?
Ofelia: For example, at the reception of a hotel. Posso avere un’altra coperta?
Betsey: May I have another blanket?
Ofelia: Or, for example, when you’re talking to a stranger - Mi scusi, può scattare una fotografia?
Betsey: Which means “Excuse me, can you take a picture?”
Ofelia: Potere is also used to ask for and to grant permission
Betsey: Can you give us a sample sentence?
Ofelia: Sure - Possiamo mangiare questa torta di mele?
Betsey: Can we eat this apple cake?
Ofelia: And the answer Potete mangiare la torta di mele.
Betsey: You can eat the apple cake. Please note, this is “you” plural.
Ofelia: Now we’ll learn how to make the negative form. In the negative form, the adverb non is placed before the verb potere.
Betsey: The negative form is used to deny permission, and to express that something is not allowed. Let’s hear some sample sentences.
Ofelia: Non può fumare in camera.
Betsey: You cannot smoke in the room.
Ofelia: Non puoi assaggiare il tiramisù. E’ per cena.
Betsey: You cannot try the tiramisu. It’s for dinner. Ok listeners, remember to 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! A presto!
Betsey: See you next time!


Please to leave a comment.
😄 😞 😳 😁 😒 😎 😠 😆 😅 😜 😉 😭 😇 😴 😮 😈 ❤️️ 👍

ItalianPod101.com Verified
Monday at 06:30 PM
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Ciao! Siete fumatori o non-fumatori?

ItalianPod101.com Verified
Saturday at 01:58 AM
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Ciao Elena,

Remember the accented E in the second sentence (questa cosa è); also, "antipatica" with a final A (female because it agrees with "cosa").

Other than that, great job!

Team ItalianPod101.com

Monday at 02:58 AM
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Io non fumo e non posso tollerare quando qualcuno fuma. Questa cosa e troppo antipatico per me.

Wednesday at 05:00 AM
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Ciao Jack,

ottima frase! 👍

p.s. neanche io fumo! (I don't smoke, either)


Team ItalianPod101.com

Sunday at 02:31 AM
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Ciao! Ho fumato in passato - venti anni fa. Ma, oggi, non fumo 😄.

ItalianPod101.com Verified
Friday at 01:01 PM
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Hi Les Piscitelli,

We checked and couldn't spot any issues. What section are you referring to?

Thank you,


Team ItalianPod101.com

Les Piscitelli
Wednesday at 09:27 AM
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I am not sure if you are aware but in this lesson and the previous, there a number of boxes where you cannot listen or record . Thanks

Saturday at 02:20 PM
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Hi EA,

Neanch'io fumo!

I don't smoke either!


Team ItalianPod101.com

Tuesday at 11:00 PM
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Io non fumo, e Lei?

ItalianPod101.com Verified
Wednesday at 03:43 PM
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Hi Tamer,

Thank you for posting.

You should use the singular form: "Sono non-fumatore."

Also, it is very common to say "Io non fumo" ("I don't smoke").

Keep up the good work!


Team ItalianPod101.com

Friday at 04:53 PM
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Sono non-fumatori