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Lesson Transcript

Betsey: Hi everyone! Welcome back to ItalianPod101.com. This is Lower Beginner, Season 1, Lesson 5 - Which Italian Wine Should You Buy? I’m Betsey.
Ofelia: Ciao! Ofelia here. In this lesson, you’re going to learn how to express formality using the third person in Italian.
Betsey: This conversation takes place at a wine bar. It’s between Jack, Claudio and the sommelier.
Ofelia: Jack and Claudio are friends, so they’ll be using informal language.
Betsey: But the sommelier and Jack will speak in the formal language.
Ofelia: Okay, let's listen to the conversation.
Ofelia: Betsey, you love wine, right?
Betsey: Yes, and I especially love Italian wines. They are so good!
Ofelia: Great! And have you ever been in an enoteca?
Betsey: Do you mean a wine shop?
Ofelia: Yes.
Betsey: No, I haven’t been to one yet.
Ofelia: That’s why we’re going to talk about it! Listeners, one of the places you must go if you like wines is in Emilia Romagna, near Bologna. It is called Enoteca Regionale Emilia Romagna.
Betsey: What’s so special about this Enoteca?
Ofelia: First of all, it’s located inside a medieval castle.
Betsey: A castle?
Ofelia: Yes! In the castle’s subterranean levels, where the temperature is perfect for wine. You should also know that the little town where it’s located, Dozza, is very special...
Betsey: Wait! Maybe I have heard about that, is it the little town with all the painted walls?
Ofelia: Yes, it is! So it would be interesting to visit Dozza and its castle, even if you don’t like wines.
Betsey: Oh, I see. But what are the best kinds of wine from this area?
Ofelia: One of the top recommendations is Lambrusco, which is a sparkling wine.
Betsey: What’s special about this wine?
Ofelia: As well as being a sparkling wine, it’s also red. And it was also one of Pavarotti’s favorite wines.
Betsey: Great. That all makes me really want to visit the place!
Ofelia: Or at least you can try the wines from there.
Betsey: Definitely! Okay, now onto the vocab.
Betsey: Let's have a closer look at the usage for some of the words and phrases from this lesson. What’s the first word?
Betsey: FRUITY
Ofelia: This adjective comes from the noun frutta, which means..
Betsey: “Fruit”, right?
Ofelia: Yes, Frutta is an uncountable noun, and it is feminine. So you can say la frutta.
Betsey: Could you give an example of how to use the word for “fruity”?
Ofelia: Sure. You can say.. ‘il vino è fruttato.’
Betsey: “The wine is fruity.” Okay, what’s the next word?
Betsey: TO WISH
Ofelia: I really like this word, because of its original meaning in Latin.
Betsey: What’s that?
Ofelia: It is ‘gazing at the stars’.
Betsey: That’s very poetic!
Ofelia: Isn’t it? To get back to the current meaning, you can use the word ‘desiderare’ to simply mean “to wish [something]”. However, you can also use it to mean “would like”.
Betsey: Could you give us an example?
Ofelia: Sure. ‘Desidera un vino a buon prezzo?’
Betsey: Would you like a wine at a good price?
Ofelia: It literally means ‘Do you wish a wine at a good price?’ too.
Betsey: Okay, what’s the last word?
Ofelia: PREZZO
Betsey: PRICE.
Ofelia: You’ll mostly use this word with other adjectives. For example, ‘Alto’
Betsey: meaning ‘high’
Ofelia: Or ‘Basso’
Betsey: meaning ‘low.’
Ofelia: Simply, ‘prezzo alto’ means “high price” and prezzo basso means “low price.”
Betsey: I see. Then, what about when you ask a price? Do you use this word?
Ofelia: Actually, you can ask a price by using also another expression - ‘Quanto costa?’
Betsey: Could you give us an example?
Ofelia: Quanto costa questa automobile?
Betsey: “How much does this car cost?”
Ofelia: Quanto costa means “How much does it cost?” then, you can use the noun as the object. Otherwise, if you want to use the word ‘prezzo’ meaning “price”, you can say.. ‘Qual è il prezzo di questo libro?’
Betsey: “What’s the price of this book?” Okay, everyone, now onto the grammar.

Lesson focus

Betsey: In this lesson, we’re going to learn how to express formality using the third person in Italian.
Ofelia: That is ‘Lei’. It means “You” in a formal situation only. Otherwise, it means “SHE”
Betsey: Let’s take an example.
Ofelia: Lei è il signor Rossi?
Betsey: Are you Mr. Rossi?
Ofelia: Here, you are addressing the man politely by using the pronoun ‘Lei.’
Betsey: So how do you work out whether this word means “you” or “she”?
Ofelia: Well, you have to figure out its meaning from the context. In written Italian, the feminine subject pronoun ‘Lei’ always has a capital ‘L’. In spoken Italian, it becomes obvious from the context.
Betsey: Ok, and what about conjugation? Should it follow the second person rule?
Ofelia: Actually, you have to conjugate these verbs as you do for third person singular pronouns.
Betsey: So basically, you can make sentences more formal by using the third person singular, even though that’s for second person singular.
Ofelia: That’s right. That’s because doing that creates a little distance between you and the other person you’re speaking to, by not violating his or her space, and by being indirect.
Betsey: So when is it appropriate to use the third person singular?
Ofelia: Well, you can use ‘Lei’ when you don’t know a person well, or if you’re talking to this person for the first time. Also you can use it when saying something to elderly people, or people older than you in general.
Betsey: How about with teachers?
Ofelia: It’s common to use formal modes of address when you’re talking to doctors, teachers and professors.
Betsey: I see.
Ofelia: It is also important to use greetings and titles appropriately. For example, ciao is the word you use to greet someone casually. But when you’re speaking to someone you have to address formally, you need to use a different greeting. For example, Buongiorno dottore, come sta?
Betsey: “Good morning doctor, how are you?”
Ofelia: So be sure that all the different parts of the sentence have the same level of formality.
Betsey: Make sure you check the lesson notes to reinforce what you’ve learned in this lesson.


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


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ItalianPod101.com Verified
Monday at 06:30 PM
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Hi listeners! Have you tasted an Italian wine? How was it?

ItalianPod101.com Verified
Friday at 12:12 PM
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Buongiorno Anthony [TYO Time] :grin:

Thank you for posting. Good question!

Sorry, I couldn't find “il sommelier sta arrivando” anywhere, could you tell me where you saw it?

Regarding the order: “il sommelier sta arrivando.” would sound more natural if the people who are waiting would have called him before.

In this case Jack says "sta arrivando il sommelier", because probably they didn't call him before. It's just like he is approaching the customers after they arrived there.

It's a slight difference, and any of the two sentences would work :thumbsup:

I hope this helps!

If you have other questions, please feel free to ask!

Grazie e ciao!


Team ItalianPod101.com

Wednesday at 01:35 AM
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Buon Pomeriggio [NY Time] :)

In this lesson, Jack says "...ah sta arrivando il sommelier." HOWEVER, in the written text for the lesson, it is wrriten as "il sommelier sta arrivando." Mio domando e: Does the order matter? Can you say it either way? Anche, can you please check my grammar surrounding the question.

La ringrazia!! ;)