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Lesson Transcript

Betsey: Hi everyone! Welcome back to ItalianPod101.com. This is Lower beginner Season 1 Lesson 8 - Will Italy Win This Volleyball Game? I’m Betsey.
Ofelia: Ciao! Ofelia here. In this lesson you'll learn how to use cardinal numbers.
Betsey: This conversation takes place at a sports bar. It’s between Mieke and Silvia.
Ofelia: Mieke and Silvia are friends, so they’ll be using informal language.
Ofelia: Betsey, have you heard about the Italian women’s volleyball team?
Betsey: Oh yes! I heard the players are all very beautiful!
Ofelia: They’re not just beautiful, they’re also strong!
Betsey: How long has Italy had a women’s volleyball team?
Ofelia: Well, it was first formed in the 1950s. The first team played against France in 1951.
Betsey: And how did the match go?
Ofelia: Unfortunately, the team lost its first match!
Betsey: What a pity! Did the team get stronger though?
Ofelia: Well, for the next two decades the team was almost anonymous. They didn’t even get any attentions by media. But in the Seventies, the Italian team made it to the European Cup!
Betsey: That’s great! Did it ever make it into a World Cup?
Ofelia: Yes, in 1978! Not only that, it has been getting stronger and stronger, and they have even won the world Cup twice now!
Betsey: Oh, great! Who are the popular players from the team?
Ofelia: Well, Eleonora Lo Bianco, Simona Gioli and also Taismary Aguero.
Betsey: Listeners, now you know how to have a conversation about volleyball with an Italian! 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. The first word we'll look at is...
Ofelia: This adjective comes from the verb deludere, meaning “to disappoint.”
Betsey: In English we say “to delude oneself”.
Ofelia: Yes, but be careful - the word deludere means “to disappoint”, so it’s better not to get confused with them.
Betsey: Oh, I see.
Ofelia: So, deludente means “Disappointing”. But it also means “Unsatisfying” in relation to what you were expecting.
Betsey: Ok, how do you say “disappointment”?
Ofelia: It’s delusione. For example, you can say.. ‘Che delusione questo spettacolo!’
Betsey: “What a disappointment this show is!” Okay Ofelia, what’s the next word?
Betsey: “WHAT A PITY!” or also “WHAT A SHAME!”
Ofelia: ‘Peccato’ can also mean “sin”, but in this lesson, we will see it with the meaning of “shame”. For example, you can use this phrase in the sentence ‘Che peccato! La festa è già finita!’
Betsey: “What a pity! The party is already over!” Or you can simply say it alone, right?
Ofelia: That’s right, to express your disappointment. But please make sure not to use this phrase when you’re in a formal situation!
Betsey: Okay, what’s the next word?
Betsey: “TO LOSE.” You will hear this word a lot when Italian people are talking about sport matches.
Ofelia: That’s right.
Betsey: What’s the opposite word, which means “to win?”
Ofelia: That’s ‘vincere’. Going back to the word ‘Perdere’, you can also use this word when you lose something that you once had. For example, you can say ‘Ho perso le chiavi’
Betsey: I lost the keys.
Ofelia: Also, there are some idioms using the verb. For example, ‘Ho perso la testa’
Betsey: “I lost my head.” In Italian, ‘to lose someone’s head’ means “to lose one’s mind” or ‘to go insane.’
Ofelia: Yes. Just one more thing: you can also use this verb to mean ‘miss something.’ For example,
Ofelia: Perdere il treno.
Betsey: “To miss the train.” Okay, everyone, now onto the grammar.

Lesson focus

Betsey: In this lesson, you’ll learn how to use cardinal numbers.
Ofelia: Let’s start with a sample sentence. ‘La squadra italiana di pallavolo femminile è la numero uno.’
Betsey: “The Italian women’s volleyball team is the number one!”
Ofelia: Here, you can find the word ‘numero uno.’ which means ‘the number one.’ This is an example of a cardinal number, which is the kind of number you can use a lot when reading time, or dates.
Betsey: Okay, so let’s review them one by one.
Ofelia: Let’s start, first from one to five. Uno, due, tre, quattro, cinque. (SLOWLY) Uno, due, tre, quattro, cinque.
Betsey: And now from six to ten...
Ofelia: Sei, sette, otto, nove, dieci. (SLOWLY) Sei, sette, otto, nove, dieci.
Betsey: I know that the numbers from eleven to twenty are all quite different.
Ofelia: Yes, they are. It’s because at a certain point, the order of units and tens changes.
Betsey: Let’s review them, from eleven...
Ofelia: ‘Undici.’ ‘Un-’ is for “one” and ‘-dici’ is for “ten”.
Betsey: Twelve.
Ofelia: ‘Dodici. Do-dici.’ Also in these case the units come before.
Betsey: Thirteen.
Ofelia: Tre-dici.(LITTLE PAUSE)
Betsey: Fourteen.
Ofelia: Quattordici.(LITTLE PAUSE)
Betsey: Fifteen.
Ofelia: Quindici.(LITTLE PAUSE)
Betsey: Sixteen.
Ofelia: Sedici.(LITTLE PAUSE)
Betsey: Seventeen.
Ofelia: Well, with seventeen in Italian, the units replace tens. ‘Dicia-sette.’ ‘Dicia’ is for “ten” and ‘-sette’ is for “seven”.
Betsey: I see! is this valid also for eighteen and nineteen?
Ofelia: Yes, Dici-otto and Dicia-nnove.
Betsey: What about the numbers from twenty to one hundred?
Ofelia: Basically in this case the rule never changes: you have to place the tens first, and the units at the end.
Betsey: So, for example, “twenty-five” would be..?
Ofelia: ‘Venticinque.’ Like in English, ‘Venti-’ is for twenty and ‘-cinque’ is for five. ‘Venticinque’!
Betsey: What about twenty-one?
Ofelia: Ventuno
Betsey: Hmm.. it seems a little different.
Ofelia: Yes, that’s because numbers of ten-unites like ‘venti’, ‘trenta’, and so on, drop the final vowel before adding ‘-uno’ or ‘-otto’. So ‘ventuno’ and not ‘venti-uno’!
Betsey: I guess that doesn’t sound very natural!...What about numbers above one hundred?
Ofelia: You just have to combine the hundreds numbers with the rest of the numbers.
Betsey: Like in English. The only thing is to learn and practice them!
Ofelia: Yes! As for the grammar, it’s important to remember that in contrast to other adjectives, cardinal numbers don’t agree in gender and number with the nouns they modify.
Betsey: Could you give us an example?
Ofelia: Compro due sedie e tre tavoli.
Betsey: I buy two chairs and three tables.
Ofelia: Now let’s look at numbers beyond 100.
Betsey: Is there an equivalent to the English eleven hundred or thirteen hundred?
Ofelia: No, you would say millecento or milletrecento.
Betsey: I guess cento means “one hundred”.
Ofelia: Esatto. And mille means “a thousand”.
Betsey: How about a million?
Ofelia: Un milione.
Betsey: OK.
Ofelia: The indefinite article is NOT used before cento and mille, but it is used before milione.
Betsey: For example?
Ofelia: Cento anni.
Betsey: literally ‘hundred years.’
Ofelia: Un milione di persone.
Betsey: Literally “A million people.” Okay, listeners, don’t forget to check the lesson notes, where you can find the list of cardinal numbers.


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


Please to leave a comment.
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ItalianPod101.com Verified
Monday at 06:30 PM
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What is your favorite volleyball team?

ItalianPod101.com Verified
Monday at 04:08 PM
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Hi Beverly,

Since "squadra" is a feminine noun, we have to use "la" instead of "il".

On the other hand "numero uno" never changes, that's why there seems to be a discrepancy.

I hope this helps! :smile:

Grazie mille e a presto!


Team ItalianPod101.com

Beverly A. Gee
Thursday at 09:50 AM
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could you please tell me why it is "la numero uno" instead of il numero uno? grazie!