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Lesson Transcript

Betsey: Hi everyone! Welcome back to ItalianPod101.com. This is Lower beginner Season 1 Lesson 9 - Who is That Pretty Italian Girl?
Ofelia: Ciao! Ofelia here. In this lesson you'll learn how to use adjectives. Such as…Cremona ha una piccola stazione.
Betsey: Which means “Cremona has a small station.” This conversation takes place at school.
Ofelia: Mieke and Jack parlano insieme.
Betsey: The conversation is between Mieke and Jack. The speakers are co-workers , so they’ll be using informal language.
Ofelia: Ascoltiamo
Ofelia: So in Italian, like in other languages, there are some interesting expressions that use colors to describe people or objects.
Betsey: Are they similar to the English ones?
Ofelia: Some of them.
Betsey: I’m really curious to know more!
Ofelia: Ok, first up is Bianco come il latte
Betsey: Which means “White like milk”
Ofelia: Or also Bianco come una mozzarella.
Betsey: “White like mozzarella cheese!” ...I like this one!
Ofelia: (laughs) another one is ‘vedere nero’
Betsey: “To see in black.” Does this mean something like, “to take a bleak view of things”.
Ofelia: It does! That’s because ‘nero’, black, is related to negative things, or pessimistic views.
Betsey: I see... How about red?
Ofelia: Andare in rosso.
Betsey: Literally that is ‘to go in red’.
Ofelia: But it actually means ‘to go into debt’. The color red in Italian is related to strong emotions, and also dangerous situations, like being in debt.
Betsey: I see... And what about something positive?
Ofelia: Well, that would need the color green, which is verde!
Betsey: And an expression is “Green brings hope.”
Ofelia: Yes. Which is ‘verde speranza’ in Italian.
Betsey: 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.
Ofelia: The first word is STASERA.
Betsey: Which means “THIS EVENING.”
Ofelia: This is the short version for questa sera, ‘this evening’.
Betsey: Ok. Is it possible to shorten other words that describe different parts of the day, in a similar way?
Ofelia: Yes, for example, stamattina.
Betsey: This morning
Ofelia: And stanotte.
Betsey: Meaning “Tonight”. And how about ‘this afternoon’?
Ofelia: It’s not possible in that case. It is just questo pomeriggio, meaning “this afternoon”.
Betsey: The second word we'll look at is...
Betsey: Meaning “QUITE”
Ofelia: This adverb comes from bastare.
Betsey: Which means ‘to be enough’
Ofelia: Right! ‘Abbastanza; can both mean “quite”, and “enough” if used in negative sentences.
Betsey: Could you give us an example in a negative sentence?
Ofelia: Questo ragazzo non mangia abbastanza.
Betsey: This boy doesn’t eat enough.
Ofelia: The interesting thing is that it can also be used in an ironic way...
Betsey: Oh, I see, like the English ‘rather’.
Ofelia: Exactly!
Betsey: What's the next word we'll look at?
Ofelia: CARINO
Betsey: Which means ‘pretty’ or “cute”
Ofelia: This adjective is very common, and can be used for people, as well as animals or objects.
Betsey: Can it be an alternative to the adjective bello, which means “beautiful”?
Ofelia: Yes, but not always. Because if something is really astonishing, it’s better to say “bello”.
Betsey: I see. And are there other meanings?
Ofelia: Yes, ‘essere carino’ also means ‘to be kind’.
Betsey: Can you give us an example for this?
Ofelia: Sure. ‘Maria è sempre carina con me’
Betsey: “Maria is always kind to me.” Okay, now let’s move onto the grammar.

Lesson focus

Betsey: In this lesson, you’ll learn how to use descriptive adjectives.
Ofelia: In the dialogue we heard ‘E’ abbastanza alta, con i capelli corti, neri e ricci.’
Betsey: She is quite tall, with short black curly hair.
Ofelia: Let’s look at the position of the descriptive adjectives in this sentence.
Betsey: In English they are always placed before the noun.
Ofelia: While in Italian, descriptive adjectives are usually placed after the noun they modify.
Betsey: Can you give us a sample sentence?
Ofelia: Sara ha gli occhi azzurri.
Betsey: Which is “Sara has blue eyes.” Listeners, remember that Italian adjectives are divided in two groups – those ending in –o, and ending in –e.
Betsey: Ofelia:, whats are some examples of adjectives that end in -o?
Ofelia: Piccolo
Betsey: meaning “Small” (LITTLE PAUSE)
Ofelia: Carino
Betsey: Meaning “Pretty.”(LITTLE PAUSE)
Ofelia: While for the second group, which ends in -e, we have grande
Betsey: Meaning “Big.”(LITTLE PAUSE)
Ofelia: And Divertente
Betsey: Meaning “Funny.”(LITTLE PAUSE). Now it’s important to know that descriptive adjectives always agree in gender and number. And in this lesson, we will focus on adjectives that modify singular nouns.
Ofelia: That means that we need to change only the gender.
Betsey: Can you give us an example for the first group, the one ending in -o?
Ofelia: Ho un gatto bianco.
Betsey: I have a white cat.
Ofelia: If the cat was female, we would say ‘Ho una gatta bianca.’
Betsey: I see. “I have a white female cat.”
Ofelia: Bianco changes to bianca.
Betsey: What about the adjectives ending in -e?
Ofelia: Ok, what about ‘Sara ha un cuore grande.’
Betsey: Meaning “Sara has a big heart.”
Ofelia: Cuore is masculine.
Betsey: And how about a feminine noun
Ofelia: Shinjuku è una grande stazione di Tokyo.
Betsey: Shinjuku is a big station in Tokyo.
Ofelia: In both cases, grande doesn’t change.
Betsey: I see.
Ofelia: But be aware that the endings of the nouns, don’t always match.
Betsey: Hmm, can you explain what you mean?
Ofelia: Sure. Adjectives and nouns can match only when they belong to the same group
Betsey: Both –o ending, or both –e ending.
Ofelia: Right. For example ‘Cremona ha una piccola stazione.’
Betsey: “Cremona has a small station.”
Ofelia: We have the adjective piccola, from the first group and the noun stazione, from the second group.
Betsey: So the most important thing is to know if the noun is feminine or masculine.
Ofelia: That’s right. If you know that, you will be able to decide the right ending for the adjective.


Betsey: OK. That's all for this lesson. Remember to check the lesson notes to reinforce what you’ve learned in this lesson.
Ofelia: Thank you all for listening! A presto!
Betsey: See you next time!


Please to leave a comment.
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ItalianPod101.com Verified
Monday at 06:30 PM
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Hi listeners! Can you describe yourself in Italian?

Friday at 08:47 AM
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I am curious: to one who speaks only Italian, is it confusing if we do not make gender/number of the adjective agree with the noun? Or can they generally understand what we are trying to say?


ItalianPod101.com Verified
Wednesday at 03:08 AM
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Hi Ray Ford,

thanks for pointing that out. We'll edit that ASAP.

Team ItalianPod101.com

Ray Ford
Monday at 12:50 PM
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In lesson notes under grammar on page 5, the first example is "Ho un gatto bianco." Underneath it is "I have a black cat". FYI: Correction required.

ItalianPod101.com Verified
Saturday at 01:18 AM
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Ciao Lori,

To describe short people, we use "basso". So say "bassa" instead of "corta".

Also, it should be "moltO carine" (when "molto" refers to an adjective, it's an adverb, not an adjective, so it doesn't change).

Molto interessante (Very interesting)

Thanks for sharing!

A presto


Team ItalianPod101.com

Tuesday at 04:45 AM
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Ciao! Sono una donna corta, con i capelli marroni e mossi. I miei occhi sono verdi. Ho due gatte molte carine. 😄

"To go into the red" refers to red ink being used to log debts in medieval and renaissance accounting. Black ink was used for credits; hence the phrase, "I'm in the black!" when you pay off your debts. You can still see red and black fonts used in many bookkeeping programs today!