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Lesson Transcript

Cinzia: Buongiorno a tutti, mi chiamo Cinzia.
Marco: Marco here. Lower intermediate series, season 1, Lesson 7. Don’t Be Too Late For Work In Italy. Buongiorno a tutti. My name is Marco.
Cinzia: And I am Cinzia.
Marco: And we’d like to welcome you to the seventh lesson of the lower intermediate series in italianpod101.com
Cinzia: Benvenuti a tutti.
Marco: Welcome everyone. Before we jump in today’s lesson, be sure to check out the vocabulary list in the PDF for this lesson.
Cinzia: In today’s lesson, we will see Marcella and Giulia meeting for breakfast in an Italian café before going to work. Today, we will cover how to ask for the time in Italian.
Marco: That’s very important.
Cinzia: Yes and we will start seeing comparativo di maggioranza.
Marco: Comparative of majority.
Cinzia: And Superlativo relativo.
Marco: Comparative superlative. So this is going to be a superlatively nice lesson.
Cinzia: Of course. So let’s start.
Marco: Yes.
Marcella: Che ore sono?
Giulia: Le nove meno un quarto.
Marcella: Ah! È tardissimo! Devo scappare al lavoro.
Giulia: Si, anche io devo andare. Ci sentiamo più tardi.
Marcella: Si certo. Buona giornata!
Giulia: Grazie anche a te!
Marco: Let’s hear it slowly now.
Marcella: Che ore sono?
Giulia: Le nove meno un quarto.
Marcella: Ah! È tardissimo! Devo scappare al lavoro.
Giulia: Si, anche io devo andare. Ci sentiamo più tardi.
Marcella: Si certo. Buona giornata!
Giulia: Grazie anche a te!
Marco: And now, with the translation.
Marcella: Che ore sono?
Marcella: What time is it?
Giulia: Le nove meno un quarto.
Giulia: It's a quarter to nine.
Marcella: Ah! È tardissimo! Devo scappare al lavoro.
Marcella: Ah! It's very late! I have to dash off/fly to work.
Giulia: Si, anche io devo andare. Ci sentiamo più tardi.
Giulia: Yes, I have to go too. I'll speak to you later.
Marcella: Si certo. Buona giornata!
Marcella: Yes, sure. Have a nice day!
Giulia: Grazie anche a te!
Giulia: Thank you, and you too.
Marco: Ah, devo scappare a lavoro. That’s something I hear very often.
Cinzia: Not from me.
Marco: No but you can hear it maybe your friends in the bar and you will hear somebody…
Cinzia: Yes, yes.
Marco: Oh it’s 10, devo scappare a lavoro.
Cinzia: Yes it’s typical actually because in Italy, everyone goes to a café to drink a Cappuccino or an Espresso, have a cornetto for breakfast.
Marco: Yes.
Cinzia: And they always rush.
Marco: Yeah it’s like, well, I have to go, I have to go, I have to go, devo scappare.
Cinzia: Yes but they never renounce it actually.
Marco: But you can also use devo scappare when for example, you want to run away from maybe friends that you don’t want to talk a lot with. For example maybe one of your friends likes to talk and talk and talk. You don’t have any time. So you say, ciao, ciao, devos cappare, bye, bye I have to go. I have to rush.
Cinzia: Yeah, yeah, yeah. Scusami tanto ma devo scappare.
Marco: Yes that devo means I really have to go. I have to run away from you.
Cinzia: Yes, yes. Why don’t we jump in to the vocabulary?
Marco: I think it’s a good idea Cinzia.
Cinzia: So the first word is Che.
Marco: What
Cinzia: Che. Che.
Marco: Next word
Cinzia: Ora.
Marco: Time, hour.
Cinzia: Ora. Ora.
Marco: Next word
Cinzia: Essere.
Marco: To be
Cinzia: Essere. Essere.
Marco: Next word
Cinzia: Tardi.
Marco: Late
Cinzia: Tardi. Tardi.
Marco: Next word
Cinzia: Dovere.
Marco: Must, to have to
Cinzia: Dovere. Dovere.
Marco: Next word
Cinzia: Scappare.
Marco: To escape, runaway
Cinzia: Scappare. Scappare.
Marco: Next word
Cinzia: Lavoro.
Marco: Work, job.
Cinzia: Lavoro. Lavoro.
Marco: Next word
Cinzia: Sentire.
Marco: To hear
Cinzia: Sentire. Sentire.
Marco: And next word
Cinzia: Certo.
Marco: Of course, sure.
Cinzia: Certo. Certo.
Marco: And lastly, we have an expression.
Cinzia: Buona giornata.
Marco: Have a nice day.
Cinzia: Buona giornata. Buona giornata.
Marco: And now let’s take a look at the usage for some of the words and expressions.
Cinzia: The first word we will look at is ora.
Marco: And the example sentence is
Cinzia: A che ora arrivi?
Marco: What time would you arrive? This is something I very often use with Cinzia.
Cinzia: What?
Marco: Well I never know you are always so busy. So maybe we have to schedule recordings and I ask you a che ora arrivi?
Cinzia: Why am I always busy?
Marco: I don’t know. I am asking you.
Cinzia: I am not busy. I am always working.
Marco: That’s why you are so busy.
Cinzia: Ah okay! That’s better. Next word is tardi.
Marco: And the example sentence is
Cinzia: Ieri notte sono tornato tardi.
Marco: Last night, I came back late. Now be careful listeners because in this phrase, Cinzia said something she shouldn’t have said because she is a girl.
Cinzia: Oh okay you are right.
Marco: No, no, no, no, no.
Cinzia: I was just saying the example.
Marco: It’s perfect, exactly but I am sure our listeners have now picked up what it is. She said tornato while she should have said.
Cinzia: Tornata, of course.
Marco: It’s just an example but be careful about these things.
Cinzia: And the next word we will look at is dovere.
Marco: And the example sentence is
Cinzia: Devi mangiare la Nutella.
Marco: You have to eat Nutella.
Cinzia: Wait! Who wrote this example Marco?
Marco: Ah I did.
Cinzia: What is this supposed to mean?
Marco: This is I think the phrase that every Italian child would like to…
Cinzia: You must eat Nutella.
Marco: Yeah this is the phrase that every Italian child would like to hear from his mother. You have to eat Nutella.
Cinzia: It’s a duty. So Nutella is a duty.
Marco: Well better than vegetables I think. Devi mangiare le verdure.You have to eat vegetables.
Cinzia: Oh I wish my mom would have said to me devi mangiare la Nutella, instead of devi mangiare la verdura.
Marco: Yes that’s why I wrote it. It’s a dream.
Cinzia: Yes okay let’s take a look at the next word which is scappare.
Marco: And the example sentence is
Cinzia: Il mio gatto è scappato.
Marco: My cat ran away. Poor kitty catty.
Cinzia: And the next word is lavoro.
Marco: And the sample sentence is
Cinzia: Oggi vado a lavoro in macchina.
Marco: Today I am going to work by car.
Cinzia: Be careful listeners because lavoro is a noun but it can always be the first person singular of the verb to work, lavorare.
Marco: So it would be io lavoro, tu lavori and so on.
Cinzia: So be careful and don’t mix it up. And lastly, we have buona giornata.
Marco: And the last example sentence is
Cinzia: Buona giornata.
Marco: Have a nice day.
Cinzia: So you can just have buona giornata in one whole sentence.
Marco: Yes and it’s very useful, very useful when wanting to bid somebody a good day.
Cinzia: What if it’s evening?
Marco: Buona serata.
Cinzia: Have a nice evening. Okay so, oh no, we have the grammar.

Lesson focus

Marco: Yeah so let’s jump right in.
Cinzia: Okay.
Marco: Che ora è?
Cinzia: Marco, sono le 4 meno 10.
Marco: What time is it?
Cinzia: It’s 10 to 4.
Marco: It’s that easy really. Asking for a time as we have seen in the dialogue is that, that easy but there are two different systems to express time in Italian. Right Cinzia?
Cinzia: Yes you are right. For example
Marco: Well the first one is identical to the American informal way and you realize it by placing the hour before minutes. For example, it’s 10:15. In Italian, that would be sono le 10 e 15.
Cinzia: Yes.
Marco: The only difference here is that in Italian, we have to use sono. I am sure you all remember it’s the third person plural of the verb essere present tense because, in Italian, we have to use pleural.
Cinzia: Yes because we are talking about ore, literally meaning ours.
Marco: So in English, we would instead use the impersonal for singular person. The only time we use the third person singular of the verb essere, è is when we have una, 1 o’ clock, mezzogiorno, mid-day and mezzanotte. That’s it.
Cinzia: Yes I just want you to remember that what time is it can be asked in Italian in two different ways actually using singular or plural. Che ora è? what time is it or Che ore sono? what time is it? Marco, what about the second system?
Marco: Oh you mean to express time? Well it’s just like the British system of dividing an hour into four quarters. So we can say for example, sono un quarto alle 5.
Cinzia: Oh wait, wait! So these would be the formal one.
Marco: Certainly, certainly.
Cinzia: And the other one was the informal?
Marco: Exactly. And sono un quarto alle 5 can be translated as it is a quarter to 5. In this case, we are not so picky about the minutes. We just want to express around what time it is.
Cinzia: Yes but it’s not so common actually hearing ono un quarto alle 5. You always say sono le 5 meno un quarto.
Marco: Italians can also make telling the time more formal.
Cinzia: Yes but you know what, I think this formal one was used a long time ago. You don’t hear it now so often.
Marco: Not so often yes. In our second topic of today’s grammar, we have sounds you know we use very, very often. What is that Cinzia?
Cinzia: Oh yes it is comparativo di maggioranza.
Marco: The comparative of majority and in English, it is normally formed by using the positive form of the adjective or adverb plus the suffix -er or the modifier more before the adjective or adverb. In place of all of this, in Italian, we just use
Cinzia: Più.
Marco: So più is the equivalent of more or the suffix -er.
Cinzia: Yes and the English form is usually completed by than which in Italian has to be translated with DI followed by the noun which is being compared. For example, Maria è più alta di sua sorella.
Marco: Maria is taller than her sister.
Cinzia: The preposition DI is used as a subordinating conjunction to introduce the second element of the comparative sentence.
Marco: And now let’s take a look at two more examples.
Cinzia: Il ghepardo è più veloce del leone.
Marco: The cheetah is faster than a lion.
Cinzia: Fabio è più basso di Claudio.
Marco: Fabio is shorter than Claudio. In our last topic of today’s grammar, we are going to be taking a brief look at the comparative superlative that in Italian is
Cinzia: Superlativo relativo.
Marco: And how do we build this?
Cinzia: Normally we modify the adjective by taking away the final vowel and adding -issimo for the singular masculine, -issima for singular feminine, -issimi for plural masculine and -issime for plural feminine.
Marco: That is so, so easy.
Cinzia: Yes.
Marco: So for example, Bello
Cinzia: Bellissimo.
Marco: Bella
Cinzia: Bellissima.
Marco: Belli
Cinzia: Bellissimi.
Marco: Belle
Cinzia: Bellissime.
Marco: That’s so easy.
Cinzia: Yes it is.
Marco: So now you can all go out there and when you see a nice Italian girl or boy, you can just say bellissimo, bellissima and so on.
Cinzia: And don’t confuse it with buonissimo.
Marco: Yes don’t.
Cinzia: If you are tasting for example a very, very delicious dish of pasta
Marco: You can say buonissimo.
Cinzia: Yes and not bellissimo.
Marco: Never.
Cinzia: Bellissimo can be referred to the look.
Marco: Exactly.
Cinzia: Of the dish, but actually if you are tasting it, you have to say Buonissimo.
Marco: To close out today’s lesson, here are two more examples.
Cinzia: Il gorgonzola è buonissimo.
Marco: Gorgonzola is very good.
Cinzia: Il treno locale è lentissimo.
Marco: The local train is very slow.


Cinzia: è tutto per oggi.
Marco: Benissimo.
Cinzia: Grazie a tutti e ciao alla prossima.
Marco: Ciao ciao.
Cinzia: Ciao.