Learn New Words FAST with this Lesson’s Vocab Review List

Get this lesson’s key vocab, their translations and pronunciations. Sign up for your Free Lifetime Account Now and get 7 Days of Premium Access including this feature.

Or sign up using Facebook
Already a Member?

Lesson Notes

Unlock In-Depth Explanations & Exclusive Takeaways with Printable Lesson Notes

Unlock Lesson Notes and Transcripts for every single lesson. Sign Up for a Free Lifetime Account and Get 7 Days of Premium Access.

Or sign up using Facebook
Already a Member?

Lesson Transcript

Cinzia: buonasera a tutti! Mi chiamo Cinzia.
Marco: Marco here. Newbie Series, season 1, lesson #29 - You've Got to Try Counting in Italian! Hello and welcome to Italianpod101.com. My name is Marco and I am joined here by Cinzia. Come stai Cinzia?
Cinzia: Bene, grazie, Marco. Today we have the 29th lesson of our Newbie Series.
Marco: This series focuses on the essentials of Italian for anyone who wants to start learning.
Cinzia: So don’t miss it, and join us for this lesson of Italianpod101.com.
Marco: And before we start the lesson, don't forget to press the center button on your ipod to see the lesson transcript in your display.
Marco: What is today’s topic about, Cinzia?
Marco: What is today’s topic about Cinzia?
Cinzia: In today’s lesson, we will go to the fruttivendolo with Laura.
Marco: Fruttivendolo? You mean a green grocer?
Cinzia: Yes exactly.
Marco: A green grocer sells also vegetables, right?
Cinzia: Yes of course, but in Italy, Marco, you should know that the fruttivendolo sells also vegetables, not only fruits.
Marco: Okay, but the name fruttivendolo means he who sells fruits, while we have another word that means, he who sells, well, vegetables, that is?
Cinzia: Oh yes, you mean verdurriere?
Marco: Yes, but usually in Italian Market stalls, you can find them all together like a green grocer with vegetables and fruits.
Cinzia: Correct.
Marco: And what about the grammar? What are we going to be talking about?
Cinzia: Today’s grammar is very, very nice. Useful, interesting
Marco: And well, I’d say essential as we are going to be talking about cardinal numbers up to 1000.
Cinzia: Yes, numeri cardinali fino a mille.
Marco: Mille, yes, that’s a thousand, I think you all understand that.
Cinzia: Okay. So let’s jump right in.
Marco: In today’s dialogue, I will be the green grocer, the fruttivendolo and
Cinzia: I will be Laura.
Marco: Okay then let’s start.
Greengrocer: Buongiorno!
Laura: Buongiorno. Vorrei due mele, una pesca, tre banane e… due pere.
Greengrocer: Subito signora.
Greengrocer: Altro?
Laura: Basta così, grazie.
Greengrocer: Sono 3 euro.
Laura: Ecco.
Greengrocer: Grazie e buona giornata!
Marco: Let’s hear it slowly now.
Greengrocer: Buongiorno!
Laura: Buongiorno. Vorrei due mele, una pesca, tre banane e… due pere.
Greengrocer: Subito signora.
Greengrocer: Altro?
Laura: Basta così, grazie.
Greengrocer: Sono 3 euro.
Laura: Ecco.
Greengrocer: Grazie e buona giornata!
Marco: And now, with the translation.
Greengrocer: Buongiorno!
Marco: Good morning!
Laura: Buongiorno. Vorrei due mele, una pesca, tre banane e… due pere.
Marco: Good morning. I'd like two apples, a peach, three bananas, and…two pears.
Greengrocer: Subito signora.
Marco: Right away, madam.
Greengrocer: Altro?
Marco: Anything else?
Laura: Basta così, grazie.
Marco: That's enough, thank you.
Greengrocer: Sono 3 euro.
Marco: It's three euros.
Laura: Ecco.
Marco: Here you are.
Greengrocer: Grazie e buona giornata!
Marco: Thank you and have a good day!
Marco: Now this is really a typical situation at the green grocer, isn’t it?
Cinzia: Yes this is so true. Actually even in my own town, I always do the same when I go to the market to the fruttivendolo and buy some fruit and vegetables for my mom and do you know any other way to say “it’s 3 euros”?
Marco: You mean instead of sono 3 euro?
Cinzia: Yes. We Italians use something else.
Marco: Yes. We also have fanno 3 euro, with fanno, the verb fare, “to do”. In English, that will be maybe “that makes 3 Euro”.
Cinzia: We use the verb fare even to say sono and the number of Euros.
Marco: While we can also hear for example
Cinzia: fanno and the number of euros.
Marco: So don’t be scared if you hear something little bit different. And now, let’s take a look at today’s vocabulary.
Marco: The first word today is:
Cinzia: due [natural native speed]
Marco: two
Cinzia: due [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Cinzia: due [natural native speed]
Marco: Next word
Cinzia: mela [natural native speed]
Marco: apple
Cinzia: mela [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Cinzia: mela [natural native speed]
Marco: Next word
Cinzia: pesca [natural native speed]
Marco: peach
Cinzia: pesca [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Cinzia: pesca [natural native speed]
Marco: Next word
Cinzia: pera [natural native speed]
Marco: pear
Cinzia: pera [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Cinzia: pera [natural native speed]
Marco: Next word
Cinzia: subito [natural native speed]
Marco: right away, now
Cinzia: subito [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Cinzia: subito [natural native speed]
Marco: Next we have an expression
Cinzia: basta così [natural native speed]
Marco: that’s enough
Cinzia: basta così [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Cinzia: basta così [natural native speed]
Marco: And the next word is
Cinzia: ecco [natural native speed]
Marco: here you are
Cinzia: ecco [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Cinzia: ecco [natural native speed]
Cinzia: And now let’s have a look at the usage for some of the words and expressions.
Marco: And the first word is?
Cinzia: due
And the sample is,
Cinzia: Ho visto due amici.
Marco: I saw two friends.
Cinzia: The next word we will look at is mela.
Marco: And the sample sentence is,
Cinzia: Ho mangiato una mela verde.
Marco: I ate a green apple.
Cinzia: Umm how many mele do we have in Italy?
Marco: How many mele, you mean how many apple types?
Cinzia: How many mele.
Marco: Uh so many. We have so many.
Cinzia: Yes, we have mela rossa, mela gialla and mela verde, if you want to talk about colors.
Marco: Yes, buone le mele italiane.
Cinzia: Ti piacciano?
Marco: Buone, buone.
Cinzia: Anche a me piacciono.
Marco: dai dai andiamo avanti.
Cinzia: Okay. The next word we will look at is pesca
Marco: And the sample sentence is?
Cinzia: Abbiamo comprato tre pesche.
Marco: We bought three peaches. Now be careful because pesca can also mean fishing.
Cinzia: Umm yes, but if you want to talk about the difference between the two words, we should talk about the accents.
Marco: That’s why I was waiting for you to say the accents.
Cinzia: So actually the fruit has to be pesca.
Marco: pesca
Cinzia: And fishing is pesca.
Marco: pesca. I usually, umm sorry, it happens in North of Italy, not always, but it does happen. I say both these words with the same pronunciation.
Cinzia: Yes, me too, actually, even if I am coming from the south, I say pesca to say the fruit.
Marco: But it should be pesca.
Cinzia: Yes.
Marco: While fishing is pesca.
Cinzia: Yes.
Marco: So fruit goes up and fishing goes down. Hey, that’s easy to remember it.
Cinzia: Okay. Let’s take a look at the next word please.
Marco: That is?
Cinzia: pera
Marco: And the sample sentence is
Cinzia: Ti piacciono le pere cotte?
Marco: Do you like stewed pears? They are actually very good.
Cinzia: Really? I’ve never tried them.
Marco: Never?
Cinzia: But have you ever tried the pera and formaggio?
Marco: Pears and cheese? No never…
Cinzia: Yes, yes, yes, yes.
Marco: Never really.
Cinzia: Cheese, honey and pere.
Marco: I have to try it, good idea.
Cinzia: Umm…
Marco: Try it out dear listeners and let us know if you like it, or we will be angry with Cinzia.
Cinzia: No, no, no, no way.
Marco: And the next word is
Cinzia: Subito
Marco: The sample sentence is
Cinzia: Potrei avere un caffè? Subito!
Marco: Could I have a coffee? Right away.
Cinzia: And next we have an expression which is basta così.
Marco: And the sample sentence is
Cinzia: Vuoi ancora un po' di vino? Basta così, grazie.
Marco: Would you like some more wine? That’s enough, thank you.
Cinzia: And the last word we will look at is ecco
Marco: And the sample is
Cinzia: Una Coca Cola, prego. Ecco.
Marco: A coke please. Here you are.
Cinzia: Que bella lezione stasera.
Marco: Yes, it’s a very nice lesson this evening.
Cinzia: Today we have the night session.

Lesson focus

Marco: Just as in English, the Italian cardinal numbers fall into the adjective category. As adjectives, they, well, by definition, add additional information, in this case, I guess the quantity, right, Cinzia?
Cinzia: Yes, you’re right, Marco.
Marco: to the nouns they refer to, and usually they are positioned before…
Cinzia: the noun.
Marco: Exactly. For example, we had due mele.
Cinzia: two apples
Marco: una pesca
Cinzia: one peach
Marco: So always before the noun. But contrary to other Italian adjectives, they never change...
Cinzia: their ending vowels.
Marco: So the cardinal numbers always stay the same, no changing at the end. So these are very easy adjectives…
Cinzia: Yes.
Marco: Because you always have the same ending.
Cinzia: Yes, no change at all. The first 19 numbers do not present any special rule actually.
Marco: You mean that we have to know them by heart?
Cinzia: Of course.
Marco: Okay. So up to 19 by heart. From 20 onwards?
Cinzia: They are realized by simply adding each element in successive order.
Marco: I think we should have a few examples about this.
Cinzia: Okay let’s have some.
Marco: So first of all, let’s take a look at the numbers from 1 to…
Cinzia: diciannove
Marco: 19.
Marco: "one"
Cinzia: uno
Marco: "two"
Cinzia: due
Marco: "three"
Cinzia: tre
Marco: "four"
Cinzia: quattro
Marco: "five"
Cinzia: cinque
Marco: "six"
Cinzia: sei
Marco: "seven"
Cinzia: sette
Marco: "eight"
Cinzia: otto
Marco: "nine"
Cinzia: nove
Marco: "ten"
Cinzia: dieci
Marco: "eleven"
Cinzia: undici
Marco: "twelve"
Cinzia: dodici
Marco: "thirteen"
Cinzia: tredici
Marco: "fourteen"
Cinzia: quattordici
Marco: "fifteen”
Cinzia: quindici
Marco: "sixteen"
Cinzia: sedici
Marco: "seventeen"
Cinzia: diciassette
Marco: "eighteen"
Cinzia: diciotto
Marco: "nineteen"
Cinzia: diciannove
Marco: So from 1 to 19, da uno a diciannove.
Cinzia: Don’t be scared and overall, don’t get bored, because it’s a lesson and I am sorry but we have to count and we have to do it, so…
Marco: And it’s best to know numbers when you go shopping in Italy.
Cinzia: Yes.
Marco: You can bargain for something.
Cinzia: Right. You can try and lower the price.
Marco: Important. Also 20..
Cinzia: Do we have to count till 1000?
Marco: No, no, no, no, no, no but wait, wait as I was saying. Now also 20 that in Italian is
Cinzia: venti.
Marco: You have to learn by heart. From 20, venti, onwards, the only thing we have to remember by heart is every 10 numbers. That is 20, 30, 40 that always change. For example, they change into venti, trenta, quaranta, and so on. But then to make 21, we say
Cinzia: ventuno
Marco: So just adding to venti the word uno.
Cinzia: Yes, and don’t forget that if you write numbers, they are all one only word.
Marco: Yes. So from venti we drop the last I, the last vowel and we add uno.
Cinzia: Yes but just with uno, otto, because they are words starting with another vowel.
Marco: So let’s take a look at the numbers from 20, venti, to 29, ventinove.
Marco: “twenty”
Cinzia: venti
Marco: "twenty-one"
Cinzia: ventuno
Marco: "twenty-two"
Cinzia: ventidue
Marco: "twenty-three"
Cinzia: ventitre
Marco: "twenty-four"
Cinzia: Tombola!
Marco: No, no, no, come on!
Cinzia: ventiquattro
Marco: "twenty-five"
Cinzia: venticinque
Marco: "twenty-six"
Cinzia: ventisei
Marco: "twenty-seven"
Cinzia: ventisette
Marco: "twenty-eight"
Cinzia: ventotto
Marco: "twenty-nine"
Cinzia: ventinove
Marco: Actually it’s not that difficult, is it?
Cinzia: No. Numbers are very easy in Italian.
Marco: Like you said before, we have to remind our listeners that there is no space between venti and uno when it becomes ventuno, or between venti and due when it becomes ventidue.
Cinzia: No.
Marco: It’s one whole word.
Cinzia: Yes.
Marco: And the same applies for trenta.
Cinzia: Are we going to count from trenta?
Marco: No, no I think our students can manage. Let’s…
Cinzia: Can we talk about hundreds?
Marco: Yes, but first of all, let’s go from trenta all the way to 100.
Cinzia: Ok.
Marco: So, "thirty"
Cinzia: trenta
Marco: "forty"
Cinzia: quaranta
Marco: "fifty"
Cinzia: cinquanta
Marco: That’s your age.
Cinzia: hahhaha…
Marco: "sixty"
Cinzia: So funny, Marco.
Marco: “sixty”
Cinzia: sessanta
Marco: "seventy"
Cinzia: settanta
Marco: "eighty"
Cinzia: ottanta
Marco: "ninety"
Cinzia: novanta
Marco: She wants to say “it’s your age, Marco”.
Cinzia: no, not yet.
Marco: and "one hundred"?
Cinzia: and that’s you!
Marco: That’s me, cento. How do we say "one hundred" in Italian?
Cinzia: cento.
Marco: Ok, “two hundred”?
Cinzia: duecento
Marco: "three hundred"
Cinzia: trecento
Marco: So wait, wait, we have cento, "one hundred”.
Cinzia: Yes.
Marco: And then we have to put due in front of cento to make duecento.
Cinzia: Exactly. So we have just to remember cento and put in front of cento the other numbers from 1 to 9.
Marco: That’s so easy.
Cinzia: Yes.
Marco: "three hundred"
Cinzia: trecento
Marco: "four hundred"
Cinzia: quattrocento
Marco: "five hundred"
Cinzia: cinquecento
Marco: "six hundred"
Cinzia: seicento
Marco: "seven hundred"
Cinzia: settecento
Marco: "eight hundred"
Cinzia: ottocento
Marco: "nine hundred"
Cinzia: novecento
Marco: And finally, "one thousand"
Cinzia: mille!
Marco: That’s so easy.
Cinzia: Yes it is.
Marco: And no change in pronunciation, plain and simple.
Cinzia: Yes very straightforward.
Marco: but before we go away, let’s give our listeners a couple of random numbers here and there.
Cinzia: Okay. Lucky numbers, you mean?
Marco: Well, random numbers. For example, 33.
Cinzia: trentatre
Marco: 48
Cinzia: quarantotto
Marco: So in this case, quarantotto it’s one word, but quaranta otto the A falls off, right?
Cinzia: Yes.
Marco: Okay. So one more example
Cinzia: cinquecentododici.
Marco: 512.
Cinzia: Ah!
Marco: Good, she’s fast. trecentodiciassette.
Cinzia: 317.
Marco: You go with an English one?
Cinzia: 836
Marco: ottocentotrentasei


Cinzia: Okay.
Marco: That’s enough.
Cinzia: Let’s go and play outside.
Marco: Yes, yes, yeah.
Cinzia: Okay dear listeners, thank you all and see you next time.
Marco: And don’t forget to practice the numbers, they are very important.
Cinzia: Bye-bye!
Marco: Ciao!