I. Irregular verbs

The past absolute and past participle of nascere (to be born) are irregular.

Past absolute: nacqui, nascesti, nacque, nascemmo, nasceste, nacquero

Past participle: nato, conjugated with essere: sono nato (-a), etc.

The present and future tenses and past participle of morire (to die) are irregular.

Presente tense: muoio, muori, muore, moriamo, morite, muoiono

Stem for future and conditional: morir- (also, morr-): morirò (or morrò), etc.; morirei  (or morrei), etc.

Past participle: morto, conjugated with essere: è morto (-a), etc.


VOCABULARY A

*altrui
others, someone else
amaramente
bitterly
a migliaia
by the thousands
avesse
had (3d sing. impf. subj.,avere)1   
canzone (f.)
song
di botto
at once, suddenly
divampare
to flare up, to burst into flame, to blaze
*fino a quando    until; as long as
 finta
pretence
fare f. di
to pretend to, to feign to
*gentile
noble (poetic usage); kind; polite
innamorarsi
to fall in love
 *morte (f.)
death
 *nascondere
to hide, to conceal
 *nove
nine
pianse
wept (3d sing. past abs., piangere)
potesse     could (3d sing. impf.
subj., potere)
 ritenere    to deem, to think  *siache  both…and  *sommo      supreme, greatest
umile
humble
vide
saw (3d sing. past abs., vedere; cf. p. 153)

VOCABULARY B

afforzarsi
to strengthen, to grow  strong
bastevole
sufficient, enough (cf.bastare, to be enough, to suffice)
crebbe
grew (3d sing. past abs., crescere)
crisi (f.)
crisis, crises
dovrebbe
should (3d sing. cond., dovere)
inconsapevole     unaware; ignorant; unconscious ingegnarsi
to contrive; to strive, to endeavor
*intorno
around
*lento
slow
*mezzo
means; half; middle,  midst
oimè, ohimè
alas
*talore
sometimes

 

 

Last revised on April 25, 2018.

II. Orthographic (spelling) peculiarities

Verbs ending in –care and –gare keep the ‘hard’ sound of the C and G respectively throughout their conjugations and thus require the insertion of an H whenever C and G would come before E or I. Without the insertion of the H, the C or G would remain ‘soft’, and therefore affect proper pronunciation.

(dimenticarsi)    Se lo dimenticherà. –“He will forget it.”

(spiegare)        Vi spiegherò la regola. –“I will explain the rule to you.”

(giocare)         Noi giochiamo a carte. –“We are playing cards.”

(negare)          Egli negherebbe quell’affermazione. –“He would deny that affirmation.”

The same changes occur in most nouns and adjectives ending in –co, –ca, –go, and –ga.

poco          poca              la mia amica               lungo          lunga

pochi         poche            le mie amiche            lunghi         lunghe

(But: il mio amico, i miei amici)


VOCABULARY

*attitudine
aptitude, disposition
*cascare
to fall (down)
curvare
to bow, to bend; to curve
esteso
extensive, ample; large, wide
fronte (f.)
forehead (= il capo in passage No. 9 below)
       *orgoglio
pride

 

Last revised on April 26, 2017.

III. Demonstrative adjectives and pronouns questo, quello

As you remember, quello takes endings which correspond to those of the definite article: quel, quei, quello, quegli, quella, quelle, quell’.

The demonstrative adjectives questo and quello may also be used as demonstrative pronouns, but as a demonstrative pronoun only four forms of quello are used: quello, quella, quelli, and quelle.

Prenda questo. –“Take this (this one).”

Questa cravatta è migliore di quella. –“This tie is better than that one.”

These demonstrative pronouns are also used to express the idea of “the former” and “the latter.” When the thing or person referred to is of masculine gender, the plural forms questi, quei, and quegli are used, even though each may refer only to a singular subject. When the thing or person referred to is of feminine gender, the usual forms are used: questa and quella in the singular, queste and quelle in the plural.

Ex. A chi un segreto? Ad un bugiardo [liar] o a un muto: Questi non parla, e quei non è creduto. —Pananti

Note that, unlike English usage, “the latter” is always mentioned first (–questi in the preceding example).

The idea of “the latter” for the pronoun meaning “this one” is logical if you consider that in reading or writing, “the latter” is closer to the eyes or pen. Conversely, “the former” is farther; hence the pronoun meaning “that one.”

One can also use primo/prima and secondo/seconda (or ultimo/ultima) to mean “the former” (literally, “first”) and “the latter” (literally, “second” or, for ultimo, “last”):

Ex: Churchill e Garibaldi sono due grandi uomini, il primo inglese e il secondo italiano.


VOCABULARY A

all’antica
in an old-fashioned manner
*a mano a mano    gradually (here, with che: as) assurgere =
sorgere
avi (m. pl.)      ancestors
capovolgere
to overturn, to upset
comitiva
party, group
cronaca
chronicle
eletto      chosen; choice, select; elected (past part.,eleggere)
fiorente
blooming
*luogo
place; in l. di (also al l. di) instead of
*marito
husband
riscontrare
to find (here, pl.: facts)
serico
silken
sorgono
rise (up), arise (3d pl. pres. ind., sorgere)
*svolgimento      development termine (m.)
term; limit
vesti (f. pl.)
clothes, garments
vincere (m.)
(here) salvation

VOCABULARY B

bevve
drank (3d sing. past abs., bere)
bicchiere (m.)
glass
diede
gave (3d sing. past abs., dare)
dovette (also dovè)    had to (3d sing. past abs., dovere)
*fuori
out, outside
meravigliare
to amaze, to astonish, to surprise
*notte (f.)
night
plasmare
to mould
polvere (f.)      powder possente
powerful
*quale, -i
(such) as
*svegliarsi
to wake up
tolto
taken (away) (past part., togliere)
*voglia
will

 

Last revised on April 26, 2017.