What are the basics of Italian I should learn?
Italian is a major European language that is the national, or de facto national, official language in Italy, Switzerland (Ticino and the Grisons), San Marino, and Vatican City. Italiano or lingua Italiana is a Romance language of the Indo-European language family. It is known as the language of music because of its use in musical terminology and opera; numerous Italian words referring to music have become international terms taken into various languages worldwide. It is the second most widely spoken native language in the European Union with 67 million speakers (15% of the EU population) and it is spoken as a second language by 13.4 million EU citizens (3%). Including Italian speakers in non-EU European countries (such as Switzerland, Albania and the United Kingdom) and on other continents, the total number of speakers is approximately 85 million. Many Italian speakers are native bilinguals of both Italian (either in its standard form or regional varieties) and other regional languages. It is also widely spoken in Luxemburg, Germany, and Belgium, United States, Canada, Venezuela, Uruguay, Brazil, and Argentina. It has official minority status in western Istria (Croatia and Slovenia).
Here are a few basics I suggest you start with as a beginner:
1.Greetings & other Useful phrases
Whether you’re speaking with someone face-to-face, through Skype, or over the phone, greetings are an essential part of getting your German conversation started. However, German-speakers don’t always say “hello” and “how are you?”. They also use many other German greetings expressions, also called useful phrases, to say slightly different things. You can use such expressions to sound more natural and express yourself more clearly and precisely, even at the beginner English level. Learners can also hold a “Small talk”- a polite exchange used to pass the time, share non-essential information, or learn more about the other person. It’s also a great form of German conversation practice. This kind of communication can span a wide range of topics, from weather to sleep habits. Small talk often begins naturally with questions like, “How are you?” From there, it can expand to cover greater detail and more topics.
Build your vocabulary
A learner must pay great attention to capturing commonly used verbs, nouns, adjectives, synonyms, antonyms and more, in order to be able to frame intelligible, understandable sentences and convey your thoughts and emotions. Building vocabulary is key to fluency. You will need accurate, specific verbs to get your ideas across. The more verbs you know, the more ideas you can communicate.
Learn a few basic nouns.
The majority of Italian nouns are derived from Latin. Many of these words are derived from Greek. Although nouns in Italian do not inflect for case, they are derived from a combination of the Latin nominative and accusative cases. In Italian, nouns are inflected for gender and number. Only people-related nouns typically decline for gender, while all other nouns are either masculine or feminine. Nouns ending in any letter other than -a, -e, or -o, as well as nouns ending in a stressed vowel, are invariably plural. The Italian language employs four cases to describe the functions of nouns, pronouns, and noun phrases, indicating whether they are the clause’s subject or a subordinate object in the clause, nominative, genitive, dative and accusative. In the Italian language, all cases are expressed by prepositions and pronouns in one of their grammatical forms. And everything in Italian must be consistent in terms of gender and number. Nouns in Italian are classified as common, nomi comuni, or proper, nomi propri.
There are only two genders in Italian: masculine and feminine (There is no neuter gender). Singular nouns ending in -o are generally masculine, while nouns ending in -a are feminine; however, nouns ending in -e can be either masculine or feminine. Nouns ending in -ione are almost always feminine, whereas nouns ending in -ore are almost always masculine. Then there are nouns that appear masculine (ending in -o) but are actually feminine because the words from which they are derived are feminine (ending in -a), or words that appear feminine (ending in a -a), but are actually masculine because the words from which they are derived are masculine (ending in -a).
Learn a few basic adjectives.
Adjectives in Italian can be used before or after the noun. According to a simple rule, the position of an adjective before or after a noun affects the tone of a sentence; the adjective before the noun has less power than the one after. When the adjective comes before the noun, it has a descriptive function; when it comes after, it has a distinctive function; and in some cases, the different position can influence the meaning of the sentence. Then Adjectives that are only used after the noun indicate nationality, membership, location/position, and physical characteristics. Adjectives and nouns always agree on genre and number. If they are connected to more than one noun and only one of them is masculine, the adjectives are all defined as masculine. In Italian, adjectives are conjugated in the same way as nouns: masculine ends with -o (plural, -i), feminine with -a (plural -e). In the case of nouns, a third type of adjective ends in -e (plural, -i); these adjectives have the same masculine and feminine form. Adjectives can have the following meanings depending on the noun to which they are linked:
When an attributive function is directly linked to a noun or; When it is linked to the noun via the verb essere, to be, it performs a predicative function. Learning adjectives will assist you in expanding your vocabulary! Begin with nouns and adjectives that describe things you see on a regular basis, such as objects, pets, stationery, vehicles, food items, and so on. Ascertain that they agree on the gender.
Learn a few basic verbs.
All Italian verbs can be classified into three conjugation patterns based on the ending of their infiniti presenti (-are, -ere, or -ire), with the exceptions of fare “to do/make” (from Latin FACRE) and dire “to say” (from Latin DICRE), which were originally 2nd conjugation verbs that reduced the unstressed vowel in the infinitive (and consequently in the future and conditional, whose stem derives from the infinitive), and still followed the 2nd conjugation for all the other tenses; this pattern is also displayed in the verbs ending in -trarre, -porre and -durre, derived respectively from the Latin TRAHĔRE (to drag), PONĔRE (to put) and DVCĔRE (to lead).
Adverbs in Italian
Adverbs have no inflections. By appending -mente (from Latin “mente”, ablative of “mens” (mind), feminine noun) to the end of the adjective’s feminine singular form, an adjective can be transformed into a modal adverb. For instance, lenta “slow (feminine)” becomes lentamente “slowly.” Before adding -mente, adjectives ending in -re or -le lose their e. (facile “easy” becomes facilmente “easily”, particolare “particular” becomes particolarmente “particularly”). These adverbs can also be derived from the absolute superlative form of adjectives, such as lentissimamente (“very slowly”) and facilissimamente (“very easily”). There are also many temporal, local, modal, and interrogative adverbs, most of which are derived from Latin, such as quando (“when”), dove (“where”), come (“how”), perché (“why”/”because”), mai (“never”), sempre (“always”), and so on.
Know the verb conjugations.
The majority of Italian verbs are inflected, with the significant number following one of three conjugation patterns. The mood, person, tense, number, aspect, and, on rare occasions, gender all have an impact on Italian conjugation. The endings of the infinitive form of the verb differentiate the three classes of verbs (patterns of conjugation):
First conjugation: -are (amare “to love,” parlare “to speak, to speak”);
Second conjugation- ere(credere “to believe,” ricevere “to receive”); Because they are derived from Latin -ere but lost their internal e after the suffix fused with the stem’s vowel (a, o, and u), -arre, -orre, and -urre are considered part of the 2nd conjugation.
Third conjugation: -ire (dormire “to sleep”);
3rd conjugation -ire with infixed -isc- (finire “to end, to finish”).
The irregular verbs are verbs in the Italian language that do not follow predictable patterns in all conjugation classes, most notably the present and absolute past. Each verb conjugation (there are three) has 90+ different forms (though only about half are true inflections, the rest are composites), and there are plenty of irregulars, so a grammar book is recommended.
Let the tenses settle well in the subconscious
The Italian language has three tenses: present, past, and future, which are made up of both regular and irregular verbs. Irregular verbs and the auxiliary verbs essere and avere must be memorised.
Put together simple sentences.
Every learner eagerly awaits the day when he or she will be able to make their first sentences. Simpler sentences encourage and motivate students to start their first conversation. A learner is given a cue to construct simple sentences using the accumulated vocabulary, previously learned sessions, and present tense conjugations. The sentences aren’t perfect to begin with, but they’re a big step toward fluency.
Learn to pluralize words.
In Italian, there are two ways to make nouns plural. Most of the time, the ending is changed, but in a few cases, the same form as the singular is used. There are some irregular plurals as well.
- Nouns can be pluralized by changing their ending
In Italian you usually pluralize it by changing the ending from one vowel to another:
Changing the –o, –a or –e ending masculine nouns to –i. Nearly all masculine plurals end in –i,
Changing the –e ending of feminine nouns to –i ending.
Changing the –a ending of feminine nouns to –e.
- You do not change feminine nouns ending in –à. You show that they are
plural by using the plural word for the adjectives in the plural, and so on.
Study the case system.
Given that Italian is one of Latin’s closest living relatives, one would expect it to have a few cases. Italian, on the other hand, decided to reinvent itself and abandon the case system. The only remnant of the Latin case system is found in pronouns, which have two forms: nominative for the subject and weak and strong for when the pronoun serves as a compliment.
In modern Italy, people communicate mostly in regional dialects, although standard Italian is the only written language. It is estimated that about half of Italy’s population does not speak standard Italian as a native language. It is one of the official languages of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe and one of the working languages of the Council of Europe. Its influence is also widespread in the arts and in the food and luxury goods markets. Italian is the main working language of the Holy See, serving as the lingua franca (common language) in the Roman Catholic hierarchy as well as the official language of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta.
There’s an amazing new way to learn Italian! Want to see what everyone’s talking about! Click here.