Lesson 2, Part 1

Teach Italy.jpg final one ~Jana smaller

(Warning – this may be confusing!) 

Pleasantries, Pronouns, and Parla with Piero!

Let’s touch a bit on the video from Lesson 1, Part 2 of the video of us and learning some Italian…

Come stai?” Means “how are you?” But where does that come from? There are two verbs we must learn. stare (star-eh) and essere (ess-ehr-eh) and don’t forget your trills. Both of these verbs mean “to be.” This may be the hardest to learn. This week we will concentrate on stare.

A little background on verbs… Unlike in English, where we would add a pronoun (I, you, he/she, we, they) before a verb that does not change in the present tense, in most foreign languages, especially the Latin based; we change the verb “ending.” There are what are called “-are, –ere, and, –ire,” ending verbs.

We all know that “Ti amo” is “I love you.” Amo is from the verb amare – meaning to love. Amo means I love. So, in order to say “you love, he/she loves, we love, and they love” you need to “take off” the “-are” of the verb and add different endings to the verb. For example:

Amareto love a person. Think of the “-are” as the “to” part, so in speaking, you wouldn’t say “I to love” you would just say “I love.”

Here are the endings of –are verbs that are regular. Yes, unfortunately, there verbs that are not regular, but that will come later!

I – o                                                               we – iamo

you – i                                                             you (plural – all of you) – ate

he/she – a (there is no “it” in Italian)         they – ano
Therefore, Amareto love a person (amore is the “noun” love)

Amo – I love                              Amiamo – we love

Ami – you love                            Amate – all of you love

Ama – he/she loves                     Amano – they love

Now for the verb Stare.

Stare – to be

sto – I am                                  stiamo – we are

stai – you are                              stamate – all of you are

sta – he/she is                            stanno – they are (I don’t know why, but there are (2) ns

                                                in “stanno” – only time I see this?)

Ok, let’s go over some pronouns…

io – I                                                  noi – we

tu – you                                              voi – all of you

lui – he; lei – she                                   loro – they

Lei – you (sing. Form, m/f)                     Loro – you (plural form)

(yes, Lei and Loro are capitalized)

Now I will go over the “5 Ws + How” in English – however they don’t all start with the same letter in Italian!

(these are for Kitty! Lol!) (all examples are from Grande Amore, except for “how/come.”

who – chi (as in “dimmi chi sei”)                       why – perche’ (as in “dimmi perche’ quando”)

what – che (as in “dimmi che mai”)                    when – quando (as in “dimmi perche’ quando”)

where – dove (as in “dove nasce il sole”)            how – come (as in “come un fiore”) from Canzone per te

So, when we say “come stai?” – how you are? The Italian grammar is a bit backwards from English. Almost like “how you doin’?” if anyone remembers John Travolta as Vinnie Barbarino from Welcome Back, Kotter!”

And a little bit of what I’d like to call the “Italian slide” – where pretty much all of the vowels are pronounced.

Remember the “o” sound in “come” – “au-o” sound? Then you have “a & i” together. So that would sound like “stah-ee,” but more of the sound of the 2nd vowel is pronounced. If you said it slowly, it may sound like this “cau-o’ meh sty ee” – in “stai” you hear the “slide” of the “a & i” together, but with more of the pronunciation of the “i.” And the accent on “co” in come. Re-listen to Gianluca & me in the Lesson 1, Part 2 video…

 NOTE: if there is just a two-syllable word, the accent is usually on the first syllable, unless there is a written accent, as in perche’.

Now for a little practice with Piero!a  - a

How are you, Piero?           Come stai, Piero?

I love you, Ignazio!            Ti amo, Ignazio!

(“ti” being an object pronoun of “you”) Basically translated as “it is you, I love” Ignazio.


Just one more verb – parlare, which means “to speak

parlo – I speak                  parliamo – we speak

parli – you speak               parlate – all of you speak

parla – he/she speaks       parlano – they speak

Parliamo Italiano – which is what Piero said at the Pescara or Taormina concert – when he asked “anyone here not Italian, who is American?” He did not get enough English replies, so he said “parliamo Italiano” – we will speak Italian. This was before Ignazio sang Memory…

I hope I have not confused all of you. I’m sure there are a few of you though that may be quite puzzled just about now!? Trust me, this will get easier. The first few lessons are always the hardest. I just feel you should have a basis for what you are learning. It will all make sense in time. Please stay with me. I will just go over some basic and much-needed vocabulary in Lesson 2, Part 2. It is hard to carry on a conversation when you don’t know how to say what you want to say, and with what words?! I plan to have Part 2 ready for Thursday. (I apologize, but I had a very busy weekend and have been putting in a lot of extra time at the office!)

HOMEWORK: Yes, you knew it was coming…. Just practice, saying out loud, the verbs and their endings, and singing along with Grande Amore! Yes – tough homework assignment, I know! Lol! Also, talk to your cat, your dog, your plants, or anyone else. You must practice saying these out loud.


9 thoughts on “Lesson 2, Part 1”

  1. Excellent! Thank you for sharing this. I’m planning on visiting Sardinia by myself for Christmas. These little lessons will help me, In addition to my own studying!

    1. Hey, just wanted to be sure you were paying attention there!! Lol!
      Seriously, great catch! So sorry, guess that’s what I get for doing this so late at night, I was tired and I must have been looking at the “stiamo” and kept with the “m.” I’ll have to correct that in the next lesson! Grazie!!

  2. Jana no need to apologize for anything, you have a job to keep. Just the fact you are putting this together for us is a big plus for you. I am ecstatic just the fact that maybe some day I will be able to understand what the guys are singing or saying even just a little bit. I don’t think I would have the courage to speak Italian to them without them laying on the floor laughing. Looking forward to your next lesson & trying to make sense of what I copied down.

    1. Loretta – so glad I have not totally confused you yet! You could always say “Come state?” to “all” the guys? Just have to be careful they don’t answer back in Italian and you don’t know what they are saying! Something similar happened to me many years ago when I was in Germany. I took a class in conversational German, as I wanted to learn some before I visited. Long story, but I visited a friend’s grandmother and greeted her in German. I guess I sounded pretty good because she responded back (in German) “oh, you speak German…???” the question marks being words in German I had no idea what she was saying! lol! I had to quickly tell her “no” in German. Lol! She was a sweet lady though….

  3. I too had to copy this and start a file with lesson 1. You don’t really think I’ll remember this without having to look back, do you? I’m trying.

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