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15 votes
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Use of the indefinite article in Italian vs. English

The rules are significantly different, which is why Italians speaking in English often get their articles wrong. Good news for you: the other way round is much easier. As a thumb rule, if you have an ...
13 votes
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Can native Italian speakers read The Divine Comedy?

Yes Italian speakers can read the Comedy. It usually requires some notes here and there, both due to the archaic language and to the historical references ( many people are likely to be unfamiliar ...
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12 votes

'denigrare' & 'sbianchettare': possibili parole razziste

Secondo il Garzanti deriva dal latino, e significherebbe "oscurare" "annerire" http://www.garzantilinguistica.it/ricerca/?q=denigrare Sempre secondo il Garzanti "sbianchettare" deriva da "bianchetto" ...
12 votes
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"Chiunque altro" oppure "qualunque altro"?

Intanto, "qualunque altro" da solo non si potrebbe dire, perché "qualunque" è un aggettivo e non un pronome, a differenza di "chiunque". In questo caso, poi, si sta confrontando quella ricerca con ...
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12 votes

How do Italians make a statement a question?

How do Italians then ask questions? By adding a question mark in texts and changing the pitch in speech? That's exactly how you do it, for questions implying a yes/no answer.
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11 votes
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When is “la mia madre” correct?

In Italian the article is not used with single persons, with respect to family names, and the possessive adjectives, if there's no further specification: tuo fratello, but il tuo fratello minore mio ...
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11 votes
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What's the point of using "stare" in the passive voice?

Your book is not very clear. It should have said that the passive voice in Italian consists of a form of essere plus the past participle of the main verb. In the car example, the main verb is riparare ...
11 votes
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"Used to" and "be used to" in Italian

As Gio says in his answer the locution to be used to can be translated as essere solito, or (in my opinion more commonly) using the adverbial locution di solito followed by the verb at the presente ...
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11 votes
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Can I write the dates in Italian like "1º del Giugno e 12 del Luglio"?

There are several problems with the sentence. First of all, the verb sperare needs a di in front of another verb. Second, with countries one uses in not a. More to the point of the question, the usage ...
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10 votes
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"Sembra indicare che" + indicativo o congiuntivo?

Non considero scorretto l'indicativo, tuttavia suona un po' male per via del verbo reggente sembra, il quale introduce un'opinione più che una certezza. Con i verbi di opinione il congiuntivo è ...
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10 votes

Why do Italian road signs use the infinitive tense and not the imperative?

Another reason is related to the fact that the Italian imperative must be conjugated. For example, Turn off the lights might be translated, using the imperative, as: Spegni la luce (informal, 2nd ...
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10 votes

Uso della virgola

La frase senza virgola è ambigua. Non credo che esista nessuna regola "standard" di risoluzione di queste ambiguità. Tuttavia, la versione che mette la virgola dopo la parola "donna" è secondo me ...
10 votes
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The use of "ne" in a sentence

In currently spoken Italian, the pronoun io would be omitted in this case, but it's not the main aspect of the question. In the sentence me ne sono ricordato the verb is ricordarsi which is not, ...
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10 votes
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Grammatical analysis of the construction "Se l'è mangiato il cane"

Both of your Italian sentences are correct: the first one makes use of a so-called “intensive” use of the verb. First of all, assume the sentences are in the present tense. In this case we would have,...
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10 votes
Accepted

"Qual'è" o "Qual è"?

Come riportato nella risposta al quesito sull’Accademia della Crusca, la forma corretta è qual è: Esatta grafia di qual è L'esatta grafia di qual è non prevede l'apostrofo in quanto si tratta di un'...
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10 votes

"Mi sono fatto" - Intransitive?

This is not an intransitive verb. This is a form of reflexive voice. Italian verbs can be conjugated in three voices: active, passive and reflexive. You can recognize the reflexive voice from the ...
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9 votes

«l'élite» significa «la élite» o «le élite»?

Qui “élite” è senz'altro al singolare. In italiano contemporaneo l'elisione di “le” è pressoché inesistente. Per citare Serianni, «già cinquant'anni fa Bruno Migliorini osservava che “la forma ...
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9 votes
Accepted

What is the difference between "vuose" and "vuole"?

"Non vuole mangiare" is wrong because it is present tense, whereas "she didn't want to eat" is simple past. However, "Vuose" is not an Italian word. What you are looking for is the word "volle", the ...
9 votes

Quando si usano "egli", "ella", "esso", "essa", "essi", "esse" invece di "lui", "lei" o "loro"?

Egli, ella, essi ed esse, come suggerisce Google Ngram, sono stati quasi completamente rimpiazzati da lui, lei e loro, tuttavia è possibile utilizzarli in contesti molto formali, oppure se si desidera ...
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9 votes

È grammaticalmente corretta la frase "È difficile da imparare, questa lingua"?

Come accennavo in un commento a quel post, le dislocazioni a destra (come questa) e a sinistra («A Gigi le cose gliele dobbiamo sempre dire mille volte»), più che “corrette” o “scorrette” – che sono ...
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9 votes
Accepted

Using "piace" in a "how-many" question

There's no direct translation of I like cookies that doesn't change the meaning. One could say gradisco i biscotti but that's more similar to I appreciate cookies and sounds more formal than mi ...
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9 votes

The verb "piacere" with collective nouns

Even it's a collective noun, "la gente" is singular. Thus the correct sentence is Non gli piace la gente.
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9 votes
Accepted

I've been told that the passato remoto is going extinct and is now rarely used in northern Italy. What do people use instead?

I wouldn't say that the passato remoto is going extinct, but it is certainly true that in northern Italy it is rarely used. Actually in northern Italy we tend to always use the passato prossimo, even ...
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9 votes

Why is there "Il" in "Il mio tesoro intanto"?

Italian, unlike French, English or German, does not treat the possessive adjectives as determiners. They are ordinary adjectives and so are normally prefaced by the article when appropriate. In ...
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8 votes
Accepted

When does the noun change the gender?

Quite a few things here: Guadia is not an Italian word, you probably meant guardia. Welcome to Italian, the language of irregularities: Guardia is an irregular noun, it has no male variant. ...
8 votes
Accepted

About preposition in front of a time period

As a native speaker I'm not aware of detailed rules on the matter. There are a lot of implicit rules unknown to most natives which non-native speakers need to learn, so I searched online, but in this ...
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8 votes
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"Nell'Unione Sovietica" oppure "in Unione Sovietica"?

L'andamento della diffusione relativa di “nell'Unione Sovietica” e di “in Unione Sovietica”, quale lo rappresenta (grazie Josh61!) Ngram Viewer (potrebbe essere necessario cliccare su “Search lots...”)...
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8 votes

Come si chiama la particella che indica la via o la piazza ecc. all'interno di un indirizzo?

Secondo questa guida ufficiale delle Poste Italiane la parte che contiene "via", "piazza", ecc... si chiama qualificatore. Non so cosa intendi quando parli di "titolare", visto che alcune vie si ...
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8 votes
Accepted

Can "voi" be used instead of "lei"?

Nowadays, the polite pronoun used in Italian is lei, even though in some regions is still used voi, especially in the southern Italy. It could also be that the conversation involved more than one ...
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