My Italian Word of the Week - Fuoco

Photo Credit: Flikr Creative Commons - Thomas's Pics' (C)

Photo Credit: Flikr Creative Commons - Thomas's Pics' (C)

Fuoco (n.m.)

n. fire, flame, blaze (the effect of a combustion)
n. a source of heat for cooking; a hearth
n. a blast or explosion from a firearm or explosive
n. fig. a sensation of ardor, heat, enthusiasm
n. tech. (in geometry) a focal point where two rays meet
definitions Corriere.it ; WordReference.com

Welcome to this week's installment of IWOW

It seemed logical to follow up mirare with fuoco, which literally translates to fire or flame.  I've run across it, along with calore (n. heat), quite a bit lately as I've decided to maintain my Italian via reading un romanzo rossa (a "pink" novel, aka Romance). In case you're wondering, said fuoco calore (fire and heat) were often located tra le cosce (between the thighs). Obviously, this use employs the figurative meaning of fuoco, which expresses enthusiasm or ardor (and not just in a romantic or sexual context). Just as il fuoco dell'amore can mean "the fire/ardor of love," il fuoco della fede can mean "the fire/ardor of faith."

We've already gone over un arma da fuoco (n. firearm) in my previous post, so you already know fuoco can mean a blast or explosion from a weapon. Aprire il fuoco translates to "open fire" and cessare il fuoco to "cease fire." Fare fuoco (lit. to "do" fire) is the synonym of sparare (v. to shoot at, to fire at). One cool derivative of this meaning is un gruppo di fuoco (n. pl. hired killers, gunmen). 

Since a lot of Italian life seems to revolve around food, fuoco also means a source of heat for cooking (n. hearth). For example, a stove top with 4 sources of heat is una cucina a quattro fuoco, and mettere sul fuoco  means "to put (something) on the stove or burner." This should not be confused with mettere a fuoco, which means to bring into focus or sharpen and is probably based on the geometric meaning of fuoco (n. focal point).

This brings us to some cool idiomatic expressions. Mettere troppa carne al fuoco (lit. to put too much meat on the fire) is equivalent to the English "to bite off more than one can chew." It's sort off related to C'e molta carne al fuoco (lit. there's a lot of meat on the fire), which is a close approximation of "there are plenty of fish in the sea" (i.e. lots of opportunities to take advantage of).

Una giornata di fuoco (lit. a day of fire) is equivalent to our "day from hell" (i.e. busy/hectic day). Since I do need to get on with some other chores, I'll leave off here. 

Ciao, tutti! Ci si vede il giovedì prossimo. (Good-bye all! See you again next Thursday.)

Disclaimer: I am writing this as a student of Italian. If there is anyone out there who would like to add to or correct my posts, please leave a comment.

Comment

Tara Quan

Globetrotter, lover of languages, and romance author, Tara Quan has an addiction for crafting tales with a pinch of spice and a smidgen of kink. Inspired by her travels, she enjoys tossing her kick-ass heroines and alpha males into exotic contemporary locales, fantasy worlds, and post-apocalyptic futures. Visit Tara at www.taraquan.com

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My Italian Word of the Week - Mirare

Photo Credit: State Library of South Australia

Photo Credit: State Library of South Australia

Mirare (v.)

v. (intransitive, mirare a) to take aim with a weapon
v. (transitive) to closely/carefully observe something or someone
v. fig. to aim for an objective or goal
definitions Corriere.it ; WordReference.com
conjugation Italian Verbs

Welcome to this week's installment of IWOW

In continuation with this week's firearms theme (you really should check out my Firearms Firsts post, perche quest'articolo e molto interessante), my word of the week is mirare. The most literal meaning of the word is to take aim at something or someone con un'arma di fuoco (un'arma = a weapon, fuoco = fire, convenient, sì?). To convey this meaning, mirare is used intransitively, as in you "aim something at some one," with the preposition "a" taking the place of "at." If I were to channel Nalini Singh's cacciatrice di vampiri (vampire huntress) for a moment, I would say Elena mira la sua balestra al cuore del vampiro (Elena aims her crossbow at the heart of the vampire).

Obviously, unless one plans on joining the Carabinieri (Italian police), this use of mirare isn't terribly useful. However, when used transitively (without the preposition a, to grossly oversimplify), mirare can mean to carefully observe something or someone.  Continuing with my Cacciatrice della Corporazione (Guild Hunter) theme, you can think of it thus: Elena mira il suo bersaglio (no a) translates to "Elena observes her target", whereas Elena mira al suo bersaglio (with a) translates to "Elena aims at her target (presumably with a gun or crossbow)"

Dulcis in fundo (you can probably tell I love this phrase), one can use mirare figuratively to mean taking aim at an objective or goal. Mirare al cielo is a song (video), literally means to aim at the sky, and is the figurative equivalent of the English phrase "shoot for the stars." Similarly, mirare alto or mirare in alto means to aim high or be ambitious. 

And thus concludes la mia prova di essere ambiziosa (my attempt to be ambitious) this week. 

Ciao, tutti! Ci si vede il giovedì prossimo. (Good-bye all! See you again next Thursday.)

Disclaimer: I am writing this as a student of Italian. If there is anyone out there who would like to add to or correct my posts, please leave a comment.

Comment

Tara Quan

Globetrotter, lover of languages, and romance author, Tara Quan has an addiction for crafting tales with a pinch of spice and a smidgen of kink. Inspired by her travels, she enjoys tossing her kick-ass heroines and alpha males into exotic contemporary locales, fantasy worlds, and post-apocalyptic futures. Visit Tara at www.taraquan.com

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My Italian Word of the Week - Sangue

Casa Editrice Nord (C)

Casa Editrice Nord (C)

Sangue (s.m.)

n. blood (anatomical)
n. fig. kinship, blood relation
n. fig. a state of being/disposition (ex. cold-blooded)
definitions Corriere.it ; WordReference.com

 

Welcome to this week's installment of IWOW

I picked sangue (n.m. blood) for this week's word in celebration of the fact that I just made my way through Il Profumo del Sangue (lit. The Scent of Blood), which is the Italian translation of Nalini Singh's Angel's Blood. If you don't already know, Nalini Singh is my favorite author, and, in my humble opinion, the Guild Hunter series is her best work. As such, I was psyched to find out three of her books had been translated to Italian. 

I began reading Il Profumo del Sangue by switching back and forth between the English and Italian versions. As my language skills improved, I went from page-to-page switches to chapter-to-chapter switches, and I eventually was able to eschew the English version all together. Given, I've read Angel's Blood more than half a dozen times (I tend to re-read the entire series whenever a new book comes out), so I know a lot of the scenes by heart. Nonetheless, I like to pat myself on the back whenever I can.

Some not so useful words I learned from this exercise include: un vampiro = a vampire; un succhiasangue = a bloodsucker; una cacciatrice dei vampiri = a vampire hunter (female); and Cacciatrice della Corporazione = Guild Hunter.

So I probably should get to the actual word of the week. Obviously, there's the anatomical use for the word sangue (blood), which is a singular masculine noun. On a related note, "to bleed" in Italian is sanguinare, which is a regular first conjugation verb. Similar to English, una banca di sangue is a blood bank, una trasfusione di sangue is a blood transfusion, and con parentela di sangue or di parentela di sangue is how one might indicate a blood relation. 

There are actually a lot of figurative uses of the word that corresponds perfectly to English. Sangue caldo (lit. hot blood) is used to describe someone who's hot-headed or impulsive, just as sangue freddo (lit. cold blood) is used to describe a cold-blooded (i.e. emotionless) person. Di sangue blu (lit. blue blood) is likewise used to describe someone with a aristocratic heritage, and di sangue misto or mezzo sangue (lit. mixed blood, half blood) indicates someone of mixed ethnic heritage (and no, it's not a polite thing to say in either language).

Far andare il sangue alla testa (lit. to make blood go to one's head) and sentirsi montare il sangue alla testa (lit. to feel blood climb to one's head) is pretty close to "to make someone blow a gasket" or "to blow a gasket," respectively (i.e. to make someone angry/to feel angry). Con calma a sangue freddo (with calm and cold blood) is something you might hear when someone is asking you to "calm down" or "keep your cool". Dulcis in fundo, one decidedly Italian idiomatic expression is Il vino fa buon sangue (lit. wine makes good blood), which is their equivalent of the English "An apple a day keeps the doctor away." I personally prefer the Italian version.

And since I must go in search of my bicchiere di vino (for health reasons, obviously), I'll end this post. 

Ciao, tutti! Ci si vede il giovedì prossimo. (Good-bye all! See you again next Thursday.)

Disclaimer: I am writing this as a student of Italian. If there is anyone out there who would like to add to or correct my posts, please leave a comment.

Comment

Tara Quan

Globetrotter, lover of languages, and romance author, Tara Quan has an addiction for crafting tales with a pinch of spice and a smidgen of kink. Inspired by her travels, she enjoys tossing her kick-ass heroines and alpha males into exotic contemporary locales, fantasy worlds, and post-apocalyptic futures. Visit Tara at www.taraquan.com

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My Italian Word of the Week - Amare

Romantic Heart from Love Seeds was provided by   epSos.de  (c).

Romantic Heart from Love Seeds was provided by epSos.de (c).

Amare

v. to love
v. to be in love with
v. to adore, have affection for, enjoy
definitions Corriere.it
conjugations Italian Verbs

Welcome to this week's installment of IWOW

Buon San Valentino (in advance)! And no, amare isn't a typo.

Amare is the verb "to love," which is often confused with the noun amore (love).  Neither should be mistaken for the adjective amaro, which means "bitter." By the way, amare is almost exclusively used in a romantic context. Volere bene is what most would use to indicate platonic love (including but not limited to familial love).  

This is a rather momentous post since it's the last one before my full-time Italian classes officially end. Tomorrow, I get to take the dreaded test (which isn't so scary since I don't actually work for the U.S. government). Mio marito (my husband), however, is on pins and needles, and I have a suspicion he'll forget my Valentine's Day present all together. Nonostante (nonetheless), this blog feature will continue since it forces me to keep up my italiano.

I probably should get back on topic. Amare is followed by a direct object. Per esempio, (io) amo mio marito–I love my husband. I was confused about this at first because one often hears (io) ti amo (I love you) or (tu) mi ami? (Do you love me?). For the longest time I thought ti and mi were indirect objects, and then I discovered certain forms of direct and indirect objects are the same. The only time it gets tricky is when we're in the third person. Amo lui  or l'amo (I love him) is correct while gli amo (I love to him) is incorrect.

Perhaps because piacere (to like) is a bit of a pain to conjugate, some of my fellow students prefer the use of amare or adorare (to adore) in lieu of to like. This is a perfectly acceptable usage (with things, not people). Si può dire (one could say), mio marito ama il cioccolato scuro, particolarmente quello con 99% cacao (my husband loves dark chocolate, especially the ones with 99% cacao). Sì, lui e un po pazzo (yes, he's a little crazy).

Now, you're probably wondering how to say "I'm in love with you." The Italian equivalent of this is (io) sono innamorato/a di te, or (io) sono innamorato/a cotto di te for further emphasis (cotto literally means "baked", but innamorato/a cotto di is the English equivalent of smitten). 

At the risk of getting too deep into the grammar quagmire, amare (or amarsi) can be used reflexively. (Io) mi amo means I love (and/or am satisfied with) myself. It can also be used reciprocally: (noi) ci amiamo means "we love each other", and i miei genitori si amano means "my parents love each other."

And on that note, I'll excuse myself to go study for my test.

Ciao, tutti! Ci si vede il giovedì prossimo. (Good-bye all! See you again next Thursday.)

Disclaimer: I am writing this as a student of Italian. If there is anyone out there who would like to add to or correct my posts, please leave a comment.

Comment

Tara Quan

Globetrotter, lover of languages, and romance author, Tara Quan has an addiction for crafting tales with a pinch of spice and a smidgen of kink. Inspired by her travels, she enjoys tossing her kick-ass heroines and alpha males into exotic contemporary locales, fantasy worlds, and post-apocalyptic futures. Visit Tara at www.taraquan.com

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My Italian Word of the Week - Magari

Photo Credit: My cousin's FB Page (She got this for her B'day). – Magari io avessi questa!

Photo Credit: My cousin's FB Page (She got this for her B'day). – Magari io avessi questa!

Magari

idiom. I wish!
idiom. If only
idiom. If possible
conj. Even if
adv. Maybe, Probably
definitions Corriere.it

Welcome to this week's installment of IWOW

Have mentioned I'm learning the congiuntivo (subjunctive)? As any student of Romance languages knows, the subjunctive is one of the more difficult moods to master (even in English). One of the difficulties is that the change is triggered by a subset of words and phrases. Magari happens to be one of them. 

Grammatical intricacies aside, magari  happens to be one of those all-purpose and extremely useful words. The most common use is as a response for when someone asks you something you wish were true. For example: Guadagni molto soldi come una scrittrice? Magari! - Do you make a lot of money as a writer? I wish!

Related to this use is the idiomatic use of magari to mean "If only." Since I'm a huge fan of green tea-flavored Kit Kat (which is impossible to buy outside Japanese specialty stores), I might be compelled to make this comment on my cousin's Facebook page: Magari avessi ricevuto questi dolci per il giorno di mio compleanno! - If only I received these sweets for my birthday! (Side note: avessi ricevuto  is the trapassato congiuntivo mood for ricevere)

One can also use magari to signify "Yes, if possible." For example, when asked Vorrei una prenotazione? (Would you like a reservation?), you could answer "Sì, magari" or even just "Magari."

Using magari as a conjunction "even if" can be a bit tricky, but here's my attempt: Scrivo piu libri, magari non guadagnassi nessun soldi (I'll write more books even if I won't earn any money).  

Dulcis in fundo (Last but not least), magari is the equivalent of the English adverb maybe or probably. For example, I could say, magari lui è qui (maybe he is here) or magari parlerò italiano quando sarò in Italia (I probably will speak Italian when I'm in Italy). 

Ciao, tutti! Ci si vede il giovedì prossimo. (Good-bye all! See you again next Thursday.)

Disclaimer: I am writing this as a student of Italian. If there is anyone out there who would like to add to or correct my posts, please leave a comment.

Comment

Tara Quan

Globetrotter, lover of languages, and romance author, Tara Quan has an addiction for crafting tales with a pinch of spice and a smidgen of kink. Inspired by her travels, she enjoys tossing her kick-ass heroines and alpha males into exotic contemporary locales, fantasy worlds, and post-apocalyptic futures. Visit Tara at www.taraquan.com

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My Italian Word of the Week - Quarantotto

Photo Credit: Flikr, Mark Hogan (C)

Photo Credit: Flikr, Mark Hogan (C)

Quarantotto

adj. forty-eight
n.m. fig. a state of great confusion, bedlam, and/or pandemonium

definitions Corriere.it

Welcome to this week's installment of IWOW

Due to my Italian classe's recent focus on the congiuntivo (subjunctive mood–believe it or not, it's worse in English), my brain is un po stanco (a little tired)so I must keep this post short and sweet. 

Quarantotto literally means forty-eight. Yes, you guessed right: quaranta means fortyand otto means eight. Since we're on the subject of numbers, I probably should at least go over 1-10:

1-uno, 2-due, 3-tre, 4-quattro, 5-cinque, 6-sei, 7-sette, 8-otto, 9-nove, 10-dieci

So you're probably wondering why I picked 48 as my word of the week. Apparently, 1848 was a particularly unpleasant year in Italy. Secondo Wikipedia (According to Wikipedia, which is something I've said a surprising number of times lately), the period was marred by sconvolgimenti (mayhem) as a result of a series of revolts against Austrian control. 

The situation was so bad, in fact, that the word quarantotto became synonymous with a general state of confusion or bedlam. Depending on the situation, it is now also used to signify a "catastrophe". This expression would be appropriate, for example, when describing the current mess in Atlanta (seriously, folks–2 inches of snow should not a state of emergency make).

In context, one could say fare un quarantotto (to create mayhem), or è successo un quarantotto (great confusion occurred). And on that uplifting note, I'll end this week's post! 

Ciao, tutti! Ci si vede il giovedì prossimo. (Good-bye all! See you again next Thursday.)

Disclaimer: I am writing this as a student of Italian. If there is anyone out there who would like to add to or correct my posts, please leave a comment.

Comment

Tara Quan

Globetrotter, lover of languages, and romance author, Tara Quan has an addiction for crafting tales with a pinch of spice and a smidgen of kink. Inspired by her travels, she enjoys tossing her kick-ass heroines and alpha males into exotic contemporary locales, fantasy worlds, and post-apocalyptic futures. Visit Tara at www.taraquan.com

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My Italian Word of the Week - Vedere

A hunting falcon in the UAE

A hunting falcon in the UAE

Vedere

v. to see
v. fig. to understand
v. fig. to meet up with

conjugations Italian Verbs
definitions Word Reference

Welcome to this week's installment of IWOW

I probably should have mentioned in my girare post that verbs in Italian, as with the case of all Romance languages, are conjugated. This means the verb changes form according to the subject and tense. An example of this linguistic phenomenon in inglese (English) is the use of "am" after "I" and "is" after "he/she." Going forward, if my IWOW is a verb, I'll include a link to all the conjugations as I did above.  

Vedi la neve! (Look at the snow!–Vedi = the imperative tense with the informal you as the subject). My week started with a snow day here in D.C. The federal government closed down, which meant I got to stay at home and write this post.

One of my first Italian lessons involved the difference between vedere (to see) and guardare (to watch). I won't belabor the point–it's the same as in English. One sees a person or a place (hence vedere), and one watches television (hence guardare).

Because it's used a lot, I'll add to the confusion by giving you the past participle of vederevisto. I saw Tara yesterday translates to (io) Ho visto Tara ieri.

The figurative use of vedere to mean "to understand" correlates more or less perfectly with its analog in English. After a beloved friend explains the intricacies of the Hicks-Boson particle, one can say Vedo... (I see...) instead Capisco... (I comprehend...). 

The most common figurative use of vedere happens to match the most common figurative use of "to see." You guessed right. Ci vediamo! or Ci si vede! is the Italian equivalent of "See you later!" Just in case one of my teachers stumbles upon this blog, I'll add that technically, this expression employs the reflexive form of the verb vedere (i.e. vedersi). Non voglio aprire il vaso di pandora (I don't want to open Pandora's box), so I'll postpone explaining reflexive verbs to the very distant future.

Ciao, tutti! Ci si vede il giovedì prossimo. (Good-bye all! See you again next Thursday.)

Disclaimer: I am writing this as a student of Italian. If there is anyone out there who would like to add to or correct my posts, please leave a comment.

Comment

Tara Quan

Globetrotter, lover of languages, and romance author, Tara Quan has an addiction for crafting tales with a pinch of spice and a smidgen of kink. Inspired by her travels, she enjoys tossing her kick-ass heroines and alpha males into exotic contemporary locales, fantasy worlds, and post-apocalyptic futures. Visit Tara at www.taraquan.com

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My Italian Word of the Week - Girare

P1250720.JPG

Girare

v. to turn, spin, circle
v. fig. to shoot a film
v. fig. to roam, wander, tour, travel

from Word Reference

Welcome to this week's installment of IWOW

Girare might seem like an odd word to pick, but I thought it's time for me to choose a verb. I'll segue into grammar for a moment and tell you that girare is a regular, first conjugation verb, which basically means it falls under the "simplest to learn" category. Of course, I have since discovered, having just started by lesson on the conjuntivo, that the word simple will never be appropriate for describing the Italian language. As a side note, giro is the noun derived from girare. For cycling fans, the Giro D'Italia is the Italian equivalent of the Tour de France.

Girare can be used to mean "turn", such as turning a handle, turning a key, or circling the block. However, I've seen more instances of its figurative uses than its literal ones. Most notable are the following:

1. Girare un film/Girare un vide: To shoot a film or movie (this can be attributed to my preference of reading gossip rags over actual news articles).

2. Ho girato (1st person, past tense) la Italia: To tour/ travel a country (this can be attributed to my preference of reading travel magazines to actual news articles).

3. Ho girato il caffe: To stir coffee (this might be the most relevant to my future life).

In addition to figurative uses of girare, there are also a number of idiomatic expressions that use this verb.

Far girare la testa means to make one's head spin. It can be used when referencing an attractive man or woman, La ragazza ha fatto girare la testa a X (the girl made X's head spin), or when referencing a chaotic/lively place such as a shopping mall or market, Da far girare la testa.

Girare a vuoto, which is the equivalent of "spinning one's wheels" or "going around in circles," will probably be an apt description of my future experience in Italy, where it apparently will take us 3 months to set up an internet connection.

Girare sui tacchi, which is the equivalent of "to turn tail/turn one's heels/leave" and/or "doing anabout-face/changing one's mind" would be an act I might consider if my husband does not find a way to provide me internet access in some other fashion (I love him dearly, but 3 months???).

Dulcis in fundo (last but not least), there's il girare il mondo (vagabonding/globe trotting). For example, it's safe to say il lavoro di mio marito mi fa girare il mondo (my husband's job makes me globe trot).

Ciao, tutti! Ci si vede il giovedì prossimo. (Good-bye all! See you again next Thursday.)

Disclaimer: I am writing this as a student of Italian. If there is anyone out there who would like to add to or correct my posts, please leave a comment.

Comment

Tara Quan

Globetrotter, lover of languages, and romance author, Tara Quan has an addiction for crafting tales with a pinch of spice and a smidgen of kink. Inspired by her travels, she enjoys tossing her kick-ass heroines and alpha males into exotic contemporary locales, fantasy worlds, and post-apocalyptic futures. Visit Tara at www.taraquan.com

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My Italian Word of the Week - Freddo/Freddissimo

Freddo

Freddo (Freddissimo)

adj. cold, glacial, frigid adj. fig. dead, lifeless adj. fig. detached, aloof, impassive, rational n. cold, cold weather

from

Word Reference

Welcome to this week's installment of IWOW.

Adesso, fa freddissimo!--Right now, it's freezing! (You can find an explanation of how freddo changed to freddissimo in my previous post.)

The reason I chose freddo this week is obvious. Il Regno di Ghiaccio (The Reign of Ice, i.e. the Italian title of the Disney movie Frozen) is an apt description of the current weather. The roads are iced over, frostbite is a few minutes of exposure away, and my car is making weird noises. D.C. doesn't have it as bad as the rest of the country, but it was cold enough for me to dig out my gloves, scarf and hat from storage.

One of the first things one learns in Italian class is that (as with the case in French), one "has" cold as opposed to one "is" cold. In other words, ho freddo literally translates to "I have cold" but is the Italian equivalent of saying "I am cold." Additionally, the weather "does" freezing as opposed to "is" freezing--(Il tempo) fa freddissimo. The idiomatic equivalent of fa freddissimo is fa un freddo cane, which, as far as I can tell, literally translates to (the weather) makes a frozen dog.

And since I get lethargic and sleepy whenever it's cold out, this is all the effort I can muster for today. But calma e sangue freddo! (Keep calm and don't panic--lit. calm yourself and keep your blood cold). My next Italian Word of the Week will hit the interwebs next Thursday.

Disclaimer: I am writing this as a student of Italian. If there is anyone out there who would like to add to or correct my post, please leave a comment.  

Comment

Tara Quan

Globetrotter, lover of languages, and romance author, Tara Quan has an addiction for crafting tales with a pinch of spice and a smidgen of kink. Inspired by her travels, she enjoys tossing her kick-ass heroines and alpha males into exotic contemporary locales, fantasy worlds, and post-apocalyptic futures. Visit Tara at www.taraquan.com

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My Italian Word of the Week - [Buon] Anno ([Good] n. year)!

Happy New Year

Anno

n. year

from

Word Reference

Welcome to this week's installment of IWOW.

Buon anno, tutti! (Happy New Year, everyone!--translation not literal) This week's word came up a day early since it is the New Year. I'm going to put myself on a limb here and say buon anno is the Italian equivalent of "Happy New Year". The only source I have to back this up are dubbed episodes of How I Met Your Mother (which are hilarious, by the way), so please feel free to correct me if I'm mistaken. Literally, the New Year is il capodanno (m. s.), and New Year's Eve is la notte di capodanno (f.s.).

Anno (n. year) is a word that has given me much grief because I instinctively say per anno instead of all'anno whenever I refer to recurring events. In English, one says "X happens twice per year", which somehow causes per (for) to tumble out of my mouth instead of the correct all'. I'm pretty sure I get corrected on this error at least 3 times a day while classes are in session.

Some useful phrases related to this wordare ogni anno (every year, annually), l'anno scorso (last year), l'anno prossimo (next year), tutto l'anno (all year, year-round), and qualche anno fa (a few years ago). Of course, the romance writer in me zero'd in on the psychological term crisi del settimo anno (seven-year itch).

Disclaimer: I am writing this as a student of Italian. If there is anyone out there who would like to add to or correct my post, please leave a comment. This is a learning process for me as well. 

Comment

Tara Quan

Globetrotter, lover of languages, and romance author, Tara Quan has an addiction for crafting tales with a pinch of spice and a smidgen of kink. Inspired by her travels, she enjoys tossing her kick-ass heroines and alpha males into exotic contemporary locales, fantasy worlds, and post-apocalyptic futures. Visit Tara at www.taraquan.com

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