Being Italian: is your ego under control?

by Bernard O'Shea

Italian, like French, has a reputation for being a language of love, and you will often hear it said that Italians (or the French), are the world’s best lovers.

Italian men, at least, seem to have a reputation for being forward and flirtatious. Indeed, Lonely Planet’s Italian phrase book has a section on pick-up lines – Ti posso portare a fari un giro (in moto) Can I take you for a ride (on my bike) – and how to reject unwanted advances, my favourite one being Il tuo ego è fuori controllo Your ego is out of control.

Italian has two “to be” verbs, essere and stare. According to the above mentioned phrase book, the former is generally used to describe ongoing characteristics (like ser in Spanish and Portuguese) and the latter describes temporary states or locations (like estar in Spanish and Portuguese). Here is how they are conjugated

Subject pronoun      essere / stare          English translation

io                                   sono / sto               I am

tu                                   sei / stai                   you are (informal)

Lei  (capitalised)            è / sta                     you are (formal)

lui / lei                             è / sta                     he / she / it is

noi                               siamo / stiamo          we are

voi                                siete / state               you are (plural)

loro                               sono / stanno            they are

See the post Hey you! Which ‘you’ should you use? for explanations on when to use tu and Lei. It is pretty much the same as in French, Portuguese and Spanish.

 

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2 comments

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bernardoshea January 10, 2013 - 1:23 am

No, it’s not Alan’s style. I’ll have to find the Italian equivalent of Uriah Heap for him haha

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Bernard O'Shea September 23, 2014 - 9:59 am

Reblogged this on My Five Romances and commented:

Reblogged to coincide with the Italian Film Festival taking place around Australia

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