Italian For Dummies

Italian For Dummies


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The fun and easy way to take your Italian language skills to the next level

The tips, techniques, and information presented here give students, travelers, and businesspeople a primer on how to speak Italian. Complete with updates, a bonus CD, and the traditional For Dummies user-friendly format, this new edition of Italian For Dummies gives you reliable lessons, practice, and language learning techniques for speaking Italian with ease and confidence.

Featuring a revamped, user-friendly organization that builds on your knowledge and ability, Italian For Dummies offers expanded coverage of the necessary grammar, major verb tenses, and conjugations that beginners need to know. Plus, you'll get a fully updated and expanded audio CD that includes real-life conversations; a refreshed and expanded mini-dictionary; more useful exercises and practice opportunities; and more.

  • Builds on your skills and ability as you learn
  • Covers the grammar, verb tenses, and conjugations you need to know
  • Includes a mini-dictionary
  • Audio CD includes real-life conversations

If you're looking to reach a comfort level in conversational Italian, Italian For Dummies gets you comfortably speaking this Romantic language like a native.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781118004654
Publisher: Wiley
Publication date: 09/06/2011
Series: For Dummies Books
Edition description: Bilingual
Pages: 416
Sales rank: 244,981
Product dimensions: 7.40(w) x 9.20(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Berlitz has taught languages to millions of people for more than 130 years. Francesca Romana Onofri and Karen Antje Moller are veteran language teachers. Teresa L. Picarazzi, PhD, teaches Italian at The Hopkins School and has lived and worked in Cortona, Florence, Ravenna, Siena, and Urbino.

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Table of Contents

Introduction 1

About This Book 1

Conventions Used in This Book 1

Foolish Assumptions 3

How This Book is Organized 3

Part I: Getting Started 3

Part II: Italian in Action 3

Part III: Italian on the Go 4

Part IV: The Part of Tens 4

Part V: Appendixes 4

Icons Used in This Book 4

Where to Go from Here 5

Part I: Getting Started 7

Chapter 1: Saying It Like It is 9

You Already Know Some Italian! 9

Cognates 11

Popular expressions 11

Mouthing Off: Basic Pronunciation 12

The Alphabet 13

Vowels 13

Consonants 15

Stressing Words Properly 19

Using Gestures 20

Chapter 2: Jumping Into the Basics of Italian 21

Setting Up Simple Sentences 21

Coping with Gendered Words (Articles, Nouns, and Adjectives) 22

Nouns and gender 22

The indefinite articles 23

Definite articles 24

Adjectives 25

Talking about Pronouns 26

Personal pronouns 27

Saying “you”: Formal and informal 27

Verbs 28

Introducing regular and irregular verbs 28

Idiomatic uses of avere 32

Having to, wanting to, being able to 37

Presenting the Simple Tenses: Past, Present, and Future 38

Chapter 3: Buongiorno! Salutations! 43

Looking at Common Greetings and Good-byes 43

Deciding between formal or friendly 45

Replying to a greeting 45

Specifying your reuniting 46

Making Introductions 47

Introducing yourself 47

Introducing other people 50

Getting Acquainted 53

Finding out whether someone speaks Italian 53

Talking about where you come from 54

Extending and responding to invitations 60

Chapter 4: Getting Your Numbers and Time Straight 63

Counting Numbers 63

Times of Day and Days of the Week 66

Using the Calendar and Making Dates 68

Making dates 69

Telling time 70

Chatting about the Weather 72

Familiarizing Yourself with the Metric System 77

Length and Distance 78

Weight 78

Part II: Italian in Action 83

Chapter 5: Casa dolce casa (Home Sweet Home) 85

Ordering Ordinals 85

Inhabiting Your Home 87

Hunting for an apartment 87

Sprucing up your apartment 92

Furnishing your new pad 93

Housekeeping in style 95

Cooking and cleaning 98

Doing household chores 100

Chapter 6: Where is the Colosseum? Asking Directions 103

Finding Your Way: Asking for Specific Places 103

Mapping the quarters and following directions 105

Verbs on the Move 109

Locations You May Be Looking For 113

Chapter 7: Food Glorious Food — and Don’t Forget the Drink 119

Eating, Italian Style 119

Drinking, Italian Style 119

Expressing your love for espresso 120

Beverages with even more of a kick 121

The Start and End of Dining Out 123

Making reservations 124

Paying for your meal 125

Having Breakfast 126

Eating Lunch 127

Enjoying Dinner 129

Shopping for Food 132

Al macellaio (ahl mah-chehl-lahy-oh) (at the butcher’s) 132

Pesce (fish) (peh-sheh) 133

At the panetteria (breadshop) 134

Chapter 8: Shopping, Italian Style 139

Clothing Yourself 139

Deciding between department stores and boutiques 139

Sizing up Italian sizes 143

Talking definitely and indefinitely 144

Coloring your words 145

Accessorizing 147

Stepping out in style 148

Chapter 9: Having Fun Out on the Town 151

Acquiring Culture 151

Going to the movies 154

Going to the theater 156

Going to a museum 160

Going to a local festival 161

Going to a concert 162

Inviting Fun 164

Chapter 10: Taking Care of Business and Telecommunicating 173

Phoning Made Simple 173

Connecting via cellphones, texts, and Skype 174

Calling for business or pleasure 176

Making Arrangements over the Phone 178

Asking for People and Getting the Message 179

What Did You Do Last Weekend? — Talking about the Past 182

Discussing Your Job 186

The human element 187

Office equipment 187

Chapter 11: Recreation and the Outdoors 191

Taking a Tour 191

Speaking Reflexively 195

Playing Sports 196

Talking about Hobbies and Interests 200

Part III: Italian on the Go 207

Chapter 12: Planning a Trip 209

Deciding When and Where to Go 209

Taking a Tour 211

Booking a Trip/Traveling to Foreign Lands 213

Arriving and Leaving: The Verbs “Arrivare” and “Partire” 216

Going to the Beach and Spa 217

Using the Simple Future Tense 217

Chapter 13: Money, Money, Money 221

Going to the Bank 221

Changing Money 224

Using Credit Cards 226

Looking at Various Currencies 228

Chapter 14: Getting Around: Planes, Trains, Taxis, and Buses 233

Getting through the Airport 233

Checking in 234

Dealing with excess baggage 236

Waiting to board the plane 237

Coping after landing 238

Going through Customs 240

Losing Luggage 241

Renting a Car 243

Navigating Public Transportation 245

Calling a taxi 245

Moving by train 246

Going by bus or tram 249

Reading maps and schedules 251

Being Early or Late 253

Chapter 15: Finding a Place to Stay 255

Choosing a Place to Stay 255

Reserving a Room 256

Checking In 259

Personalizing pronouns 262

This or these: Demonstrative adjectives and pronouns 263

Yours, mine, and ours: Possessive pronouns 263

Bending Others to Your Will: Imperatives 267

Chapter 16: Handling Emergencies 271

Talking to Doctors 272

Describing what ails you 273

Understanding professional medical vocabulary 277

Getting what you need at the pharmacy 277

Braving the dentist 279

Reporting an Accident to the Police 280

I’ve Been Robbed! Knowing What to Do and Say When the Police Arrive 281

Dealing with Car Trouble 285

When You Need a Lawyer: Protecting Your Rights 287

Reporting a Lost or Stolen Passport 288

Chapter 17: Small Talk, Wrapping Things Up 293

Discovering Interrogative Pronouns 293

Asking simple questions 295

Taking care of basic needs 296

Talking About Yourself and Your Family — Possessives Part 2 300

Speaking Reflexively 305

Talking shop 307

Discussing your job 307

Part IV: The Part of Tens 313

Chapter 18: Ten Ways to Pick Up Italian Quickly 315

Read Italian Food Labels 315

Ask for Food in Italian 316

Listen to Italian Songs 316

Read Italian Publications 316

Watch Italian Movies 316

Tune in to Italian Radio and TV Programs 317

Listen to Italian Language Tapes 317

Share Your Interest 317

Surf the Net 318

Cook! 318

Chapter 19: Ten Things Never to Say in Italian 319

Ciao-ing Down 319

Don’t Be Literal 320

Five Fickle “False Friends” 320

Food Faux Pas 321

The Problem with “Play” 321

Being Careful of “False Friends” 321

Chapter 20: Ten Favorite Italian Expressions 323

Mamma mia! 323

Che bello! 323

Uffa! 324

Che ne so!/Boh! 324

Magari! 324

Tista bene! 324

Non te la prendere! 324

Che macello! 325

Non mi va! 325

Mi raccomando! 325

Chapter 21: Ten Phrases to Say So That People Think You’re Italian 327

In bocca al lupo! 327

Acqua in bocca! 328

Salute! 328

Macché! 328

Neanche per sogno! 328

Peggio per te! 328

Piantala! 329

Vacci piano! 329

Eccome! 329

Lascia perdere! 329

Part V: Appendixes 331

Appendix A: Verb Tables 333

Italian Verbs 333

Irregular Italian Verbs 336

Italian –IRE Verbs with a Special Pattern (-isc-) 343

Common Irregular Past Participles 345

Appendix B: Dictionaries 347

Appendix C: About the CD 359

Track Listing 359

Customer Care 360

Appendix D: Answer Keys 361

Index 369

Customer Reviews