Introduction to Italian:
Lesson 3

By Linas

Still remember the word for where?


Answer: Dove
Not correct. Please try again.

How would you say:

Where is

Answer: Dove è
Not correct. Please try again.

In Italian, you say that a lot so it gets contracted a bit to dov’è. You can use this to ask for directions.

For example, the English word bankrupt comes from Italian banca rotta which means a broken bench. Obviously, bank is banca. The bank would be la banca.

You can ask:

Where is the bank?

Answer: Dov’è la banca?
Not correct. Please try again.

Knowing this, you can ask for directions should you need to do so. Now, let’s talk about how we do things.

Italian for how is come.

Think of how come to remember that come is how (although come in Italian is pronounced more like in comedy).


How do you learn italian?

Answer: Come impari italiano?
Not correct. Please try again.

The Italian word sei (and sono along with è) only mean to permanently be (to be American, to be uneducated, to be beautiful etc.). If you want to ask somebody how they are, you mean how they are doing and you don’t mean how they are permanently thus you can’t use sei.

Italian for you are temporarily is stai.

Like usually, it has that ending i. How would you ask:

How are you?

Answer: Come stai?
Not correct. Please try again.

Which, of course, means how are you or how are you doing and Italians say that in practically every conversation.

Now, sei changes to sono and it gets that ending o to become I permanently am. What do you think stai changes to (hint: the word has just three letters)?

I am (temporarily).

Answer: Sto.
Not correct. Please try again.

So, how would you answer come stai with I am fine (that is, I am well):

I am fine.

Answer: Sto bene.
Not correct. Please try again.

Italians say that on every occasion they can say that on. You will probably never hear that due to formality, but how would you say:

I am not fine.

Answer: Non sto bene.
Not correct. Please try again.

Italian for for that or because is perché.

It consists of two parts: per and che which mean for and that. Che not only means that but it can also mean what so:

The word perché can also mean for what which is why.

How would you ask:

Why aren’t you doing well?

Answer: perché non stai bene?
Not correct. Please try again.

And answer that:

I’m not doing well because I do not speak Italian.

Answer: Non sto bene perché non parlo italiano.
Not correct. Please try again.

We will fix that to some extent in this course.