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Common errors about italian


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Hello everyone!

Sometimes when i see someone learning my language i notice that there are some gramatical and pronunciation errors that are very often repeated, so i wanted to group them in this topic because i think that it can be helpful to the people who are learning Italian.

About grammar:

-Above all Native english speakers tends often to translate literally from their language to italian, a result of this is the case of the use of "Chi" (who) instead of "Che" (that) in affermative phrases. For example, a phrase "Someone who is waiting" is ofted translated with "Qualcuno CHI sta aspettando", but the correct translation for this is "Qualcuno CHE sta aspettando", this because in Italian "Che" introduces the direct object. In fact in reality "Che" is generic, but if you want to be more formal and precise you can say "Qualcuno IL QUALE sta aspettando" (Male) or "QualcunA LA QUALE sta aspettando" (female). Both ways can replace "Che" and are translations for "Who" in this case.

-Another common error is the non-use of the articles. An exemple of their omission is the case of the direct object, that requires the use of the article necessarly. For translating "I ate an apple" you have to say "Ho mangiato LA mela" and not "Ho mangiato mela". Peole tends to omit the article even when there are Possessive adjectives. For "I met your friend yesterday" you have to say "Ho incontrato IL tuo amico ieri" e NON "Ho incontrato tuo amico ieri"

-Connected to this often foreigners don't distinguish male/female or singolar/plural articles. About this, you have to make sure you accord articles with adjectives and names.For example you can't say "UnA piccolA gatto", you have to say "Un piccolO gattO" (a little male cat). I think you will be more accurate with the time :)

-There is another error about the adjective "Bello/Belli" (beautiful) and the demonstrative adjective "Quello/quelli" (That/those). When we use these words before male nouns, they become "Bel" (singular); "Bei" (plural) and "Quel" (singular); "Quei" (plural). To translate "A beautiful book/some beautiful nooks" you DON'T say "Un bello libro/dei belli libri" but "Un bel libro/Dei bei libri", and to translate "That dog/those dogs" you DON'T say "Quello cane/quelli cani", instead you say "Quel cane/Quei cani".

About pronunciation:

- The most common pronunciation error that foreign people commit is about the double consonats. In reality reading italian isn't that hard, because words are writtend and pronounced in the same way (obviously you have only to know the alphabet). People tend to pronounce verbs like "Andare" (to go), "Vedere" (to see), "Partire" (to leave for travel) with a double R, but you don't have to mark it so much. At the same time, some tend to pronunciate words with a double consonants with only one, like "Supporre" (to suppose). Here in Italy double and single consonants are important, so make sure that you are pronouncing a word with the right quantity of letters! ;) 

-A common error that people commonly do is the pronunciation of the letter "i" when they don't have to pronounce it. The most striking example is the word "Scienza" (science), wich is correctly pronounced "Shenza". Actually in Italy there are a lot of doubts about the group of words in "Sce" or "Scie", simply because there isn't a rule on which you have to write a word in the first or the second way, they derive from Latin words, so you just have to remember them. Anyway phonetically the "i" is never pronounced, so the pronunciation for both is exactly the same. Another example is the word "Passeggiata", that is pronounced Passejjata, with the same "Ja" of "Jar" (but double). You have to pay attention of some exeptions like the verb "Sciare" (to ski) that is pronounced "Shiare".


To remember every of these rules, words, ect the only way is to learn and remember as much words you can, it just takes a lot of time! :)

Some curiosities...

- In south Italy "Scienza" is wrongly pronounced "Shienza", so if you hear this, it's just used in dialect, it's not the rule:wink:

-Generally people's name don't requires the use of the article, in fact if i have to say "I met Giulia yesterday" i say "Ho incontrato Giulia ieri", but in north Italy people use to say "Ho incontrato LA Giulia ieri". This is not correct, but not even so wrong since it's just a way in which Northern people speak dialectically.


I know it's long to read but i hope it really can help. If i notice some other common errors i will update this, and obviously if you have some doubts ask me :) 

Have a nice day


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@Mameha You've just made my day! Thank you so much for such an awesome post, it must have taken a lot of time, and all of that for the benefit of us, learners... THANK YOU! It's really difficult to remember about chi and che - I keep mixing them up, and I'm really sorry about it. But it was very useful for me to get a reminder about that, and about all other important issues. You rock! Grazie mille!

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@anna3101 Prego! I'm so glad this helped you! it took time but i was happy to know that this maybe would help someone, so i did this with pleasure :) And don't worry, it takes time to learn a language, and you are doing great learning more that one! Thank you for appreciate what i did anyway :)

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