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For now, we will simply discuss the complete conjugation of the imperfetto subjunctive mood, which is actually quite easy. So, keep the knowledge of how to conjugate the imperfetto subjunctive mood handy for when we discuss its many uses! Luckily, there are only a few irregular stem forms to learn for the imperfetto subjunctive mood, making it an easier tense to learn than the present, future, and conditional tenses.

Finally, the imperfetto subjunctive mood endings are always regular and will be the same for all three conjugations! As usual, we must first make our stem from the infinitive —are, -ere, and —ire verbs. The method used to form the stems for the imperfetto subjunctive mood is easy — just drop the —re from the infinitive verb!

This will create stems that end in the letters —a for the —are verbs, -e for the —ere verbs, and —i for the —ire verbs. Then, add the following endings below to the stems for all three conjugations:. The following table will put together our stems with our imperfetto subjunctive mood endings. When pronouncing the imperfetto subjunctive mood verbs, the stress will always be on the syllable that begins with the last two letters of the stem and will incorporate one —s letter from the ending. Notice that English uses the simple past tense to express the same idea in improbable hypothetical phrases.

Luckily, most verbs are regular in the imperfetto subjunctive mood. Below are some commonly used regular verbs. There are a few important irregular verbs to know in the imperfetto subjunctive mood. Dare — to give — Imperfetto Subjunctive Mood. Grammar Note: Present versus Conditional Tense.

Throughout our Conversational Italian for Travelers textbook, we have emphasized the polite forms of volere vorrei, vorremmo in the conditional tense and recommended using this form to make requests for oneself or for a group. Here are two examples below of the same request that might be made in a restaurant to a waiter, first in the present tense, and then in the conditional tense. The first, in the present tense, sounds more demanding and insistent.

The second, in the conditional tense, sounds less forceful, as it describes a preference or wish rather than a definite need. Voglio un tavolo vicino alla finestra. I want a table by the window. Vorrei un tavolo vicino alla finestra. For dovere , the idea relayed in the present tense is a forceful must. With devo I must , we are led to understand that the action that follows has to be completed, no matter what else may come to pass.

Here are two examples using each tense:. Devo visitare mia nonna domenica. I must visit my grandmother Sunday. Dovrei visitare mia nonna domenica. I should visit my grandmother Sunday. Here are some commonly used phrases:. Co uld you polite help me? Potrebbe aiutar mi? Could you polite help me? Ti posso aiutare? May I help you familiar? Potrei aiutarla? The imperfetto subjunctive forms of the modal, or helping verbs, are used frequently in conversation. All have regular stems, and of course, regular endings — as all imperfetto subjunctive mood verbs have regular endings!

Here is a summary of the imperfetto subjunctive mood conjugations for all three modal verbs together, for easy reference. Notice that the English translation for these verbs is in the conditional tense. Dovere — to have to — Imperfetto Subjunctive Mood. Volere — to want — Imperfetto Subjunctive Mood. So of course, all the family members in our book become Italian travelers!

Many books have been written about the art and architecture of Italy. Even those who would not normally spend time admiring works of art often find themselves drawn into one of the many museums, historical palaces, or churches in Italy. A complete list would be exhaustive, but for the curious, a short list of some easily recognizable works of art and architecture—and where to find them—is included at the end of this section.

As many of you may or may not know I did not when I went to Italy for the very first time , the Mona Lisa la Gioconda , a famous portrait by the Italian genius Leonardo da Vinci, is not on this list, as it is in Paris, at the Louvre!

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The fresco survived because of the dedication of the townspeople, who protected it with sandbags. The monastery has been rebuilt, and the Last Supper now exists in a climate-controlled environment, which protects its fragile paint from heat and humidity. A limited number of visitors are admitted each day through the Church of Santa Maria delle Grazie. The larger museums in Italy often open remain open from 8 to 9 a.

Smaller museums may close at 1 p. Museums may be closed on Mondays. There may be extremely long lines at some of the most famous museums and sites the Vatican and the Colosseum in Rome, or the Uffizi Gallery in Florence, for instance , but now it is fairly easy to buy tickets ahead of time, over the Internet, by phone, or through tour guides. Churches are usually open for viewing from early in the morning, about 7—8 a. The island of Sicily is a trip in and of itself—with ancient Greek ruins, many Baroque architecture UNESCO world heritage sites and even entire cities, stunning beaches, and Mount Etna, a week is barely enough to see all the island has to offer.

For those who prefer shopping to, or along with, their dose of culture, shops in Italy are usually open from a. Most family-run shops are closed on Sundays and may be closed on Mondays. One of the most famous shopping strips in the world is actually on a bridge— the old bridge , or Ponte Vecchio , in Florence, where gold and jewelry are found in abundance. Florence is also known for its handmade leather goods, and small shops with handmade items in a multitude of colors are found throughout the city.

Venice is known not only for its architectural beauty but also for wonderful, hand-painted masks for Carnevale Mardi Gras. The smaller islands of Venice offer wonders of their own. Visit the famous beaches on the Lido for relaxation. Or visit the island of Murano to watch the centuries-old technique of creating beautiful, hand-blown glass pieces, a large variety of which are available for purchase and can be shipped back home. The small but picturesque island of Burano, with its brightly colored houses, is the oldest center for handmade lace still in existence in the world today.

Milan and Rome are known as fashion centers. It would be difficult to miss the high-end shops that line the piazza around the Spanish steps in Rome, but even the side streets offer beautiful clothing and a dazzling variety of shoes. Most mid-sized cities in Italy also have a good number of designer boutiques. Smaller towns may seem deserted to the visitor.

It may be best to stay in the country for these weeks in August, as the Italians do! Can you talk about Italian movies? The movie is about a love story that takes place during World War II. The movie described contains short sentences spoken in clear Italian and is a good place to start to build a vocabulary about relationships and love. Una sera, il telefono di Maria ha squillato. Era Francesca, la migliore amica di Maria. Sono io!

Come stai? Puoi parlare per un attimo? How are you? Can you talk for a bit? Voglio solamente fare due chiacchere. I just want us to chat for a bit. Che titolo terribile! Non ho mai sentito parlare di questo film. What a terrible name title. But where did you see it? Ho comprato il DVD su Amazon.

I bought the DVD on Amazon. E di cosa parla questo film? And what is this film about? It is a very lyrical and passionate film, because it is a love story. The story of the two main characters started when the two lovers met each other for the first time on the beach at Rimini. La donna, che si chiamava Roberta, aveva i capelli biondi e una bellezza naturale, anche senza trucco.

The woman, called Roberta, had blond hair and a natural beauty, even without makeup. She was about thirty years old. Roberta aveva una figlia di tre anni e viveva con la madre a Rimini, per scappare dalla guerra a Bologna. Her husband, who was a captain in the Italian army, had just died. She had a three-year-old daughter and lived with her mother at Rimini, in order to escape from the war in Bologna. Dopo il primo incontro sulla spiaggia, lui ha perso la testa per lei.

When Carl first saw Roberta, he liked her right away. Cosi, Carlo ha incominciato a fare la corte a Roberta. So, Carl started to court Roberta. Si sono visti ogni giorno. A Roberta piaceva molto il suo rapporto con Carlo. Lo amava. After a while, the two of them started to go out together. They saw each other every day. And Roberta really liked her relationship with Carl. She loved him. Sua madre esigeva che Roberta smettesse di frequentare Carlo. Her mother demanded that Roberta stop seeing Carl.

Roberta non ascoltava la madre. She realized that Carl was the man for her. A un certo punto , gli amanti hanno provato a scappare a Bologna in treno. At a certain point , the lovers tried to escape to Bologna on the train. Invece, speravo che la loro storia fosse terminata bene. Non ne voglio parlare. I wish that their story had ended in a good way instead.

La fine della storia fra Roberta e Carlo era molto triste. The end of the relationship between Roberta and Carlo was very sad. Se vuoi, ti lo do e puoi vedere per te stessa. If you want, I will give it to you, and you can see for yourself. Parliamone dopo! Give it to me! I really enjoyed the last DVD that you gave me last month. And to understand Italy during the aftermath of the war. Notice that, when attaching a direct object to the familiar command verb fa , the first letter of the direct object is doubled. This holds true for mi, ti, lo, la, ci , and vi.

Below are some commonly used expressions that combine the command form of fare with direct object pronouns. Two additional important familiar commands with direct objects that we have encountered in Chapter 8 are given here again:. The usual rules for Italian masculine o,i and feminine a,e endings apply.

Roberta e Carlo si sono incontrati al inizio del film. Roberta and Carlo meet each other at the beginning of the film. The beginning of my career was very difficult. First thing in the morning, I will make myself a good cup of coffee. Italians often refer to the years after World War II with the phrases below.

In this case, there is no need to mention the exact name of the war Seconda Guerra Mondiale , which most Italians still remember took place from to He is the last man that I would marry. He arrived finally. I saw Michael for the last time yesterday. Il fine giustifica i mezzi. Famous quote from Macchiavelli in his book The Prince The end justifies the means.

What happened? And remember that although the che may be omitted in English, it is always needed to link phrases in Italian! Roberta met a boy who was called Carl who was much younger that her, during an air raid on the beach. Carl is a boy whom Roberta first saw on the beach.

Below are the rules of use for these two partitives, which are actually quite simple. Time, for instance. Or groups of people. For qualche: Just put qualche in front of the Italian singular noun for the segment of time or the people you are referring to. Never mind that in English, we would use the plural and that this is the correct translation. Notice that in every situation below, the English translation will be the same, and always in the plural, no matter which partitive is chosen!

These expressions make general statements about things or places. Use the table below to see how these expressions work. The reflexive, direct, and indirect object pronouns come before the verb or are attached to the end of an infinitive verb after dropping the final infinitive — e.

The verb dare to give is commonly used in conversation while dining and asking for food and other items to be passed around the table. In this situation, it also becomes necessary to say not only what item we are giving away, but to whom we are giving the item. In effect, we are combining direct and indirect object pronouns in the same sentence!

When both object pronouns refer to the same verb, the word order in Italian and rules are as follows in the table below:. Use glie for men and women to replace le for women, as well as gli for men. We will list the English first, then the Italian, one step at a time, so that by the last example, both sentences will contain double object pronouns. Watch the placement of the pronouns, which stay after the verb in English, but take a position before the verb in Italian. To help you follow this process, the verbs will be in green , the direct object pronouns will be in brown , and the indirect object pronouns will be in red.

So far, so good. However, if we were looking for Caterina, we would need to also change the ending of the past participle of the verb to agree with the feminine direct object pronoun ending, which we have just dropped! And, finally, for the plural forms, when referring to two males or a male and a female, we need to use the direct object li and the letter i for the past participle. If we should see two women, we would use the direct object le and the letter e for the past participle. Roberta met a boy called Carl who was much younger than her, during an air raid on the beach.

At a certain point, the lovers tried to escape to Bologna on the train. If you want, I will give it to you and you can see for yourself. Although both nouns translate as the English word reservation , the use of each Italian word varies with the situation. The word riservato can also be used as an adjective. And what should we do if we want to confirm a reservation? Also, as always, be polite and add per favore to the end of the sentence! Can you talk about what you did on your Italian beach vacation using the past tense correctly—over the phone?

At the end will be an introduction to the future tense as well! It turns out that the daughter has been enjoying a vacation on the beaches of Sicily. And… by the way, the southern coast of Sicily has beautiful beaches and really is a destination for windsurfing! Una mattina, mentre Francesca stava preparando la prima colazione per se stessa e suo figlio che si chiama Carlo, i due hanno sentito lo squillo del cellulare.

One morning, while Frances was preparing breakfast for herself and her son Carl, they heard the cell phone ring. Ha preso il cellulare dal tavolino e ha risposto. He took the cell phone from the end table and answered it. Chi parla? Ti passo mamma. Era Anna, la figlia di Francesca, che era appena tornata dalla vacanza in Sicilia! Francesca aveva ricevuto qualche messaggio da Anna sul cellulare, ma non si erano parlate a telefono per tre settimane. Frances had received some texts from Anna on the cell phone, but they had not spoken to each other on the phone for three weeks.

Dove sei? Sei ancora alla stazione? Tell me! Where are you? Are you still at the station? I will pick you up before work. Who can come to pick me up at the station, you or Carl? Era bella la spiaggia in Sicilia? Was the weather nice? Was the beach nice in Sicily? Eravamo in Sicilia! La spiaggia era molto bella. Mi piace molto la zona di Ragusa, lo sai. Ti ho mandato molte foto via SMS.

Non le hai ricevute? We were in Sicily! The beach was very beautiful. I love the area around Ragusa, you know. I texted a lot of photos to you. Mi sono rilassata molto. In any case, I met him by chance on the beach. There were three guys near me. But John passed by in front of me and I recognized him.

Una mattina sono corsa al porto di Ragusa per incontrari i miei amici. One morning I ran to the port of Ragusa to meet my friends. Abbiamo fatto windsurf. Alcune sere siamo restati in barca fino alle nove di sera e abbiamo visti il tramonto sul mare. Some nights we stayed in the boat until 9 p. Il ristorante era sottoterra, in una grotta, con le candele accesse sulle tavole.

Era molto romantico. John and a guy called Paul took us there. The restaurant was underground, in a grotto, with candles on the tables. It was very romantic. Abbiamo ballato fino alle due di mattina. We danced until 2 a. It was a lot of fun! But now I have just finished a cup of coffee, and I have to get ready to go out. Now we know the infinitive verb that the above expressions originate from! There are many, many expressions that use esserci. Below is a list of the most common expressions. Finally, esserci is used in the many idiomatic expressions about the weather.

A few common weather expressions are listed below. Here is a list of the most common action verbs that take essere when forming the passato prossimo form of the past tense in Italian. Most of these verbs describe the act of going from one place to another, although not all of them do. We will break them down into their respective groups in the next sections and then give examples from our dialogue. The infinitive form is in the first column, and the corresponding past participle is listed in the third column; the irregular past participles are given in red. Remember that when essere is the helping verb, the endings of the past participles will change to reflect the gender and number of the subject.

The various endings are given in parentheses. It should be noted again that all reflexive verbs , and the verb piacere , take essere. The most important rule governing these verbs is that they describe movement from one place to another specific place. The action has a beginning and a specific end point. Some obvious verbs in the category, like andare to go and venire to come , are listed in the following table.

Other commonly used verbs that describe how we all change in life, ingrassare, dimagrire, and invecchiare , have also been included. As part of this way of thinking, we have included the verbs cambiare and diventare in this list as well. Because something or someone will change from one thing into another , there is a beginning and end point implied in these verbs as well. For a similar reason, accadere and succedere are included—the endpoint of a change is that something has happened. Below is a list of these verbs. Camminare and ballare are two verbs of movement that take the helping verb avere , rather than essere.

Or maybe that is just the way it is, and there is no real explanation! We went windsurfing. Correre will take essere if one is running toward a destination.

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If one is running without a destination, correre will take avere. Una mattina sono corsa al porto di Ragusa per incontrare i miei amici. One morning, I ran to the port of Ragusa to meet my friends. Which helping verb to use? This will depend on the situation. In linguistic terms, these verbs are considered transitive and intransitive. Use this trick to help you to remember whether to use avere or essere. Otherwise, use essere. Notice that in the last example, the verb itself completes the sentence and refers back to the subject.

Some verbs of movement that involve going up or down, such as scendere, salire, or saltare , take avere when used with a direct object a thing or place that follows the verb , as in the following examples:. Otherwise, if these verbs are followed by a preposition, they use essere :.

He has gotten off the bus. The girl jumped in the air for joy. Notice that in the last examples, the verb itself completes the sentence and refers back to the subject. The Many Uses for the Verb Passare. Occasionally, we may want to emphasize that a particular action is going on at the exact same time as the conversation that is taking place. In Italian, this tense is expressed with the verb stare and the gerund of the action verb. This is easier than it may seem at first because the gerunds are almost all regular for all three conjugations.

Also, the second and third conjugations are identical! Conjugate stare to reflect the speaker, add the gerund, and you have made the present progressive tense of the verb! For the past tense progressive form, simply conjugate stare in the imperfetto past tense and follow with the gerund. Luckily, stare is regular in the imperfetto form! Here are all the forms of the present progressive and past progressive tenses using the verb preparare. Notice that the accent falls on the second to last syllable of the gerund, which is underlined.

When talking about something in the past, we may at times refer to another event that has taken place even further in the past. In this case, the verb form used is the trapassato prossimo. So there is another Italian past tense to learn! The use and verb structure is the same as for the passato prossimo! To form the compound verb for the trapassato prossimo , instead of using present tense avere or essere for the helping verb, simply substitute the imperfetto past tense form of these verbs.

Then add the past participle. Here are some examples from our dialogue:. However, Italian prepositions will change for cars versus other forms of transportation when one describes the act of getting in the vehicle. The same prepositions will be used for getting out of any vehicle, however. To follow are some examples. Do you remember when to use the imperfetto past tense? If you like, write a story about an Italian beach vacation of your own!

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But John passed by in front of me, and I recognized him. What else happened? Are you familiar with the vocabulary to use when shopping in Italy? In the dialogue that follows, Caterina visits Francesca in Rome, and they go shopping to buy Caterina some new clothes. Read along on the printed page that follows the dialogue button.

Listen to individual lines over and over again—as many times as needed! Your browser does not support the audio element. I go to do the grocery shopping. E poi, la mia amica Anna. Ti piace fare la spesa? Do you like to do the grocery shopping? Is it pleasing to you…? Caterina Si, mi piace fare la spesa. Francesca Molto bene. Ci sono molti bei negozi a Milano. There are many nice shops in. I take the size 46 Italian.

This dress is in style. Caterina Francesca, ti piace? Frances, do you like it? Francesca Si, ma anche questo vestito e bello. Provali tutti e due. Yes, but also this dress. Try them both on. Do you all have larger sizes? My sister takes the size. Laura Si, questo, o forse quel vestito. Yes, this, or maybe that dress. Is this skirt pleasing to you…? And that one skirt? To her, red is more pleasing than brown. La prendo! Laura Eccolo. Here it is. I put on myself the dress. Che pensi? Does it stay well on me? Francesca Ti sta benissimo! But how about the other? It is too tight.

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Caterina No, mi piacciono questi vestiti. No, I like these clothes. These clothes are pleasing to me. Quanto costano questo vestito e questa gonna? How much is costs this dress and this skirt? Laura Sono cinquantadue euro per il vestito e ventitre euro per la gonna. They are 52 euros for the dress and 23 euros for the skirt. Brindisi Fire Commander Michele Angiuli told reporters it was too soon to know if investigators would find more bodies. The fire that broke out on Sunday as the ferry travelled from Greece to Italy killed at least 11 people. Italy says passengers and crew were rescued most by helicopters that plucked them off in galeforce winds and carried them to nearby boats.

Greece says 19 people are still unaccounted for and disputes Italian claims of a much higher number of missing. Both fear the car deck where the fire started could contain more bodies possibly those of unregistered migrants trying to slip into Italy. Investigators began their work by taking photos and video of the smoky interior. Brindisi port Captain Mario Valente said they would be looking for data recorders as well. One side of the ferry was blackened by smoke and an acrid smell was noticeable dockside. The firefighters will not start searching for bodies until the blaze is fully extinguished.

Meanwhile four more people were put under investigation by the prosecutor's office in Bari. In addition to the ship's captain and the head of the company that built the ferry both Italians two other crew members and two representatives of the Greek ferry line Anek which rented the Norman Atlantic are under investigation the Italian news agency Ansa reported. Italian newspapers reportedly quoting from transcripts of the captain's questioning said Captain Argilio Giacomazzi told prosecutors that crews did not properly follow his orders in lowering the lifeboats and that the car deck had too many vehicles.

Italian TV reports said passengers claimed five crewmen were in the only lifeboat launched in apparent violation of rules that say only three crew members should go with the evacuated passengers. Italy says it rescued or discovered migrants and asylum seekers at sea last year as they tried to slip into Europe. Frontex says that migrant smugglers have learned to time the departure of ships so that they cross the paths of merchant ships who would then be obliged to rescue the migrants as per international maritime law Smugglers are frequently making use of old freighters and cargo vessels to transport larger numbers of migrants to Europe EU agency Frontex warned while adding that most of these ships are obtained in southeastern Turkey.

Italian authorities this week rescued around migrants from the Moldovanflagged Blue Sky M cargo ship after its crew believed to be human traffickers had abandoned it and left it heading towards Italy on autopilot. Italian authorities also said that a second merchant ship carrying at least migrants is heading towards the Italian coast. In a rapid adaptation of strategy that has become their hallmark the smugglers have started using much larger boats Frontex said in a statement. These are typically decommissioned freighters up to 75 meters long procured in the ports of southeastern Turkey notably Mersin: a departure point still connected by ferry to the Syrian port of Latakia making it reachable for the tens of thousands of Syrians still fleeing the conflict in their country.

The freighters repaired and manned by crews sometimes hired from as far away as Russia are piloted via Cyprus and Crete towards Italy which remains the EU destination of choice for refugees from the Middle East. Frontex also warned that smugglers have learned to time the departure of migrant boats so that they cross the paths of merchant ships heading for Europe. When the migrants issue a distress call the nearby merchant ships would be obliged by international maritime law to rescue them and disembark them at the nearest port of call. Travelling from Turkey not only circumvents the considerable danger of capsizing in a small boat in rough seas but it also avoids having to go to Libya Frontex said.

This increasingly lawless North African nation appears to have become too dangerous an operating environment even for the criminal gangs. However Frontex warned that the engines of the old ships used by smugglers operating on the Turkey route are often highly unreliable. In the last six weeks alone one freighter has been found drifting near Cyprus; another was rescued 30 miles off Crete; still others off the Italian coast Frontex said. The effect is to make the boat electronically invisible to the Italian search and rescue authorities — a stratagem that buys time for the smuggling crew to escape by fast launch and thus avoid arrest.

Since the launch of the Frontexcoordinated Operation Triton in the central Mediterranean on 1 November around migrants have been rescued around of them in situations classified as distressed in 77 separate searchandrescue operations. Although significantly smaller than the number recorded during the August peak — when some migrants were detected on this route — this level of traffic is still unprecedented for wintertime Frontex said.

Sierra Leoneflagged Ezadeen carrying hundreds of migrants being towed by the Italian coastguard vessel Tyr in rough seas yesterday. It had been put on a collision course for the Italian coast before running out of fuel he said. Two weeks ago the Italian navy went to the aid of an abandoned cargo ship carrying migrants disembarking them at a port in Sicily. We have seen increasing use of old cargo ships ready to be dismantled [to smuggle migrants] over the past two months she said.

The cargo ships are usually carrying mostly Syrian refugees she said but also others including some fleeing fighting in Iraq. Smugglers set autopilot course in international waters and jump on to a smaller vessel to escape she said. Firefighters standing on a ladder to inspect the Norman Atlantic multideck carandtruck ferry docked at Brindisi harbour yesterday. Photo: Reuters Tug boats hauled the burntout hulk of the ferry that caught fire on Sunday off the coast of Greece into a southern Italian port yesterday opening the way for an investigation into the cause of the blaze that killed at least 11 people.

Listing visibly to starboard the Norman Atlantic multideck carandtruck ferry docked in the port of Brindisi in the early afternoon still smouldering. The fire broke out on one of the lower garage levels and left the vessel drifting without power in stormy seas. It took Greek and Italian rescue teams 36 hours to evacuate passengers and crew from the ship amid strong winds.

Reports of the number of missing have varied widely. The Greek coastguard said on Thursday that 18 are still unaccounted for while Volpe has said the number may be as high as But rescued passengers have criticised the handling of the emergency. Leonidas Constantinidis a Greek lorry driver with a bandaged arm and apparent burn marks on his face told Reuters he had jumped overboard to save himself and was picked up by a nearby merchant ship.

Where I was I did not hear any siren any alarm. Nothing seemed to work the fire sprinklers the fire extinguishers nothing was working Constantinidis said. They let the ferry go up in flames with all the people still onboard. We tried to do everything possible the captain Giacomazzi told television reporters outside his home on Thursday. I wanted to bring them all home. A clash between about migrants trying to get to Britain from the northern French port city of Calais has left seven injured. Police union official Gilles Debove said the clash near a tent camp between migrants from Afghanistan and Eritrea left one with a broken leg.

Others suffered superficial wounds. Calais is the destination of choice for migrants trying to sneak by truck or ferry across the Channel. Many reached Europe via Italy. The clash grew out of a dispute that erupted during a daily meal serving after someone cut the food line today. Christian Salome of the Auberge des Migrants association which distributes meals said tensions were high because of tough winter living conditions and slow lorry traffic that diminished chances to get to Britain. Amid Frontex's warning of new migrant smuggling strategies EU commissioner for migration Dimitris Avramopoulos calls on new EUwide action against human traffickers.

Just days after more than migrants were saved by Italian authorities from two derelict vessels abandoned by smugglers in rough seas EU commissioner for migration Dimitris Avramopoulos has said that the EU is planning a new noholdsbarred migration plan intent on fighting human trafficking. These events underscore the need for decisive and coordinated EUwide action. Smugglers are finding new routes to Europe and are employing new methods in order to exploit desperate people who are trying to escape conflict and war.

We need to take action against these ruthless criminal organisations Avramopoulos said. On Friday a ship carrying asylumseekers — mostly Syrians was rescued by Italian authorities after it was abandoned by its crew in rough seas forcing the Italian authorities to prevent a humanitarian disaster. The Sierra Leoneflagged Ezadeen had been drifting without power 40 power nautical miles off the coast after it had been put on a collision course in what was described as a new strategy by human traffickers. We will move forward with commitment and resolve the EU commissioner for migration underlined.

Four men believed to be the skipper and the crew of the Moldovanflagged vessel after they were caught trying to mingle with the migrants in an attempt to deceive Italian authorities. Traveling from Turkey would in turn enable smugglers to circumvent the considerable danger of boarding a ship from Libya. Frontex deputy executive director says numbers for nearly doubled the previous record of registered in The number of illegal immigrants seeking entry to European Union soared in to an alltime record of with Italy and Greece as their preferred destinations according to the EU border agency Frontex.

According to a summary of the interview with Efe by Migrants at Sea Frontex Deputy Executive Director Gil Arias Fernandez said the numbers for nearly doubled the previous record of that was registered in and attributed to spillovers from the Arab Spring. After Italy and Greece immigrants are most determined to settle in Bulgaria Hungary and Spain Fernandez said and attributed the rise to instability in their countries of origin and lack of control in transit countries such as Turkey and Libya.

There is some control in Turkey but the large numbers arriving from the Mediterranean coast are coming from Libya said Fernandez. He noted that the number of immigrants fleeing their countries seeking international protection has increased. A few years ago immigration for economic reasons was estimated at 50 percent and the same percentage for political refugees while in about 80 percent of immigrants to the EU will be asylum seekers he said.

Although Frontex will not reveal specific details until midJanuary Fernandez said the total figure will likely exceed people as about migrants were recorded till November. Fernandez voiced pessimism regarding future immigration flows saying that the figures for will be maintained if the EU and member states do not take joint action to devise a solution. Two ships the Blue Sky M a cargo vessel and the Ezadeen a livestock vessel were abandoned by their crews within days of each other leaving about migrants stranded at sea.

Senior United Nations officials today stressed the need for urgent action to protect migrants at sea following recent incidents in the Mediterranean involving hundreds of people stranded while attempting to reach Europe. Vincent Cochetel Europe Bureau Director for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees said in a statement that two ships abandoned off the Italian coast are part of an ongoing and worrying situation that European Governments can no longer ignore.

Italian authorities rescued the migrants who hailed mainly from Syria. The use of ships of such size marked a new trend Cochetel noted while underlining the need for urgent and concerted European action in the Mediterranean Sea along with more efforts to rescue people at sea and steppedup efforts to provide legal alternatives to dangerous voyages.

UN Deputy SecretaryGeneral Jan Eliasson also commented on the new appalling trend of traffickers abandoning larger cargo ships laden with migrants in the Mediterranean. He commended the ongoing rescue efforts in particular by the Italian Navy and Coast Guard and emphasized the responsibility held by countries of destination transit and origin to ensure the protection and human rights of migrants. Cochetel emphasized his concerns about the ending of that operation despite the absence of a similar European searchandrescue operation to replace it.

People traffickers especially criminal organisations in Turkey are making use of old freighters and cargo vessels to transport large numbers of migrants to Europe and crewabandoned ships carrying hundreds of Syrian asylum seekers have recently been intercepted by Italian authorities. The scenes were reminiscent of the exodus of Albanian asylum seekers who tried to reach Italy and Malta aboard ships in and indicative of the new methods being used by people smugglers. With millions of Syrians fleeing the fouryear civil war which has so far claimed some lives people smugglers are targeting welloff Syrians who are prepared to pay more to reach Europe than the subSaharan migrants we have become accustomed to can afford.

According to the UNHCR some refugees died trying to cross the Mediterranean in while another were rescued. In hundreds of Syrian and subSaharan asylum seekers died in their attempts to reach Europe aboard rickety boats which departed from Libya. However now it seems that smugglers have turned their attention to Syrian migrants and are using safer routes and considerably bulkier vessels.

And they have also taken to new ways to advertise these trips with Facebook pages such as Taharib taiaran airborne smuggling and Tahrib bialbar sea smuggling targeting Syrians who want to flee their wartorn country. They also offer discounted prices for group bookings. The posts on the Facebook pages all in Arabic include amatuer videos promoting the provision documents passports and work permits.

We provide everything you need. Just ask one of the posts says. According to reports in the Italian daily La Repubblica traffickers also offer the possibility of providing fake passports ID cards and international driving licences. Moreover a Syrian man who was aboard a second cargo ship which was also intercepted last week revealed how he piloted the Moldovanregistered Blue Sky M which carried some Syrian asylum seekers.

Sarkas Rani a 36yearold Syrian told Italian authorities how he was contacted in Turkey by smugglers who had posted notices on Facebook offering a passage to Europe. Italian naval officers boarded the ship eight kilometres off the coast just in time before it ran aground in what could have been a human catastrophe. Rani a former ship captain was offered the opportunity to pilot the ship by an acquaintance who met him in Istanbul.

He then travelled to Mersin from where the ship departed. Last week EU agency Frontex warned that in a rapid adaptation of strategy smugglers have started using much larger boats. These are typically decommissioned freighters up to 75 metres long procured in the ports of southeastern Turkey notably Mersin: a departure point still connected by ferry to the Syrian port of Latakia making it reachable for the tens of thousands of Syrians still fleeing the conflict in their country Frontex said.

The cargo ships repaired and manned by crews sometimes hired from as far away as Russia are piloted via Cyprus and Crete towards Italy Frontex said adding that smugglers have learned to time the departure of migrant boats so that they cross the paths of merchant ships heading for Europe. The European Union urged Turkish authorities to clarify how traffickers managed to take cargo ships carrying hundreds of migrants out of country The European Union wants Turkey to explain how human traffickers could have taken two cargo ships filled with migrants out of the country and towards the EU without the authorities noticing.

Natasha Bertaud spokeswoman for the European commission said on Tuesday Given what has happened in recent days with the two ships we wanted to clarify things with the Turkish authorities. The cargo ships were picked up in the Mediterranean last week with more than migrants aboard many of them fleeing Syria. The smugglers had locked up the migrants and set the ships on a course to the Italian coast before abandoning the vessels. Bertaud said contacts with Turkey are happening at a political and technical level. Spokeswoman Izabella Cooper said There is no evidence of these networks being connected.

This might just be a new business opportunity that someone has picked up in Turkey. Cooper said Islamic extremists in Libya are making life dangerous for smugglers and migrants alike. New visa requirements in Algeria for Syrians could also be forcing those fleeing the conflict there to look for escape routes closer to home. But while Merkel is sympathetic to cracking down on any welfare abuse by migrants one of her allies made clear she would not yield on the right of EU workers to seek employment wherever they want in the 28nation union.

When Merkel visited London last year there was also the expectation that she would meet the demands of the British prime minister on changes to the EU treaty. Cameron has made controlling the flow of EU citizens to Britain a central part of his renegotiation effort.

UKIP and some Conservatives say Britons fear that workers from poorer member states in central and eastern Europe are depressing wages while others may be coming to collect more generous welfare entitlements than back home. But Krichbaum a member of her Christian Democrat party said the British leader should stand up to the Eurosceptics. Cameron is in a very difficult situation and is under a lot of pressure within his party. But he got himself into this situation.

He is trying to match the demands of UKIP he said. Merkel also faces a Eurosceptic challenge at home with the antiEU Alternative for Germany AfD soaring from nowhere to around seven per cent in national opinion polls in less than two years. However she has chosen to ignore rather than directly challenge the AfD in the hope that it would burn itself out. A senior German official underlined this policy. There is a feeling that too many concessions are being made to the Eurosceptics. We have had experience in Germany with parties like Ukip and the view is that if you try to give them something you only dig yourself in deeper said the official speaking on condition of anonymity.

Cameron who favours staying in a reformed EU but has warned he will rule nothing out if he cannot get the changes he wants has said his plans will require changes to EU treaties. However he has stopped short of proposing quotas on numbers of EU migrants or the right to demand a temporary halt to arrivals. You have seen there is a significant debate in a good number of EU capitals around issues to do with the labour market welfare reform links to immigration he said.

Cameron seems to have misunderstood Merkel on changing EU rules. If Merkel gives in a lot of other states will come running with demands. While the EU has made it clear it would like Britain to remain a member and will listen to its concerns it is not ready to go to any lengths to prevent Britain leaving. It would be a very hard blow for the EU if Britain left but it would be a worse blow for Britain said the German official. Ahead of her visit Merkel and Cameron released a joint statement saying more needed to be done to make the EU more stable and competitive and they hoped to seal a free trade deal between the EU and the United States this year.

A person holding an umbrella as others brave heavy rain holding placards reading Je suis Charlie I am Charlie to pay tribute to Paris victims during a vigil in Frankfurt. But that looks likely to be little more than a momentary ceasefire in a country gripped by economic malaise and high unemployment.

The publishing event of the new year is a novel by controversial author Michel Houellebecq that imagines a Muslim president winning power in and enforcing religious schooling and polygamy in France and banning women from working. That intellectual ferment has mingled with public anxiety over the radicalisation of hundreds of French Muslims who have gone to join Islamic State fighters in Syria and Iraq and who security officials fear may return to cause carnage in France.

The farright National Front lost no time in linking the most deadly act of political violence for decades to immigration and calling for a referendum to restore the death penalty even though a leading French Imam Hassen Chalghoumi said the right way to counter Charlie Hebdo was not through bloodshed or hate. While she was careful to draw a distinction between Muslim citizens who share French values and those who kill in the name of Islam her father National Front founder JeanMarie Le Pen and her deputy Florian Philippot were less cautious.

Anyone who says Islamist radicalism has nothing to do with immigration is living on another planet Philippot told RTL radio. Imams intoned prayers outside the offices of Charlie Hebdo on Thursday and Islamic leaders urged their faithful to join in national mourning for the victims whose cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad had drawn the wrath of many Muslims in the past. In what justice officials said looked like revenge attacks shots were fired overnight at a mosque in the western city of Le Mans and a blast destroyed a kebab shop next to a mosque in the central town of VillefranchesurSaone.

His conservative predecessor Nicolas Sarkozy attempting a political comeback has demanded much tighter European border controls to curb illegal migration. Marine Le Pen has attacked visible symbols of Islam in French life such as Muslims praying in the street hallal food being served in schools and women wearing headscarves. Many leftwing secularists share those concerns in a country where the separation of Church and State took decades of struggle.

Two pencils left with a note to pay tribute to the victims of the shooting outside the French embassy in London. Although France collects no ethnic or religious statistics a reliable estimate published by the Pew Research Centre put the Muslim population at about 7. That is well ahead of six per cent in the Netherlands 5. A grassroots movement called Pegida or Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamisation of the West warns Germany is being overrun by Muslims and has staged weekly rallies of up to people in Dresden. Chancellor Angela Merkel and other political leaders have urged Germans to shun the protests which Merkel said were organised by people with hate in their hearts.

Pegida whose rise mirrors electoral gains by the rightwing Eurosceptic Alternative for Germany AfD party was quick to claim the Paris attack vindicated its views. The Islamists against whom Pegida has been warning over the last 12 weeks showed in France Our political leaders want us to believe the opposite is true the group said.

Does a tragedy like this first have to happen in Germany? A poll taken in November well before the Paris attack found 57 per cent of nonMuslim Germans feel threatened by Islam. In the Netherlands traumatised by the killing of film producer Theo van Gogh by an Islamist gunman 10 years ago outspoken antiIslam campaigner Geert Wilders is topping public opinion polls. Within minutes of the Paris events Wilders who has lived under police protection for a decade repeated calls to close Dutch borders to Muslim immigrants and said in a statement: The West is at war and should deIslamise.

In the Nordic countries where farright antiimmigrant parties are gaining ground Muslim leaders said their communities faced a wave of violence. Omar Mustafa chairman of the Islamic Association of Sweden said many mosques had set up night patrols after recent arson and racist attacks on Muslim communities. Times are tough now Mustafa told Reuters. The forces of hate antidemocratic forces are trying to set the agenda both the extremists on the right and those who are religious.

No records kept of investigations over alleged violence by detention services officers Home Affairs Minister Carmelo Abela has told parliament that no records were ever kept over cases of alleged violence against irregular migrants by detention services officers. Replying to a series of questions raised by backbencher Anthony Agius Decelis Abela confirmed that no records were found of investigations over alleged violence by detention services officers.

Moreover no records were ever kept of any disciplinary action that may have been taken in the past. The lack of records means that there is no recorded information of the allegations made the investigations that may have been carried out and the outcome of the same investigations. The information requested referred to the period between and According to the minister no records were ever kept of attempted escapes from the detention centres which resulted in disciplinary steps being taken against members of the Armed Forces of Malta or detention services officers.

However Abela did reveal that disciplinary steps were taken against 44 detention service officers between and most commonly for absenteeism leaving the workplace and insubordination. Responding to further parliamentary questions Abela said that irregular immigrant escapes from detention centres were recorded between and the greatest being on 19 September when 40 immigrants escaped at the same time.

No records were found on how many of those immigrants were caught. A further 22 irregular immigrant escapes were attempted in that same time period. Supporters of antiimmigration movement Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamisation of the West Pegida hold flags during a demonstration in Dresden Germany yesterday. Photo: Reuters German Chancellor Angela Merkel said yesterday Islam belongs to Germany in a clear repudiation of antiimmigration protesters gathering in Dresden and other cities in Germany.

A day after walking arminarm with French President Francois Hollande at the front of a massive march in Paris to honour the victims of killings by Islamic militants Merkel received the Turkish Prime Minister and urged dialogue among religions. The conservative Chancellor pointed to comments made by former German president Christian Wulff who said in that Islam was part of Germany triggering a fierce debate.

Former president Wulff said Islam belongs to Germany. That is true. I also hold this opinion Merkel said at a news conference with Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu who also took part with other world leaders in the Paris march on Sunday. The German Chancellor was speaking yesterday some hours before marches by a movement dubbed Pegida or Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamisation of the West were due to begin in several German cities. Such demonstrations launched in Dresden have been dwarfed by counterprotests. German Chancellor insists her government is doing everything it can to ensure migrants are being successfully integrated into German society Merkel said her government was doing everything it could to ensure migrants were being successfully integrated into German society regardless of their religion.

Nearly two in three of the four million Muslims in Germany are of Turkish origin. Roughly half are German citizens. But Merkel acknowledged the need for better dialogue between religions praising Muslims for publicly rejecting the use of violence after the Paris killings and calling Turkey an ally in the fight against terrorism.

Merkel and other German politicians are due to take part in a solemn vigil at the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin today. Davutoglu said it was important to fight all forms of Islamophobia in Germany. Speaking later in Berlin Davutoglu said that if Turkey was accepted in future as a European Union member it would send a powerful message of how Muslims and Christians could live together in Europe in peace. This took place after my meeting with Mr Depetris: but it gives an indication of the sheer scale at which things are developing on the international front.

And as the intended target was not just a French magazine but also an underlying principle that lies at the very heart of postEnlightenment Europe: the freedom to express opinions even when these are offensive to others… that includes all people around the world who cherish human rights. Yet it bears mentioning that France and indeed all of Europe in was a far more homogenous society than it is today. The changing demographics since the days of the Enlightenment also imply that France has meanwhile assimilated people from different cultures where such concepts are perhaps alien or mistrusted.

So it is my unpleasant duty to open fire with an uncomfortable question. Does it indicate in brief that the main aims of the revolution may have failed? On the contrary I think the reaction and expression of solidarity in Europe and around the world is the living image of this belief in such values as freedom of speech and expression. And these were also among the aims of the revolution. I would say it signifies the success of such ideas since the 18th century. As you mentioned these values are very intimately linked with the emergence of the French Republic… it goes back to Voltaire who said he would die for your right to speak even if he disagrees with what you say.

It is one of our core values as French President Francois Hollande reaffirmed yesterday. And we will keep on fighting for it. It was one of the slogans… we will keep saying what we think we will defend our freedom of speech and of the press. These are the same values that were epitomised by these cartoonists who were killed. In this respect at least the attempt to stifle freedom of speech not only failed but also backfired. Depetris tells me that the printrun of the next issue of Charlie Hebdo will run into a million copies: far more than its usual circulation. It is very encouraging also to see all these spontaneous gatherings in France but also around the world outside the French embassies… even here in Malta.

What this suggests is that we are all in the same boat. Our values were attacked but we will defend them. I would like to thank again the Maltese government for its strong message of solidarity. At the same time there is an uncomfortable reality underpinning all that has occurred. We must acknowledge that random acts of terrorism are not the only thing to worry about now.

There are indications of a spread of violence and even by Friday there had already been retaliatory attacks aimed at Muslim targets. There are also political movements throughout Europe that will no doubt exploit the fear and outrage provoked by this attack to foster a culture of hatred and intolerance. The French President was very clear on this issue: we are and we should remain united one people.

Among us of course we are different. Different religions different provenance different social levels. But we are all French citizens. We should all live together under Republican rules. It is important to reaffirm that the values of the Republic of France as a nation and a democracy is to respect any kind of religion any kind of free way of thinking and that people are supposed to live together under these common rules. Depetris also reasons that the antiMuslim sentiment while expressed by many loud voices is not necessarily as widespread as it is sometimes portrayed.

I was pleased to note that it was not just politicians but also French citizens interviewed in the streets who were in favour of reaffirming this unity. They were very committed to avoid any kind of racist comments or hate speech against Muslims. Because these extremists are ultimately a threat for the Muslim community in France. There are an estimated 56 million Muslims living in France today and by all accounts the vast majority are either indifferent or opposed to the sort of extremist violence we saw on Wednesday.

It has in fact been argued that the purpose behind the attack on Charlie Hebdo was specifically to change all this: to provoke retaliation against moderate Muslims in the hope of precipitating more violence and facilitating the recruitment of more volunteers. Nor is it just Islamist terror cells who stand to benefit: in times of open racial hostility the radical right also has a field day when it comes to recruiting and convincing.

Does the government of France expect a dramatic escalation of violence… such as for instance when the race riots of a Parisian suburb spread throughout the country and precipitated a state of emergency? We should certainly be aware of this danger and avoid such retaliations. That is why it is really important that speeches or public comments by the authorities impart the same message. I think it will be the case. This Sunday there will be a big demonstration in Paris and in major cities across the world which will be attended by all political parties committed to defend the Republican values.

At the same time part of the consequence of a terror attack like this is that fears normally associated with extreme factions may be given far wider credence. One such fear concerns the fact that European demographics suggest Islam is a fastgrowing religion in Europe. This may also be in part due to a falling birthrate in most European countries; either way the argument goes — and I must stress that it is made by others — that in time Europe will be forced to cede more and more of its principles as immigrant communities make more demands. Are Europeans justified in worrying that the values we cherish so much may be threatened by the longterm implications of demographics change?

France has one of the highest birthrates in Europe… Well the country does have a certain reputation to defend… Perhaps he replies with a laugh. But when we look at the birthrate the statistics show that migrants have higher birthrates when they arrive but by the next generation it drops to the same level as the national average. Things can change and the migration flows are not the same as 20 years before or 30 years before. Most migrants to France used to come from Italy and Portugal.

Immigration to us is an also an added value. But we may have difficulties thinking this way in the light of the economic crisis… Meanwhile speaking of efforts to ignite intercultural hostilities in France: it must be pointed out that there may also be grievances beyond the immediate goals of terrorism. Racial tension has often been felt in France before as the aforementioned riots confirm. More recently the ban of the Burqa likewise sparked a controversy over minority rights.

Like it or not this also points towards a subtext of discontent underpinning race relations in France and no doubt all over the rest of Europe too. Regardless of Islam there seems to be many within the Muslim community who feel they are a downtrodden or sidelined minority. Could it be then that the emergence of radical Islamic groups such as Al Qaeda and ISIS is the tip of the iceberg of a much deeper malaise?

I hope not. You mentioned the burqa issue: but it was only an extreme minority of Muslims who were concerned with this law. The overwhelming majority of Muslims is perfectly integrated in the French community. These few exist; but they are first of all criminals not Muslims. They are criminals and they try to invoke some kind of ideological background to justify their acts; but we cannot confuse the Muslim community with the behaviour of such criminals.

Of course what is happening around the world… the Syria crisis Al Qaeda and ISIS networks and attitudes… they are all part of the background. The French government is well aware that this is an issue that has global ramifications. Yet the emergence of ISIS at least is widely associated with the aftermath of the Iraq war: which in turn suggests that the conditions for the same unrest which we all agree now threatens Western core values were in fact created by western military involvement in the Middle East.

There are of course limits to this argument: it is impossible to say what would have happened had Saddam Hussein not been toppled in … especially in view of the Arab spring. To complete the sentence, just add what you realize in the phrase that follows!

Below are example sentences to show how this all works. These example sentences are true for me. To think of more examples, and try to describe what you realize about yourself! I realize that I have an hour to make dinner. I realize that I have an hour to prepare dinner. I realize that you have an hour to prepare dinner. I realize that I will always want to learn more about the Italian language. Again, an example from my life, taking from a time when I was when talking a good friend of mine about a certain movie. Try to think of some examples from your own life! Mi accorgo che ti piace molto questo film.

Vuoi andare a vederlo con me? I notice that you really like this film. Do you want to go to see it with me? This, of course, involves conjugating our two verbs in the past tense! To complete the sentence, just add what you have realized in the phrase that follows! Below is a table to summarize these phrases of realizing and noticing. Listen carefully for these phrases and then try to use them yourself! Notice that as a female I have to use resa and accorta.

How many more examples can you think of? Ieri sera, a Capodanno, mi sono resa conto che sono molto fortunata. Mi sono resa conto di avere amici molto cari. I realized that I have many dear friends. Mi sono resa conto che ho molti cari amici. I realized that I have learned so many important things from my family.

Mi sono accorta che era molto freddo a Capodanno. What I realized… from ConversationalItalian. Other activities that involve actions relating to the self are reflexive in Italian. They refer to what a person oneself is doing. Here is a short list:. One of the most important verbs listed in the last section is divertirsi , which is the verb that Italians use to say that they are enjoying themselves or having fun. The easiest way to remember this concept is by examples see below. Also, remember that the subject pronoun is usually left out of the sentence, except for clarification.

Ti prendi cura di tuo nipote? Do you take care of your nephew? She takes care of the class when the teacher is away. Lui si prende cura della sua famiglia. He takes care of his family. Vi prendete cura degli animali nella fattoria. You all take care of the animals on the farm. Loro si prendono cura dei loro nipoti. They take care of their grandchildren. Ti vuoi occupare di questo? Do you want to take care of this? Lui si occupa del ristorante della sua famiglia.

Many Italian verbs have regular and reflexive forms. If the action is directed back toward the speaker, use the reflexive form. For the verbs ricordare and ricordarsi , in most situations, either form may be used. When speaking of something one needs to remember to do, use ricordare di , as we learned in the last chapter, or ricordarsi di. Note also that the meaning of a verb may change with use of its reflexive form. Chiamare , for instance, means to call someone , as in to make a call on the telephone or to call out to someone.

But chiamarsi means to call oneself by name. But the reflexive verb sentirsi has the very different meaning of to feel an emotion. In Italian, the motion of going to or being in a place does not change preposition use. The preposition is selected depending on the noun that the preposition modifies. I guess we have simplified things here in America, across the ocean from the land of our mother tongue!

Just link them to the actual place one is going to or one is in and this combination will not change! Sei… home? If one then wants to emphasize that they have settled down into this new place, i. These explanations may be a bit more complicated than needed, though, and I am sure these prepositions are thought of as interchangeable in many situations by English speakers. Sometimes it is necessary to emphasize the time of day in Italian, as in morning, afternoon, evening , or night.

This is simple in Italian! Here are some examples where the time of day is added after stating the numerical time for clarity or for emphasis. Notice that the Italian language uses a comma rather than a colon to separate the hours from the minutes. Every now and then, one needs to use a verb as a noun. In the Italian language, the infinitive form of the verb is used when a verb takes the place of a noun.

For the present tense, only the infinitive form of the verb is needed. For the past tense, the helping verb will be in the infinitive form before the past participle. Can you use the subjunctive mood correctly when writing an email? We will also talk about Italian reflexive verbs of self movement. And beware those phrases that sound like they should take the subjunctive but do not—these can also be found in the emails below! How much time has passed since you have moved from Abruzzo to Rome!

Spero che tu stia bene. I hope that you are well. Spero anche che tuo marito e i tuoi figli stiano bene. I also hope that your husband and children are well. It is a shame that you and your family have moved so far from your cousin that cares for you all so much. Penso che Eleonora debba essere cresciuta molto. Penso che Eleonora abbia dieci anni, ora, no? I think that Eleanor is 10 years old, now, no? Mi sembra che Eleonora debba essere una bella ragazzina ora! It seems to me that Eleanor must be a beautiful little girl now! I bet that probably John is tall and strong and a very good boy!

Immagino che tuo marito sia contento con il suo lavoro a Roma. I imagine that your husband is happy with his job in Rome. But I am not sure that you are happy living there. Maybe you are happy living for a little bit in the city, but I know that you like the country a lot. For me, it is very difficult living without you, my dearest cousin. I would like you to come and visit me in Abruzzo this summer. Pensaci e fammi sapere. Think about it and let me know. Send me an email. Spero che tu abbia un buon weekend!

I hope that you have a good weekend! Ero molto contenta di sentire le tue notizie. I was very happy to hear from you. La mia famiglia sta molto bene, ed Eleonora e Giovanni sono cresciuti molto in questi due anni che siamo stati a Roma. My family is very well, and Eleanor and John have grown in these last two years that we have been in Rome. Tutti e due sono bravi figli ed io e mio marito Giuseppe siamo molto orgogliosi di loro.

Both are good children, and my husband Joe and I are very proud of them. I am free to travel to Abruzzo this summer in August for the Ferragosto holiday! Mi auguro che tu abbia tempo disponibile questo Ferragosto. I hope that you have time free this Ferragosto. Tu mi manchi molto, mia bella cugina! I miss you very much, my beautiful cousin! Noi siamo certi di avere una buona visita. We are certain to have a wonderful visit! Restiamo in contatto e spero di vederti presto! Stay in contact, and I hope to see you soon! Verbs in Italian can have a subjunctive mood that is used to express doubt, uncertainty, desire, or a feeling.

These initial phrases imply uncertainty and trigger the subjunctive mood in the phrase to follow. The phrase that follows will then describe what the uncertainty is about. These introductory phrases usually end with the word che , which means that. This use will make perfect sense to the Italian listener, although the subjective mood is also commonly used. Notice that when speaking about the past using these phrases, the imperfetto form of the past tense is usually used.

Now that email has become an essential way to communicate, it is important to know how to address family, friends, and work colleagues in writing. In effect, that old-fashioned way of communicating—the letter—has been resurrected in electronic form! Here are some suggestions for greetings and salutations in Italian, depending on the formality of the situation.

A note about texting, which is even more informal than email, because texts are usually made only to friends: there is much more variation if a greeting is used, and there are many creative ways to greet someone by text in Italian. A text is still not acceptable in most situations for a first or a formal communication, although email is now often the preferred way of establishing an initial contact in business.

Letters are still frequently used in Italy. Several common salutations are used when writing a formal email in Italian. These salutations have been established over many centuries of formal communication. This all seems simple enough, although a typical formal Italian greeting is often abbreviated and can seem a bit off-putting unless one is fluent in the abbreviations as well. Our salutations above are often written as follows: Gentile Sig.

Verde and Gen. The table in the next section lists the most commonly used abbreviations. As you can imagine, this is very different depending on how close the two correspondents are. Ci can also be used to mean here or there when referring to a specific location.

Mudimbi - Il Mago (Official Video) - Sanremo 2018

The location is either understood by the speakers or will have already have been mentioned in the conversation, and ci will be used in a reply to make the conversation flow more smoothly. In these instances, the location will be introduced by a preposition a, in, su, da and ci will replace both the preposition and the place when given in the reply. Ci is placed before the conjugated verb. With helping verbs dovere, potere, or volere, ci can be placed before the helping verb or attached to the infinitive. Ci is frequently used as an indirect object to reply to certain questions regarding what someone believes in.

In this case, ci replaces the phrase that is believed in. Ci is also used as an indirect object to reply to certain questions regarding what someone thinks about. In other contexts, the verb pensare can be used to ask if someone is going to care of something. The subject pronoun tu will come after the verb in these questions to signify intent. For the response, ci replaces the thing that is being taken care of and the subject pronoun io is placed after the verb to signify intent.

Ci is also used as part of a command in order to ask someone to believe in or think about something that has been stated previously. Or, perhaps in the workplace, a superior is making a request of another worker. Notice that, when attaching a direct object mi, ti, lo, la, ci, vi to the familiar command verb fa, the first letter of the direct object is doubled. Below are some commonly used expressions which combine the command form of fare with direct object pronouns. Two additional commonly used familiar commands with direct objects involve the verbs dire and dare:.

Italian reflexive verbs can be tricky for the English speaker because there are many situations where reflexive verbs are used in Italian but not in English. In this blog post, for instance, one cousin moves from Abruzzo to Rome. Here is the way this works: if I have moved myself from one place to another and want to talk about this, I use the reflexive pronoun for myself mi with the conjugated verb for the first person, and then I say where I have moved. When talking about a move we have made, we will be speaking in the past tense and will need to use the passato prossimo past tense verb form for this one-time event.

All reflexive passato prossimo verbs use essere as the helping verb with the past participle. Ti sei trasferito a nello stato di New York due anni fa, corretto? Ci siamo trasferiti a Roma per un lavoro molto importante. Vi siete trasferite alla scuola di Marymount Internazionale a Roma. To emphasize that one has moved from an old house to a new one, the phrase cambiare casa is used.

The Italian school system is similar to the U. Some 4-year university degrees are now also available in Italy. Anna va alla scuola secondaria. Anna goes to junior high school. Anna va alla scuola superiore. Anna goes to high school. Visiting Italy? Get started by speaking with the waiter. A delicious meal is soon to follow! To listen to the dialogue from Chapter 16, when Caterina and her Italian family arrive at an Italian restaurant and begin their wonderful meal together, go to the interactive audio dialogues on our website at learntravelitalian.

Conversational Italian series of books! Cultural Note: Drive Italy! When in Rome, Drive as the Romans Do! The Italian railway system is the most efficient way to travel throughout Italy, especially for the tourist with limited time to spend. But for those for whom driving the autostrada in a Ferrari has always been a dream see www. To rent a car and legally drive in Italy, some additional paperwork will need to be completed.

Speed limits vary according to the type of road in Italy. Beware of drivers who try to cheat this rule by straddling the lanes. It is not advised to copy this technique! The signs denoting maximum speed are round, with a red perimeter and black numbers in the center. If the speed limit temporarily decreases, such as when passing through a town, a new speed limit sign will be posted. When the restriction ends, the same sign will reappear with a diagonal slash through it.

However, Italian drivers treat them as flashing yellow—if they can, drivers often keep going! Also, beware of the upside-down triangle with a red perimeter, the dare la precedenza sign, which is found before intersections or roundabouts—you must give way to all other vehicles. A round sign with a red perimeter and white center means that the area is restricted to vehicles, and a similar sign with a white bar means no entry. A complete list of signs can be found online at www. And finally, a word about parking. Parking signs are blue, and paid parking spaces are outlined in blue.

Find the parking machine nearby, pay with cash or credit for the allotted number of hours, and put the ticket on your dashboard as in many U. White spaces are usually free parking, but the disco orario , a small cardboard clock , needs to be placed on your dashboard and set to the time you arrived at the space—ora di arrivo. The posted sign will tell you how long you may remain. In some cities, however, the white lines may be reserved for residents, so beware.

Also, do not park in front of driveways , where you may see a passo carrabile sign; block any type of side street; or double park, despite what you may see the Italians do! Everything you need to know to talk about love… in Italian! Can you talk about all the things that are nearest and dearest to your heart in Italian? Read the grammar section if you like. When I was young, when I was about 7 years old, I asked my grandmother to tell me her story. And this is what she said to me:. Da bambina, quando avevo cerca sette anni, ho chiesto a mia nonna di raccontarmi la sua storia.

My story is a story of many great loves. Ragusa is on top of a big mountain but is also near the sea. Every day I could see the sunrise and the sunset over the south of Sicily, and it was very beautiful! I loved Sicily very much! Quando ero giovane, ho vissuto in Sicilia e mi piaceva molto il mio paese che si chiama Ragusa. Mi piaceva molto la Sicilia!

I had five brothers and sisters—two brothers and three sisters. I was the oldest in the family, and when I was 12 years old, I had to leave school. I had to help my mother take care of my sisters and my brothers. Avevo cinque fratelli — due fratelli e tre sorelle.

Ho dovuto aiutare mia mamma a prendersi cura delle mie sorelle e dei miei fratelli. And at Ragusa, there was also a boy named Peter who was 2 years older than me. Peter grew up on the same street as my family. When he became older, Peter was tall and handsome, a good person, and was very nice to me. I loved him. I became his girlfriend, but in secret. Sono diventata la sua ragazza, ma in segreto. In , when Peter was 16 years old, Paul brought the family to America. There was a lot of work for Paul, who was a bricklayer and helped to build many buildings that are still well known in New York today.

Il padre di Pietro, Paolo, era anche una persona perbene e ha deciso di migliorare la vita della sua famiglia e di andare in America. Nel millenovecentosedici, quando Pietro aveva sedici anni, Paolo ha portato la famiglia in America. Il padre di Pietro ha fatto tanti soldi e la famiglia stava molto bene.

But Peter was not happy. He wrote me in many letters that New York was ugly. He missed his beautiful Sicily. He missed me! In Sicily, I missed Peter! Anche Pietro lavorava ogni giorno e imparava il mestiere da suo padre. Ma, Pietro non era contento. Lui mi ha scritto in tante lettere che New York era brutta. A lui mancava la sua bella Sicilia. Anche, io gli mancavo! Mentre in Sicilia, mi mancava Pietro! Finally, Peter wrote a letter to my father and asked him to take me to America to get married marry me.

But I wanted to go to America and marry Peter. I loved Peter very much. Every day, I cried. I did not eat anything. You must take her to America! Ma volevo andare in America e sposarmi con Pietro. Ogni giorno, piangevo. Non mangiavo niente. Devi portarla in America! Peter and I were married, and we had three children: two boys and one girl. We moved to a small town north of New York City, where there are mountains and it is very pretty. Today, I feel very fortunate and happy because I have my three great loves: my new country, my husband, and my family! Remember to use fratelli for a group of brothers and sorelle for a group of sisters.

Remember to use uno figlio maschio for one male child and una figlia femmina for one female child. This little word will come up often in spoken and written Italian. A couple of important examples were underlined in are dialogue to make this point and are reprinted here. Mi piaceva molto il mio paese che si chiama Ragusa. I loved my town Ragusa very much. Below are two more uses for the Italian word che, with two different meanings. The expression can be used between a boyfriend and a girlfriend and is also used between a husband and a wife.

Watch some older Italian movies, and you will hear this expression often! The noun visitare can be used when you want to speak about a place you are visiting. Reciprocal reflexive verbs are used in the special situation when two people perform the same action together; this will make both people the subject of the action. Therefore, the reciprocal reflexive verbs are conjugated in their plural form, using the plural subject and reflexive pronouns: noi ci , voi vi , or loro si.

For conversation, the noi and loro forms will be the most important to remember. A quick word about sposarsi. As we know, the subject pronouns are almost always omitted in conversation, and this applies to reciprocal reflexive verbs as well—hence the parentheses in the examples that follow!

The infinitive form is in the first column, and the corresponding past participle is listed in the third column; notice that some past participles will be regular and others irregular. It should also be noted that all reflexive verbs , as well as piacere , take essere. All reflexive verbs form the passato prossimo with essere.

Simply put the reflexive pronoun before essere and follow essere with the past participle as usual. Remember to change the ending of the past participle to reflect the gender of the person doing the action. See the example below with divertirsi to enjoy oneself. With all the good times a visitor to Italy can expect, divertirsi is an essential verb to know in several different tenses! Notice that the translation in English uses the verb to have , while Italian uses to be.

So remember to think in Italian in this case! I enjoyed myself. You familiar enjoyed yourself. We enjoyed ourselves. You all enjoyed yourselves. We have seen how to use the modal verbs dovere , potere , and volere if the passato prossimo is formed with avere. The sequence to use is the same with essere ; essere is conjugated to reflect the speaker, the past participle of the modal verb is added, and then the infinitive of the verb finishes the verb phrase.

There is one catch, though. Remember that we must change the past participle of the verbs that follow essere to reflect the gender of the speaker. In this case, the past participle is formed from the modal verb, so the ending of the modal verb must change! When to Use the Passato Prossimo versus the Imperfetto. Here is a table to clarify the differences of the uses of the passato prossimo and the imperfetto past tense verb forms. Both will describe actions or events that have taken place in the past. The circumstances that surround each event determine the form to use.

When narrating a story, use the imperfetto. Yesterday I had hunger all day long. English: I was hungry. Kathy was very happy on her birthday. Io avevo fame. Caterina era felice. To start off, you should know that the sentence structure used for mancare is the same as for the verb piacere see the second blog in this series. In English, we say the subject of the sentence misses someone using the direct object example: I miss John , whereas in Italian, this phrase is turned around and the subject is the person who is being missed.

But, in most cases the subject is then added to the end of the sentence for clarification. Think about this a bit and then read the present tense conjugation below. Notice that the tu and noi forms are irregular. These are marked with an asterisk. The past tense of mancare is regular in the passato prossimo and takes essere.

The passato prossimo form is often used. This is the past tense form for mancare that is most commonly used during conversation. The imperfetto form of mancare is regular as well, and is used most often for narration, as in our example story. In this case, the reference is to a nonspecific amount of time that people missed each other in the past. The sentences below give some common examples of how to use the verb mancare , first in present tense and then in past tense, with the passato prossimo. For easier understanding, the subject pronouns are included in parentheses, but remember that they are most often left out of the sentence, unless needed for clarification.

Everyone has a story to tell about themselves. What would you like others to know about what you find important in life? What are your great loves? Sono diventata o la sua ragazza o , ma in segreto. A lui lei mancava la sua bella Sicilia. Anche, io gli le mancavo! Peter and I were married, and we had three children—two boys and one girl.

Lui si chiama Giovanni. His name is John. Sono molto contenta per Anna! I am very happy for Ann! Forse tra un anno si sposano! Maybe in a year, they will get married! Scrivimi quando hai tempo! Write me when you have time! Tanti baci. Lots of kisses. They are very young, like you. A presto! They have broken up.

This does not occur in English. For situations that are in the more distant future but are likely to happen probable , Italian may use the future tense for the condition clause. For the consequence in the main clause, use the command verb form in English and Italian. Note: In writing, Italian emphasizes that the command form is in use with an exclamation mark at the end of the sentence. To make matters more complicated, the English subjunctive form of many verbs is similar to the regular past tense form.

A review of the imperfetto subjunctive mood for avere, essere, and stare , and -are, -ere, -ire infinitive verbs will follow this section. My response: Magari, questo fosse possibile! So, you already know how to use this verb if you have read the first blog in this series! A few notes about this: When pronouncing the imperfetto subjunctive mood verbs, the stress will always be on the syllable that begins with the last two letters of the stem and will incorporate one —s letter from the ending.

Here are two examples using each tense: Devo visitare mia nonna domenica. Fammi un favore! Do me a favor! Fammi un piacere! Fatti vedere! Come and see me!

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Make yourself seen! Fatti sentire! Call me! Make yourself heard!