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passarsela bene

Today’s Parola del Giorno is the pronominal verb, passarsela bene, which means to be well off. Someone who is well off is generally affluent and in a good position financially.

Si vede bene che la famiglia Barberini se la passava bene! Con tutti i palazzi e monumenti che hanno fatto costruire, è ovvio, no?

You can clearly see that the Barberini family was well off! With all of the buildings and monuments that they had built, it is obvious, no?

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DA NOTARE:

: Pronominal verbs that end in -sela have past participles in the feminine singular even when the verb is in the plural when used in compound tenses

: Don’t forget that the pronouns are a part of the verb and have to come before the verb

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evaporare

Today’s Parola del Giorno is the verb, evaporare, which can mean to evaporate.  It can also be used figuratively when it is hot out where in English we might say it’s boiling.  See the expression used below in its context:

Oggi fa troppo caldo, sto evaporando.  Sto proprio soffrendo!!

Today it is very hot, and I’m boiling.  I am really suffering!

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dormire come una marmotta

Today’s Parola del Giorno is the idiom, dormire come una marmotta, which means to sleep like a log. You can also say dormire come un ghiro or dormire come un sasso (to sleep like a rock). See the expression used below in its context:

La scorsa notte ho dormito come una marmotta: non dovrei essere sorpreso, dal momento che ieri ho camminato in giro per la città per ore ed ore!

Last night I slept like a log: I shouldn’t be surprised, since I walked around the city for hours and hours yesterday!

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DA NOTARE:

: la marmotta is a marmot or a kind of groundhog 

un ghiro is a dormouse

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andare di lusso

Today’s Parola del Giorno is the expression, andare di lusso, which means to thank one’s lucky stars or to luck out (in American English, this means to to be extremely fortunate or lucky). Note that this expression is always used impersonally (like piacere), in other words, the subject of the phrase is this thing (la cosa) that brought you such fortune or which caused you to thank your lucky stars (note that in compound tenses, the past participle agrees in gender and number with the subject, hence the use of andata).

Alla nostra famiglia è andata di lusso: mia madre ha vinto alla lotteria una marea di soldi! Finalmente potremo vivere con dignità e non più sopravvivere!

Our family thanked its lucky stars: my mother won a ton of money in the lottery! We will finally be able to live with dignity and not only to survive!

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DA NOTARE:

: Remember that this expression is only used impersonally. The subject in English becomes the indirect object in Italian, like with the verb, piacere.

: To say “I lucked out”, you would write: Mi è andata di lusso. (a me è andata di lusso)

: To say “We lucked out”, you would write: Ci è andata di lusso. (a noi è andata di lusso)

: To say, “Giovanni lucked out”, you would write: A Giovanni è andata di lusso.

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gridare al lupo

Today’s Parola del Giorno is the idiomatic expression, gridare al lupo, which means to cry wolf.  In Italian, it is also used to describe a situation where you are in trouble and no one pays any attention or asking for help in dealing with an imaginary problem. The expression comes from Aesop’s (Esopo) fable about the boy who cried “Wolf!” when there was none that, after a while, the townspeople assumed he was making it up and stopped coming to his aid, believing the wolf to be “made up”! See the expression used below in its context:

Quel ragazzo amava circondarsi di persone poco raccomandabili e se ne vantava con tutti: adesso è nei guai fino al collo e non fa altro che gridare al lupo, ma le sue richieste di aiuto vengono continuamente ignorate.

That guy loved to surround himself with untrustworthy people and would brag of it with everyone: now he is in trouble up to his neck, and he does nothing other than cry wolf, but his requests for helps are continuously ignored.

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non capire un’acca

Today’s Parola del Giorno is the expression, non capire un’acca, which means to be unable to make heads or tails of something. The word, l’acca, is the letter, H, (which is silent in Italian), having slowly lost its pronunciations from Latin and so the expression is used to say that one does not understanding something. See the expression used below:

Nonostante abbia seguito con estrema attenzione il corso per imparare ad usare Microsoft Excel, non ci capisco ancora un’acca

Even though I paid close attention to the course so I could learn to use Microsoft Excel, I still can’t make heads or tails of it.

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AVVISO LINGUISTICO:

: There are many ways to express not understanding something in Italian. Pay attention to these two common (and more vulgar) expressions and be careful how and when you use themnon capire un cazzo and non capire una minchiaI don’t understand f*ck all

: you can also say non capire un tubo

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sapere vita, morte e miracoli (di qualcuno)

Today’s Parola del Giorno is the expression, sapere vita, morte e miracoli (di qualcuno), which means to know everything there is to know about someone. Literally, it means to know life, death and miracles. The expression has its roots in the old hagiographic texts that would profile the lives of saints. See the expression used below in its context:

So vita, morte e miracoli di Freud! Se vuoi una mano con l’esame di psicologia, non esitare a chiedermela!

I know everything there is to know about Freud! If you want a hand with your psychology exam, don’t hesitate to ask me!

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