amabile

Today’s Parola del Giorno is the adjective amabile, which — when discussing wine — can mean sweet or smooth. A wine is amabile when its sugar levels are between 12-45 grams per liter and leaves just a hint of sweetness in your mouth. A wine is considered sweet when the sugar levels exceed 45 grams per liter, typically dessert wines. According to the wine glossary that I found online, wines can be (going from less sugar to more sugar):

secco (dry) -> abboccato (smooth) -> amabile -> dolce (sweet) -> stucchevole (sugary)

See the adjective used below:

I vini che produce tuo nonno sono proprio buoni. C’è un rosso che mi piace molto, è proprio un vino amabile!

The wines your grandfather makes are really good. There is a red that I like a lot, it is a smooth wine.

*Some dictionaries might list abboccato and amabile as synonyms, but according to wine producers, this is an error. Un vino abboccato has less sugar than un vino amabile.

sbeccare

Today’s Parola del Giorno is the verb sbeccare, which means to chip something.

The past participle is sbeccatoavere is used in compound tenses.

See the verb used below:

Carlo è preoccupato perché, mentre spolverava la casa, ha sbeccato un vaso che sua nuora gli ha regalato. Il danno non è troppo visibile ma Carlo teme che sua moglie se ne accorga. Lui dice sempre che la moglie ha gli occhi di lince, si accorge di tutto!

Carlo is worried because, while he was dusting the house, he chipped a vase his daughter-in-law gave him. The damage is not too noticeable, but Carlo is afraid his wife will notice it. He always says his wife has the eyes of a hawk, she notices everything!

lo smottamento

Today’s Parola del Giorno is the noun lo smottamento, which means landslide. This noun comes from the verb smottare, which means to slide down. See the noun used below:

Dopo tre settimane di piogge torrenziali in montagna, la paura di uno smottamento di terra diventa davvero reale.

After three weeks of torrential rains in the mountains, the fear of a landslide is becoming a real possibility.

Grammar Point: Don’t forget lo and uno are the definite and indefinite articles for masculine nouns (like lo smottamento) that begin with s + consonantps– (lo psicologo), gn– (lo gnomo), y (lo yogurt) and (lo zaino).

crepitante

Today’s Parola del Giorno is the adjective crepitante (from the verb crepitare), which means roaring or crackling when describing a fire (like the one that you might have in your fireplace). See the noun used below:

Maria e Marco amano andare in montagna all’inizio dell’inverno perché per loro è una cosa romantica. Gli ricorda quando erano ancora ragazzi e si frequentavano: un po’ di brandy, la compagnia e un fuoco crepitante che crea l’atmosfera giusta.

Maria and Marco love going to the mountains at the start of winter because it is something romantic for them. It reminds them of when they were still dating: a bit of brandy, the company and a roaring fire to set the mood.

Grammar Note: The verb crepitare means to crackle or to pop when describing a fire. It can also be used to mean to rustle – like the sound you might make while walking over fallen leaves in autumn. Note that in the present tense, the stress is in the verb stem: crepito, crepiti, crepita, crepitiamo, crepitate, crepitano.

incagliarsi

Today’s Parola del Giorno is the verb incagliarsi, which means to reach a deadlock. Given the problems with Greece and the European Union, I figured that this would be a good verb to know in order to describe the often tense negotiations! See the verb used below:

Dopo mesi di negoziazioni, i paesi europei hanno finalmente deciso di aiutare la Grecia. Quando si erano incagliati senza una soluzione, pensavo che la Grecia lasciasse l’Unione Europea.

After months of negotiations, the European countries finally decided to help Greece. When they had reached a deadlock without any solution, I thought Greece might leave the European Union.

farla franca

Today’s Parola del Giorno is the pronominal verb farla franca, which means to get away with it, in other words not being discovered or avoiding the consequences of some bad deed having been done (like thieves breaking into your home and never getting caught).

See the expression used below:

I ladri sono entrati in casa della Signora Rossi alle 03:00 di mattina e si sono portati via tutti i gioielli della Signora. Nessuno in casa si è accorto di niente e i ladri l’hanno fatta franca con un bottino di più di quattromila Euro!

The thieves got into Mrs. Rossi’s house at 3:00 AM, and they stole all of the lady’s jewelry. No one at home realized anything, and the they got away with it with a more than 4,000 euro of loot!

Grammar Note:

Don’t forget that when the pronominal verb ends in -la, the past participle in compound tenses remains in the feminine singular even when the verb is used in the plural (as in our example).

a mezzanotte in punto

Today’s Parola del Giorno is the expression a mezzanotte in punto, which means on/at the stroke of midnight.

See the expression used below:

Ogni 31 dicembre, mio padre dice che rimarrà sveglio fino a mezzanotte ma a mezzanotte in punto lo troviamo a dormire!

Every December 31st my father says he will stay awake until midnight, but at the stroke of midnight we find him sleeping!

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