il rastrello

Painting by Alexander Küster, Bauernmädchen mit Heurechen und Sichel by Alexander Küster (1857)

Bauernmädchen mit Heurechen und Sichel by Alexander Küster (1857)

Today’s Parola del Giorno is the noun il rastrello, which means rake.

Don’t confuse the word il rastrello with the word il libertino, which means rake or libertine.

Rake is used to describe men, who, according to the dictionary “[behave] without moral principles or a sense of responsibility, especially in sexual matters.”

See the noun used below in its context:

Da giovani, io e mia sorella dovevamo aiutare nostro padre a raccogliere le foglie, io con il rastrello e mia sorella con la busta.

When we were kids, my sister and I used to have to help our dad collect the leaves, me with the rake and my sister with the bag.

lo scontrino

Today’s Parola del Giorno is the noun lo scontrino, which means receipt

See the noun used below:

Il commesso mi ha detto di conservare lo scontrino del mio tablet. Se dovesse rompersi, ho due anni di garanzia. Basta che io torni in negozio presentando lo scontrino dell’acquisto e il tablet rotto e loro me lo aggiustano gratis.

The salesman told me to save the receipt for my tablet. If it should break, I have a two year warranty. All I have to do is go back to the store showing my receipt of the purchase and broken table, and they will repair it for me for free.

in un baleno

Today’s Parola del Giorno is the prepositional phrase in un baleno, which means in a flash or in the blink of an eyeIl baleno refers to a flash of lightning.

See the the expression used below:

Tiziano era davvero affamato, tantoché ha mangiato il piatto di pasta in un baleno. “Da quanti giorni non mangi?,” gli ho chiesto stupito.

Tiziano was really hungry, so much so that he ate his dish of pasta in a flash. “For how many days have you note eaten,” I astonishingly asked him.


Today’s Parola del Giorno is the noun l’amaca, which means hammock (watch the accent – it is on the second “a” not the first).

See the noun used below in its context:

Ieri abbiamo montato un’amaca in giardino: che bello rilassarsi e dondolarsi d’estate quando il sole tramonta e non fa troppo caldo!

Yesterday we installed a hammock in the garden: how beautiful is it relaxing and rocking oneself during the summer when the sun sets and it is not too hot!

incrociare il cammino

Today’s Parola del Giorno is the verb expression incrociare il cammino, which means to cross pathsUn cammino is a path.

See the expression used below in its context:

Sono proprio contento di averti conosciuto, anche se per pochi mesi. Spero di incrociare di nuovo il tuo cammino in futuro, rimaniamo in contatto!

I am really happy to have met you, even if for a few months. I hope our paths cross in the future, let’s stay in touch!

tenere a mente

Today’s Parola del Giorno is the verb expression tenere in mente, which means to keep in mind.

Note that tenere is irregular in the present tense in Italian: tengo, tieni, tienetengono. The past participle is tenuto. See the expression used below:

Quando farai l’esame di scuola guida, tieni a mente che non puoi fare molti errori o non passerai il test. Meglio che ti prepari come si deve!

When you take your driving school test, keep in mind that you can’t make a lot of errors or you won’t pass the test. It is best you prepare yourself properly!

Grammar Note!
Remember that some –ere verbs have their stress in the stem of the infinitive while others have it in the root of the infinitive.

Leggerecredere, and chiudere have their stress in the stem. Others, like tenerecadere, and vedere, have it in the infinitive’s ending

fare uno starnuto

Today’s Parola del Giorno is the verb expression fare uno starnuto, which means to sneeze. The expression literally means to make a sneeze. 

See the expression used below:

Quando Martina fa uno starnuto, sembra che suoni un’orchestra di trombe! Il rumore dello starnuto è così forte che mi spaventa sempre e mi infastidisce.

When Martina sneezes, it seems like trumpets in an orchestra are playing! The sound of the sneeze is so strong that it always scares me and annoys me.


Hi everyone, apologies for the lag this summer. It appears a message I sent to the email list did not go out. I received a scholarship to study at the University of Michigan this summer, and it has been extremely time consuming. Because I was not using my home internet, the security features of the blog kept me “locked out,” but I finally figured out how to by-pass it today and reset the security features to allow me to access the blog from Michigan. Updates will be spotty while I finish my work here.

Volume 3 of our Piccole Guide is done; I am having it read over and examined as we speak. Once it is ready, I will alert everyone and release it to subscribers and for sale for those who wish to purchase a copy.

LASTLY, my web host provider indicated that some of the back-end functionality of the web site needed to be updated. Doing so made the old audio plug-in I was using incompatible. I have found a replacement, but it means going into the posts and re-coding them. I’m working on it now, and I’ll do a few each day. If you have an issue playing audio, please let me know. The good thing is that you should now be able to play audio straight from your mobile devices!

Thanks for your patience!

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