Today’s Parola del Giorno is the verb saltare, which means to skip or to miss something, such as an event or meal.

When used transitively, saltare requires avere in compound tenses. The past participle is saltato.

See the verb used below in its context:

Peccato che Roger Federer salti il Roland Garros! È uno dei miei tennisti preferiti.

It’s a pity Roger Federer is skipping Roland Garros! He is one of my favorite tennis players.

NB: Note the use of the subjunctive (il congiuntivo) with Peccato che.


lo sgabello

Today’s Parola del Giorno is the noun, lo sgabello, which means (barstool. See the noun used below in its context:

Quando vado a mangiare al ristorante, preferisco sedermi sugli sgabelli perché li trovo più comodi delle sedie. Mi piace sedermi su una posizione più alta, così posso vedere meglio il locale!

When I go eat at the restaurant, I prefer to sit on the stools, because I find them more comfortable than the chairs. I like to sit up high so I can see the place better.

[audio:|titles=lo sgabello]

Privacy Policy Update

Hi there,

We’ve added a privacy policy to our web site:

I just want to let everyone know that Parola del Giorno is largely managed by me (Keith). I get help from native speakers in recordings and language assistance, but they do not have any access to personal information (what little there is) or emails.

Comments have been disabled. It is just too confusing to keep up with all the privacy regulations so I leave it to sites like Facebook and Twitter to host any kind of communities of users. I’ll try to purge any remaining comments left on the site in the coming weeks.

I have disabled all analytics as well as temporarily removed the share buttons until I am sure that there are no privacy issues. Keep in mind that if you use PdG through Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, that these sites have their own data collection policies that are largely out of my control.

When you make a purchase of a book, ebook, language guide or make a donation, data is collected by the payment processor. This data is stored on their servers and not on the server that hosts For example, if you purchase a language guide from Selz, you typically need to provide your address, email, and payment information. This information is typically checked against your bank’s information for purposes of fraud. If you make a purchase at Amazon or Lulu or other site, they may collect your data, and most users typically accept the terms and conditions of using a particular site.

Be aware that if you send an email, we keep your email for 90 days or until the situation has been resolved. This situation rarely occurs since we are mainly an informational site. I do my best to respond to emails about orders and payments quickly, and other emails not as quickly.

Also, if you receive email updates through Feedburner (a Google service), your email address is retained in that database (when you subscribe, you have to give your consent to be placed in the database, which you did if you are receiving the emails). I have little access to it and can only remove users; only users can add themselves to the database. If you wish to unsubscribe, please follow the prompts at the end of the email or email, and I will unsubscribe you in 72 hours (it’s fast if you do it yourself).

Lastly, we do not sell, harbor, collect, or harvest user data. I neither have the time nor inclination to engage in such activities. is a hobby and a way to share my love for Italian language and culture. If you have questions about our privacy policy, you email us!

Surprising Words: fans?

With the summer approaching, we are going to be searching for ways to cool off! An Amerian student I tutor confuses the different words for fan, so I thought that this would make an excellent post! 🙂

While the English word fan has a variety of meanings, Italian has three different words that should not be confused!

Il/la fan: this is someone who admires something, such as a book or who follows something, like a TV show. Note that this noun is not invariabile but takes the English plural i/le fans, depending on the gender!

Il ventilatore: this is the fan that you plug in that blows air around to keep you cool. It should not be confused with…

Il ventaglio: this is a fan that you hold in your hand and wave at yourself (or have someone wave at you); they are often made of silk or paper.







*Image has been released to the public domain: 

dare la zampa

Today’s Parola del Giorno is the expression dare la zampa, which means to shake or to give one’s paw. I am sure that one of us at one time has tried to teach our dog to shake our “hands”!

See the expression used below:

Ci ho messo un po’ di tempo e ci è voluta un po’ di pazienza ma finalmente ho insegnato al mio cane a darmi la zampa! Che cane intelligente che ho!

It took me a bit of time and required a bit of patience, but I finally taught my dog to shake my hand! What an intelligent dog I have!

[audio:|titles=dare la zampa]

lo spaventapasseri

Today’s Parola del Giorno is the noun lo spaventapasseri, which means scarecrow.

Note that the noun lo spaventapasseri is invariable — it has the same form in both the singular and plural:

lo spaventapasser-> gli spaventapasseri

See the noun used below:

In quel campo di grano ormai abbandonato era rimasta la sagoma di un vecchio spaventapasseri, su cui erano appoggiati alcuni corvi.

In that now abandoned wheat field, there was the shape of an old scarecrow that some crows were resting on.

[audio:|titles=lo spaventapasseri]


il fuoco di paglia

Today’s Parola del Giorno is the expression il fuoco di paglia, which can mean a flash in the pan. It is usually used to describe something that doesn’t last long and has little chance of being repeated, such as straw on fire (which is what the expression literally means).

See the expression used below in its context:

L’amore tra Carolina e Umberto è stato un fuoco di paglia, dopo due mesi che si frequentavano, si sono lasciati.

The love between Carolina and Umberto has been a flash in the pan that after two months of seeing each other, they broke up.

[audio:|titles=il fuoco di paglia]
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