la berlina

Today’s Parola del Giorno is the noun, la berlina, which means sedan (or saloon in British English), a type of car usually for four to five people. The number of doors and seat configuration is dependent on the manufacturer although they typically have four doors and/or a hatchback.

See the word used below:

Ragazzi, sapete che Maria ha venduto la station wagon che aveva da quindici anni e si è comprata una nuova berlina? È spaziosa, elegantissima, blu scuro, dentro ci sono tutti i comfort e non consuma nemmeno troppa benzina come la station wagon. Anche io vorrei un’auto così!

Guys, did you know Maria sold the station wagon she had for fifteen years and bought a new sedan? It is spacious, very elegant, dark blue, inside there are all the comforts and it doesn’t use a lot of gas like the station wagon. I would like a car like that, too!


Today’s Parola del Giorno  is the verb abbaiare, which means to bark. See the verb used below in its context:

Il cane dei vicini ha abbaiato tutta la notte, così si sono accorti dei ladri che stavano entrando in casa.

The neighbors’ dog barked all night, so they noticed some thieves were coming in the house.

Hi everyone, I just wanted to give an update. First, I have had to deal with some family issues that have been huge demands on my time, so I have not been able to dedicate myself to the web site the last couple of months. Things appear to be improving on that front so I hope to be able to dedicate more time to Parola del Giorno. Second, I participated in my first academic conference this summer and that also required a considerable amount of time and attention.

Thanks for all your patience as I work through professional and personal demands.

Also, volume 3 of Le piccole guide is ready! I need to do one more small set of corrections and edits, and I will release it shortly. Volume 4 is also in the works and will be a vocabulary builder. One of the criticisms that I often received when learning Italian was that I didn’t know how to describe things beyond interessante or bello so I hope that this little guide will help to improve your arsenal of adjectives and descriptors! 🙂

lo sfollagente

Today’s Parola del Giorno is the noun lo sfollagente, which means baton.

The word literally means “people disperser” (from the verb sfollare, which means to disperse, and the noun la gente, which means people).

It is sometimes used by police to break up riots and fights. In many countries, such as the UK, the police do not carry weapons by batons.

This noun is also invariablelo sfollagente, gli sfollagente.

See the noun used below:

In Inghilterra i poliziotti non portano con sé le pistole ma hanno lo sfollagente che usano per difendersi dai criminali.

In England police officers do not carry weapons on their person but have the baton that they use to defend themselves from criminals.

blaterare (di)

Today’s Parola del Giorno is the verb blaterare (di), which means to blab or to blather (about something). Even though the verb is intransitive, it takes avere in compoud tenses. The past participle is blaterato. Note the placement of the stress in the present tense: blatero, blateri, blatera, etc.

Finiscila di blaterare! Se vuoi dire qualcosa, dilla in modo chiaro, cosicché possiamo capirti.

Stop blabbing! If you want to say something, say it clearly so we can understand you.

andare a genio

Today’s Parola del Giorno is the expression andare a genio, which means to like or to appeal to. It has an indirect construction – meaning, the thing that is being liked is the subject of the sentence while the person/people doing the liking are the indirect object (expressed with a + noun/proper noun or indirect object pronoun).

See the expression used below:

Ieri abbiamo conosciuto il nuovo ragazzo di Paola: a nessuno del gruppo è andato a genio, secondo noi è un ragazzo molto arrogante.

Yesterday, we met Paola’s new boyfriend: no one in the group liked him, we think he is a very arrogant guy.

tutto sommato

Today’s Parola del Giorno is the expression tutto sommato, which means all things considered or all in all.

See the expression used below:

Non dovresti trattare così male Sara; tutto sommato, quando ti è servito il suo aiuto, lei è sempre stata disponibile con te.

You mustn’t treat Sara so badly; all things considered, when you needed her help, she has always been helpful to you.

vedersela brutta

Today’s Parola del Giorno is the pronominal verb vedersela brutta, which means to have a close shave or to escape narrowly.

Note the pronouns tacked on the end of the verb! This is un verbo pronominale, and the pronouns change the nature and meaning of the original verb vedere. Verbs such as andarsene and farcela also fall into this “family” of verbs.

See the verb used below:

Mario e Giacomo ci hanno raccontato dell’incidente di lunedì scorso quando una macchina all’improvviso ha tagliato loro la strada. Entrambi si sono rotti una gamba e se la sono proprio vista brutta: pensa che la macchina è stata completamente distrutta!

Mario and Giacomo told us about the car accident last Monday when a car suddenly cut them off. They both broke their legs, and they just narrowly escaped: imagine that the car was totally wrecked!

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