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.

fare uno starnuto

Today’s Parola del Giorno is the verb expression fare uno starnuto, which means to 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.

andare a quel paese

Today’s Parola del Giorno is the expression andare a quel paese, which means to get lost, to drop dead or to go to hell.

Quel paese refers to what Italians call l’inferno or hell.

You will hear this expression a lot with irate drivers, and it is quite common to hear around Italy! I’d be surprised if you haven’t heard it! Having said all of that, please be cautious in using this expression. It is not an expression to use in every day conversation.

See the expression used below:

Al compleanno di Gianni, c’è stata una lite fra Marianna e Tommaso che è velocemente diventata molto tesa. Tommaso è scappato quando Marianna ha gridato “Vai a quel paese! Mi fai schifo!” Non sappiamo il motivo della lite ma forse è perché giorni fa lui ha cacciato di casa la sorella di Marianna.

At Gianni’s birthday, there was an argument between Marianna and Tommaso that quickly became very tense. Tommaso took off when Marianna shouted “Go to hell! You make me sick!” We don’t know the reason for the argument, but it is perhaps because some days ago he dumped Marianna’s sister.

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.

la civetta

Today’s Parola del Giorno is the noun la civetta, which means owl.

Of course, Italian wouldn’t be Italian if it did not have several words for the same “meaning” in English — check out our post on the word il gufo.

See the noun used below:

Nella serie TV Twin Peaks, la civetta è un simbolo del male ma nella cultura greca la civetta era simbolo di intelligenza e della dea Atena.

In the series Twin Peaks, the owl is a symbol of evil, but in Greek culture the owl was a symbol of intelligence and the Goddess Athena.

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!

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).

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