There are two conditional tenses in Italian – Conditional Present and Past Conditional. Both of these tenses are verbal modes that can be used to describe situations or actions that are conditioned by other actions or situations. The conditional present tense is used to express wishes either in the present or future tense, as well as to give advice or express opinions in a less direct way. It can also be used to ask for something politely. In English this would be created by using would + verb. I would go to the party but I have to go to work – (Io) andrei alla festa ma devo lavorare.
To conjugate a verb such as scrivere – to write, you would remove the -ere ending and replacing with the conjugation from the column -ERE-. For example, for I (IO) this would be scriverei. For parlare – to speak it would be parlerei.
Irregular verbs – without an E:
Other verbs that follow this same pattern are: potere, dovere, sapere, vedere and cadere.
Irregular verbs – with a double R:
Irregular verbs that do not fall into the above categories:
I haven’t been posting for a while because there hasn’t been much to write about. This week I have mostly been just reviewing all of my old notes on grammar and vocabulary. I have also sat a 3 day boot camp on how to move to Italy, which was great, I found out a lot about some stuff that I probably don’t have need for – visa’s, buying property etc. But the majority of the information was pretty helpful.
I have been using my iPad recently for my note taking process. And so this week i’ve been transferring all of my notes from my notebook to my iPad. For this I have been using the goodnotes 5 app. I love this app for many reasons. I can hand write all of my notes on it. Writing things by hand rather than by typing helps me remember them more. When I type, I usually tend to not pay attention to what I am writing, and it quickly leaves my memory. This is why I have always preferred to hand write my notes in a notebook.
However, after studying an MSc in Conservation, I have been becoming increasingly aware of the footprint we are having on the planet, and have been trying to shift towards a more ‘zero waste’ lifestyle. Using the iPad helps me with this step. All my notes are stored digitally, on the cloud. I no longer need to use a load of paper. And as I am planning on using this iPad for a very long time, I feel a bit more comfortable with the unfortunate plastic waste I do create with this. A small amount of plastic waste over years compared to a huge amount of daily paper waste is.. well.. a bit better I guess.
I have been using my iPad which is a standard iPad (2019 model) 10.2 inch screen as pictured and linked to the left. Mine is only a 32gb, and is in rose gold.
I also have the 1st generation apple pencil which is absolutely essential for me to hand write my notes on the iPad. The 1st generation pencil can be used on the majority of iPads, however, the 2nd generation can only be used on two of the iPad pro’s so if you want to purchase one yourself, make sure you are buying the compatible pencil.
I also bought a case similar to this, just so that I can use my iPad like an actual laptop, and I can type up my notes with a full keyboard. I find this more comfortable than using the touch screen keyboard that is on the iPad.
As well as these on my iPad, I still use my desktop for the majority of my studying. I have managed to utilise several different programs and apps to help me with this process of learning a language by myself and from home.
The software I use?
First of all, as I have said previously, I have been a frequent user of AnkiApp. I have been using this for a bit of time now, and am very fond of it. I use this as a flashcard deck to study vocabulary mostly. You can add text, images and even audio files to it, which is great if you want to record yourself saying a word or phrase, and practise with your pronunciation. I also utilise the tags in AnkiApp, and tag different categories. Verbs, Nouns, Adjectives etc. But also can tag groups as a seperate tag such as ‘animals, family, in the city’. This way I can study cards with a certain tag, like if one day I wanted to study verbs only, then I would select the verb tag.
I also have been using the Online Italian Club extensively, and really taking advantage of their fantastic free resources. You can search for resources for your specific level and you can even download a free study planner for that level. Recently I have been going back over the A2 study materials and the planner gives you the link to the material. Below is a screenshot from one of the pages from my own A2 study planner. I managed to do quite a few lessons in a day because I am already studying at a B1 level, and was just going over these again to refresh my memory.
I have also recently started using duolingo again. This is again to refresh my memory, and my father has recently taken up learning Italian and is using duolingo himself to do this, and helping him with this has renewed my interest in duolingo.
I am still using babbel and am quite fond of this app. I have been mostly doing the reviews every day and then doing a lesson now and again. However, babbel and duolingo I use only to supplement my learning.
On my iPad, for note taking I am using goodnotes 5 as I have already stated. As well as this I am using some other apps to help schedule my time. I am using the app Timepage which is created by moleskin. This is a calendar app, and I schedule all of my learning in this app, with time slots. When I schedule in learning like this, it helps me stay committed to actually doing it. I usually schedule in general blocks like ‘Review Vocabulary’ between 9:00 and 12:00 as an example.
I also create a to-do list, which I am currently using MinimalList for. This app has a really simple and sleek design. I use it in monochrome however, you can adjust the colour. It is simple to use, you drag down to add an item, drag to the right to check it off, drag to the left to delete it. I have started writing my to-do list in Italian, just because
Another app I am currently using is Focus Keeper. This app uses the pomodoro method to keep focus. It sets timed blocks of study and rest time. I have it set for 25 mins study, 5 mins short break and 30 mins long break. Every 25 mins you get a short break, but after 4 rounds of 25 mins you get one long break. You can fully customize this to suit your own schedule, and you can change the focus time, break times and the total amount of time you want to study for.
Other apps I have are of course Books on the iPad. I only have one book on here at the moment which is a grammar book. I can highlight sections and add notes on this app. I do not really use this so much at the moment. Sometimes I will read over it and highlight important sections.
An app recommended to me by my partner is PDF Expert. He uses this a lot more than me. He has a lot of medical textbooks as PDF’s and with this app he can make notes, highlight etc. I haven’t had a chance to really use this app yet, purely because I do not have any PDF’s at the moment that I am studying from but check it out if you do study from PDF’s a lot.
Books – paperback and hard back.
I have several physical books that I use to study from. The one that I use the most frequently is probably the ASSIMIL with ease (Italian). I also refer to grammar books on occasion, and I have several workbook style books to work through for a variety of different levels.
The four modal verbs or verbi servili – Potere, volere, dovere and sapere (when it expresses an ability), are some of the most commonly used verbs in Italian, and are also all irregular verbs so it is important to learn them. Modal verbs are used to indicate an ability, obligation, a desire or a permission to do something and are usually followed by a verb in the infinitive tense.
Non posso andare al cinema – I can not go to the cinema.
Oggi devo studiare l’italiano – I have to study Italian today.
Voglio leggere questo libro – I want to read this book.
So nuotare ma non posso nuotare oggi – I can swim (I know how to swim) but I can’t swim today.
Conjugating modal verbs (Present tense)
Modal verbs and compound tenses
Compound tenses are tenses such as passato prossimoand trapassato prossimo. When using modal verbs with these tenses you need to understand what auxiliary to use with them. Usually this would follow the same rule as you would follow if using the verb in the infinitive form (avere or essere).
Example using passato prossimo:
Hopotuto parlare francese con lui – I was able to speak French with him.
Sonopotuto andare al cinema – I was able to go to the cinema.
Ho voluto prendere il treno per Milano – I had to take the train to Milan.
Non ha saputo nuotare – I didn’t know how to swim.
Sono dovuta andare al supermercato – I had to go to the supermarket.
Ha dovuto salvare il gatto – He had to save the cat.
I have decided to try something new. I figured every new concept I learn in Italian I will post it here. This will help to both renew my learning, and hopefully it may help you a bit too. I am only learning Italian, so please do your own reading around the subject as well. And if I have made some mistakes please feel free to correct me.
Reflexive verbs? Easy, peasy… Or not?
I struggled with reflexive verbs a little bit, until I actually actively went and learned the rules about them. Then I realised, ‘Oh this is actually really simple’. I was sat there with my grammar book, my ipad, my notebook and was expecting to be studying i verbi riflessivi all the day. I opened up google, typed in reflexive verbs in Italian, read a couple of web pages. Opened my grammar book and headed to the reflexive verb section. And within 10 – 15 minutes I was texting my partner, explaining it to him and he said ‘Yes, that is correct’.
What is a reflexive verb?
Reflexive verbs in Italian are verbs that are followed by si in their infinitive forms. The meaning of the word si is basically ‘oneself’. The subject and the direct object are the same, so, the action carried out is something that is being done to ‘oneself’.
Examples of reflexive verbs:
Svegliarsi – to wake up
Lavarsi – to wash
Addormentarsi – to fall asleep
Farsi il bagno – to take a bath
Divertirsi – to enjoy (oneself)
Chiamarsi – to call (oneself)
Pettinarsi – to comb (oneself)
Sedersi – to sit down
Sentirsi – to feel
Alzarsi – to get up
Spogliarsi – to undress
Innamorarsi – to fall in love
Reflexive verbs are often proceeded by a reflexive noun when conjugated.
This is an example with the reflexive Lavarsi in the present tense.
So how do we use these in sentences?
In the present tense, most reflexive verbs follow the exact same conjugation patterns as their -are, -ire, and -ere forms do. The only difference is the addition of the reflexive pronoun.
I cani si divertono.
The placement of the reflexive pronoun is dependent on a couple of different things. Most of the time, as stated, it will go in front of the verb, as in the example above. However, in some cases it can attach to the end of the verb. This is the case with using the infinitive or an imperative. So if your telling someone to wake up you could say svegliati! Or if you are telling someone not to worry you could say non preoccuparti. Another case when you can use the reflexive pronoun after the verb is when the verb follows another verb such as volere, dovere or potere. For example: Devi alzarti (You must get up).
Using reflexive verbs in the past tense is also fairly simple. Reflexive verbs are conjugated with the auxiliary essere and this auxiliary goes after the reflexive pronoun. As well as this, these past participles have to agree with both the gender and number of the subject.
We will use some examples in the passato prossimo:
Mi sono alzato/a
Ti sei messo/a
Si è fermato/a
Ci siamo incontrati/e
Vi siete divertiti/e
Si sono sentiti/e
These conjugation rules work with all compound tenses, this means that they will work with trapassato prossimo, futuro anteriore and condizionale passato as well.
For other tenses that are not compound tenses (such as imperfetto, futuro semplice and condizionale presente) you just add the reflexive pronoun before the verb and conjugate as you would do normally.
An example of this in the futuro semplice using the verb vestirsi.
So, I have been reading blogs from polyglots and one post really stood out to me. It was about studying with Netflix.
I have already been using Netflix as a good resource for passive language learning. I changed the language to Italian, and watch all my TV shows in Italian with English subtitles.
However, I discovered through this blog article that you can get a chrome extension called Language Learning with Netflix.
The blog post above explains all so check it out. I don’t want to explain it in details here.
However, it basically works by providing you the option to watch shows in Netflix with subtitles in both your native and target language.
The way that The Malaysian Polyglot used it was by first watching an episode or film etc. with both subtitles. Then she studied the vocabulary she didn’t know before watching it again with just subtitles in her target language. Finally she watches it without any subtitles.
There is also ways to download the transcripts I believe, and then print them off.
This is something that I am going to definitely try so thank you so much for the blog.