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Italian language video course - Lesson 2

In this second Italian lesson, Veronica explains the second part of how to present yourself in Italian, specifically how to express your general state of health, say how old you are, describe your physical appearance and how to use the verb avere (to have).

In Italian, to ask a person how he or she is, we use the following questions:

  • Come stai? How are you? (When we talk to a friend, relative, etc.)
  • Come state? How are you? (When we talk to more than one person)

Depending on your state of health or mood, you can respond in the following ways:

Bene! (Fine)

Non tanto bene/Così così
(Not so good)

Male (Not very well)

Let's see how we talk about age in Italian. When we ask someone how old he or she is, we say:

Quanti anni hai? How old are you? (When we talk to a friend, relative, etc.)
Quanti anni avete? How old are you? (When we talk to more than one person)

To answer this, we use the following formula:

Verb avere (to have) + number + anni (years old)

Examples:

(Io) ho 23 anni I'm 23
Roberto ha 60 anni Roberto is 60 years old
Monica ha 48 anni Monica is 48 years old

N.B: In Italian the subject pronoun is not obligatory, as shown in the first example. We can say “Io ho 23 anni” or simply “Ho 23 anni.”

Let's see how we describe some parts of our body, such as hair and eyes.

The hair can be distinguished according to color:

Chiari (castano chiaro, biondi) Light (light brown, blonde)
Scuri (castano scuro, neri) Dark (dark brown, black)
Bianchi White

According to length:

Corti short
Medi medium-length
Lunghi long

According to the style:

Lisci straight
Mossi wavy
Ricci curly

According to the amount:

Folti thick
Radi shaven

If a man has no hair he is CALVO and if a woman has no hair she is CALVA.

When you want to ask about a person's hair we can say:

Come hai/avete i capelli? What is your hair like?

Answer:

Io ho/Io e Monica abbiamo i capelli lunghi e scuri I have/Monica and I have long, dark hair

Eyes can be scuri (castani o neri) dark (brown or black) or chiari (azzurri o verdi) light (blue or green)

Eg.

Monica e Veronica hanno gli occhi scuri Monica and Veronica have dark eyes
Loro hanno gli occhi chiari They have light-coloured eyes

Finally, let's analyze the second Italian auxiliary verb, the verb avere (to have). We have seen that is used to say how old somebody is, describe the parts of the body and to talk about objects which we own (eg, in the sentence io ho la penna (I have the pen) I am pointing out the fact that the pen is mine, it is my property).

Let's see how the verb is conjugated in the present indicative tense:

Io ho
Tu hai
Lui/Lei ha
Noi abbiamo
Voi avete
Loro hanno
I have
You have
He/she has
We have
You have
They have

In this lesson we also learned some cardinal numbers (from 20 to 70), but we will see them better in the next lessons.

 

See also:

Italian Dictations: "Silenzio è benessere"

Talking About Age in Italian Informal / Formal

Italian Parts of the Body Vocabulary List of parts of the body vocabulary in Italian with translations in English and Spanish.

Parts of the body idioms exercises bocca, braccio, mano, naso, occhio, orecchio, ...

Italian Verb AVERE - to have Below you will find all its indicative forms (present, ...

 

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