8 TOP Common Errors In Italian Usage

You’re upset because you made an Italian mistake! That’s fine.

Everyone experiences disappointment when learning a new language, and everyone makes mistakes. Often, disappointment occurs as a result of a spoken or written error when learning a new language.

Nevertheless, in order to enhance learning, you must make mistakes! Here are 8 TOP Common Errors In Italian Usage.

 TOP Common Errors In Italian Usage

Mistake n. 1

Many non-native Italian speakers struggle with pronouncing double consonants.

Here’s a simple rule: if you see an Italian consonant, say it!

Because Italian, unlike English, is a phonetic language, make sure to pronounce both consonants when they are doubled.

This should help you avoid asking for pain (pena) rather than a pen (penna) at la cartoleria (the stationery store).

Mistake n. 2

For example, Non sono riuscito a superare gli esami (I wasn’t able to pass the exams) is correct, whereas the sentence Non ho potuto superare gli esami proves the point in more ways than one.

The tendency to use the verb potere when the verb riuscire (to succeed, to manage, to be able) is more accurate is a linguistic quirk. That immediately identifies a speaker of Italian for whom English is their madrelingua (native tongue).

Mistake n. 3

For those studying English as a second language, it seems that there is no logic, no reason, no rationale for the use of prepositions.

Those studying Italian usually share the same sentiments. Just compare the difference in these sentences: Vado a casa. Vado in banca. Vado al cinema.

Accept the fact that, just as in English, there are few rules and many exceptions regarding the usage of Italian prepositions.

However, there’s only one guaranteed method to approach them: memorize how to use the preposizioni semplici (simple prepositions) a, con, da, di, in, per, su, and tra/fra.

Mistake n. 4

There are several words and phrases in Italian that have minimal semantic content on their own but serve important linguistic functions.

They are difficult to translate, but it is important to master such terms as cioè, insomma, magari, and mica.

Mistake n.5

Italians use body language and hand gestures to punctuate an expression and give it a shading that the word or phrase itself lacks.

So it might be a good idea to learn a few Italian hand gestures and other nonverbal responses and join in the animated discussion with Italians.

Mistake n.6

When the weather turns warm and families eat outside on terraces, there is sure to be an article about dining “al fresco.” There are even restaurants throughout the United States named Al Fresco (or worse, Alfresco).

In Italy, though, when you arrive at a trattoria for lunch and have to decide between dining indoors or outside on the terrace, the hostess will probably snicker if you ask to dine “al fresco.”

That’s because the term means “in the cool”—similar to the English slang term that means to be in prison.

Instead, use the term “all’aperto” or “all’aria aperta” or “fuori.”

Mistake n.7

The Italian pronoun ne is the most overlooked part of speech, probably because it can be omitted in English (but not in Italian).

Get used to it, and you’ll sound more like a native Italian.

Mistake n.8

Io parlo, tu parli, lei parla...Want to immediately identify yourself as a non-native Italian speaker, even if you can conjugate verbi pronominali (pronominal verbs).

Unlike in English, the use of the subject pronouns (io, tu, lui, noi, voi, loro) with the conjugated verb forms is not necessary (and is considered redundant unless used for emphasis). The verb endings identify the mood, tense, person, number, and, in some cases, gender.

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