Basic Italian A Grammar and Workbook

205 Pages · 2005 · 609 KB · English

  • Basic Italian A Grammar and Workbook



    Basic Italian: A Grammar and Workbook comprises an accessible

    reference grammar and related exercises in a single volume.

    This workbook presents 23 individual grammar points in lively and

    realistic contexts. Each unit consists of jargon-free explanations and

    comparisons with English, targeting the more common difficulties experi-

    enced by learners of Italian. Grammar points are followed by examples

    and exercises selected to make use of contemporary Italian.

    Basic Italian introduces Italian culture and people through the medium of

    the language used today, providing readers with the basic tools to

    express themselves in a wide variety of situations.

    Features include:

    • examples in both Italian and English

    • grammar tables for easy reference

    • full exercise answer key

    • glossary of grammatical terms

    Basic Italian is the ideal reference and practice book for beginners and

    also for students with some knowledge of the language.

    Stella Peyronel is a lecturer at the University of Turin, Italy. She has

    taught Italian to foreigners for over 20 years and is the author of

    several Italian grammars. Ian Higgins is Honorary Senior Lecturer at the

    University of St Andrews and is co-author of Thinking Italian Translation. Other titles available in the Grammar Workbooks series are:

    Basic Cantonese

    Intermediate Cantonese

    Basic Chinese

    Intermediate Chinese

    Basic German

    Intermediate German

    Basic Polish

    Intermediate Polish

    Basic Russian

    Intermediate Russian

    Basic Welsh

    Intermediate Welsh

    Titles of related interest published by Routledge:

    Colloquial Italian, Second Edition

    by Sylvia Lymbery

    Modern Italian Grammar: A Practical Guide, Second Edition

    by Anna Proudfoot and Francesco Cardo

    Modern Italian Grammar Workbook, Second Edition

    by Anna Proudfoot BASIC ITALIAN:



    Stella Peyronel and Ian Higgins First published 2006

    by Routledge

    2 Park Square, Milton Park, Abingdon OX14 4RN, UK

    Simultaneously published in the USA and Canada

    by Routledge

    270 Madison Ave, New York, NY 10016

    Routledge is an imprint of the Taylor & Francis Group

    This edition published in the Taylor & Francis e-Library, 2005.

    “To purchase your own copy of this or any of Taylor & Francis or Routledge’s

    collection of thousands of eBooks please go to www.eBookstore.tandf.co.uk.”

    © 2006 Stella Peyronel and Ian Higgins

    All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reprinted

    or reproduced or utilized in any form or by any electronic, mechanical,

    or other means, now known or hereafter invented, including

    photocopying and recording, or in any information storage or

    retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publishers.

    British Library Cataloguing in Publication Data

    A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library

    Library of Congress Cataloging in Publication Data

    A catalog record for this book has been requested

    ISBN 0-203-64007-1 Master e-book ISBN

    ISBN 0–415–34717–3 (Print Edition) CONTENTS

    Introduction vii

    List of signs and abbreviations viii

    1 Nouns: gender and number 1

    2 Definite and indefinite articles 9

    3 Adjectives; possessive and demonstrative pronouns 17

    4 The present tense of essere and avere 28

    5 The present tense of regular (and some irregular) verbs 36

    6 Adverbs 46

    7 Direct object pronouns (1) 52

    8 Prepositions 57

    9 Questions 68

    10 Indirect object pronouns (1) 74

    11 Piacere and similar verbs 79

    12 The present perfect tense 84

    13 Direct and indirect object pronouns (2) 94

    14 Direct and indirect object pronouns (3: stressed forms) 99

    15 Relative pronouns 104

    16 The imperfect tense 111

    17 The pronouns ne and ci 120

    18 The future tense 129

    19 The past perfect tense 137 vi Contents

    20 Reflexive pronouns 143

    21 The imperative 149

    22 The pronoun si 157

    23 The present conditional 162

    Key to exercises 168

    Glossary of technical terms 187

    Index 191 INTRODUCTION

    If you are an English-speaking learner preparing GCSE, Scottish Standard

    Grade (credit level) or similar examination, or simply learning the language

    for everyday use, this grammar and workbook is for you. You will typically be

    either following a course at school, college or evening class, or teaching your-

    self from a published course. This book is not itself a course, but a self-help

    reference/revision grammar, with exercises designed to reinforce your grasp

    of the points dealt with, unit by unit. You will find it a help to have access to a

    good Italian–English dictionary when working through the book.

    Since this is not a self-contained course, the grammar points are usually

    given on their own, out of context. Of course, this is artificial, because, in

    everyday life, when we say or write something it is always in a situation or

    context. To compensate for this artificiality, the grammar points are illus-

    trated with abundant examples, which are often reused, with variations,

    under different headings. This is partly to strengthen your grasp of grammar

    and vocabulary, but mostly to help you learn how to manipulate the Italian

    language in a wide range of situations. Giving plenty of examples is a more

    effective way of helping you develop the ability to communicate in Italian

    than giving you lists of rules with just one or two examples.

    At the end of each unit, there are several sets of exercises. If you work

    through these, you will find that they consolidate your understanding of the

    various points introduced in the unit, and also that they give you the con-

    fidence to have a go at expressing yourself in a range of situations and


    The aim of the examples and exercises is to strengthen awareness of the

    specific points dealt with in the unit; they are not intended to cover all the

    possible uses of a given word or grammatical structure.

    At the end of the book, there is a key to all the exercises, and a glossary of

    grammatical terms, with examples. SIGNS AND ABBREVIATIONS

    f feminine

    fp feminine plural

    fs feminine singular

    lit. literally

    m masculine

    mp masculine plural

    ms masculine singular

    pl. plural

    sing. singular

    Square brackets indicate an explanatory comment attached to an example,


    C’èLuisaaltelefono. That’s Luisa on the phone.


    Quanto zucchero [ms] vuoi? How much sugar do you want?

    ‘Dov’èAnna?’‘Noloso.’ ‘Where’s Anna?’ ‘I don’t know.’

    [lit. I don’t know it]

    Round brackets in an example show that the material in brackets is optional,


    ‘Haiilibri?’‘Sì,(ce)liho.’ ‘Have you got the books?’

    ‘Yes, I’ve got them.’

    Ne ho mangiati due. I ate two (of them).

    A chi scrivete? Who(m) are you writing to?

    Round brackets round an entire sentence show that, while possible, this is a

    formal form that is not often used, e.g.

    ((Loro)Partono,SignoriBianco?) Are you leaving(, Mr and Mrs

    Bianco)? Signs and abbreviations ix

    A slash shows alternative ways of saying something, e.g.

    Gli dico/Dico loro la verità. I tell them the truth. (Here, gli dico and dico

    loro are alternative ways of saying ‘I tell them’.)

    Non mi sembra giusto. It doesn’t seem fair to me/I don’t think it’s fair.

    (Here, the English sentences are alternatives to one another.)

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