FSI Language Course: Italian FAST Lesson 02

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Lesson 2: At the Airport II

Dialog for Listening: At the airport, you are met by an Embassy employee who offers to help you with your luggage. Finally you go through customs.

Borghi: Scusi, Lei è la signorina Woodrow?
Lei: Sì, sono io.
Borghi: Buongiorno, sono Luigi Borghi dell'Ambasciata. Ben arrivata. Se mi dà gli scontrini Le ritiro i bagagli.
Lei: Gli scontrini? ... Ah sì, eccoli qui, grazie, molto gentile!
Borghi: Ecco le valigie, signora. Venga da questa parte, andiamo alla dogana.

(at customs)
Guardia: Quali sono le Sue valigie?
Lei: Sono queste tre.
Guardia: Ha qualcosa da dichiarare?
Lei: No, non ho niente da dichiarare.
Guardia: Allora, passi pure!


allora in that case, then
ambasciata embassy
dell'Ambasciata from the Embassy
andare to go
Andiamo. Let's go.
Ben arrivato/a. Welcome.
da (connector between qualcosa and infinitive)
dare to give
s/he, it gives, you give
se mi dà ... if you give me ...
dichiarare to declare
qualcosa da dichiarare something to declare
dogana customs
alla dogana at the customs office/area
è (from essere) s/he it is, you are
ecco here is, here are
Eccoli qui. Here they are, right here. (referring to tickets)
gentile kind
ho (from avere) I have
la the
Le to you (sg., used with a verb)
Lei è ... ? (from essere) Are you ... ?
mi to me (used with a verb)
molto very, a lot
niente nothing
no no
No, non ho ... No, I don't have ...
qualcosa something
quale which, what
Quali sono le Sue valigie? Which are your suitcases?
questo this
queste these (referring to suitcases)
qui here
ritirare to pick up
Le ritiro ... I will pick up ... for you.
scontrino ticket (claim ticket)
gli scontrini the tickets
se if
Sì, sono io. (from essere) Yes, I am.
sono (from essere) they are
valigia suitcase
valigie suitcases
le Sue valigie your suitcases
venire to come
Venga da questa parte ... Come this way . .. (request form)

Language - Usage Notes [Not Recorded]

1. Verb families are usually referred to by their infinitive, or dictionary, form. One infinitive, dichiarare, appears in the dialog. Most infinitives end in -are, -ere, or -ire, this giving three verb classes or conjugations.

Here are the infinitives of the verbs that have appeared so far, together with some of their present indicative forms.

infinitive I form s/he, it, you (sg.) form they form
dichiarare dichiaro dichiara dichiarano
passare passo passa passano
ritirare ritiro ritira ritirano
scusare scuso scusa scusano
trovare trovo trova trovano
credere credo crede credono

irregular verbs

infinitive I form s/he, it, you (sg.) form they form
andare vado va vanno
avere ho ha hanno
dare do danno
essere sono è sono
potere posso può possono
rimanere rimango rimane rimangono
stare sto sta stanno
venire vengo viene vengono


3. Passi, scusi, and venga are request forms. They are used to request that someone do something. Andiamo is a request form that includes the person speaking; hence, the translation "let's go."

4. The dialog in this lesson gives you one construction in which an infinitive can occur. qualcosa da + infinitive, e.g., qualcosa da dichiarare

5. Nouns (words used to name things) are classified as masculine or feminine according to certain articles that precede them. So far you have had the indefinite articles un and una. Un words are called masculine and una words are called feminine. Note that una appears as un' before a vowel. Here are the nouns you have had so far, with their gender classifications.















Note that the masculine list primarily contains nouns in -o and the feminine list contains nouns in -a. However, there are feminine nouns that end in -o and masculine nouns that end in -a. These must be learned through observation.
N. B.: Beginning with the next lesson, nouns will be listed under their singular form and marked for gender.

6. The word ecco is a pointing word, used either in pointing something out or in handing over something. It may be written with pronominal elements attached to it, as in lessons 1 and 2: Eccolo, eccoli.


Additional Vocabulary

guardia di finanza
stecche di sigarette
customs official
customs official
cartons of cigarettes

Getting the Feel of it: Pronunciation Practice

Lei: Sì, sono io.
Lei: Gli scontrini? ... Ah sì, eccoli qui, grazie, molto gentile!
Lei: Sono queste tre.
Lei: No, non ho niente da dichiarare.

Working with the Language

Model 1

Q: Scusi, Lei è americano/a?
(affirmative) A: Sì, sono americano/a.
(negative) A: No, non sono americano/a.

Scusi, lei è americano/a? Sì, sono americano/a.
No, non sono americano/a.
Scusi, lei è dell'Ambasciata? Sì, sono dell'Ambasciata.
No, non sono dell'Ambasciata.
Scusi, lei è italiano/a? Sì, sono italiano/a.
No, non sono italiano/a.
Scusi, Lei è la signor(in)a (last name)? Sì, sono io.
No, non sono la signor(in)a (last name).
Scusi, lei è il signor (last name)? Sì, sono io.
No, non sono il signor (last name).


Model 2

Q: lo posso venire, e loro?
A: Anche loro possono venire.

lo vengo alla dogana, e loro?
lo rimango qui a Roma, e loro?
lo vengo qui domani, e loro?
lo posso venire, e loro?
lo posso passare la dogana, e loro?
lo posso dichiarare qualcosa, e loro?
lo rimango a Firenze due giorni, e loro?
Anche loro vengono alla dogana.
Anche loro rimangono qui a Roma.
Anche loro vengono qui domani.
Anche loro possono venire.
Anche loro possono passare la dogana.
Anche loro possono dichiarare qualcosa.
Anche loro rimangono a Firenze due giorni.

Model 3

Q: Ha qualcosa da dichiarare?
A: No, non ho niente da dichiarare.

Ha qualcosa da imparare (learn)?
Ha qualcosa da ritirare?
Ha qualcosa da dare?
Ha qualcosa da fare (do)?
Ha qualcosa da studiare (study)?
Ha qualcosa da dire (say)?
Ha qualcosa da leggere (read)?
Ha qualcosa da mangiare (eat)?
Ha qualcosa da dichiarare?
Ha qualcosa da bere (drink)?
No, non ho niente da imparare.
No, non ho niente da ritirare.
No, non ho niente da dare.
No, non ho niente da fare.
No, non ho niente da studiare.
No, non ho niente da dire.
No, non ho niente da leggere.
No, non ho niente da mangiare.
No, non ho niente da dichiarare.
No, non ho niente da bere.

Reading for Pronunciation

Il signor Franchi è arrivato all'aeroporto Leonardo da Vinci, a Roma. C'è molta confusione oggi. Ad aspettare lui, c'è un impiegato dell'Ambasciata. L'impiegato trova un carrello e aiuta il signor Franchi a ritirare i bagagli. Il signor Franchi passa subito la dogana, perché non ha niente da dichiarare.

Mr. Franchi has arrived at Leonardo da Vinci airport, in Rome. There is a lot of confusion today. Waiting for him is the Embassy employee. The employee finds a cart and helps Mr. Franchi collects his luggage. Mr. Franchi passes through customs immediately, because he has nothing to declare.


Italians belong to a "touching culture." It is not unusual in Italy to see people hugging, kissing, shaking hands, or walking arm in arm. This is true with people of the same sex as well as with two people of the opposite sex.

Greetings and Leave-takings
Verbal greetings that may be given with or without touching are buongiorno (said during the daytime) and buonasera (generally said during the evening, although it may also be heard anytime after midday). Verbal leave-taking expressions that may be given with or without touching are: buongiorno ("good day"), buona giornata ("have a nice day"), buon pomeriggio ("have a good afternoon"), buonasera ("good night"--said during the evening), buona serata ("have a good evening"), buonanotte ("good night"--used to wish someone a good night's sleep).

Ciao may be used as a greeting or leave-taking expression, but only to someone with whom one uses the tu form (see lesson 20) on a daily basis.

For people who see each other on a daily basis--at the office, for example-usually no touching takes pIace. If people see each other more than once during the same part of the day, a smile or a nod is the usual greeting. Ciao may also be used in this case, but only to someone with whom one uses the tu form.

less frequently
When greeting someone or taking leave of someone whom you do not normally meet on a daily basis, it is important to distinguish between the following situations:

formal or introductory
Two people shake hands. In an introduction, if two adults are of the opposite sex, it is the man who is normally introduced to the woman. The woman offers her hand to the man. If the two are wearing gloves, the man usually removes his right glove, but the woman may keep hers on. Standard forms of introduction are piacere, molto piacere, or molto lieto/a. Any one of these is said after repeating one's name and while the two people shake hands.

* An adult meeting a child for the first time will usually shake his or her hand.

* Indoors, instead of shaking the hand of a married woman, a man might make a gesture as if kissing it. In this "kiss" the lips do not actually touch the hand.

A friendly greeting is: Come va?
Two people shake hands with perhaps a little more warmth than in a formal meeting. Two men might, while shaking hands, exchange a pat on the upper arm.

very friendly
In this situation, the very friendly expression: Ciao, come va? or Ciao, come stai? is heard.

two men: A vigorous handshake is accompanied by a pat on the upper arm. Sometimes, especially with relatives, or after a trip, two men might hug each other and make a kissing gesture on both cheeks.

man and woman: A warm handshake is combined with a kissing gesture on both cheeks.

two women: Same as between a man and a woman.

adult and child: The adult will shake the child's hand and kiss the child on one cheek.

Congratulations or Condolences
The kinds of interpersonal touching appropriate to greetings and leave-takings are also used when congratulating someone for a birthday, graduation, etc., or when expressing condolences.

It is not unusual to see two male or female friends or relatives walking arm in arm.

← Back to Lesson 01 or Go on to Lesson 03 →

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