Chapter 22  --  The Small Words

The Word too
The word too is used in both Italian and English to indicate excess, and both languages have a collection of words and phrases which are used to express this idea.  The most common translation for the word too is troppo.
            in the sense of very                 It is too difficult.                    È molto diffịcile.
                                                            You are very kind.                  Sei molto gentile.        

            in the sense of quantity           There are too many.                Ci sọno troppi.
                                                            It is too hot to play.                Fa troppo caldo giocare.

            in the sense of luck                 Too bad!                                  Che peccato!
                                                            It is too good to be true.         È troppo bello per ęssere vero.

            in the sense of also                  I want to go, too.                    Voglio andare anche.
                                                            Me too!                                   Anch’ìo!

            in the sense of excess              You gave me too much.          Mi dette troppo.
                                                            It is too far to reach.               È troppo lontano allungare.

 

The Word yet
In English, the word yet has a wide range of meanings which are determined by the context.  In Italian, several more specific words are used whose English equivalent is the word yet.  The most common translation for the word yet is the Italian word is ancọra.
            in negative statements             It is not yet time.                     Non è ancọra il momento.
                                                            She has not arrived yet.           Lei non è arrivata ancọra.

            when yet means still                Yet, he persists.                        Tuttavia, lui persiste.

            when yet means nevertheless   Yet, he wanted more.              Nondimeno, lui voleva più.

            when yet means future time    We may yet win.                     Noi potremmo ancọra vịncere.

            when yet means also               This was yet another sign.       Questo era ancọra altro segno.

            when yet means but                 a quick yet necessary decision     una decizione rạpida ma necessaria

 

And - Or?

There are two forms of the word and in Italian, e and ed.  The word e is used most of the time, but before words which begin with the vowel e, it is replaced by ed  .In ordinary speech, and before other vowels, the use of ed is optional but preferred.

examples:        bianco e nero              bella e gentile              But      Amẹrica ed Egitto       causa ed effetto
A similar circumstance occurs with the word or.  The Italian words for or are o and od.  The word o is used most of the time, but before words which begin with the vowel o, itis replaced by od.  In ordinary speech, and before other vowels, the use of od is optional but preferred.

examples:        più o meno                  vero o falso                  vivo o morto

But                  libre od occupato        chiaro od oscuro

 

The Italian word già

Like the English word yet, the Italian word giàhas a range of meanings, which are determined by its use in a sentence.  The primary translation of the word giàis already.
            to mean already           Quando chiamai, era già mangiato.   When I called, he had already eaten.
                                                Di già le sette!                                     It is already seven o’clock!
                                                Già di ritorno?                                    Back already?

            to mean before                        Ho visto già quella stạtua.                   I have seen that statue before.
                                                È già stato in italia?                            Have you been to Italy before?

            to mean formerly         Carter, già presidente degli SU.          Carter, formerly President of the US.
               or once                     Già era un uomo potente.                   Once, he was a powerful man.
           
            to mean of course        Già, hai ragione.                                 Of course, you are right.
                                                Giàsempre aiuta.                                Of course, she always helps.

            to mean since              Giànel anno 1870                              Since the year 1870; Since 1870

 

The Italian word ne

When either some or any are used as pronouns (such as I would like some) the Italian equivalent will be the pronoun ne, which is used in the same way.

Ne always refers to what has already been mentioned, or has already been identified.
Here are some examples:
                questo è un vino speciale; ne vuoi? = this is a special wine; do you want some (of it)?
            no, grazie, ne ho già bevuto = no, thanks, I already drank some (of it)

            c'è del risotto: se vuoi, prèndine. = there is some rice: if you want to, have some (of it)
            grazie, ne prenderò più tardi = thanks, I will have some (of it) later on

            hai della limonata? - no, non ne ho = do you have some lemonade? - no, I haven't any
            io ne ho, ma non è fredda = I have some, but it's not cold

            vorresti un po' di pizza? = would you like some pizza / a little pizza?
            grazie, ne ho già preso = thanks, I already had some.

In addition to the uses described above, ne may be used as an equivalent of the English expressions ...of it, or ...of them.  Here are some examples.

            c'erano molti giornali; ne presi uno = there were many newspapers; I took one of them
            (in a shop, pointing at some goods) ne vorrei cinque = I'd like five of them
            ho comprato un melone, ne vorrẹsti una metà? = I bought a melon, would you like half of it?
            non trovo i miei gatti; ne hai visto nessuno? = I can't find my cats; have you seen any of them?

In English the expressions of it, of them:are optional, but ne is required in Italian.
     questa carne è ǫttima, e ne vorrẹsti un po' = this meat is excellent; would you like a little [of it]
     no grazie, ne ho mangiata abbastanza = no, thanks, I ate enough [of it]
     tanti libri! Ti dispiace se ne prendo qualcuno? = so many books! Do you mind if I take a few [of them]?

NOTE: Care should be taken not to confuse the pronoun ne with , which carries an accent over the vowel, as means neither, nor, and is unrelated to ne.

The use of the word ne follows the same position rules as object pronouns.  When used before a word beginning with the letter e, ne is contracted to n’.

 

The Italian word ci

The word ci is used as a pronoun refering to previously mentioned places, and, less frequently, things.  Its most common translation into English is the word there.  Before words beginning with the letter i, ci is contracted to c’.  Some examples of its use follow.

            Chi va a Rọma con me?                      Who is going to Rome with me?
            Ci andiamo noi.                                   We will go there.

            Quando va al dentista?                       When are you going to the dentist?
            Ci vado domani.                                 I will go there tomorrow.

            C’è un uomo alla porta.                       There is a man at the door.
            Ci sọno molte ragiọni per studiare.     There are many reasons to study.
            Ci sọno arrivato in ritardo.                  I arrived there late.