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Italian I Tutorial: Basic Phrases, Vocabulary and Grammar

If you're interested in buying books to supplement your Italian studies, I've recommended some books from Amazon. Also check out the Foreign Service Institute Italian FAST Course that I am converting to HTML. If you'd like to download the mp3s, use the DownThemAll add-on for Firefox to download all the mp3s at once instead of right-clicking on each link. Thanks to Corrado for the recordings!

NEW! If you'd like to study these phrases (and their pronunciations) individually, please go to Basic Italian Phrases.
Buon giorno
bwon zhor-no
Hello / Good morning/afternoon
Buona sera
bwoh-nah seh-rah
Good evening Buona notte
bwoh-nah noht-teh
Good night
Hi / Hello / Bye (informal) Arrivederci
Goodbye ArrivederLa
Goodbye (formal)
A più tardi
ah pyoo tar-dee
See you later A presto / A dopo 
ah press-toh / ah doh-poh 
See you soon A domani
ah doh-mahn-ee
See you tomorrow
Per favore / Per piacere
pehr fah-voh-reh / pehr pee-ah-cheh-reh
Please Grazie (mille)
graht-zee-eh (mee-leh)
Thank you (very much) Prego
You're Welcome
Mi dispiace
mee dee-spyah-cheh
Sorry Scusi / Scusa
skoo-zee / skoo-zah
Excuse me (formal / informal) Andiamo!
Let's go!
Come sta? / Come stai?
koh-meh stah / koh-meh sty
How are you? (formal / informal) Sto bene.
stoh beh-neh
I am fine / well. Non c'è male.
nohn cheh mah-leh
Not bad.
Abbastanza bene.
ah-bah-stahn-tsah beh-neh
Pretty good. Così così.
koh-zee koh-zee
So so. Sì / No
see / noh
Yes / No
Come si chiama?
koh-meh see kee-ah-mah
What's your name? (formal) Come ti chiami?
koh-meh tee kee-ah-mee
What's your name? (informal) Mi chiamo...
mee kee-ah-mo
My name is...
Piacere / Molto lieto.
pee-ah-cheh-reh / mohl-toh lee-eh-toh
Pleased / Nice to meet you. Signore, Signora, Signorina
seen-yoh-reh, seen-yoh-rah, seen-yoh-reen-ah
Mister, Misses, Miss
Di dov'è?
dee doh-veh
Where are you from? (formal) Di dove sei?
dee doh-veh seh-ee
Where are you from? (informal) Sono di...
soh-noh dee
I am from...
Quanti anni ha?
kwahn-tee ahn-nee ah
How old are you? (formal) Quanti anni hai?
kwahn-tee ahn-nee ah-ee
How old are you? (informal) Ho venti anni.
oh vehn-tee ahn-nee
I am 20 years old.
Parla italiano?
par-lah ee-tahl-ee-ah-no
Do you speak Italian? (formal) Parli inglese?
par-lee een-gleh-zeh
Do you speak English? (informal) Parlo italiano. / Non parlo inglese.
par-lo ee-tahl-ee-ah-no / non par-lo een-gleh-zeh
I speak Italian. / I don't speak English.
Capisce? / Capisci?
kah-pee-sheh / kah-pee-shee
Do you understand? (formal / informal) [Non] capisco.
[non] kah-pees-koh
I [don't] understand. Non so. / Lo so.
non soh / low soh
I don't know. / I know.
Può aiutarmi? / Puoi aiutarmi?
pwoh ah-yoo-tar-mee / pwoh-ee ah-yoo-tar-mee
Can you help me? (formal / informal) Certamente / D'accordo.
cher-tah-mehn-teh / dah-kohr-doh
Sure / OK. Come?
What? / Pardon me?
Desidera? / Desideri?
deh-zee-deh-rah / deh-zee-deh-ree
May I help you? (formal / informal) Come si dice "house" in italiano?
koh-meh see dee-cheh "house" een ee-tah-lee-ah-noh
How do you say "house" in Italian?
Dov'è / Dove sono...?
doh-veh / doh-veh soh-noh
Where is / Where are... ? Ecco / Eccoli...
eh-koh / eh-koh-lee 
Here is / Here are... C'è / Ci sono...
cheh / chee soh-noh
There is / There are...
Cosa c'è?
koh-zah cheh
What's the matter? / What's wrong? Non importa. / Di niente. / Di nulla.
nohn eem-por-tah / dee nee-ehn-teh / dee noo-lah 
It doesn't matter. Non m'importa.
nohn meem-por-tah
I don't care.
Non ti preoccupare.
nohn tee preh-ohk-koo-pah-reh
Don't worry. (informal) Ho dimenticato.
oh dee-men-tee-kah-toh
I forgot. Devo andare adesso.
deh-voh ahn-dah-reh ah-des-soh
I have to go now.
Ho fame. / Ho sete.
oh fah-meh / oh seh-teh
I'm hungry. / I'm thirsty. Ho freddo. / Ho caldo.
oh freh-doh / oh kal-doh
I'm cold. / I'm hot. Mi annoio.
mee ahn-noh-ee-oh
I'm bored.
Bless you! Congratulazioni!
Congratulations! Benvenuti!
Buona fortuna!
bwoh-nah for-too-nah
Good luck! Tocca a me! / Tocca a te!
tohk-kah ah meh / tohk-kah ah teh
It's my turn! / It's your turn! (informal) Ti amo.
tee ah-moh
I love you. (informal)
È pazzo! / Sei pazzo!
eh pats-soh / seh-ee pats-soh
You're crazy! (formal / informal) Sta zitto! / Stai zitto!
stah tseet-toh / sty tseet-toh
Be quiet / Shut up! (formal / informal) Va bene!
vah beh-neh
Notice that Italian has informal and formal ways of saying things. This is because there is more than one meaning to "you" in Italian (as well as in many other languages.) The informal you is used when talking to close friends, relatives, animals or children. The formal you is used when talking to someone you just met, do not know well, or someone for whom you would like to show respect (a professor, for example.) There is also a plural you, used when speaking to more than one person.
Also, the words pazzo and zitto refer to men. If you are talking to a woman, use pazza and zitta. If you are talking to more than one person (all men, or a group of men and women), use pazzi and zitti. If you are talking to more than one person (all women), use pazze and zitte.
Italian is a very phonetic language, so pronunciation should be easy.  Most words are pronounced exactly like they are spelled. There are only seven pure vowels, but several diphthongs and triphthongs. The English samples given are not pronounced exactly as in Italian because English vowels tend to be diphthongized (there's an extra yuh or wuh after the actual vowel). Make sure to only say the pure vowel and not the diphthong when pronouncing Italian.
Italian Vowels
English Pronunciation
[i] vita ee as in meet
[e] vedi ay as in bait
[ɛ] era eh as in bet
[a] cane ah as in father
[u] uva oo as in boot
[o] sole oh as in boat
[ɔ] modo aw as in law

[w] quando, uomo wuh as in won
[j] piano, ieri, piove yuh as in yes

In spelling, the letter e is used to represent both [e] and [ɛ]; while the letter o is used to represent both [o] and [ɔ]. If the vowel is stressed, then the pronunciation is always closed [e] and [o]. If the vowel is not stressed, it is always open [ɛ] and [ɔ]. This can change according to regional dialects in Italy, of course, but this is the standard rule. Italian semi-vowels are always written ua, ue, uo, ui for [w] and ia, ie, io, iu for [j]. If another vowel precedes u or i, then it is a diphthong: ai, ei, oi, au, eu. The combination iu + another vowel creates a triphthong.

Italian consonant + vowel combinations 
c + a, o, u, he, hi k amica, amico, amiche ah-mee-kah, ah-mee-koh, ah-mee-keh
c + ia, io, iu, e, i ch bacio, celebre, cinema bah-cho, cheh-leh-breh, chee-neh-mah
g + a, o, u, he, hi g gara, gusto, spaghetti gah-rah, goo-stoh, spah-geh-tee
g + ia, io, iu, e, i dj Giotto, gelato, magico djoh-toh, djeh-lah-toh, mah-djee-koh
sc + a, o, u, he, hi sk scala, scuola, scheda skah-lah, skoo-oh-la, skeh-dah
sc + ia, io, iu, e, i sh sciarpa, sciupato, scemo shar-pah, shoo-pah-toh, sheh-moh

The consonant h is always silent. Double consonants must be pronounced individually: il nonno (eel nohn-noh) is pronounced differently from il nono (eel noh-noh).
Stress falls on the second-to-last syllable in Italian. If stress falls on the last syllable, the vowel is written with an accent mark (la città). However, it is also possible for the stress to fall on the third-to-last syllable (America, telefono) and even the fourth-to-last syllable (telefonano) in third person plural verb conjugations.
a ah q koo
b bee r ehr-reh
c chee s ehs-seh
d dee t teh
e eh u oo
f eff-eh v voo
g zhee z dzeh-tah
h ahk-kah
i ee Foreign Letters
l ehl-eh j ee loon-gah
m ehm-eh k kahp-pah
n ehn-eh w dohp-pyah voo
o oh x eeks
p pee y ee greh-kah (or) eep-see-lohn
All nouns in Italian have a gender (masculine or feminine) and the articles must agree with the gender. Masculine words generally end in -o and feminine words generally end in -a. Words that end in -e may be either, so you will just have to memorize the gender. Keep in mind that articles are used before nouns or before an adjective + a noun.

Definite Article - The
il eel sing., before consonants la lah sing., before consonants
lo low sing., before z, gn, ps, or s + cons.
l' l sing., before vowels l' l sing., before vowels
i ee plural, before consonants le leh plural, before consonants and vowels
gli lyee plural, before vowels, z, gn, or s + cons.

Indefinite Articles - A, an, some
A, An un oon before consonant or vowel una oon-ah before consonants
uno oon-oh before z, gn, ps, or s + consonant un' oon before vowels
Some dei day before consonants delle dell-eh before vowels and consonants
degli deh-lyee before vowels, z, gn, or s + cons.

Demonstratives - This, that, these, and those
This and these
This These
Masc. questo questi before a consonant
quest' questi before a vowel
Fem. questa queste before a consonant
quest' queste before a vowel

That and those
That Those
Masc. quel quei before a consonant
quell' quegli before a vowel
quello quegli before z, gn, or s + consonant
Fem. quella quelle before a consonant
quell' quelle before a vowel

If you use that and those as a subject, use these four forms: quello for masculine singular, quella for feminine singular, quelli for masculine plural, and quelle for feminine plural.
io ee-oh I noi noy we
tu too you (informal singular) voi voy you (informal plural)
lui, lei lwee/lay he, she loro loh-roh they
Lei lay you (formal singular) Loro loh-roh you (formal plural)

The Lei form is generally used for you (singular), instead of tu, unless you're referring to kids or animals.  Loro can also mean you, but only in very polite situations. If you need to specify an inanimate object as "it" you can use esso (masculine noun) and essa (feminine noun), but since subject pronouns are not commonly used in Italian, these words are somewhat rare.
Essere - to be
I am sono soh-noh we are siamo see-ah-moh
you are sei say you are siete see-eh-teh
he/she/it is è eh they are sono soh-noh
You do not have to use the subject pronouns as the different conjugations imply the subject, but they are included in the recordings.
Past & Future of Essere
I was ero we were eravamo I will be sarò we will be saremo
you were eri you were eravate you will be sarai you will be sarete
he/she was era they were erano he/she will be sarà they will be saranno
Avere - to have
I have ho oh We have abbiamo ahb-bee-ah-mo
you have hai eye you have avete ah-veh-teh
he/she has ha ah they have hanno ahn-noh
Past & Future of Avere
I had avevo we had avevamo I will have avrò we will have avremo
you had avevi you had avevate you will have avrai you will have avrete
he/she had aveva they had avevano he/she will have avrà they will have avranno

Avere is used with many idioms and expressions that normally use the verb "to be" in English:

avere fame - to be hungry
avere sete - to be thirsty
avere caldo - to be warm
avere freddo - to be cold
avere fretta - to be in a hurry
avere paura (di) - to be afraid (of)
avere ragione - to be right
avere torto - to be wrong
avere sonno - to be sleepy
avere bisogno di - to need
avere voglia di - to want, to feel like
avere 20 anni - to be 20 years old
When avere is followed by a word beginning with a consonant, the final -e is often dropped: aver caldo, aver fretta, aver ragione, etc.
7. USEFUL WORDS / PAROLE UTILE    Flashcards also include subject pronouns.
and e eh always sempre sehm-preh
or o oh often spesso speh-soh
but ma mah sometimes qualche volta kwal-keh vohl-tah
not non nohn usually usualmente oo-zoo-al-mehn-teh
while mentre mehn-treh especially specialmente speh-chee-al-mehn-teh
if se seh except eccetto eh-cheh-toh
because perché pehr-kay book il libro lee-broh
very, a lot molto mohl-toh pencil la matita mah-tee-tah
also, too anche ahn-keh pen la penna pehn-nah
although benché behn-keh paper la carta kar-tah
now adesso, ora ah-deh-so, oh-rah dog il cane kah-neh
perhaps, maybe forse for-seh cat il gatto gah-toh
then allora, poi ahl-loh-rah, poy friend (fem) l'amica ah-mee-kah
there is c'è cheh friend (masc) l'amico ah-mee-koh
there are ci sono chee soh-noh woman la donna dohn-nah
there was c'era che-rah man l'uomo woh-moh
there were c'erano che-rah-no girl la ragazza rah-gat-sah
here is ecco ehk-koh boy il ragazzo rah-gat-soh
C'è can also mean is here, as in Nek's famous song: Laura non c'è - Laura's not here.
Who Chi kee
Whose Di chi dee kee
What Che cosa keh koh-sah
Why Perché pehr-keh
When Quando kwahn-doh
Where Dove doh-veh
How Come koh-meh
How much Quanto kwahn-toh
Which Quale kwah-leh

 When dove, come, and quale are followed by è (is), dove and come contract to dov'è and com'è; and quale drops its e to become qual è.
0 zero dzeh-roh
1 uno oo-noh
2 due doo-eh
3 tre treh
4 quattro kwaht-troh
5 cinque cheen-kweh
6 sei say
7 sette seht-teh
8 otto aw-toh
9 nove naw-vay
10 dieci dee-ay-chee
11 undici oon-dee-chee
12 dodici doh-dee-chee
13 tredici treh-dee-chee
14 quattordici kwaht-tohr-dee-chee
15 quindici kween-dee-chee
16 sedici seh-dee-chee
17 diciassette dee-chahs-seht-teh
18 diciotto dee-choht-toh
19 diciannove dee-chahn-noh-veh
20 venti vehn-tee
21 ventuno vehn-too-noh
22 ventidue vehn-tee-doo-eh
23 ventitrè vehn-tee-treh
30 trenta trehn-tah
40 quaranta kwah-rahn-tah
50 cinquanta cheen-kwahn-tah
60 sessanta sehs-sahn-tah
70 settanta seht-tahn-tah
80 ottanta oh-tahn-tah
90 novanta noh-vahn-tah
100 cento chehn-toh
101 centouno chehn-toh-oo-noh
110 centodieci chehn-toh-dee-ay-chee
200 duecento doo-eh-chehn-toh
1,000 mille mee-leh
2,000 duemila doo-eh-mee-lah
million un milione mee-lee-oh-neh
billion un miliardo mee-lee-ar-doh

If a number ends in -tre, you need to add an accent: -trè. When you have a word that ends in a vowel, like venti, and another word that begins with a vowel, like uno; the first word loses its vowel when putting the two words together.  Venti (20) and uno (1) make ventuno (21).  One exception is cento; it does not lose its vowel.  Cento (100) and uno (1) make centouno (101).  Notice that cento does not have a plural form, but mille does (mila). And be aware that Italian switches the use of commas and decimals.

Ordinal Numbers
first primo / prima
second secondo / seconda
third terzo / terza
fourth quarto / quarta
fifth quinto / quinta
sixth sesto / sesta
seventh settimo / settima
eighth ottavo / ottava
ninth nono / nona
tenth decimo / decima
eleventh undicesimo / undicesima
twentieth ventesimo / ventesima
hundredth centesimo / centesima

From eleventh on, just drop the final vowel of the cardinal number and add -esimo.  For numbers like ventitrè, trentatrè, add -esimo but do not drop the final e.  Ordinal numbers are adjectives and must agree with the nouns they modify; -o is the masculine ending, -a is the feminine ending.
Monday lunedì loo-neh-dee
Tuesday martedì mahr-teh-dee
Wednesday mercoledì mehr-koh-leh-dee
Thursday giovedì zhoh-veh-dee
Friday venerdì veh-nehr-dee
Saturday sabato sah-bah-toh
Sunday domenica doh-men-ee-kah
yesterday ieri yer-ee
day before yesterday avantieri / l'altroieri (m) ah-vahn-tyee-ree
last night ieri sera yer-ee seh-rah
today oggi ohd-jee
tomorrow domani doh-mahn-ee
day after tomorrow dopodomani doh-poh-doh-mahn-ee
day il giorno eel zhor-noh

To say on Mondays, on Tuesdays, etc., use il before lunedì through sabato, and la before domenica.
January gennaio jehn-nah-yoh
February febbraio fehb-brah-yoh
March marzo mar-tsoh
April aprile ah-pree-leh
May maggio mahd-joh
June giugno joo-nyoh
July luglio loo-lyoh
August agosto ah-goh-stoh
September settembre seht-tehm-breh
October ottobre oht-toh-breh
November novembre noh-vehm-breh
December dicembre dee-chem-breh
week la settimana lah sett-ee-mah-nah
month il mese eel meh-zeh
year l'anno lahn-noh

Days and months are not capitalized.  To express the date, use È il (number) (month).  May 5th would be È il 5 (or cinque) maggio.  But for the first of the month, use primo instead of 1 or uno. To express ago, as in two days ago, a month ago, etc., just add fa afterwards. To express last, as in last Wednesday, last week, etc., just add scorso (for masculine words) or scorsa (for feminine words) afterwards.
una settimana fa - a week ago
la settimana scorsa - last week
un mese fa - a month ago
l'anno scorso - last year
Summer l'estate leh-stah-teh
Fall l'autunno low-toon-noh
Spring la primavera lah pree-mah-veh-rah
Winter l'inverno leen-vehr-noh

To say in the (season), just use in.  In estate is in the summer, in primavera is in spring.  D'estate and d'inverno can also be used instead of in estate or in inverno.
right destra
left sinistra
straight diritto
North nord nohrd
South sud sood
East est est
West ovest oh-vest
white bianco/a square il quadrato
yellow giallo/a circle il cerchio
orange arancione triangle il triangolo
pink rosa rectangle il rettangolo
red rosso/a oval l'ovale
light blue azzurro/a cube il cubo
dark blue blu sphere la sfera
green verde cylinder il cilindro
brown marrone cone il cono
grey grigio/a octagon l'ottagono
black nero/a box la scatola

Colors are adjectives and must agree with the nouns they modify; -o is the masculine ending, -a is the feminine ending. For example, rosso is masculine and rossa is feminine.  Color words always go after the noun they describe:
una casa gialla - a yellow house
il cubo rosso - the red cube
To ask the color of something:
Di che colore è il cielo? What color is the sky?
Di che colore sono i tuoi occhi? What color are your eyes?
15. TIME / IL TEMPO    
What time is it? Che ora è? / Che ore sono? keh oh-rah eh / keh o-reh soh-noh
At what time? A che ora? ah keh oh-rah
It's 1:00 È l'una eh loo-nah
at 1:00 all'una ahl-loo-nah
(at) noon (a) mezzogiorno (ah) med-zoh-zhor-noh
(at) midnight (a) mezzanotte (ah) med-zah-noh-teh
2:00 Sono le due soh-noh leh doo-eh
3:10 Sono le tre e dieci soh-noh leh treh eh dee-ay-chee
4:50 Sono le cinque meno dieci soh-noh leh cheen-kwah meh-noh dee-ay-chee
8:15 Sono le otto e un quarto soh-noh leh awt-toh eh oon kwar-toh
7:45 Sono le otto meno un quarto soh-noh leh aw-toh meh-noh un kwar-toh
1:30 È l'una e mezza eh loo-nah eh med-zah
6:30 Sono le sei e mezzo soh-noh leh say-ee eh med-zoh
sharp in punto een poon-toh
in the morning di mattina dee maht-teen-ah
in the afternoon di pomeriggio dee poh-mehr-ee-zhee-oh
in the evening di sera dee seh-rah
at night di notte dee noht-teh
What's the weather today? Che tempo fa oggi?
It's nice Fa bel tempo / È bello
bad Fa brutto tempo / È brutto
raining Piove / Sta piovendo
thundering Tuona
snowing Nevica / Sta nevicando
hailing Grandina / Sta grandinando
cold Fa freddo
cool Fa fresco
hot Fa caldo
freezing Fa un freddo gelido
foggy C'è nebbia
sunny C'è sole / È assolato
windy C'è vento / È ventoso / Fa vento
cloudy È nuvoloso
humid È umido
muggy È afoso
stormy È burrascoso
family la famiglia relatives i parenti dog il cane
parents i genitori father-in-law il suocero cat il gatto
mother la madre mother-in-law la suocera bird l'uccello
father il padre son-in-law il genero mouse il topo
son il figlio daughter-in-law la nuora rabbit il coniglio
daughter la figlia brother-in-law il cognato horse il cavallo
brother il fratello sister-in-law la cognata cow la mucca
sister la sorella stepfather il patrigno donkey l'asino
grandfather il nonno stepmother la matrigna goat la capra
grandmother la nonna step/half brother il fratellastro sheep la pecora
grandson/nephew il nipote step/half sister la sorellastra goose l'oca
granddaughter/niece la nipote married sposato duck l'anatra
uncle lo zio divorced divorziato pig il maiale
aunt la zia separated separato hen la gallina
cousin (m) il cugino single (man) celibe deer il cervo
cousin (f) la cugina single (woman) nubile
husband il marito bachelor lo scapolo
wife la moglie widow la vedova
man l'uomo widower il vedovo
woman la donna godfather il padrino
boy il ragazzo godmother la madrina
girl la ragazza twins i gemelli / le gemelle
conoscere-to know, be acquainted with sapere-to know (facts)
conosco conosciamo so sappiamo
conosci conoscete sai sapete
conosce conoscono sa sanno

Conoscere is used when you know people and places.  It is conjugated regularly.  Sapere is used when you know facts. Sapere followed by an infinitive means to know how. In addition, the object must be expressed in Italian when using sapere. You cannot simply say I know as in English, but rather I know it: Lo so.
Io conosco Mario. I know Mario.
Voi conoscete la Francia. You know (have visited) France.
Tu sai nuotare. You know how to swim.
Loro sanno cantare. They know how to sing.
If a word is masculine singular, change the last letter to an i.  If a word is feminine singular, change the last letter to an e if it ends in a, or if it ends in e, change it to an i.
Singular to Plural Nouns
-o -i
-a -i
-e -i
-a -e
-e -i

Words ending in -io can either change the o to i, or just simply drop the o to form the plural. When the -i of -io is stressed, the plural is -ii; however, most words ending in -io do not stress the -i, and so their plurals are formed by dropping the o. Compare: lo zio - gli zii and il figlio - i figli.
Some nouns ending in -co and -go may or may not insert an h before changing the o to i.  There is no general rule for it.  All nouns ending in -ca and -ga insert an h before changing the a to e.  Nouns ending in an accented vowel do not change for the plural. (la città (city) becomes le città)  There are some masculine nouns that end -a, and these nouns change the -a to -i in the plural: il programma, il poeta, il pianete, il pilota, il poema, il sistema.  The plural of l'uomo (man) is gli uomini, while the plural of la mano (hand) is le mani.
Masc. Sing. Fem. Sing. Masc. Pl. Fem. Pl.
my il mio la mia i miei (myeh-ee) le mie
your il tuo la tua i tuoi (twoh-ee) le tue
his/her il suo la sua i suoi (swoh-ee) le sue
our il nostro la nostra i nostri le nostre
your il vostro la vostra i vostri le vostre
their il loro la loro i loro le loro

You may leave off the definite article before family relation words in the singular.  All other times, you must use them.  Notice that loro does not change.

Italian II Tutorial: Basic Phrases, Vocabulary and Grammar

21. TO DO OR MAKE   
fare - to do / make
faccio fah-cho facciamo fah-chah-moh
fai fah-ee fate fah-teh
fa fah fanno fahn-noh

Che cosa fa? What do you do (as a profession)?
Io faccio il contabile. I'm an accountant. 
Che facoltà fa? What's your major?
Faccio architettura. I'm studying/majoring in architecture.
Idomatic expressions used with fare:
fare una domanda - to ask a question
fare un viaggio - to take a trip
fare un bagno - to take a bath
fare una passeggiata - to take a walk
fare attenzione - to pay attention
fare un piacere - to do a favor
fare una conferenza - to give a lecture
fare l'attrice / il cantante - to be an actress / a singer 
fare l'università - to study at university / be in college
Notice than in English we use the indefinite article (a or an) when talking about professions, but in Italian, you must use the definite article.
22. WORK & SCHOOL    
architect l'architetto teacher (m) il maestro 
author l'autore teacher (f) la maestra 
banker il banchiere professor (m) il professore 
waiter il cameriere professor (f) la professoressa 
waitress la cameriera hair stylist (m) il parrucchiere 
saleswoman la commessa hair stylist (f) la parrucchiera 
salesman il commesso secretary (m) il segretario 
accountant il contabile secretary (f) la segretaria 
doctor (m) il dottore soldier il soldato 
doctor (f) la dottoressa journalist il/la giornalista 
musician il/la musicista office worker (m) l'impiegato 
barber il barbiere office worker (f) l'impiegata 
When stating your job or profession, use the verb fare + the definite article: Faccio il professore. I'm a professor.

biology la biologia architecture l'architettura
chemistry la chimica business il commercio
economics l'economia law la giurisprudenza
philosophy la filosofia engineering l'ingegneria
physics la fisica literature le lettere
geography la geografia political science le scienze politiche
foreign languages le lingue straniere sociology la sociologia
mathematics la matematica astronomy l'astronomia
medicine la medicina dramatic arts l'arte drammatica
accounting la ragioneria computer science l'informatica
history la storia communication la scienza della comunicazioni
psychology la psicologia physical education l'educazione fisica
When talking about your major or specialization, use the verb fare without the definite article: Faccio geografia. I study geography.

course, class il corso oral exams gli orali
department la facoltà written exams gli scritti
subject la materia semester / trimester il semestre / trimestre
Listen Ascoltate Correct! Giusto!
Read Leggete Wrong! Sbagliato!
Repeat Ripetete All together! Tutti insieme!
Answer Rispondete One more time. Ancora una volta.
Write Scrivete How do you pronounce...? Come si pronuncia...?
Open your books Aprite i libri. How do you write...? Come si scrive...?
Close your books Chiudete i libri. How do you say...? Come si dice...?
Do the exercise Fate l'esercizio What does ... mean? Cosa vuol dire...?
Attention! Attenzione! Repeat, please. Ripeta, per favore.
Very good! Molto bene / Benissimo! OK. Va bene.
at, to a over / above sopra
in in under / below sotto
on / up su inside dentro
from, by da outside fuori
of di around intorno a
with con between tra
without senza among fra
for   per near vicino a
next to accanto a far lontano da
behind dietro before prima (di)
in front of davanti a after dopo (di)
across attraverso against contro
down giù toward verso
il lo l' la i gli le
a at, to al allo all' alla ai agli alle
da from, by dal dallo dall' dalla dai dagli dalle
di of del dello dell' della dei degli delle
in in nel nello nell' nella nei negli nelle
su on sul sullo sull' sulla sui sugli sulle
con with col collo coll' colla coi cogli colle
The only contractions for con that are still used nowadays are col and coi, but even these contractions are optional.
→ Usually no article is used with in before words denoting rooms in a house or buildings in a city.
→ Di is also used when showing possession. Italian does not have the -'s construction that English uses, so you must say that whatever is possessed is of the person.

Questo cane è di Marco. This dog is Marco's. / This is Marco's dog. (Literally: This dog is of Marco.)
25. COUNTRIES & NATIONALITIES Part 1:  Part 2:  
Africa l'Africa Indonesia l'Indonesia
African africano/a Indonesian indonesiano/a
Albania l'Albania Ireland l'Irlanda
Albanian albanese Irish irlandese
America l'America Israel l'Israele
American americano/a Israeli israeliano/a
Argentina l'Argentina Italy l'Italia
Argentine argentino/a Italian italiano/a
Asia l'Asia Japan il Giappone
Asian asiatico/a Japanese giapponese
Australia l'Australia Latvia la Lettonia
Australian australiano/a Latvian lettone
Austria l'Austria Lithuania la Lituania
Austrian austriaco/a Lithuanian lituano/a
Belgium il Belgio Luxembourg il Lussemburgo
Belgian belga Luxembourger lussemburghese
Bosnia la Bosnia Macedonia la Macedonia
Bosnian bosniaco/a Macedonian macedone
Brazil il Brasile Malta Malta (f)
Brazilian brasiliano/a Maltese maltese
Bulgaria la Bulgaria Netherlands i Paesi Bassi / Olanda
Bulgarian bulgaro/a Dutch olandese
Canada il Canada New Zealand la Nuova Zelanda
Canadian canadese New Zealander neozelandese
China la Cina Norway la Norvegia
Chinese cinese Norwegian norvegese
Croatia la Croazia Poland la Polonia
Croatian croato/a Polish polacco/a
Czech Republic la Repubblica Ceca Portugal il Portogallo
Czech ceco/a Portuguese portoghese
Denmark la Danimarca Romania la Romania
Danish danese Romanian romeno/a
Egypt l'Egitto Russia la Russia
Egyptian egiziano/a Russian russo/a
England l'Inghilterra Scotland la Scozia
English inglese Scottish scozzese
Estonia l'Estonia Serbia la Serbia
Estonian estone Serbian serbo/a
Europe l'Europa Slovakia la Slovacchia
European europeo/a Slovak slovacco/a
Finland la Finlandia Slovenia la Slovenia
Finnish finlandese Slovene sloveno/a
France la Francia Spain la Spagna
French francese Spanish spagnolo/a
Germany la Germania Sweden la Svezia
German tedesco/a Swedish svedese
Great Britain la Gran Bretagna Switzerland la Svizzera
British britannico/a Swiss svizzero/a
Greece la Grecia Turkey la Turchia
Greek greco/a Turk turco/a
Hungary l'Ungheria Ukraine l'Ucraina
Hungarian ungherese Ukrainian ucraino/a
Iceland l'Islanda United Kingdom il Regno Unito
Icelandic islandese United States gli Stati Uniti
India l'India Wales Galles
Indian indiano/a Welsh gallese
If the adjective is referring to a language, it will always be the masculine form. If the adjective is referring to a woman instead of a man, then the adjectives ending in -o change to end in -a. The adjectives ending in -e do not change for gender. Also, the adjective americano usually refers to someone living anywhere in the American continent, but many people do use it to mean a person from the United States, instead of statunitense.
When talking about your country of origin, it is more common in Italian to use the adjective of nationality. For example, instead of saying She is from Denmark, you would say She is Danish.
To From
Country (singular) in da (+ contraction)
Country (plural) negli da (+ contraction)
City a da

Vado in Francia. I'm going to France.
Vengo dalla Francia. I come from France.
Vado negli Stati Uniti. I'm going to the United States.
Vengo dagli Stati Uniti. I come from the United States.
Vado a Parigi. I'm going to Paris.
Vengo da Parigi. I come from Paris.
Venire - to come Andare - to go
vengo vehn-goh veniamo ven-ee-ah-moh vado vah-doh andiamo ahn-dee-ah-moh
vieni vee-en-ee venite ven-ee-teh vai vah-ee andate ahn-dah-teh
viene vee-en-eh vengono ven-goh-noh va vah vanno vahn-noh

→ To make a verb negative, add non before it:  
Non vengo a scuola in macchina.  I don't come to school by car.
→ If andare is followed by another infinitive, then a must be used before the infinitive:
Vado a mangiare adesso. I'm going to eat now.
Other verbs conjugated in the same pattern as venire are:
avvenire - to happen, to occur
convenire - to convene
divenire - to become
provenire - to come from, to proceed
sovvenire - to help
svenire - to faint
Tenere (to hold, keep) verbs are conjugated very similarly to venire too, except the voi form ends in -ete instead of -ite:
appartenere - to belong
contenere - to contain
intrattenere - to entertain
mantenere - to maintain
ottenere - to obtain
ritenere - to retain
sostenere - to sustain, to support
trattenere - to withhold, to detain
To conjugate regular verbs, take off the last three letters (-are, -ere, or -ire) and add these endings to the stem:
Regular Verb Endings
-are -ere 1st -ire 2nd -ire
-o -iamo -o -iamo -o -iamo -isco -iamo
-i -ate -i -ete -i -ite -isci -ite
-a -ano -e -ono -e -ono -isce -iscono

Verbi Regolari / Regular Verbs
-are 1st -ire
parlare to speak dormire to sleep
cantare to sing partire to leave
arrivare to arrive sentire to hear
abitare to live aprire to open
amare to love offrire to offer
ascoltare to listen (to) servire to serve
cominciare to begin
domandare to ask
giocare to play (a game/sport)
guardare to look (at)/watch
imparare to learn
insegnare to teach
lavorare to work
mangiare to eat
pensare to think
studiare to study
-ere 2nd -ire
scrivere to write finire to finish
vedere to see capire to understand
credere to believe preferire to prefer
conoscere to know/be acquainted with colpire to hit
leggere to read costruire to build
mettere to put pulire to clean
perdere to lose sparire to disappear
prendere to take
rispondere to answer
scendere to go down/get off
vendere to sell
vivere to live
correre to run
dipingere to paint
ricevere to receive
Sample Regular Verb
Parlare-to speak
parlo parliamo
parli parlate
parla parlano
→ The present tense and the preposition da may be used to describe an action which began in the past and is still continuing in the present.  The present perfect tense is used in English to convey this same concept.
Da quanto tempo Lei studia l'italiano?  How long have you been studying Italian?
Studio l'italiano da due anni.  I've been studying Italian for two years.
→ Proprio can be used to emphasize something and it translates as really or just.
Ho proprio sonno. I'm really sleepy.
Arrivo dalla banca proprio adesso. I just now got back from the bank.
Reflexive verbs express actions performed by the subject on the subject.  These verbs are conjugated like regular verbs, but a reflexive pronoun precedes the verb form.  This pronoun always agrees with the subject.  In the infinitive form, reflexive verbs have -si attached to them with the final e dropped.  Lavare is to wash, therefore lavarsi is to wash oneself.  (Note that some verbs are reflexive in Italian, but not in English.)
Reflexive Pronouns
mi ci
ti vi
si si
Common reflexive verbs:
to be satisfied with accontentarsi di to graduate (from college) laurearsi
to fall asleep addormentarsi to wash up lavarsi
to get up alzarsi to put on mettersi
to be bored annoiarsi to get organized organizzarsi
to get angry arrabbiarsi to make a reservation prenotarsi
to be called chiamarsi to remember to ricordarsi di
to forget to dimenticarsi di to make a mistake sbagliarsi
to graduate (from high school) diplomarsi to feel (well, bad) sentirsi (bene, male)
to have a good time divertirsi to specialize specializzarsi
to shave (the face) farsi la barba / radersi to get married sposarsi
to stop (oneself) fermarsi to wake up svegliarsi
to complain about lamentarsi di to get dressed vestirsi
Io mi lavo. I wash myself.
Noi ci alziamo presto.  We get up early.
Si sveglia alle sette. She wakes up at seven.
The plural reflexive pronouns (ci, vi, si) can also be used with non-reflexive verbs to indicate a reciprocal action.  These verbs are called reciprocal verbs and are expressed by the words each other in English. 

to embrace abbracciarsi to run into incontrarsi
to help aiutarsi to fall in love with innamorarsi
to kiss baciarsi to greet salutarsi
to understand capirsi to write to scriversi
to meet conoscersi to phone telefonarsi
to exchange gifts farsi regali to see vedersi
to look at guardarsi
Ci scriviamo ogni settimana.  We write to each other every week.
Vi vedete spesso?  Do you see each other often?
Verbs ending in -care and -gare add an h before the -i and -iamo endings to keep the hard sound.  Verbs ending in -ciare and -giare do not repeat the i in front of the -i ending. Notice that these verbs are only slightly irregular in spelling, while the pronunciation still follows the normal conjugation pattern.
cercare - to look for cominciare - to start
cerco cerchiamo comincio cominciamo
cerchi cercate cominci cominciate
cerca cercano comincia cominciano
The present perfect tense is used to express something that happened in the past, and which is completely finished (not habitual or continuous). To form this compound tense, which can translate as something happened, something has happened, or something did happen, conjugate avere or sometimes essere and add the past participle.  To form the past participle, add these endings to the appropriate stem of the infinitives:
-are -ato
-ere -uto
-ire -ito
Verbs that can take a direct object are generally conjugated with avere.  Verbs that do not take a direct object (generally verbs of movement), as well as all reflexive verbs, are conjugated with essere and their past participle must agree in gender and number with the subject. Avere uses avere as its auxiliary verb, while essere uses essere as its auxiliary verb.  Negative sentences in the present perfect tense are formed by placing non in front of the auxiliary verb. Common adverbs of time are placed between avere/essere and the past participle.
Io ho visitato Roma.  I visited Rome.
Tu non hai visitato gli Stati Uniti.  You didn't visit the United States.
Abbiamo conosciuto due ragazze.  We met two girls.
Maria è andata in Italia.  Maria went to Italy.  (Note the agreement of the past participle with the subject.) 
Ho sempre avuto paura dei cani. I've always been afraid of dogs.
Hai già finito di studiare? Have you already finished studying?
→ In addition, some verbs take on a different meaning in the present perfect: conoscere means to meet and sapere means to find out (or to hear).
Reflexive Verbs in the Present Perfect Tense
Since all reflexive verbs use essere as the auxiliary verb, the past participle must agree with the subject. The word order is reflexive pronoun + essere + past participle.
Mi sono divertita. I had fun.
Si è sentito male. He felt bad.
The following verbs all take avere as the auxiliary:
to turn on accendere acceso to hide nascondere nascosto
to admit ammettere ammesso to offend offendere offeso
to hang (up) appendere appeso to offer offrire offerto
to open aprire aperto to lose perdere perso / perduto
to drink bere bevuto to permit permettere permesso
to ask chiedere chiesto to cry piangere pianto
to close chiudere chiuso to put, place porre posto
to grant, award concedere concesso to take prendere preso
to conclude concludere concluso to promise promettere promesso
to know (people) conoscere conosciuto to suggest proporre proposto
to correct correggere corretto to laugh ridere riso
to decide decidere deciso to solve, resolve risolvere risolto
to disappoint deludere deluso to respond, answer rispondere risposto
to defend difendere difeso to break rompere rotto
to say, tell dire detto to choose scegliere scelto
to direct, run dirigere diretto to write scrivere scritto
to discuss discutere discusso to suffer soffrire sofferto
to distinguish distinguere distinto to turn off spegnere spento
to destroy distruggere distrutto to spend spendere speso
to divide dividere diviso to push spingere spinto
to exclude escludere escluso to translate tradurre tradotto
to express esprimere espresso to draw, pull trarre tratto
to do fare fatto to kill uccidere ucciso
to insist insistere insistito to see vedere visto / veduto
to read leggere letto to win vincere vinto
to put mettere messo  
 Sample Avere Verb: avere - to have
(io) ho avuto (noi) abbiamo avuto
(tu) hai avuto (voi) avete avuto
(lei) ha avuto (loro) hanno avuto
Ho avuto can mean I have, I have had, or I did have.
In general, intransitive and reflexive verbs, as well as impersonal verbs and verbs describing a change of state or an evolution of some sorts, take essere as the auxiliary verb in the passato prossimo. These past participles must agree with the subject in gender and number by changing the final vowel.  Irregular past participles are highlighted.
to go andare andato
to arrive   arrivare arrivato
to suffice, be enough bastare bastato
to be necessary bisognare bisognato
to cost costare costato
to depend dipendere dipeso
to regret, upset dispiacere dispiaciuto
to become, grow, turn diventare diventato
to last durare durato
to enter entrare entrato
to exist esistere esistito
to be essere stato
to arrive / to succeed giungere giunto
to get old invecchiare invecchiato
to die morire morto
to be born nascere nato
to be necessary occorrere occorso
to leave partire partito
to be pleasing [to like] piacere piaciuto
to rain piovere piovuto
to stay, remain restare restato
to go/come back in, return rientrare rientrato
to remain, stay rimanere rimasto
to return ritornare ritornato
to succeed riuscire (a) riuscito
to seem sembrare sembrato
to serve, be of use servire servito
to disappear sparire sparito
to stay, be stare stato
to happen succedere successo
to come back/return tornare tornato
to go out uscire uscito
to be worth valere valso
to come venire venuto

Sono nato a Torino nel 1965. I was born in Turin in 1965.
Cosa è successo? What happened?
Lei è stato malata ma niente di grave. She was sick, but it was nothing serious.
→ There are also a few verbs (some with irregular past participles) that use essere as an auxiliary when they are intransitive (no direct object), but avere when they are transitive (with a direct object). 
to change, exchange cambiare cambiato
to begin, start cominciare cominciato
to run correre corso
to grow (up), increase crescere cresciuto
to diminish, decrease diminuire diminuito
to explode esplodere esploso
to finish, end, stop finire finito
to ripen, mature maturare maturato
to improve migliorare migliorato
to move muovere mosso
to pass, pass through/over passare passato
to worsen peggiorare peggiorato
to go up, rise salire salito
to descend, go down scendere sceso
to live (be alive) vivere vissuto
L'inverno è finito. Winter is finished.
Abbiamo finito di guardare il film. We finished watching the film.
 Sample Essere Verb: andare - to go
sono andato / sono andata siamo andati / siamo andate
sei andato / sei andata siete andati / siete andate
è andato / è andata sono andati / sono andate
Sono andato can mean I went, I was going, or I did go.  Remember that -o is masculine and -a is feminine.  The -i ending indicates all males or males and females; whereas the -e ending indicates only females.
34. FOOD & MEALS Part 1:  Part 2:  
breakfast la colazione lemon il limone
lunch il pranzo honey il miele
snack la merenda olive oil l'olio d'oliva
dinner la cena vinegar l'aceto
fork la forchetta jam la marmellata
spoon il cucchiaio yogurt lo yogurt
knife il coltello cheese il formaggio
plate il piatto egg / eggs l'uovo / le uova
napkin la salvietta / il tovagliolo fried egg un uovo fritto / un uovo all'occhio di bue
cup la tazza hard-boiled egg un uovo sodo
glass il bicchiere soft-boiled un uovo alla coque
bottle la bottiglia poached egg un uovo in camicia
dishes le stoviglie cereal i cereali
silverware le posate soup la minestra / la zuppa
saucepan la pentola rice il riso
frying pan la padella salad l'insalata
can opener l'apriscatole (m) french fries le patatine fritte
bottle opener l'apribottiglie (m) peanuts le noccioline
corkscrew il cavatappi olives le olive
appetizer l'antipasto pastries le paste
first course il primo croissant il cornetto
second course il secondo cake la torta
side dish il contorno tart la crostata
pizza la pizza potato chips le patatine
beverage la bevanda biscuits / cookies i biscotti
ice il ghiaccio cocktail snacks i salatini
dessert il dolce sandwich il tramezzino
ice cream il gelato roll il panino
cream la panna meat la carne
chocolate la cioccolata steak la bistecca
juice il succo chicken il pollo
wine il vino turkey il tacchino
milk il latte fish il pesce
water l'acqua (minerale) ham il prosciutto
soft drink la bibita lamb l'agnello 
coffee il caffè goat il capretto 
(iced) tea il tè (freddo) rabbit il coniglio 
bread il pane liver il fegato 
butter il burro pork il maiale 
salt il sale beef il manzo 
pepper il pepe bacon la pancetta 
sugar lo zucchero veal il vitello

La merenda refers to the snack that children have around 10 or 11 AM while at school, but it can also mean afternoon snack. You can also use uno spuntino to refer to a snack in general.
Piacere - to like / Servire - to need
piaccio piacciamo servo serviamo
piaci piacete servi servite
piace piacciono serve servono
Past participle: piaciuto Past participle: servito  

Piacere (a) literally means to be pleasing (to) so to form a sentence you have to invert the word order. You must also use the prepositional contractions with a.
Maria piace a Giovanni.  John likes Mary. (Literally: Mary is pleasing to John)
Gli studenti piacciono ai professori.  The teachers like the students. (Literally:  The students are pleasing to the teachers).
The most common forms are the third person singular and plural when used with object pronouns. The object pronouns that are used with these two verbs are somewhat similar to the reflexive pronouns:
mi I (to me) ci we (to us)
ti you (to you) vi you (to you)
gli / le he / she (to him / her) gli they (to them)

→ To say I like something, use Mi piace if it is singular and Mi piacciono if it is plural. Piaciuto is the past participle and it is used with essere. However, it always agrees with the subject (what is liked) instead of the person.
Mi piace cucinare. I like to cook. (Literally:  To me is pleasing to cook.) 
Gli piacciono i treni.  He likes trains. (Literally:  To him are pleasing the trains.)
Ci è piaciuta la bistecca. We liked the steak. (Literally:  To us was pleasing the steak.) 
Non le sono piaciuti gli spaghetti. She didn't like the spaghetti. (Literally:  Not to her was pleasing the spaghetti.)
→ Stressed forms also exist for the object pronouns. They are nearly identical to the subject pronouns, except me and te are used for me and you (familiar). They are always preceded by the preposition a.
A me non piace sciare. I don't like to ski. (Literally:  To me not is pleasing to ski.) 
A loro piace viaggiare? Do they like to travel? (Literally:  To them is pleasing to travel.)
→ Servire has the same construction as piacere.  It is also used primarily in the third person singular and plural forms and takes an indirect object. When it takes a direct object, it simply means to serve.
Ti serve della frutta?  Do you need any fruit? (Literally:  By you is needed some fruit?)
Il pane serve a Marco.  Marco needs bread.  (Literally:  The bread is needed by Marco.)
→ Mancare can be used in the same way as piacere and servire to mean to miss or to lack. If used in the regular way, it means to be missing / absent.
Mi manchi. I miss you. (Literally:  To me you are missing.)
Chi manca? Who is missing?
almond la mandorla lettuce la lattuga
apple la mela lime la limetta
apricot l'albicocca melon il melone
artichoke il carciofo mint la menta
asparagus l'asparago mushroom il fungo
avocado l'avocado nut la noce
banana la banana oats l'avena
barley l'orzo olive l'oliva
bean (broad) la fava onion la cipolla
bean (kidney) il fagiolo orange l'arancia
berry la bacca parsley il prezzemolo
broccoli i broccoli pea il pisello
cabbage il cavolo peach la pesca
carrot la carota pear la pera
cauliflower il cavolfiore pepper il peperone
celery il sedano pine il pino
cherry la ciliegia pineapple l'ananasso
chestnut la castagna plum la prugna / la susina
chives la cipollina potato la patata
corn il granoturco pumpkin la zucca
cucumber il cetriolo radish il ravanello
currant il ribes raspberry il lampone
cypress il cipresso rice il riso
date il dattero rye la segale
eggplant la melanzana sage la salvia
fig il fico seed il seme
fruit la frutta spinach gli spinaci
garlic l'aglio strawberry la fragola
grapefruit il pompelmo tomato il pomodoro
grapes l'uva turnip la rapa
hazelnut la nocciola vegetables i legumi / le verdure 
herb l'erba vine la vite
horse-radish la barbaforte walnut la noce
leaf la foglia watermelon l'anguria / il cocomero
lemon il limone wheat il frumento
lentil la lenticchia zucchini la zucchina
Prendere - to take, eat or drink and Bere - to drink
prendo prendiamo bevo beviamo
prendi prendete bevi bevete
prende prendono beve bevono
Past participle: preso Past participle: bevuto
Bere is only used to mean to drink when it is used in the general sense, as is mangiare - to eat. The rest of the time you simply use prendere when referring to eating or drinking, similar to how we can use the verb have in English.
-are -ere -ire
tu form (singular familiar) -a -i -i / -isci
Lei form (singular polite) -i -a -a / -isca
voi form (plural polite) -ate -ete -ite
noi form (Let's ...) -iamo -iamo -iamo

To make a command negative, add non before the command, except for the tu (singular familiar) commands, when you use non and the infinitive.
  tu form Lei form voi form
Answer! Rispondi! Risponda! Rispondete!
Don't answer! Non rispondere! Non risponda! Non rispondete!
Irregular Commands
andare - to go venire - to come fare - to do dare - to give dire - to say / tell essere - to be avere - to have stare -to be / stay
sing. fam. va' vieni fa' da' di' sii abbi sta'
sing. pol. vada venga faccia dia dica sia abbia stia
plural andate venite fate date dite siate abbiate state
Let's andiamo veniamo facciamo diamo diciamo siamo abbiamo stiamo
The words avanti, dai and su can accompany commands to give emphasis, similar to come on! in English. If pure is used with a command, it softens the intensity.
non...mai never
non...più no longer, no more
non...niente / nulla nothing
non...nessuno nobody, no one
non...neanche not even
non...né...né neither...nor

The non goes before the verb and the second part goes after.  
Non ho niente. I have nothing.  
Nessuno and niente can also be subjects. In this case, non is not used.
Nessuno è venuto. No one came.
Buon Anno! Happy New Year!
Buona Pasqua! Happy Easter!
Buon compleanno! Happy Birthday!
Buon Natale! Merry Christmas!
Buone feste! Happy Holidays!
Buona vacanza! Have a good vacation!
Buon divertimento! Have a good time!
Buon viaggio! Have a good trip!
Tanti auguri! Best wishes!
Babbo Natale is Santa Claus and il panettone or il pandoro are the traditional cakes eaten at Christmas. For Easter, the traditional cake is called la colomba. Be careful with the difference between ferie and feriale: le ferie or i giorni di ferie are holidays when most places of business are closed; the opposite is un giorno feriale, or a weekday/working day.

by Goffredo Mameli
Fratelli d'Italia, l'Italia s'è desta,
Dell'elmo di Scipio s'è cinta la testa.
Dov'è la Vittoria? Le porga la chioma, 
Ché schiava di Roma Iddio la creò.
Stringiamci a coorte, siam pronti alla morte,
siam pronti alla morte, l'Italia chiamò. Sì!
Italian brothers, Italy has arisen,
Has put on the helmet of Scipio,
Where is victory?
Created by God
The slave of Rome,
She crowns you with glory.
Let us unite,
We are ready to die,
Italy calls.

Italian III Tutorial: Basic Phrases, Vocabulary and Grammar

The imperfect tense is also called the past descriptive tense and corresponds to was doing or used to do in English. The imperfect is used to describe a continued or habitual action in the past, or to describe an action that was occurring in the past, while something else happened.  Time, age, weather conditions as well as mental and physical conditions are all expressed in the imperfect rather than the passato prossimo tense. 
The imperfect in Italian has the same ending for all three verb groups.  It is formed by dropping the -re of the infinitive and adding the following endings:
-vo -vamo
-vi -vate
-va -vano
Avere is regular in the imperfect, but essere, bere, dire and fare are irregular.  The stem of essere becomes er- for io, tu, lui/lei and loro, and it does not take the v, while the stem for noi and voi is era- and it does take the v.  The stems for bere, dire, fare, porre and tradurre are slightly irregular: beve-, dice-, face-, pone-, and traduce- but they take the regular endings of the imperfect. 
essere - to be bere - to drink dire - to say / tell
ero eravamo bevevo bevevamo dicevo dicevamo
eri eravate bevevi bevevate dicevi dicevate
era erano beveva bevevano diceva dicevano
fare - to do porre - to put / place tradurre - to translate
facevo facevamo ponevo ponevamo traducevo traducevamo
facevi facevate ponevi ponevate traducevi traducevate
faceva facevano poneva ponevano traduceva traducevano
Avevo fame.  I was hungry.
Era tardi.  It was late.
Non diceva niente.  He wasn't saying anything.
Aspettavamo in fila.  We were waiting in line.
Prendevo sempre l'autobus.  I always take the bus.
stare - to be / stay dare - to give
sto stiamo do diamo
stai state dai date
sta stanno dà danno
Past participle: stato Past participle: dato
Stare means to be when used in progressive tense.  If you use it with a present participle, it translates to something is happening, not something happens as with the present indicative.   Stare is also used in many health expressions.
Come stai?  How are you?  
Sto bene.  I'm fine.
→ Stare per plus an infinitive means "to be about to" do something.  
Stavo per uscire.  I was about to go out.  
Stiamo per mangiare.  We're about to eat.
→ Dare un esame means to take an exam rather than to give an exam.
Gerunds are formed by dropping the ending of the infinitive, and adding the following endings to the stem:
-are -ando
-ere -endo
-ire -endo
To express a progressive or continuous action, conjugate stare and add the gerund.  Sto parlando italiano is I am speaking Italian.  (As opposed to Parlo italiano I speak Italian.)  There are only a few irregular gerunds: fare - facendo (doing), dare - dando (giving), dire - dicendo (say/telling), bere - bevendo (drinking), porre - ponendo (putting, placing) and tradurre - tradunendo (translating).
Che cosa stai facendo? What are you doing?
Dove stanno andando? Where are they going?
Stava dicendo la verità. He was telling the truth.
airport l'aeroporto library la biblioteca
alley il vicolo market il mercato
avenue la viale ministry il ministero