Beware of the ‘B’ Words – The Easy Version Posted by Serena on Aug 24, 2011 in Italian Language
Firstly, well done Bill Rohwer, you win first prize: a beautiful three month old kitten. Let us know when you are ready to come and collect her.
Now, here’s the ‘easy version of my ‘b’ word quiz:
In Italian we have a confusing group of words beginning with ‘b’ and ending with groups of vowels. All of these words sound very similar, and it can take quite a while to begin to differentiate them:
il boia = the executioner N.B we commonly use the expression ‘fare un freddo boia’ = ‘to be really cold’
il buio = the dark N.B. we use the verb fare (see my blog Il Verbo Fare) with buio with the meaning of ‘to be dark’ e.g. fa buio = it’s dark, faceva buio = it was dark, etc.
la bua = the pain/hurt farsi la bua is the child’s equivalent of farsi male = to hurt oneself. For more info see this blog: Fa Male
il bue (plur: i buoi) = the ox (plural: the oxen) N.B. In Italian fried eggs are called uova all’occhio di bue = bull’s eye eggs
il boa = the boa (boa constrictor, or feather boa)
la boa = the buoy
Complete the sentences below by inserting the correct word from the list above.
1. Quando ero bambina un giorno ho visto una coppia di che tirava l’aratro
1. One day when I was a child I saw a pair of ____ pulling a plough
2. La mattina del 16 ottobre 1793 Maria Antonietta fu portata davanti al
2. On the morning of 16th of October 1793 Marie Antoinette was taken before the ___
3. Giovannino è caduto e si è fatto la al ginocchio
3. Giovanni fell and ___ his knee
4. Siamo ormai a metà della gara, infatti la prima barca ha appena compiuto il giro di
4. We’re now half way through the race, in fact the first boat has just turned the ___
5. Mia zia Vicky mi ha raccontato che quando arrivò in Inghilterra per la prima volta nell’inverno del 1946 faceva un freddo
5. My aunt Vicky told me that when she first arrived in England in the winter of 1946 it was ___
6. Quella notte il cielo era coperto, non c’era la luna, faceva molto
6. That night the sky was covered, there was no moon, it was really ___
7. Dicono che il sia addirittura capace d’ingoiare una capra intera
7. They say that the ___ is actually able to swallow a whole goat
8. Quando ero bambina avevo paura del
8. When I was a child I was afraid of the ___
9. La mamma dice al bambino: “Vieni qua che ti do un bacino così ti passa la ”
9. The mother says to the child: “come here and I’ll give you a kiss so that the ___ will go away
10. Mia nonna aveva un di piume di struzzo che portava sempre quando andava a teatro
10. my grandmother had an ostrich feather ___ that she always wore when she went to the theatre
11. Quando fa pesca subacquea mio fratello usa la per segnalare la sua presenza
11. When he goes scuba fishing my brother uses a ___ to show that he is there
12. A Geoff piacciono molto le uova all’occhio di
12. Geoff really likes ___
E per finire, ecco una frase in cui ho usato tre di queste parole misteriose: “Era ormai e il aspettava impaziente l’arrivo del condannato a morte sul carro trainato da una coppia di ”
And to finish with, here is a sentence in which I’ve used three of these mysterious words: “By then it was ___ and the ___ impatiently awaited the arrival of the cart pulled by a pair of ___ which carried the person who had been condemned to death
So, is anyone else feeling brave enough to post their answers in the comments section? Su, forza!
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