Italian Language Blog

Does Size Matter In Italy? Posted by on Dec 16, 2016 in Uncategorized

Well it certainly does if you don’t know the vocabulary! In today’s blog I’m going to focus on talking about size in Italian, and putting size related vocabulary into useful everyday contexts.

La Misura/La Dimensione = Size/Dimension

Pierangelo ha i piedi enormi! Image CC by Ferdie

grande plural grandi = great, big, large, tall (n.b. più grande can also mean ‘older’)
quanto è grande la tua casa? = how big is your house?

piccolo/a/ plural i/e = small, short, little
la nostra casa è abbastanza piccola = our house is quite small

enorme plural enormi = enormous
Pierangelo ha i piedi enormi! =Pierangelo has enormous feet!

minuscolo/a/ plural i/e = tiny
abbiamo trovato una micina minuscola = we’ve found a tiny female kitten

microscopico/ a plural microscopici/microscopiche = microscopic
non riesco ad avvitare queste viti microscopiche = I can’t tighten these microscopic screws

largo/a plural larghi/larghe = wide
la tavola è troppo larga … non ci sta! = the plank is two wide … it doesn’t fit!

stretto/a plural i/e = narrow
abbiamo proseguito lungo un vicolo molto stretto = we carried on along a very narrow alley

spesso/a plural i/e = thick
c’è uno spesso strato di cemento sotto il pavimento = there’s a thick layer of cement under the floor

grosso/a plural i/e = big, fat
mamma mia quanto sono grosse quelle galline! = wow, those chickens are so fat!

sottile plural sottili = thin
ho avvolto il tubo di scarico con del nastro abbastanza sottile = I wrapped some quite thin tape around the drainage pipe

snello/a plural i/e = slim
è piuttosto snello = he’s rather slim

lungo/a plural lunghi/lunghe = long
mi piace, ma ha le maniche un po’ lunghe = I like it, but the sleeves are a bit long

corto/a plural i/e = short (length)
questi pantaloni sono troppo corti = these trousers are too short

basso/a plural i/e = short (height)
Lucia è più bassa di Gaia = Lucia is shorter than Gaia

alto/a plural i/e = tall
la torre di Pisa è alta 57 metri = The tower of Pisa is 57 metres high

Remember: many size related words can be modified with the suffixes -issimo/a/i/e:

la nostra casa è piccolissima = our house is very small
abbiamo proseguito lungo un vicolo strettissimo = we carried on along a very narrow alley

A presto.

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  1. Phil:

    Great blog! Thanks for the vocabulary, examples and explanations. I have one question about the translation of one of the sentences.

    non riesco ad avvitare queste viti microscopiche

    I thought this would mean, “I am unable to tighten these microscopic screws.”

    What did I get wrong?


    • Geoff:

      @Phil Ooops! Typo due to brain not functioning very well (seasonal virus!!!).

      Thanks for pointing it out, a presto, Geoff 🙂

  2. Kimberly Koehler:

    I was just going to comment on the same thing, Phil!
    I believe the fourth example should be translated “I can’t tighten these microscopic screws…” I’m learning more Italian from these Blogs than I ever did in class.

  3. Kimberly Koehler:

    I meant to say FIFTH example. I can’t even count, so how can I hope to learn Italian?

  4. Charlie DeWeese:

    non riesco ad avvitare queste viti microscopiche = I can tighten these microscopic screws

    Come si dice “I cannot tighten these screws?”

  5. Norma Tingram:

    The fifth example is another of those sentences where ‘riuscire’ is used in a way it wouldn’t be used in English. Can you do a blog on the uses of ‘riuscire a’?

  6. Soprafina:

    I thought ‘grosso’ means big while ‘grasso’ means fat. Mama mia, those chickens are so big!

    • Serena:

      @Soprafina Strictly speaking ‘grosso’ means ‘big’ and ‘grasso’ means ‘fat’. However ‘grosso’ is very often used as an euphemism for ‘fat’, e.g. ‘conosci Lucia, quella donna grossa che abita vicino a Mario?’
      Saluti da Serena

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