Esprimiti! part 2 Posted by Serena on Jul 18, 2009 in Italian Language
In the first article of this series Esprimiti! part 1 I introduced a number of useful words and expressions aimed at extending your expressive vocabulary. Let’s continue in the same vein in part two by looking at a range of descriptive words and phrases that will help you to esprimerti (express yourself). In Italian we use quite a lot of expressive vocabulary that doesn’t translate very easily into English, and I often find the given definitions in dictionaries a bit unsatisfactory. As usual, therefore, in order to give you more of a feeling for each word or expression I will give common examples of their usage.
Appassionante: this is roughly equivalent to ‘thrilling’, e.g era un film appassionante (it was a thrilling film).
Stupendo and meraviglioso are more or less interchangeable and share the same meaning of ‘wonderful’ or ‘marvelous’. Don’t forget, however, to change the final vowel depending on the gender of the subject, e.g. oggi e’ stata una giornata stupenda / meravigliosa (today has been a marvelous day), questi fiori hanno un profumo stupendo / meraviglioso (these flowers have a wonderful scent).
Affascinante and pieno di fascino don’t translate quiet so well into English but they both mean something like ‘enchanting’, ‘attractive’, or ‘glamorous’, e.g. secondo me, Siena e’ la citta’ piu affascinante della Toscana (in my opinion, Siena is the most enchanting town in Tuscany), molti uomini dicono che Monica Bellucci e’ una donna piena di fascino! (many men say that Monica Bellucci is a glamorous woman!).
Eccezionale/i is roughly equivalent to the English word ‘exceptional’, although in Italian we also tend to use it a bit more in every day colloquial language with the meaning of ‘extraordinary’, ‘rare’, ‘wonderful’, ‘unusual’, or ‘special’, e.g. Le mura di Lucca sono eccezionali (The walls of Lucca are exceptionally good / special), Sophia Loren era una donna di bellezza eccezionale (Sophia Loren was a woman of rare beauty).
Incredibile and incredibilmente are equivalent to ‘incredible’ and ‘incredibly’, e.g. che notizia incredibile! (what incredible news!), questa notte il cielo era incredibilmente limpido (last night the sky was incredibly clear).
You can also use favoloso in exactly the same way as the English word ‘fabulous’, just remember to modify the ending according to the gender of the subject, e.g. un cielo favoloso (a fabulous sky), delle mele favolose (some fabulous apples).
Rimanere sbalordito/a/i/e is a useful expression that means ‘I was, you were, we were, etc. stunned’, e.g. sono rimasta sbalordita dalla grandezza del Duomo di Firenze! (I was stunned by the size of Florence Cathedral!). Essere sbalordito/a/e/i, on the other hand, simply means ‘to be stunned’, e.g. question: Giovanni, cosa pensi del Duomo di Firenze? reply: Sono sbalordito! (question: Giovanni, what do you think of Florence cathedral? reply: I’m stunned!)
To be continued…………………………….
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