Italian Language Blog

Parole Omofone Posted by on Mar 12, 2011 in Grammar

In Italian, the letter ‘h’ is silent. This creates several parole omofone, i.e. words that sound the same even if their meaning, or the way in which they are written is different. Here are the most common:

Group 1
ho 1st person singular of verb avere = to have: ho uno zio che abita a La Spezia (I’ve got an uncle who lives in La Spezia)
oh exclamation: oh, che pasticcio hai combinato! (oh, what a mess you’ve made!)
o ‘or’: vuoi il gelato o la torta? (do you want the ice cream or the cake?)

Group 2
hai second person singular of the verb avere = to have: hai una penna? (have you got a pen?)
ahi exclamation: ahi, mi sono fatto male al dito! (ow, I’ve hurt my finger!)
ai ‘to the’ plural masculine: Serena ha dato da mangiare ai gatti (Serena has fed the cats)

Group 3
ha third person singular of verb avere = to have: Carlo ha una FIAT Punto (Carlo has got a FIAT Punto)
ah exclamation: ah, che bella giornata! (ah, what a lovely day!)
a ‘to’: puoi dare questo libro a Claudio per favore? (can you give this book to Claudio please?)
Group 3
hanno third person plural of verb avere = to have: Geoff e Serena hanno due gatti (Geoff and Serena have two cats)
anno ‘year’: l’anno scorso siamo andati in Umbria (last year we went to Umbria)
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  1. Phyllis MacAfee:

    I found this lesson very helpful. thank you

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