My Italian word of the day: capinera

La Parola del Giorno

La Parola del Giorno

I apologize to anyone who has been following this thread. Due to worries about copyright I have decided to change the book that I am translating online. From last thursday the book I am translating is ‘Storia di una Capinera’ by Giovanni Verga.

I have set myself the challenge of translating ‘Storia di una Capinera’ by Giovanni Verga into English at the rate of a word a day.

Let’s start with the title: The next word we shall look at is ‘capinera’.  My dictionary gives this as:

capinera (sf) = blackcap

here is an example:

La capinera è un piccolo uccello europeo = The blackcap is a small European bird.


The story so far

Original Text:

Storia di una  capinera


Story of a blackcap



alba sf dawn, sunrise, daybreak
avere vt to have
infinitive (infinito)
aveva vt was having, had
aveva is the 3rd personal singular imperfect indicative (3° persona singolare dell’indicativo imperfetto) of the verb avere
lui aveva un lavoro= he had a job
capinera sf blackcap
che pron that
cortiglio sm courtyard
cortile sm courtyard
della prep & art of the, from the, about the
di , d’ prep of, from, about
filtrare vi & vt to filter
infinitive (infinito)
filtrava vi & vt was filtering, filtered
filtrava is the 3rd personal singular imperfect indicative (3° persona singolare dell’indicativo imperfetto) of the verb filtrare
la luce filtrava dalla finestra = the light filtered in through the window
il art m the
in prep in, into
la art f the
lume sm light, lamp
nel prep & art in the, into the
non avv not
io non ho = I have not
Franco non ha = Frank has not
società sf company, firm, corporation, business
storia sf story, tale, history
una art indet f a, an


A little bit of grammar:

Imperfect Tense

The imperfect is a past tense used to express what someone was doing or what someone used to do or to describe something in the past. The imperfect refers particularly to something that continued over a period of time, as opposed to something that happened at a specific time.

Indefinite article (l’articolo indeterminavo):

The indefinite article is used in Italian, as in English, for an ‘unspecified’ noun. It corresponds to English ‘a’ or ‘an’.

Indicative mood:

The normal mood of a verb as in ‘I like’, ‘he came’, ‘we are trying’ as opposed to subjunctive, conditional and imperative moods.

The indicative mood is the most common and is used to express facts and opinions or to make inquiries. Most of the statements you make or you read will be in the indicative mood.



art articolo article
art indet articolo indeterminativo indefinite article
avv avverbo adverb
f feminile feminine
indet indeterminativo indefinite
m maschile masculine
prep preposizione preposition
pron pronome pronoun
sf sostinavo feminile feminine noun
sm sostinavo maschile masculine noun
vi verbo intransitivo intransitive verb
vt verbo transitivo transitive verb



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