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.
The next word we shall look at is ‘gabbia’.
My dictionary gives this as:
gabbia (sf) = cage
Here is an example:
La gabbia deve essere pulita = The cage must be clean
The story so far
Storia di una capinera
Avevo visto una povera capinera chiusa in gabbia:
Story of a blackcap
I had seen a poor blackcap locked in a cage:
|alba||sf||dawn, sunrise, daybreak|
|aveva||vt||was having, had|
|aveva is the 3rd personal singular imperfect indicative (3° persona singolare dell’indicativo imperfetto) of the verb avere|
|avevo||vt||I was having, I had, I would have, I used to have|
|avevo is the 1st personal singular imperfect indicative (3° persona singolare dell’indicativo imperfetto) of the verb avere|
|lui aveva un lavoro= he had a job|
|chiusa||agg f||closed, locked, shut|
|della||prep & art||of the, from the, about the|
|di , d’||prep||of, from, about|
|filtrare||vi & vt||to filter|
|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|
|nel||prep & art||in the, into the|
|io non ho = I have not|
|Franco non ha = Frank has not|
|povera||agg f||poor, needy, impoverished, destitute, abject, wretched, miserable|
|società||sf||company, firm, corporation, business|
|storia||sf||story, tale, history|
|una||art indet f||a, an|
A little bit of grammar:
An adjective describes a noun or pronoun, adding information: this house is ‘small’, a ‘large’ one.
Imperfect Tense (l’imperfetto)
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.
The imperfect tense (l’imperfetto) is a past tense which expresses unfinished states or actions. It corresponds to four forms of English past tenses: e.g. studiavo = I used to study, I would study, I was studying, I studied.
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: (indicativo)
This mood expresses or indicates facts. It has a variety of functions: amongst other things it expresses what is universally the case, what usually happens and what happens now.
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.
Pluperfect Tense (il trapassato prossimo):
The pluperfect is used to say what had already happened before another action in the past. Its name means ‘more than perfect, further back in the past’.
It is often recognizable in English by the characteristic ‘had’: I went to meet them, but they had already left.
In Italian the pluperfect is represented by a combination of the imperfect and the past participle.
avevo visto = I had seen
|art indet||articolo indeterminativo||indefinite article|
|pp||participio passato||past participle|
|sf||sostinavo feminile||feminine noun|
|sm||sostinavo maschile||masculine noun|
|vi||verbo intransitivo||intransitive verb|
|vt||verbo transitivo||transitive verb|
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