My Italian word of the day: uno

La Parola del Giorno

La Parola del Giorno

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.

Verga: Storia di una capinera (book cover)

Verga: Storia di una capinera (book cover)

 

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The next new word in the text is ‘uno‘.

My dictionary gives this as:

uno (art. indet. m) = a, an (before a masculine noun beginning with s + a consonant, z, gn, x, y/i + vowel, pn, ps)
N.B. If the indefinite article is separated from the noun by an adjective, the choice of indefinite article will depend on the the first letter(s) of that adjective.

 

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Here are some examples:

uno sbaglio  = a mistake
uno studente = a student
uno zio = an uncle
uno zabaglione = a zabaglione
uno xilofono = a xylophone
uno yacht = a yacht

un buono studente = a good student
uno stupido ragazzo = a stupid boy

 

 

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The story so far

Original text:

Storia di una capinera

Avevo visto una povera capinera chiusa in gabbia: era timide, triste, malaticcia ci guardava con occhio spaventato; si rifuggiava in un angolo della sua gabbia, e allorché udiva il canto allegro degli altri uccelletti che cinguettavano sul verde del prato o nell’azzurro del cielo, li seguiva con uno

My translation:

Story of a blackcap

I had seen a poor blackcap locked in a cage: it was timid, sad, sickly it watched us with terrified eye; taking shelter in a corner of its cage, and when it heard the joyful song of the other small birds that were singing on the green of the meadow or in the blue of the sky, she followed them with a

an alternative:

I have seen a poor blackcap locked in a cage: shy, sad and sickly; cowering in a corner of her cage; she watched us with one terrified eye. On hearing the cheerful sound of the other small birds singing on the green of the meadow or in the blue of the sky, she followed them with a

 

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A little bit of grammar

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’.

The forms of the indefinite article are the same as those of the numeral uno (one):

vuoi un libro? do you want a book?

masculine: un, uno
feminine: una, un’

a) Un
un is used before masculine nouns beginning with a consonant or a vowel:

un libro = a book
un albergo = a hotel
un ragazzo = a boy

b) Uno

uno is used before a masculine noun beginning with s + a consonant, z, gn, x, y/i + vowel, pn, ps

uno sbaglio  = a mistake
uno studente = a student
uno zio = an uncle
uno zabaglione = a zabaglione
uno xilofono = a xylophone
uno yacht = a yacht

c) Una

una is used before feminine nouns beginning with a consonant:

una strada = a street, a road
una ragazza = a girl
una piazza = a square, a plaza, a place
una macchina = a car
una scuola = a school
una religione = a religion
una caramella = a toffee

una is used before feminine nouns beginning with an i + another vowel:

una iugoslava = a Yugoslav woman

d) Un’

un’ is used before feminine nouns beginning with a vowel:

un’arancia = an orange
un’esplosione = an explosion
un’isola = an island
un’occhiata = a glance
un’unità = a unit
un’amica = a friend

N.B. If the indefinite article is separated from the noun by an adjective, the choice of indefinite article will depend on the the first letter(s) of that adjective.

un buono studente = a good student
uno stupido ragazzo = a stupid boy
una bella amica = a beautiful friend
un’altra caramella = another toffee

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Vocabulary:

The vocabulary has been moved to its own page.

Please click here:

>>> * VOCABOLARIO * <<<

 

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Navigation:

<<
Previous Italian Word of the Day: seguiva
Next Italian Word of the Day: sguardo >>

 

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