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Sunday, 23 October 2011

Tutto fumo e niente arrosto

Non mettere troppa carne al fuoco
Lit. Don't put too much meat over the fire
Fig. Don't bite off more than you can chew.

Non e ne carne ne pesce.
Lit. It is neither meat nor fish.
Fig. "neither fish nor fowl"

Non mi importa un cavolo
Lit. It doesn't matter a cabbage
Fig. I don't give a damn

Maria e proprio a la fruta
Lit. Maria is really at the fruit.
Fig. Maria is at her wits end

Sta andando tutto liscio come l'olio
Lit. It is going as smooth like oil.
Fig. It went like clockwork

Non state gli fermo come un baccalĂ 
Lit. Don't just stand there like a dried cod.
Fig. Don't stand there like an idiot.

Il tuo arrivo e stato come il cacio sui maccheroni
Lit. Your arrival has been like cheese on macaroni
Fig. You came just in time

Piero e un pezzo de pane
Lit. Piero is a piece of bread.
Fig. Piero is very kind.

Gianni e un salame
Lit. Gianni is a salami
Fig. Gianni is dull.

Lorenzo e una testa di rapa
Lit. Lorenzo is a head of turnip
Fig. Lorenzo is an idiot

Sono rimasto come un pesce lesso
Lit. I was left there like a boiled fish
Fig. I was left gobsmacked

Che pizza che sei
Lit, What a pizza you are.
Fig. How boring you are.

Quel film e un polpettone
Lit. The film was a  meat loaf
Fig. The film is a bit of everything, but nothing in the end.

Vai te farte frigire
Lit. Go and fry yourself.
fig. Get Lost

Hai combinato un bella frittata
Lit. You have made yourself a nice omelette.
Fig You made a big mess

Tutto fa brodo
Lit. Everything makes broth
Fig. Every little helps

Tutto fumo e niente arrosto
Lit. All smoke and no roast
Fig All smoke and no fire

Te lo detto in tutto le salsi
Lit. I have told you all the sauces
Fig. I've told you in every possible way.

Taken from:

Sunday, 27 February 2011


In italian, actions which are carried out upon oneself are called reflexive. That is "I call myself" (Chiamarsi (1st, 1) => Mi Chiamo) or "He washes himself" (Lavarsi (3rd, 1) => Si Lava).

In the diagram above, the 1st person (I) is the top of the triangle, the 2nd person (YOU) is to the left, and 3rd (HE) to the right. Plural forms (WE/YE/THEY) are outside the triangle.

The top triangle represents verbs ending in ARSI, the middle triangle represents ERSI verbs, and the bottom, IRSI.

The inner triangle represents:
1st,1 = Myself
2nd,1 = Yourself
3rd,1 = Himself
1st,2 = Ourselves
2nd,2 = Yourselves
3rd,2 = Themselves

  • The 1st singular form of ARSI, ERSI and IRSI is always MI +O
  • The 2nd singular form of ARSI, ERSI and IRSI is always TI +A
  • The 3rd singular form of ERSI and IRSI is always SI + E
  • The 1st plural form of ARSI, ERSI and IRSI is always CI + AMO
  • The 2nd plural form of ARSI, ERSI and IRSI is always VI {TE} >
  • The 3rd plural form of ERSI and IRSI is always SI + ONO

To Have (AVERE)

"To Have" in italian has six forms, 1st, 2nd and 3rd person (Me, You, Him/her) and the plural form of the 1st 2nd 3rd person (We, Ye , They)

As per the diagram, plural forms are outside the triangle.

AVERE (1st 1)= HO
AVERE (2nd 1) = HAI
AVERE (3rd 1) = HA
AVERE (1st >1) = ABBIAMO
AVERE (2nd >1) = AVETE
AVERE (3rd >1) = HANNO