What to Study This Week: Non ti ci mettere anche tu!

This week’s phrase from Il Commissario Manara on Yabla is what you say in exasperation when someone is teasing you about something everybody is teasing you about!

 

Non ti ci mettere anche tu!

which means:

Don’t you get into it too!

or

Don’t you start, too!

 

In our episode of Il Commissario Manara, Ginevra is teasing Luca about being called Bubù by his sister, to which Luca responds:

 

No, non ti ci mettere anche tu per favore, eh!
No, don’t you get into it, too, please, huh!

 

It’s actually quite literal if you think about it.

 

Non ti ci mettere anche tu.
Don’t you put yourself there, too.

 

How to Use It Out of the Box

A nice thing about this phrase is that you can start using it right away, even if you don’t understand all the parts. In the particular sense “Don’t you start!” or “Don’t you get into it, too” it’s essentially the same phrase, just add a clause like:

 

Senti, ho già avuto una giornata stressante, non ti ci mettere anche tu.
Listen, I’ve already had a stressful day, don’t you start, too.

 

Generally, you won’t be using a phrase like this when you’re speaking formally, but, if you’re curious, we’ll get to the formal version in a minute.

 

What’s Going to Mess You Up

First up, remember that when you’re using the informal you (tu) in the negative and imperative, the verb is in the same form as the infinitive. So… if you were wanted to say this in a positive sense it would be:

 

Ti ci metti anche tu!
Get involved, too!

 

But in the negative it’s:

 

Non ti ci mettere anche tu!
Don’t you get involved, too!

 

This substitution for the imperative in the negative is only for tu.

 

Second, use of this phrase in more advanced ways involves shuffling some pronouns. For example, let’s revisit what happens if you were to use this phrase with the formal you.

 

Non ci si metta anche lei.
Don’t you get involved, too.

 

Ah! What happened there? Ci and si switched! Why?

 

In Italian, successive pronouns like si ci and si si are not allowed and must be replaced with ci si. But, don’t worry too much about this. Just think, at least now when you hear native speakers make the substitution, you will know why it’s happening.

 

Oh, and there is one more thing you may be wondering. As with informal imperatives in general, it is possible to attach the pronouns to the end of the verb, like this:

 

Ok, ti prego, non mettertici anche tu.
Ok, I beg you, don’t you get into it, too.

 

But for this particular phrase this form is not used as much as the form used by Luca. And that’s a good thing, because it’s a bit of a mouthful!

 

How will you use this week’s phrase? Let us know on Facebook!

 

If you feel your Italian is good enough to watch without Italian (or English) subtitles, this episode of Il Commissario Manara is also available for free from RAI. You will need to fast forward to exactly 48 minutes for the start of Un morto di troppo.

What to Study This Week: Non è da te!

This week’s phrase is another easy one. Here is it:

 

Non è da te!

which means:

That’s not like you!

 

In our episode of Il Commissario Manara, Ginevra, the medical examiner, has just told Luca that she’s a bit envious, to which he replies:

 

Rosmini, non è da te, eh?
Rosmini, that’s not like you, is it?

 

Now, you can say this to your friends, but remember, you can also use it to talk about yourself, you and your friends, or other people. It’s just a matter of swapping the pronoun! Here’s some examples to get you started.

 

Questo comportamento non è da te.
You’re not acting like yourself.
(This behavior isn’t like you.)

 

Non è da te gettare la spugna.
It’s not like you to throw in the towel.

 

Non è da te lottare per una causa persa.
It’s not like you to fight for a lost cause.

 

Non è da noi rinunciare alla speranza.
It’s not like us to give up hope.

 

È imbarazzante e non è da noi.
It’s embarrassing and it’s not like us.

 

Non è da lei comportarsi così.
It’s not like her to act like this.

 

Fingere una malattia non è da lei.
It’s isn’t like her to fake an illness.

 

Non è da lui ignorarmi così a lungo.
It isn’t like him to ignore me so long.

 

Non è da lui essere in ritardo.
It’s not like him to be late.

 

Non è da loro sparire e basta, potrebbe esserci qualcosa che non va.
It isn’t like them to just disappear, something could be wrong.

 

Non è da loro, non scapperebbero così.
It’s not like them, they wouldn’t run away like this.

 

E veramente non è da me essere in ritardo con la frase della settimana!

 

So, how will you use this weeks phrase? Tell us on Facebook.

 

Wait... what language is THAT?

Yabla Italian is an excellent tool to help you develop an ear for spoken Italian. (I use Yabla personally to study three different languages.) With Yabla Italian you will have:
  • verbatim subtitles in Italian
  • access to English subtitles when you need them
  • the ability to turn the subtitles off as you improve
  • quizzes to gauge how well you're doing
And… this is especially useful… you can slow the video down! Yes! We all know how fast the Italians talk. You know a lot of the words. If you just had a little more time to process them…. Well, now you do!

If you feel your Italian is good enough to watch without Italian (or English) subtitles, this episode of Il Commissario Manara is also available for free from RAI. You will need to fast forward to exactly 48 minutes for the start of Un morto di troppo.

What to Study This Week: Fammi un favore

Ah… a sign of relief! Un sospiro di sollievo! Here’s an easy one!

 

Fammi un favore.
Do me a favor.

 

The wonderful thing about this phrase, it’s almost word for word exactly how we say it in English! So for those of you fluent in English, this one is a piece of cake.

 

Here it is as it appears in Il Commissario Manara on Yabla.

Luca and Lara have discovered a dead woman in a pond in a nearby park. But Luca’s sister is in town, so as Lara says she’s returning to the police station he says:

 

Fammi un favore… vedi se mia sorella ha bisogno di qualcosa.
Do me a favor… see if my sister needs anything.

 

So for i vostri compiti this week, ask as many people as you can for a favor! The nice things here is you can get some practice giving commands – using the imperativo. 

 

Fammi un favore… 

 

...passami il cellulare.
…hand me the cellphone.

…chiama il Commissario Manara.
…call Police Commissioner Manara.

…pensaci.
…think about it.

…lasciami in pace.
…leave me in peace.

…metti su il caffè.
…put the coffee on.

 

Note: all of those imperatives above are informal, as is fammi un favore. So, how would you make this phrase formal?

 

(Lei) Mi faccia un favore…

 

...mi passi il cellulare.
…hand me the cellphone.

…chiami il Commissario Manara.
…call Police Commissioner Manara.

…ci pensi.
…think about it.

…mi lasci in pace.
…leave me in peace.

…metta su il caffè.
…put the coffee on.

 

What favors will you ask for? Fammi un favore! Tell us on Facebook.

Wait... what language is THAT?

Yabla Italian is an excellent tool to help you develop an ear for spoken Italian. (I use Yabla personally to study three different languages.) With Yabla Italian you will have:
  • verbatim subtitles in Italian
  • access to English subtitles when you need them
  • the ability to turn the subtitles off as you improve
  • quizzes to gauge how well you're doing
And… this is especially useful… you can slow the video down! Yes! We all know how fast the Italians talk. You know a lot of the words. If you just had a little more time to process them…. Well, now you do!

If you feel your Italian is good enough to watch without Italian (or English) subtitles, this episode of Il Commissario Manara is also available for free from RAI. You will need to fast forward to exactly 48 minutes for the start of Un morto di troppo.

What to Study This Week: Finché non

Our phrase this week is:

 

finché non
until (something happens)*

 

In our episode of Il Commissario Manara on Yabla, the team is at the crime scene and Luca goes to talk with medical examiner Ginevra who says:

 

Finché non faccio l’autopsia posso dirti solo che è morta.
Until I do the autopsy I can only tell you that she’s dead.

 

Notice that finché in this context is usually followed by non.1 Literally you are saying:

 

finché non
as long as not (or while not)

 

Here’s an example from another episode of Il Commissario Manara on Yabla:

 

Lei non se ne andrà da qui finché non avrà dimostrato di essere un vero commissario.
You won’t leave here as long as you haven’t shown yourself to be a real chief of police.

 

Generally, it’s best to just think of the entire phrase finché non as translating to until. When you see finché alone, think as long as or while.

 

Esempi:

Chiama questo numero finché non risponde.
Call this number until he answers.
(Call this number as long as he does not answer.)

 

Non voglio sentire un fiato finché non hai finito.
I don’t want to hear a peep out of you until you’ve finished.
(I don’t want to hear a peep out of you as long as you have not finished.

 

Dobbiamo tenere tutto serrato finché non prendono quel pazzo.
We have to keep everything locked up until they get that crazy guy.
(We have to keep everything locked up as long as they do not get that crazy guy.)

 

So, what’s going to mess you up with this phrase? There’s just one thing, and it will show up after a few other conjunctions as well. Unlike English – if you use the future tense in the first part of the sentence, you must use the future tense after finché non.2

 

Ma aspetterò finché non starai meglio.
But I’ll wait until you are better.
(But I will wait until you will be better.)

 

Aspetterò finché non tornerai.
I will wait until you return.
(I will wait until you will return.)

 

Staremo qui finché non chiederai scusa.
We’ll stand here until you say you’re sorry.
(We will stand here until you will say you’re sorry.)

 

A proposito, Italians use the non after finché even in the negative!

 

Ma non finché non farete un bagno.
But not until you have a bath.

 

No, non finché non avrai risposto alle mie domande.
No, not until you have answered my questions.

 

No, non finché non starai meglio.
No, not until you get better.

 

Confused? With this conjunction, we are getting into more complex language, so that’s to be expected. Don’t panic! Just keep studying phrases. Use the ones that express what you need to express. You’ll see over time you’ll be saying it right and you won’t even know how it happened!

 

Help us with phrases! How will you use this phrase in everyday speech? Tell us on Facebook.

 

Wait… what language is THAT?

Yabla Italian is an excellent tool to help you develop an ear for spoken Italian. (I use Yabla personally to study three different languages.) With Yabla Italian you will have:

  • verbatim subtitles in Italian
  • access to English subtitles when you need them
  • the ability to turn the subtitles off as you improve
  • quizzes to gauge how well you’re doing

And… this is especially useful… you can slow the video down! Yes! We all know how fast the Italians talk. You know a lot of the words. If you just had a little more time to process them…. Well, now you do!

If you feel your Italian is good enough to watch without Italian (or English) subtitles, this episode of Il Commissario Manara is also available for free from RAI. You will need to fast forward to exactly 48 minutes for the start of Un morto di troppo.


*Note: there are other ways the English word until is translated into Italian. In the context of a particular date you would say, for example,  fino a domani (until tomorrow)
1In everyday speech it isn’t always. But don’t worry, context will tell you the meaning.
2You’ll also see finché non (as well as similar conjunctions) followed by the subjunctive.

 

 

What to Study This Week: Farsene una ragione

farsene una ragione

 

If you’ve been following the blog since the beginning, you’ve seen this phrase before. But how many of you remember it?

 

Ha! You’re not doing your homework!

 

Well, you get a second chance. Last week we discussed the verb farsene as it appeared in Il Commissario Manara on Yabla. Farsene or farsene di means to make use of. But how does that relate to the phrase farsene una ragione??

 

Well, not so much. Can we make it fit? Maybe, but I can’t vouch for the translation. Farsene una ragione means:

 

farsene una ragione
to come to terms with (or to get over it)

 

You could say:

 

farsene una ragione
to make use of a reason

 

That would be the literal translation and if I think about long enough I can see how this usage may have developed. But really all you need are lots of examples. Here they are:

 

Non riesco a farmene una ragione.
I can’t get over it.

 

E io ho dovuto farmene una ragione.
And I’ve had to live with it.

 

Perché non te ne fai una ragione?
Why don’t you come to terms with it?

 

Te ne fai una ragione e vai avanti.
You deal with it and you move on.

 

O te ne fai una ragione o la smetti di pensarci.
You either get over it or you stop thinking about it.

 

E se mi viene la botta di freddo me ne faccio una ragione e…
And if I get the sniffles, I just deal with it and…

 

Prima te ne fai una ragione, prima potrai scegliere.
The sooner you come to terms with it, the sooner you can make a choice.

 

Devono farsene una ragione o peggio per loro.
They need to get over it or it’s their loss.

 

Me ne sono fatto una ragione.
I made peace with it.

 

Credo che me ne farò una ragione.
I think I can live with that.

 

Me ne devo fare una ragione.
I have to deal with it.

 

Te ne devi fare una ragione.
You’ve got to deal with it.

 

Ma se ne faceva sempre una ragione.
But he always got over it.

 

It’s very nice as an imperative, too!

 

Tesoro, è il 2009, fattene una ragione.
Darling, it’s 2009, deal with it.

 

E allora… fattene una ragione, principessa.
So… get over it, princess.

 

È un cane, fattene una ragione.
He’s a dog, get over it.

 

Fattene una ragione, siamo solo bambini.
Face it, we’re just kids.

 

Get it from the mouth of a real Italian. Fiorella from Sgrammaticando explains the usage of farsene una ragione in this video.

 

How will you use this week’s Italian phrase? Tell us on Facebook!