Italian words of the day – addirittura and appena

Italian words of the day – addirittura and appena

If you have one or more Italian friends, you have surely noticed that there are some Italian words that Italians use quite often.

Sometimes understanding the meaning and use of these words is pretty simple, some others not so much.

So, here are the Italian words of the day you should learn to use.

1. Addirittura

The first of the two Italian words of the day you should learn is addirittura.

Addirittura is one of those Italian words that can cause some problems at first because it can be translated in different ways in English according to the context in which this word used.

In fact, addirittura can mean both even and really.

Let’s start from the most common use of the word addirittura. Addirittura in Italian is widely used to show either surprise or incredulity.

Example
+ Pretendeva che gli dessi 12.000 euro di risarcimento
– Addirittura?
+ He wanted me to give him 12,000 euros of compensation
– Really?

Addirittura is also used to emphasize something that is unexpected or surprising about what you’re saying. In this case, addirittura can usually be translated as even in English.

Examples
a. + Pretendeva addirittura che gli dessi 12.000 euro di risarcimento
– Ma va, scherzi?
+ He even wanted me to give him 12,000 euros of compensation
– What? Are you kidding me?

b. Le è piaciuta così tanto quella maglietta che alla fine ne ha comprate addirittura tre
She liked that t-shirt so much that in the end she even bought three

2. Appena

The last of the Italian words of the day you should learn to use is appena.

Appena is another of those italian words Italians use daily. In English the word appena can be translated in different ways according to the context in which it’s used.

Appena can be used to convey that something can be done with difficulty. In this case, appena can generally be translated with barely in English.

Ex: La luce era talmente fioca che ci si vedeva appena
The light was so dim, you could barely see

The second use of appena concerns time. In this case, appena is used to convey the idea that it didn’t pass much time since something happened. It’s usually translated with just in English.

Ex: E’ appena tornato a casa
He’s just got home

When appena is used with numbers or it indicates a part of something, it usually means solo.

Ex: Mi sono rimasti 3 euro appena
I’ve just 3 euros left

Finally, appena can also mean either in the exact same moment or right after. In this case, appena can or cannot be preceded by the word non. It’s your choice.

Examples:

a. (Non) Appena arrivò a casa, iniziò a piovere
As soon as he got home, it started raining

b. Chiamami (non) appena finisco di lavorare
Call me right after I finish working

Now it’s your turn to use these two Italian words of the day. Can you come up with two sentences with the word addirittura and 2 sentences with the word appena?


Credits

Original image by Olichel

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