'To be' or not 'to be'. Essere o avere?

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Alessandra CampeseItaliano
10 de enero de 2018
690
un minuto

'TO BE' OR NOT 'TO BE'?


ESSERE O AVERE?





Ciao a tutti!

Let's figure out why Italians say 'ho fame', 'ho sete', 'ho sonno', etc. with the verb 'to have' instead of 'to be'!

As you probably know, 'Avere' (to have) is used in many idiomatic expressions that indicate feelings or physical sensations. The pattern is 'avere + noun':



  • Ho fame (I am hungry)

  • Ho sete (I am thirsty)

  • Ho caldo (I am hot)

  • Ho freddo (I am cold)

  • Ho sonno (I am sleepy)

  • Ho paura (I am afraid)



The equivalent English expressions are generally formed with 'to be'.

Why this difference? Because in some specific situations, we use the noun, and not the adjective.

When you say: 'I am thirsty', you are using an adjective, and for this reason you have to use 'to be'. Italians do the same thing when they want to express specific qualities or feelings, using 'to be' (Essere) + Adjectives (e.g. 'sono felice' - I'm happy).

In this case, the Italian adjective for 'thirsty' is 'assetato', however this adjective is not widely used, to say 'thirsty' Italians always use the noun 'thirst' ( = sete), then they must use 'to have' (Avere): 'Ho sete', which (translated literally) is something like: 'I have thirst'.



Let's see a few examples:



Giulia ha sempre fretta.

Giulia is always in a hurry.

Ho caldo. Ho voglia di un gelato.

I'm hot. I feel like having ice cream.

Ho sonno, vado a dormire.

I'm sleepy, I go to sleep.




Bene, I hope it was helpful!

Ciao e a presto!

Alessandra



Italiano Tutor Alessandra
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***Available only until the end of March*** "Imparate una nuova lingua e avrete una nuova anima". (Proverbio Ceco) Hello, my name is Alessandra and I live in Rome. Italian is a poetic language, very musical and wonderfully pleasant to listen to, with a rich literary and historical tradition. I will teach you Italian using a communicative approach: conversation and grammar, first of all, the dialogue, and Italian in specific situations. We'll practice the language with exercises, songs, movies, video, cards and everything can help you to learn, in addition to the Italian culture information. For advanced level (C1/C2): articles, literature, history, and reading comprehension at the highest level. Also: professional, business and legal Italian. I graduated in Law at the University of Rome “La Sapienza”, with specialization in the study of ancient sources (Greek and Latin), and I gained a lot of experience in teaching, tutoring people of all ages for 8 years: - as Research Assistant in Roman Law at University of Rome “La Sapienza” (from 2007 to 2010) - as Tutor and Teaching Assistant at the Link Campus University, Rome (from 2008 to 2014). Historical-legal subject. I have given lessons in classroom, face-to-face, and also with an online platform (about 10 years). I used this experience later, when I started to teach Italian to foreigners privately in Rome and online. In 2008/2009 I spent a year at the Vatican School of Palaeography Diplomatics and Archives: Reading and interpretation of ancient scriptures (in particular, handwritten). I am also a lawyer-linguist, and I am specializing in legal translations. I'd be glad to give you more information, if you need, so let me know if you have any question, please. A presto! Alessandra
Flag
Italiano
globe
Italia
time
92
Italiano
Nativo
,
Portugués
C1
,
Francés
B2
,
Inglés
B2
,
Rumano
B1
,
Ruso
A1
***Available only until the end of March*** "Imparate una nuova lingua e avrete una nuova anima". (Proverbio Ceco) Hello, my name is Alessandra and I live in Rome. Italian is a poetic language, very musical and wonderfully pleasant to listen to, with a rich literary and historical tradition. I will teach you Italian using a communicative approach: conversation and grammar, first of all, the dialogue, and Italian in specific situations. We'll practice the language with exercises, songs, movies, video, cards and everything can help you to learn, in addition to the Italian culture information. For advanced level (C1/C2): articles, literature, history, and reading comprehension at the highest level. Also: professional, business and legal Italian. I graduated in Law at the University of Rome “La Sapienza”, with specialization in the study of ancient sources (Greek and Latin), and I gained a lot of experience in teaching, tutoring people of all ages for 8 years: - as Research Assistant in Roman Law at University of Rome “La Sapienza” (from 2007 to 2010) - as Tutor and Teaching Assistant at the Link Campus University, Rome (from 2008 to 2014). Historical-legal subject. I have given lessons in classroom, face-to-face, and also with an online platform (about 10 years). I used this experience later, when I started to teach Italian to foreigners privately in Rome and online. In 2008/2009 I spent a year at the Vatican School of Palaeography Diplomatics and Archives: Reading and interpretation of ancient scriptures (in particular, handwritten). I am also a lawyer-linguist, and I am specializing in legal translations. I'd be glad to give you more information, if you need, so let me know if you have any question, please. A presto! Alessandra

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