How To Describe People And Things In Italian

avatarMille Larsen
3 mins read

L'uomo e la donna sonno vecchi. — The man and woman are old.

By this point, if you're doing your LiveMocha lessons every day, you should already be able to describe people and things, and you should know your basic colors. That's really a lot of progress in just the past three days!

The key to remembering what you learn is to use it. If you have a friend you can talk to in your language, that helps. But if not, it's still okay to talk to yourself. Just look at the world around you and see how much you can already describe.

It's a start

For me, in Italian, this means that I know how to refer to a fat man as l'uomo grasso, and that young boy as il ragazzo giovane. I know that a yellow car is una macchina gialla and the red building is l'edificio rosso.

As I walk home from the train, or as I drive to the grocery store, I look around me and describe what I see. I see a yellow building? It's un edificio giallo. I see a skinny girl, she's una bambina magra. And that guy with his kid, standing next to the blue pickup truck? They are l'uomo e il bambino, e un autocarro blu.

Perhaps it doesn't feel like a conversation yet. It's not. But it's already enough for you to start making yourself understood. Don't believe me? If I am in a gift shop in Naples and I want to buy a fancy Italian wallet, I know how to ask the shopkeeper for il portafoglio nero. And if I am lost in Rome with a black eye from the guy who stole that wallet, I can tell i poliziotti that it was l'uomo grasso.

Look around and name what you see

Look around you as you go through your day and name the things you see. Try to describe your surroundings. Doing this is very important, because it gets those words committed into your memory. They're easy to remember when you're right there doing your lessons, but when you need your words the most, you'll forget them. Unless you get yourself accustomed to using them.

So, other than the two situations I described, what are some other interesting situations can you think of, where just the words you've learned so far would be enough to get you by? Leave a comment - it helps everyone to learn!

[Edited to correct the grammatical mistake pointed out by Benjameno. Thanks!]