Ever noticed how so many Italian verbs have a common root with English verbs and so may have the same or similar meanings?
Yesterday I was looking at the Italian Verb Conjugator on this site (acutually I was tidying up the messy formatting, it’s much neater now) and I was struck by just how many there were like that, perhaps as many as 20% of the verbs in our list!
Of course, this is because many English words DO originate from Latin words, as do many words in modern Italian.
It’s necessary to be careful as often the meanings have mutated over time, which gives rise to some classic “false friends”, such as “annoiarsi” (“to get bored”, not “to annoy”) or to words that look the same but are only similar, not identical in meaning.
However, words with the same root are certainly a good place to start if you want to expand your Italian vocabulary, and so read and understand Italian better.
Don’t know about you, but I find that words which look or sound similar to words in my own language are so much easier to remember!
So, here are some examples from the “letter A” section of the Conjugator. I’ve added the “correct” translation plus, if it’s different, the “similar” translation which makes them easier to remember.
abbaiare – to bark (but hounds also “bay”, don’t they?)
abitare – to inhabit
accettare – to accept
accusare – to accuse
adorare – to adore
affacciarsi – to overlook, to look out on to (but also to “face”)
affermare – to affirm
aggiustare – to repair, to fix (but also “adjust” if something is not working)
allacciare – to tie or connect (but also to “lace”, as with shoes)
allungare – to lengthen (to “long”?)
ammirare – to admire
arrestare – to stop (“arrest” can also mean “stop” in English, right?)
assassinare – to assassinate
assistere – to attend/be present (perhaps in order to “assist”?)
associare – to associate
assolvere – to absolve
attaccare – to attack
Why not try this for yourself?
Take a look at the “B” verbs in our conjugator, or whatever your favourite letter of the alphabet is, and see if you can make associations between the Italian word and the English translation.
Then, make a list of the ones that ARE similar or the same, and learn them!
So, there you go: hundereds of Italian verbs to learn, and one great way to remember them!
(By the way, for checking meanings, I recommend the ever-useful wordreference.com)