ES.S41 | Spring 2012 | Undergraduate

Speak Italian With Your Mouth Full

Lesson 12

Lesson 12: Language Instruction

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Lezione Numero Dodici/Lesson Number 12

Watch a video:

Lesson 12, Part 1: Opening lecture and ingredients

Andare a Fare la Spesa/To Go and Do the Shopping

Benissimo! By now you can cook a full Italian meal … but how about grocery shopping?

Andare a fare la spesa literally means “to go to do the shopping.”

Let’s conjugate the indicative present of the irr. verb andare:

(io) vado

(tu) vai

(lui/lei) va

(noi) andiamo

(voi) andate

(loro) vanno

So, quando andate a fare la spesa in Italia, you have many choices:

  • you can go al supermercato
  • to a mercato or a small alimentari or specialty store
  • In any case you should keep in mind that i negozi chiudono presto/the stores close early, usually by 8 pm or earlier e molti negozi sono chiusi/are closed/la domenica.
  • The smaller stores have shorter opening times, and they may be closed for a few hours il pomeriggio. It is better to check!

Se vai al supermercato/grocery storethere are a couple of things to keep in mind:

  • Hai bisogno di uno o due euro per prendere/to take il carrello/the cart.
  • Non toccare/do not touch la frutta e la verdura, they provide disposable plastic gloves.
  • Devi pesare/[you] must weigh la frutta e la verdura con la bilancia.
  • Devi mettere/to put) la spesa nel sacchetto (or borsina)/plastic bag da sola/o/on your own_e devi pagare_/to pay per i sacchetti (pochi centesimi).

Al supermercato ci sono molti reparti/sectors:

  • panificio = bakery
  • reparto formaggi e salumeria = cheese and cold cuts area
  • macelleria= butcher’s shop
  • pescheria=fish shop

If you ask for 100 g of something, you may say one etto (short for ettogrammo) instead.

100 grammi = 1 etto
E.g. Quanto costa un etto di prosciutto?/How much does one etto of prosciutto cost?
1 chilogrammo = 1 chilo
E.g. Vorrei un chilo di mele, per favore. Quanto costano?

If you prefer to try the smaller shops, you will need to go from the alimentari/small grocery shop, usually more expensive to:

  • il panificio
  • il macellaio
  • il fruttivendolo/fruit shop
  • la pescheria.

It can be fun to find some local products.

Ma se vai a fare la spesa in Italia, do no miss il mercato del paese o del quartiere/the open air market of the town or of the neighborhood. It is usually once per settimana, in the morning and it is a full immersion in smells, noises, and flavors.

Remember: you can always ask to try/taste/provare something before you buy it and do not hesitate to haggle for everything.

Buon divertimento!

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Spring 2012
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