We're coving the 10 most important things to know to get by in Italian. Monday we looked at Italian greetings. And Wednesday we looked [at the common courtesies](Permalink: http://www.yearlyglot.com/2010/06/italian-courtesies/ "Italian courtesies"). Today, we'll look at the third thing on the list: asking questions.
I already wrote a somewhat more detailed post about the Italian question words a few months ago. But today we're not examing them so closely. Instead, we're more interested in common ways they might be used and what you need to know as a traveler.
Che? : What?
Chi? : Who?
Come? : How?
Quando? : When?
Quanto? : How much?
Quale? : Which?
Dove? : Where?
Come si chiama? : What's your name?
Come sta? : How are you?
Quanti anni ha? : How old are you?
Cosa fa? : What are you doing?
Dov'è? : Where is it?
Dove va? : Where are you going?
A che ora è? : When is it?
Quanto costa questo? : How much does this cost?
And we should probably consider a few ways to answer questions, too.
Sì. : Yes.
No. : No.
Forse. : Maybe.
Certo. : Sure.
Assolutamente no! : Absolutely not!
The first thing to take note of is the way the cosa (literally "thing") is so often used as a way of asking "what?" The question cosa fai? (for example) is actually a contraction of che cosa fai?
Also important is noting the difference between dove and dov'è. The latter, of course, is a contraction of dove and è.
And one last detail worth note is that you use quando when asking about a general time, such as to ask "when was this temple built?", but you use a che ora when asking when something will occur, such as "when does the movie start?"
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