Forming a Sentence
Developing your communication skills will require an understanding of basic sentence structure in Italian. Bear in mind that the following guidelines are not carved in stone; you will hear many variations in sentence structure based on context. These basic rules will help get you started.
Affirmative statement: Paolo mangia la pizza. (POWH-loh MAHN-jah lah PEETS-ah)
Negative statement: Paolo non mangia la pizza. (POWH-loh nohn MAHN-jah lah PEETS-ah)
Question: Paolo mangia la pizza? (POWH-loh MAHN-jah lah PEETS-ah?)
The basic structure of an affirmative statement in Italian is subject+verb+object. Making sentences negative in Italian is as easy as placing the word non in front of the conjugated verb.
Paul and Virginia are not from Boston.
Paul e Virginia non sono di Boston.
Paul eh Virginia nohn SOH-noh dee Boston
There are some two-part negative adverbs:
non … ancora not yetnohn ahn-KOH-rahnon … mai nevernohn meyenon … più no longer
I've never traveled by train.
Non ho mai viaggiato in treno.
nohn oh meye vee-yah-JAH-toh een tray-noh
I am no longer working.
Non lavoro più. nohn lah-VOH-roh PYOU
Asking a question in Italian is as easy as raising the pitch of your voice at the end of any sentence:
Are you American?
Tu sei americano? too say ah-meh-ree-KAH-noh