A quick way to learn lots of Italian words!

If you are thinking about it or you have already sign up for a course then let’s look at something which makes learning Italian easy! Yes I said easy! As you will probably know there are a group of words in Italian which are very similar to English! I often laugh with my students about the fact that you can simply add and “o” to an English word give it any Italian twang, wave your arms around and hey presto you are speaking Italian!

Learning these cognates–or words that sound or are spelled the same or in a similar way–between English and Italian can help you improve your Italian grammar as well as expand your vocabulary.

Below is list of Italian cognates broken down into several different categories.

  1. Words that are different due to the final letter
  • Acrobata-Acrobat
  • Altare-Altar
  • Concerto-Concert
  • Errore-Error
  • Dollaro-Dollar
  • Moderno-Modern
  • Problema-Problem
  • Poeta-Poet
  • 2. Words that have a different vowel at the end
  • Cura-Cure
  • Futuro-Future
  • Minuto-Minute
  • Nativo-Native
  • Paradiso-Paradise
  • Senso-Sense
  • Temperatura-Temperature
  • Universo-Universe
  • 3. Words that end in –ale in Italian and end in –al in English
  • Accidentale-Accidental
  • Artificiale-Artificial
  • Canale-Canal
  • Finale-Final
  • Naturale-Natural
  • Originale-Original
  • Vitale-Vital
  • 4. Words that end in –bile in Italian and end in –ble in English
  • Adorabile-Adorable
  • Impossibile-Impossible
  • Miserabile-Miserable
  • Terribile-Terrible
  • Responsabile-Responsible
  • 5. Words that end in ­–ente/-ante in Italian and end in –ent/-ant in English
  • Diligente-Diligent
  • Ingrediente-Ingredient
  • Recente-Recent
  • Eloquente-Eloquent
  • Tollerante-Tolerant
  • 6. Words that end in –ia in Italian and end in –y in English
  • Archeologia-Archaeology
  • Democrazia-Democracy
  • Lotteria-Lottery
  • Melodia-Melody
  • Sinfonia-SymphonyThere are however false cognates–words that look similar between two languages but have different meanings. Below are a list of common Italian false cognates.
  • Be careful!
  • Candido-clean
  • Crudo– uncooked
  • Genitori-parents
  • Magazzino-store
  • Assistere-to be present
  • Attendere-to wait for
  • Confrontare– to compare
  • Intendere- to understand
  • Tastare– to touch
  • Avviso– warning
  • Attico– penthouse
  • Estate-summer
  • Firma-signature
  • Pace-Peace


I hope you enjoyed this blog.

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