Conjunctive, H and Stress Marks in the Italian Language


Have you been studying Italian for many years and are still making mistakes? Don´t worry! It can’t be as bad as being a native speaker and constantly making grammar or typing errors! So here we go with the most common errors Italians make while speaking and writing! There are four common mistakes:

Wrong use of the conjunctive tense
It´s very common to hear Italians using the imperfect tense instead of the conjunctive, since almost 60% of the population used to speak in a dialect. Nowadays this is not considered to be a real error, but there are many movements trying to preserve the correct use of the Italian language. Particularly in Northern Italy, where the improper use of the imperfect tense produces outrage and lots of language lovers, schools, language experts, associations as well as picky people are literally fighting against the trend.

Verbs imparare and insegnare
Imparare means to learn and insegnare means to teach… well, in Italy there are some regions in which the word imparare is used in its original meaning but also with the meaning to learn. Is that not clear? Let´s have a look at an example: “Can´t you really play the guitar? I´ll learn you how to do it!”

Use of stress marks while writing
This error can only be seen while typing texts on the computer and it´s widely spread among Italians. As you may know, the Italian language uses both the acute accent and the grave one. Well, you can not use these accents casually. Since accents are a tiny part of a written text, it doesn’t seem to be that relevant to know how to use them, but it is an error at least as important as the next common mistake of Italian speakers…

Use of the letter “h” in front of some words
Have you ever heard an Italian speaking English? If yes, you will probably have noticed that we can´t pronounce a letter….which one? Of course the “h”! In Italian the letter “h” has only two functions: to create the sound “k” by putting it next to the letter “c” and to distinguish between words that otherwise would have been written in the same way. For instance anno (year) and hanno (they have). This is only a written distinction and you never have to pronounce the “h”. This is why one of the most common mistakes in the written language (even among adults) is either to put too many “h’s” or to not put them at all!!
Have you been living in Italy for a while and found other common mistakes Italians keep making?? Let this list grow with your contributions!

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2 thoughts on “Conjunctive, H and Stress Marks in the Italian Language”

  1. “there are many movements trying to preserve the correct use of the Italian language.”

    “Correct use” should be put in inverted commas. In linguistics, the “correct” is what people use in their language. And if 60% of Italians use imperfect tense instead of conjunctive… well, that’s more “correct” than conjunctive.

  2. Pingback: Congiuntivo, h e accenti nella lingua italiana: ti imparo io! - Lexiophiles

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