What you will learn

You will learn to talk about relationship problems and to give advice using a new verb mood  – il condizionale. You will also learn about indirect object pronouns and take a closer look at the verb ‘piacere’.

What you need to know.


Here is a basic vocabulary list. Make sure you add to the list this week by inserting words & expressions from our text-handling tasks as you read at home and as we analyse the texts together.


Il condizionale

The conditional is a new verb mood used to give advice, to make polite requests (using “vorrei” instead of “voglio” or using the TU form of any conditional verb) and to say “I could, I should, I would like” etc. Take notes as you watch the video explanation below.

Here is the conjugation table:

Irregular conditional verbs

Note that many of the verbs that are irregular in the future tense are also irregular in the conditional and have the same stem.

Here are some of the most common:

  • avere – avrei, avresti, avrebbe, avremmo, avreste, avrebbero
  • essere – sarei, saresti…
  • andare – andrei…
  • dovere – dovrei…
  • potere – potrei…
  • vedere – vedrei…
  • dare – darei
  • fare – farei
  • stare – starei
  • bere – berrei
  • volere – vorrei
  • venire – verrei
  • rimanere – rimarrei

Indirect pronouns

In previous units we learned about direct object pronouns. Now let’s take a look at indirect pronouns. The table below compares the two types of pronouns.

Now watch the video explanation on indirect pronouns in the context of relationship problems and advice.

For a more detailed explanation, read this .

Il verbo piacere

Piacere is a confusing verb because it works so differently to English – it doesn’t translate as “I like, you like, etc” but rather as “X is liked by Y”. It is particularly relevant in this unit to express “crushes” experienced by teenagers and is used with indirect pronouns. Here are some common uses for this context:

mi piace un ragazzo a scuola  – I like a boy at school (literally, the boy at school is liked by me).

Mi piacciono entrambi e non so chi scegliere – I like them both and I don’t know who to choose (literally, they are both liked by me)

Io gli piaccio  – he likes me (literally, I am liked by him)

Io le piaccio  – she likes me (literally, I am liked by her)

Purtroppo gli piace la mia migliore amica – unfortunately he likes my best friend (literally, my best friend is liked by him)

Ho saputo che le piace mio fratello – I found out that she likes my brother (literally, that my brother is liked by her)

Useful language

Writing about a problem

Expressing a relationship problem in a letter, diary or email will often involve recounting past events that have occurred with a particular person. For this, you will use the passato prossimo (plus imperfetto for background information such as description of scene, person, place).

Eg. Ieri ho litigato con i miei – yesterday I fought with my parents

Eg. Lo scorso weekend ho conosciuto un ragazzo bellissimo – last weekend I met a gorgeous guy.

However, if you are not writing about an incident, then the present tense may be more appropriate.

Eg. A scuola c’e` un ragazzo che mi piace tantissimo. Si chiama Alessandro e ha due anni piu` di me. Ogni giorno mi saluta e qualche volta mi parla pure.   – at school there is a guy I like. His name is Alessandro and he is two years older than me. Every day he says hello to me and sometimes he talks to me too.

Asking for advice

After having shared your problem, you can ask for help or advice with one of the following phrases:

  • Che cosa dovrei fare?  – what should I do?
  • Non so cosa fare. Aiuto!  – I don’t know what to do . Help!
  • Che cosa mi consigli di fare?  – what do you advise me to do?

Giving advice

To give advice to a friend, use the conditional  as explained in the video. Here are some examples:

  • Dovresti fregartene – You shouldn’t care about it / you should ignore it
  • Potresti chiedergli di uscire con te – You could ask him to go out with you
  • Al posto tuo, ne parlerei con i miei genitori – in your place, I’d speak to my parents about it (ne=about it)
  • Se io fossi in te, lo mollerei  – if I were you, I’d dump him

You may also used the imperative, as we saw in the healthy habits unit:

  • Regalale una rosa rossa
  • Cerca di parlare con lui in privato

Your to do list.

Have a better idea for a task? Go ahead and do it, as long as it meets that same purpose and that it can be documented.

TASK                                                                                                                    PURPOSE

  • (optional) CONTRIBUTE to the collaborative vocab list entitled “relationships
  • TIPS:As you run into new words or useful expressions for the topic, add them here.
To build an extensive vocabulary list for the entire class to share, use as a reference list and personalise. To have a bank of vocab and expressions to use when preparing for the individual oral exam in Yr 12 and to use when completing IB writing tasks  about health
  • MEMORISE all the vocabulary and expressions from the unit.
  • TIPS:Make your own quizlet set and/or share it with the class. Find other useful vocab learning websites and aps, record your voice repeating the words, do “look say cover write check”, compete with your friends in your own quiz show-style game.
To drill and memorise all relevant vocabulary.
  • PRACTISE conjugating  conditional verbs with the Condizionale handout. Remember to check your answers
  •  PREFER ONLINE EXERCISES: Try the telelinea website – click on the two exercises on the right and remember to click on the green “correzione” at the bottom of the exercise once you finish.  You can also drill conjugations by going to an online conjugation site like coniugazione.it. First record yourself conjugating the verb, then check your answers by  typing the verb in the infinitive in the top right search bar and looking at the conditional table on the top left.
  • NEED MORE PRACTICE? Try finding some exercises in Italian grammar books that you can borrow from G42 or at the Italian Resource Centre or in public libraries such as Leichhardt. They always have the answers at the back. You can even try searching for some PDFs online .
To drill conjugations and test your understanding of condizionale verbs.
  •  PRACTISE conjugating  conditional verbs combined with direct and indirect pronouns via this cloze. Check your answers at the bottom of the document.
 To drill and test your understanding of conditional verbs and direct + indirect pronouns in the context of relationships
  • COMPLETE the text-handling tasks below on Robert Pattinson, Ricky Martin and amusing “Dear Dolly” type letters.
  • Resources:texts & texthandling questions
  • Check your answers but please make sure you call prof to discuss any questions you were unable to understand or got wrong to ensure you learn from your mistakes.
  • Want some fun practice? go to the ragazza moderna website and click on “love&friends” for “advice” on typical teenage problems
  • Need more practice?  Complete the following from the Esplora Text Book and Work Book:
  • TB 132; WB 148 ex 1 (also justify your answers with quotes) and ex 2
  • TB 133; WB 149 ex 4a & 4b
  • TB 135 with these questions (answers at bottom of doc)
To check your understanding of relationships vocabulary & expressions, to pick up new vocabulary and structures and to develop your text-handling skills for the IB exam. Seeing the language in an authentic context and gaining confidence from understanding an authentic Italian text, rather than one simplified for language learners
  •  IN CLASS TASK: in pairs post a problem online (to your peer tutors):
    • Make up a problem (an appropriate one, see example) and post it after prof has checked it. Then check after a few days and see what advice you have received.
    • Use this sample as a guide
To put all the language together and learn to manipulate and create meaningful responses, without writing out your answer word for word. To enrich your language with new words and expressions. To do a real-life task.
  •    Q & A (optional). Ask or answer questions about the unit via our FB page or email prof
  • “Who questions much, shall learn much, and retain much”.
 Help everyone in the class to understand all the concepts introduced in this focus area, deepen your understanding of the concepts, and appreciate the strength of collaboration

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