What is the most difficult aspect of learning Italian?
If you’re asking yourself this question, you’re thinking with a negative mindset.
Before we go into detail, let us tell you learning a language can be overwhelming but it’s up to you to make it enjoyable, fun, rewarding, and successful.
Having said that, don’t worry too much about the most difficult aspect of Italian because, well, as you said, it is the most difficult part of the language, so it’s ok if you find it difficult.
You’ll probably master this aspect with time, motivation, and dedication so don’t get frustrated if you find it difficult.
Also, language learning is very relative and subjective. It depends on many factors such as what other language/s you already speak.
For this reason, we’re going to focus on four potentially difficult aspects:
- Feminine and masculine nouns
- Pronunciation of double consonants
- Auxiliaries essere and avere
The most difficult aspect of learning Italian
In Italian, we have different verb endings for the present, past, and future.
We also have moods like indicative, imperative, and subjunctive.
The subjunctive is probably the hardest verb form, at least for English speakers, since in English we don’t use the subjunctive (it exists but it’s very rare).
An example with the subjunctive is “se io volessi” which means “if I wanted”.
There are also different conjugations (verb endings).
Verbs take different forms depending on who the subject is.
For example, “I eat” is mangio, and “you eat” is mangi.
What are the most difficult aspects of learning Italian?
As we said there are other aspects that might be difficult.
Especially for English speakers, differentiating between female and male nouns is understandably difficult.
In English, the word “book” doesn’t have a gender. In Italian, it does: it’s masculine. Why? Just because.
In fact, the gender of Italian nouns is totally arbitrary, so you have to learn it by heart.
Dictionaries tell you whether a noun is feminine and masculine so we recommend reading this post about the best Italian dictionaries online.
Pronouncing double consonants might be tricky too.
In fact, Italian is one of the very few languages that have lots of pronounced double consonants. Try pronouncing sessantottenne (sixty-eight-year-old).
Last but not least, deciding whether to use the verb essere or the verb avere when talking about a past event can be hard.
We say “io ho mangiato” (I ate) but we say “io sono andata” (I went).
If you want to understand when to use one or the other, we recommend reading our post about passato prossimo.
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