L’ANGOLO DELLA LINGUA
Let’s practise how you say in Italian that you are about to do something or have just done it.
Scusa, devo chiudere la conversazione perché sto per imbarcarmi = Sorry, I have to finish the conversation because I’m about to board (the plane, the ship)
Stanno per iniziare i fuochi artificiali di mezzanotte = the midnight fireworks are about to start
Stavo per uscire quando sono arrivati i nonni a farmi visita = I was about to go out when my grandparents arrived to see me [note that it’s understood that the grandparents are yours and so you don’t need to use the possessive miei]
Qualcuno mi ha detto che stavate per prenotare un viaggio in Italia quando Marco ha avuto l’incidente = I was told that you were about to book a trip to Italy when Marco had the accident
Margherita ha appena finito i compiti allora può uscire a giocare con te = Margherita has just finished her homework so she can go out and play with you [note two things: you don’t need the possessive suoi before compiti because it’s understood that she’s doing her homework; and note the use of the word appena in English. If you use the similar word già it would be wrong because it means already]
Mi ero appena cambiata per andare alla festa di compleanno quando mi hanno telefonato per dirmi che era stata cancellata = I had just changed to go to the birthday party when I got a call to say it had been cancelled [note that cambiarsi (to change clothes) is a reflexive verb like lavarsi, alzarsi, addormentarsi, vestirsi (to wash, get up, fall asleep, get dressed) ie actions you do to yourself. They require the auxiliary essere]
Sono stati davvero fortunati: erano appena usciti dal cinema quando è crollato il tetto = they were really lucky: they had just left the theatre when the roof collapsed.
Yvette Alberti Devlin