Molto, tanto, poco, troppo!

Molto, tanto, poco, troppo!

The Italian words molto/tanto/troppo/poco can be used as adverbs (words that modify or limit a verb, eg ‘well’, ‘very’) or as adjectives (words that describe a noun, eg ‘beautiful’). In the former case, the words do not change whereas in the latter they agree with the noun that they refer to. Check out the following examples.

Ho mangiato molto/tanto/troppo/poco.
I’ve had a lot/too much/ little to eat.

Gli operai non chiedono molto – solo una giusta paga.
The workers are not asking for much – just a fair wage.

Ho una giornata molto impegnativa domani allora non ci possiamo incontrare per pranzo.
I have a very busy day tomorrow so we cannot meet for lunch.

Sono molto occupata al momento – rispondi tu al telefono.
I’m very busy at the moment – you answer the phone.

Abbiamo visto molti/tanti fiori al festival.
We saw many/a lot of flowers at the festival.

Quella signora ha pochi amici perché non è un tipo simpatico.
That lady doesn’t have many friends because she’s not a nice person.

In Italia ci sono troppi partiti politici.
In Italy there are too many political parties.

La bambina ha mangiato troppe paste e adesso ha mal di pancia.
The little girl has had too many pastries and now she’s got a tummy ache.

Ho molta fame, sete, paura (fem. nouns); molto freddo, caldo, sonno (masc. nouns).
I am very hungry, thirsty, afraid; very cold, warm, sleepy [agrees with the gender of the noun. Note also that in English you use an adjective whereas in Italian you use a noun].

La fidanzata di Gianni è molto alta e bella.
Gianni’s girlfriend is very tall and beautiful.

Yvette Devlin