A reminder about some common expressions that can be tricky:

it doesn’t matter if you arrive late = non importa se arrivi tardi [don’t say ‘non è importa….’; it’s enough = basta/basta cosí [don’t say ‘è basta’; but you can say ‘è abbastanza/sufficiente’]; is it OK if we join you? = va bene se ci uniamo a voi?  [don’t say ‘è va bene]; it’s worth going to that show = vale la pena andare a quello spettacolo [don’t say ‘è vale la pena’]

NB: valer la pena is not followed by a preposition. Indeed it is worth talking about prepositions as they are a real headache for ‘anglo’ students of Italian – their use in English is no guide for their correct use in Italian! My best advice is that you learn an Italian verb with the correct preposition in the first place – if the verb takes a preposition. Here are some examples that illustrate the differences:

I’m listening to the radio [indirect object] = sto ascoltando la radio [direct object]

I’ve been waiting for her all morning [indirect obj.] = la sto aspettando da stamattina [direct obj.]

She’s gone to ask for the train timetable [indirect obj.] = è andata a chiedere l’orario dei treni [direct obj.]

Dobbiamo telefonare a nostra figlia [indirect obj.] = we must ring our daughter [direct obj.]

Posso fidarmi dei miei vecchi amici [indirect obj.] = I can trust my old friends [direct obj.]

Maria non ha potuto unirsi al gruppo di turisti [indirect obj.] = Maria wasn’t able to join the tourists’ group [direct obj.]

Yvette Alberti