Basic Italian: Ecco Fatto!

When I was living in the USA I realized that at times I was loosing my Italian, as I was more and more thinking in English. Even Dreaming in English. But some expressions I never lost (along with basic math, … one always counts & adds in his/hers grammar school language!).

One of my most popular expression was “Ecco Fatto!

It seemed that everybody liked it, and sometimes picked it up too.

A few years ago in Italy I had a colleague and friend visiting me in Italy with her husband and two-years old son, who loved my “Ecco Fatto!” The baby learn it quickly, and used it appropriatedly for quite sometimes after returning home to the USA.

Ecco Fatto

It is an Adverb, and it means “there you go” – “that’s it” – “here you go” – “there we are” – “here we go” – “there it is” – “there we go” – “there you are” – and “presto!”

Don’t you love it?

Ecco!

All alone is another adverb, It has morphological and syntactic behavior similar to that of a verb: it aggregates to itself the pron. direct and indirect enclitics;

It expresses the presence of something or the fulfillment of an event when it is talked about. It can be followed by:

a name or a pron .: “here’s Paul;” or

“Here I am! [in which case it will be “eccomi” as “ecco-me.”

an objective sentence (with the v. to the inf. or introduction from which):

[ecco] here comes the bride;

from past participle: “done!”

Most often it is used as a “filler.” Just like the most popular “she goes/he goes

To modify, to emphasize, to resume the main theme of the speech: “[Ecco], I told you that in those years …“; and, to comment and reinforce previous statements: “You are an opportunist. [Ecco!]”

Boh!

One of My Favorites!

It is actually a very quick way not to answer a question. Most favored by teenagers! But I avoided using it, while abroad, regardless of its simplicity, no one ever understood what that meant.

When an Italian does not know the answer to something he is asked, he says “boh“, which means “I don’t know“. (It is usually accompanied by a quick raise of the shoulder, as a “i don’t care…

But avoid responding to your teacher/superior/boss/supervisor this way, s/he wouldn’t take it well! But for friends, it’s perfect!

What do you do tonight? Boh …

Dai!

Means litteraly COME ON! But I admit that I avoided using it as it sounds just like “die,” as for “to die.” And that doesn’t sound too good, does it?

Be careful not to confuse it with the second person singular of the verb DARE! DAI, in fact, in this case can express various meanings.

For example, he expresses surprise at something we have just seen or heard, which we hardly believe.

I saw Sara and Luca together again!

[Dai?] Really?

Or we use DAI to encourage someone to do something.

[Dai] Let’s do this, … we can do this

[Dai] Come on! Come away with me…

Furthermore, DAI can also be used to invite someone to stop doing something, as a synonym for “Enough!”, “Stop it!”

Especially if you add Eh dai! for enphasis!

[Eh Dai!] Come on! We must work! Turn off the music!

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I lived the most part of my life in Washington DC, now in Italy getting to know again my country. Plenty of surprises, for good and bad, and lots of nostalgia for DC.

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