Getting to know you - Lesson 1 - Conversation:

Saluti e presentazioni

(Greetings and Introductions)

(photo by  Leandro Chemalle used under terms of Creative Commons license.)
greeting and introducing


Tenente Smith:

Buon giorno, Signor Capitano. Permette che mi presenti. Sono il Tenente di Vascello Smith.

Capitano Gentile:

Buon giorno, Tenente. Piacere di conoscerLa. Come sta?

Tenente Smith:

Bene, grazie, e Lei?

Capitano Gentile:

Molto bene, grazie.

Tenente Smith:

Signor Capitano, vorrei presentarLe mia moglie, Jane.

Capitano Gentile:

Molto lieto di fare la Sua conoscenza, Signora.

Signora Smith:

Il piacere é mio.



Lieutenant Smith:

Good day, (Mr.)* Captain. Allow me to introduce myself. I** am (the) Lieutenant Smith.

Captain Gentile:

Good day, Lieutenant. Pleased to know you. How are you?

Lieutenant Smith:

Well, thank you, and you?

Captain Gentile:

Very well, thank you.

Lieutenant Smith:

(Mr.) Captain, I would like to introduce to

you my wife, Jane.

Captain Gentile:

Very glad to make your acquaintance, ma'am.

Mrs. Smith:

The pleasure is mine.


Notes on conversation

1. Literally, buon giorno is "good day" and means "good morning" and "good afternoon."

2. A lower-ranking officer (and enlisted personnel) addresses a higher-ranking officer with Signor, "Mr." before the rank. For example, Buon giorno, Signor Capitano. On the other hand, a higher-ranking officer addresses a lower-ranking one with the rank and the name or with Signor and the name. For example, Buon giorno, Tenente Jones or Buon giorno, Signor Jones.

3. The Italian equivalent of "the" always precedes ranks, titles, and "Mr.," "Mrs.," and "Miss."

4. Often the words for "I," "you," "we," and so on, are left out in Italian. They are not needed because the form of the verb tells who or what is doing the action.


Sono il Tenente.



"I am the lieutenant."

Io sono il Tenente.



5. Tenente di Vascello. Di Vascello identifies a lieutenant in the navy. Literally, Vascello means "battleship."

6. piacere de conoscerLa, "Pleased to know you." La, "you," is attached to the verb (and capitalized).

7. Lei, means "you" (singular).

8. Vorrei_presentarLe, "I would like to introduce to you." Le, "to you," follows the same rule as La.