Learn Italian from Pinocchio: chapter 3, part 9

After Geppetto makes Pinocchio’s legs and feet, he begins teaching him how to walk. You will look now at the following portion of text in Italian from chapter 3 of Le avventure di Pinocchio by Carlo Collodi:

Restavano sempre da fare le gambe e i piedi. Quando Geppetto ebbe finito di fargli i piedi, sentì arrivarsi un calcio sulla punta del naso. — Me lo merito! — disse allora fra sé. — Dovevo pensarci prima! Oramai è tardi! — Poi prese il burattino sotto le braccia e lo posò in terra, sul pavimento della stanza, per farlo camminare.

— Carlo Collodi, Le avventure di Pinocchio, capitolo 3

At this point in the story, Geppetto has still yet to make Pinocchio’s legs and feet: restavano sempre da fare le gambe e i piedi (the legs and feet still remained to be made). Look now at more examples of how you might use the verb restare in your own use of Italian:

Mi restano pochi soldi.
I have little money left.
I have not much money left.

Mi è restato in bocca un cattivo sapore.
A bad taste was left in my mouth.

Restano da fare ancora una ventina di chilometri.
There are still about twenty kilometres left to travel.
It is still about twenty kilometres away.

You have seen how gli fece la bocca means he made his mouth, and gli fece il naso means he made his nose. Gli fece i piedi, then, means he made his feet. If you wanted to put all of these into infinitive form, they would be: fargli la bocca (to make his mouth), fargli il naso (to make his nose), fargli i piedi (to make his feet).

The second line of text begins: Quando Geppetto ebbe finito di fargli i piedi. Finire di fare means to finish doing, so finire di fargli i piedi means to finish making him his feet. This entire clause means when Geppetto had finished making him his feet.

If you have not already, learn how to use finire di in your own use of Italian.

Ho finito di lavorare.
I have finished working.

Hai finito di mangiare?
Have you finished eating?

Non ho ancora finito di leggere quel libro.
I have not finished reading that book yet.

The rest of the second line reads: sentì arrivarsi un calcio sulla punta del naso. La punta del naso, you will remember, means the tip of his nose. Un calcio is a kick, which is why this is the Italian name for the sport known as football or soccer in English.

When Geppetto gets kicked on the nose, he exclaims that he deserves it: me lo merito! The verb here is meritarsi (una cosa), meaning to deserve (something). In the presente conjugation merito, note that the stress falls on the first syllable: me lo mèrito.

Me lo merito.
I deserve it.

Te lo meriti.
You deserve it.

Ti meriteresti uno schiaffo!
You deserve a slap!
(literally, you would deserve a slap)

Quel calcio me lo sono meritato.
I deserved that kick.
(literally, that kick, I deserved it)

Check where you are placing the word stress: mèrito, mèriti, meriterésti, meritàto.

The text follows with disse allora fra sé. You will remember what dire fra sé means from when you looked at dire fra sé e sé and parlare fra me e me in an earlier part.

Geppetto then says that he should have seen it coming that he would be kicked on the nose by the impertinent Pinocchio: dovevo pensarci prima (I should have thought about it before), and that now it is too late: oramai è tardi.

Pensarci means to think about it, to think about that. The ci conveys the idea of it, that. Learn these examples:

Ci ho pensato.
I thought about it.
I have thought about that.

Non mi dire che non ci hai mai pensato!
Do not tell me that you have never thought about it!

Devo pensarci bene questa volta.
I have to really think about it this time.
(literally, I have to think about it well this time)

Pensaci bene!
Really think about it!
(literally, think about it well)

Oramai and ormai both mean at this point, by now.

Oramai è tardi!
Ormai è tardi!
At this point it is too late!
It is too late now!

Mi sono ormai abituato.
I am used to it by now.

Ormai dovrebbe essere partito.
He must have left by now.

Resisti ancora un po’, ormai siamo arrivati.
Hang on a bit longer; we are practically there.
(literally, hang on a bit longer; at this point, we are there)

That last example above is a little different to the others; ormai here is used to convey the idea that something is so close to happening that you might as well consider it already has.

In the last sentence of this post’s portion of text, Geppetto takes Pinocchio and begins teaching him to walk: prese il burattino sotto le braccia (he took the marionette from under the arms; he picked the marionette up under the arms) e lo posò in terra (and put him on the ground), sul pavimento della stanza (on the floor of the room), per farlo camminare (to make him walk).

Remember that the Italian word for arm is the masculine il braccio, which becomes feminine in the plural: le braccia.

Il pavimento is the Italian word for floor: il pavimento della stanza (the floor of the room), il pavimento del corridoio (the floor of the hallway, the hallway floor), il pavimento del salotto (the floor of the living room, the living room floor), etc.

Farlo camminare means to make him walk. I shall end this post with examples of how you might use fare in this sense in your own use of Italian:

Mi ha fatto soffrire.
He made me suffer.

Mi hai fatto cadere per terra.
You tripped me.
(literally, you made me fall on the ground)

Ti hanno fatto cambiare idea.
They made you change your mind.

This post’s portion of text breaks down as follows: Restàvano sèmpre da fàre le gàmbe e i pièdi (the legs and the feet still remained to be made). Quàndo Geppétto èbbe finìto (when Geppetto had finished) di fàrgli i pièdi (making him his feet), sentì arrivàrsi (he felt arrive at himself) un càlcio sùlla pùnta del nàso (a kick on the tip of his nose). — Me lo mèrito (I deserve it)! — dìsse allóra fra sé (he then said to himself). — Dovévo pensàrci prìma (I should have thought of that before)! Oramài è tàrdi (now it is too late)! — Pòi prése il burattìno sótto le bràccia (then he took the marionette from under the arms) e lo posò in tèrra (and put him on the ground), sul paviménto délla stànza (on the floor of the room), per fàrlo camminàre (to make him walk).

Important Italian usages appearing in this post include: restàre (to be remaining), la gàmba (leg), il piède (foot), pòco (little, not much), i sòldi (money), la bócca (mouth), cattìvo (bad), il sapóre (taste, flavour), ùna ventìna di (about twenty), il chilòmetro (kilometre), finìre di (to finish doing), lavoràre (to work), mangiàre (to eat), lèggere (to read), il lìbro (book), la pùnta (tip), il nàso (nose), il càlcio (kick; football, soccer), arrivàre (to arrive), lo schiàffo (slap), meritàrsi (ùna còsa) (to deserve [something]), pensàrci (to think about it), ormài, oramài (by now, at this point), tàrdi (late), abituàrsi (to become accustomed), partìre (to leave), resìstere (to hang on, to resist), il bràccio (arm), le bràccia (arms), il paviménto (floor), la stànza (room), il corridóio (hallway), il salòtto (living room), camminàre (to walk), soffrìre (to suffer), cadére per tèrra (to fall on the ground), cambiàre idèa (to change one’s mind).