Week 4: High Frequency Words

This series focuses on Fluent Forever’s alphabetical list of the 625 most commonly used words in any language, presented 10 words at a time with their Italian translation.

“Not all words are created equal: we use certain words far more often than others…We get a lot of mileage out of our most frequent words…With only a thousand words [of your target language] you’ll recognize nearly 75 percent of what you read. With two thousand, you’ll hit 80 percent.”

–Gabriel Wyner, Fluent Forever


Word bank: 

beard la barba
beat (verb) battere
beautiful bello / bella
bed il letto
bedroom la camera da letto
beef il manzo
beer la birra
bend (verb) piegare
beverage la bevanda
bicycle la bicicletta / la bici

Practice these high-frequency words on Quizlet.

Level: Give it a Try

  • She thinks the man with la barba is very bello.
  • When I think of Italy, my heart batte fast.
  • The letto in my camera da letto is very comfortable.
  • Do you prefer il manzo or chicken?
  • A cold bevanda, like una birra, tastes good on a hot day.
  • In Lucca, you can ride your bicicletta on the top of the city walls.
  • Metal does not piegare easily.



Level: Challenge

  • Lei pensa che l’uomo con la barba è molto bello.
  • Quando penso di Italia, il mio cuore batte veloce.
  • Il letto nella mia camera da letto è molto comodo.
  • Preferisci il manzo o il pollo?
  • Una bevanda fredda, come una birra, gusta buona in una giornata calda.
  • A Lucca, si può andare in bicicletta sui muri della città.
  • Metallo non si piega facilmente.


Helpful Grammar Links

  • Plurals in Italian: In general, singular masculine nouns ending in “0” change to “i”; singular feminine nouns ending in “a” change to “e”. Some words end in “e” and always change to “i” in the plural.
  • Adjectives are “matchy matchy” – the ending of an adjective matches in gender and number with the noun they are describing.
  • Definite articles: Italian uses definite articles (“the”) much more than English, and each “the” can be different depending on if the noun in question is male or female.
  • Indefinite articles (“a”/”an”)

Language Resources

 ForvoGoogle TranslateFluent Forever, WordReference

Weekend Italian

Catch up on Weekend Italian

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This post first appeared on Prayers and Piazzas.

6 Comments Add yours

  1. Gracefully Global says:

    Great as usual! Sharing this. 🙂

    1. Thank you, Peggy! I appreciate that!

  2. The example phrase for battere is very nice, but it should be mentioned that this word is also used when one person is hitting/beating up another. From: http://www.wordreference.com/iten/battere. I find wordreference.com an invaluable resource as it lists HOW these high frequency words are used.

    1. thank you for the comment — that was a sentence I struggled with!

  3. For Italilan grammar and verb videos presented simply and clearly with native Italian speakers, you can go to my You Tube Channel https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCE0CLJO-eCQNBeEi8y0QzDw/feed

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