Hearty Welcomes & Salutations! Originally an action-packed travel blog from a globe-trotting Scotsman, An Ache for the Distance has, over the years, slowed down (I post less often), mellowed out (my dogs and kid have found their way on here) and become more of an expat blog (I German things up). Take a look around, leave a comment and share the love if you like something.
Stuart Mathieson, Lübeck, Germany

Friday, 29 April 2011

An Italian Insight

*Warning: This post contains content of a grammatical nature*

The Italian media could collectively produce a book with all the words written about Silvio Berlusconi and his Bunga Bunga antics but the reality, as I found out last week, it far more concise.

In a lesson with an Italian student I was teaching the expression "I can't help + gerund."  I offered up my typically patriotic example of "I can't help feeling proud when I hear my national anthem" and asked if he could think of an example with his country.  "Yes..." he replied, "Silvio Berlusconi, he can't help f*cking the girls..."  Laughter exploded for a point well made!

The week before, I had been practicing conditional sentences with a different student when he offered up another little gem of an insight, "If Libya hadn't signed a cooperation treaty with Italy then they wouldn't have gotten into the trouble they're in now..."  A little perplexed, I asked if he was sure the sentence was right.  "Absolutely..." he said, "...if you sign a kind of peace treaty with Italy then you know that in the end, you'll not only be at war, but also that Italy will be fighting against you!"

You have to love the blunt honesty...

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