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Aggettivi di Personalità… Come sei tu?

Adjectives | Describing your personality...

Come sei tu?

Word for word, this is “How are you?”, but because it uses the verb essere (sei) [and not “stare” as in Come stai?] it is not asking your current state or mood, but rather, generally, how are you… as in What do you look like?, or What is your personality like?

 

This time, we’re going to focus on the personality aspect of this question and look at some possible answers.

 

No matter what your personality type (or your gender) the answer could start with:

Sono una persona …
I am a …… person.

 

“Persona” is a feminine noun, no matter if the person is male or a female, so the adjective describing it will be in the feminine as well.

 

Try browsing some of the possible answers and see which, if any, you recognize. Write down a few, or as many as you like, that apply to you:

La personalità, Come sei tu? aggettivi di personalità by Alex for Via Optimae, www.viaoptimae.com

 

Now that you’ve browsed, use the definitions below to look up any of the terms that you don’t know or are unsure about and edit or add to your own personal list as necessary:

AGGETTIVI DI PERSONALITÀ*

*again, all the adjectives are in the feminine, because “persona” is a feminine noun
—also, masculine forms get enough attention as far as I’m concerned!
(See the Cultural Note at the bottom of this post!)

 

allegra
cheerful

amichevole
friendly

ansiosa
anxious

arguta
sharp/witty

arrogante
arrogant

assennata
sensible/level-headed

audace
audacious/bold

calma
calm

cattiva
mean/bad

codarda
cowardly

compiacente
obliging/eager to please

comprensiva
understanding

coraggiosa
courageous

decisa
decisive

diligente
diligent

disobbediente
disobedient

disonesta
dishonest

dispettosa
mischievous

distaccata
detached

divertente
fun

dolce
sweet

educata
well-mannered

elegante
refined/graceful

emotiva
emotional

estroversa
extroverted

felice
happy

forte
strong

fredda
cold

gelosa
jealous

generosa
generous

gentile
kind

impacciata
clumsy

impaziente
impatient

impulsiva
impulsive

infelice
unhappy

intelligente
intelligent

introversa
introverted

lunatica
moody

maleducata
rude/ill-mannered

mite
mild-mannered/gentle

modesta
modest

noiosa
boring

obbediente
obedient

onesta
honest

ottimista
(invariable)
optimistic

ottusa
obtuse/dumb

paziente
patient

permalosa
sensitive/touchy

pessimista
(invariable)
pessimistic

pigra
lazy

premurosa
caring/thoughtful

presuntuosa
presumptuous

prudente
prudent/cautious

ribelle
rebellious

sbadata
scatterbrained/careless

scettica
skeptical

scherzosa
joking/playful

scontrosa
surly

scortese
impolite/unkind

sensibile
sensitive

seria
serious

sgarbata
rude

snob
(invariable)
snobbish

spigliata
self-assured

spregiudicata
unscrupulous/unprejudiced

tetra
gloomy/glum

timida
shy

vanitosa
vain

Looking at your list of adjectives, practice saying them aloud and in full sentences. Starting with the formula from above:

Sono una persona …

…emotiva e permalosa.
…onesta e pigra.
(Just for examples!)

Masculine vs. Feminine Adjectives

Just as in English, it is possible to say ‘I am’ and then launch into the adjectives without saying ‘a person.’ In Italian, however, this means that you will have to be aware of your gender, as well as the gender of your adjectives. If you’re female, then you can use all of the adjectives in the form given above. If you’re male, however, you will have to switch your adjectives to the masculine form.

In most cases, if the adjective ends in “a”, you change the ending to an “o”, as in:

Sono …

…tetra e lunatica. (female)
…tetro e lunatico. (male)

 

In most cases, if the adjective ends in “e”, it remains the same for male and female.

Sono …

…sensibile e scortese. (male or female)

 

The verb “Essere – to be”

 

In the above examples, we see the question in the “tu” or “you” (informal) form:

Come sei tu?

And the answer in the “io” or “I form”:

Sono una persona…

It is, of course, possible to talk about the personalities of other people as well. For this, you will need to know the other forms of the verb ESSERE:

So, following this chart, we could say..

(io) Sono… comprensiva.
(tu) Sei… comprensiva.
(lui) È… comprensivo.
(lei) È… comprensiva.
(Lei) È… comprensivo/a.
(noi) Siamo… comprensivi.*
(voi) Siete… comprensivi.*
(loro) Sono… comprensivi.*

 

Tutto il mondo è comprensivo!
The whole world is understanding!

 

*Notice how the adjective ending changed?  That’s because noi, voi, and loro are PLURAL forms and so require also PLURAL adjectives.

 

For additional practice, think of people in your life and use the adjectives above to describe them.

—Com’è tua madre?
—Mia madre è…

 

—Com’è il tuo amico?
—Il mio amico è…

 

—Come sono i tuoi professori?
—I miei professori sono…

Hai capito? (Got it?)

Ciao! Mi chiamo Alex e sono una persona cattiva e dispettosa
(o forse solo scherzosa!)

 

Now, I want to know… Come sei tu?

Alex Signature

 

 

CULTURE: Gender & Addressing a group

In general, you use masculine forms to address men and feminine forms to address women, but what if you’re addressing a mixed group?  Well, in that case, the masculine form wins out. Even if there are three hundred women and just one man— the grammar books say that you should use the masculine.
I watched a television series recently in which they played with this idea.  The boss of a women’s magazine frequently addresses her employees using feminine forms, much to the dismay of the lone male employee.   He cites grammar rules as justification for why she should use masculine forms, but this only drives her character to use the feminine with more gusto.  This shows how changing gender roles can affect longstanding linguistic rules—or at least how those rules can be used as fodder for comedy in a television series! {I’m on the lookout for the clip and will post it if I find it!}

 

September 24, 2016

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