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Modi di Dire — Bianco

Idiomatic expressions with "white" in Italian
Idiomatic expressions are a great way to color your conversations and sound more like a native speaker. (See what I did there?)
There are lots of idiomatic expressions that use colors, but this time it’s all about BIANCO, or the color “white”.
In some cases, Italian and English share the same expressions and imagery. In other cases, they’re completely different.
Using the images and example sentences below, can you decipher the meanings of the following expressions?
modi di dire con bianco: dare carte bianca, di punto in bianco, lasciare in bianco, essere la mosca bianca, mettere nero su bianco, passare la notte in bianco, pasta in bianco, settimana bianca

Esercizi

1.  Write out the English equivalent for each of the following:

 

dare carta blanca (Hint: We use the French!)

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mettere nero su bianco

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2.  In English, we use the term “out of the blue” to refer to something unexpected, that seems to appear out of nowhere.  Which of the above expressions has the most similar meaning in Italian?

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3. “Essere la mosca bianca” literally means “to be the white fly” or to be something unique or rare— different from the rest.  Can you think of an expression in English that uses an animal and a color to express a similar idea?

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4. Read the following description of “settimana bianca” in Italian (from Wikipedia) and write your own explanation of the concept in English:

“La settimana bianca è il termine comune per una permanenza in montagna ed è svolta da coloro che viaggiano e visitano luoghi montani nel periodo freddo a scopo di svago maggiormente rappresentato da sport invernali.”

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5. In which expression is “blank” the best translation for BIANCO?
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6. In which expression is “plain” the best translation for BIANCO?
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7. “passare la notte in bianco” means to have a _______  night:
a. crazy
b. sleepless
8. Write your own unique sentences using each expression.  For an extra challenge, try writing each expression in different tenses and persons.
For example:
Passo la notte in bianco (1st person, Present tense)
Hai passato la notte in bianco (2nd person, Passato Prossimo)
Devo chiudere adesso, altrimenti passerò tutta la notte in bianco!
I must close now, otherwise, I’ll not sleep a wink all night! 😉
Buono studio!

Alex on www.viaoptimae.com

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