New to Italian



Hello everyone, my name is Gary, aged 60, and from Liverpool in England.
I have just started the Italian course and really enjoying the experience. I decided to learn Italian because I used to visit Italian (Modena primarily) on business. I love Northern Italy, particularly Verona, it has everything.
However, like a lot of English people, I was very lazy and never learnt the language at all (except please, thank you etc).

I am very determined to improve for my next holiday to Italy, at a time when the whole world will be in a better place.
Stay safe everyone, and my thoughts are with all families affected by the virus.

Quick question from the first lesson.

Why do we say sta al ristorante rather than lui e al ristorante for he is at the restaurant.

Many thanks



Hi Gary, I’ve just started too and my reason is very similar to yours; this strange world situation has given me the perfect opportunity to stop be lazy on trips to Italy and learn the language which is something I’ve been meaning to do for ages.
I’m not convinced I’m yet expert enough to answer your question, but in 1.5 I read that what we’re really saying in Italian is ‘he STAYS at the restaurant’, hence the use of ‘sta’ meaning ‘he stays’.
Anyway best of luck with the studies.


Hi Gary, 

Thanks for sharing your experience and reason for learning Italian. You will definitely love travelling to Italy even more now that you are picking up the language and progressing fast!

Concerning your grammar question:
In this very specific case, you could have also used "lui è al ristorante", like you correctly stated. However, the sentence "lui sta al ristornate" is not wrong, as it indicates the location of the subject. 

The verb "stare" can have multiple uses. When referring to a location, it is used to indicate that the subject "lives" in such location. For instance:
  • Lui è a Londra = He is in London
  • Lui sta a Londra = He stays/lives in London (which is the same as "Lui vive a Londra")

The verb "stare" is also used to indicate a temporary condition. For instance:
Lui sta bene = He is well - you would not say "Lui è bene" as feeling well is a temporary condition.

The verb "stare" can also be associated with the gerund tense to indicate that an action is happening in this moment. For instance:
  • Lui sta facendo da mangiare = He is cooking
    Sta (present tense, 3rd person, singular, from the verb "stare")
    Facendo (gerund tense, from the verb "fare")
Hope this can help you understand better the use of "stare" compared to "essere", feel free to let us know in case you have any questions!


Hi Margaret, 

Thank you for your comment - you are perfectly right, indeed the phrase means "he stays at the restaurant" :)
Also, good luck with your Italian studies!!



Hi Gary

I’m 66, was born in Liverpool and brought up in the Wirral (plastic Scouse!). I’ve been using Rocket for two weeks short of a year, every day. Rocket is the best programme I’ve used for languages. In bocca al lupo!



Hi GaryM41

How are you doing in the grammar department? Still plodding along, and have moved onto level two for some different lessons and more diversity. Been back for an Italian meal again. No Italian restaurants in our village and we have a travel ban, although we are allowed to travel on the island, but not advised. We actually do have an Italian restaurant, but they don't speak Italian

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