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  • September 2012
    M T W T F S S

how do you know when a word has double letters?

Posted by Monica on September 16, 2012

Hi, Oscar asked me “how do you know when a word has double letters?”

I’m sorry, but we have only two rules:

the conditional have double consonants in the first person plural:

future/futuro conditional/condizionale
andremo (we will go) andremmo (we would go)
lavoreremo (we will work) ………. lavoreremmo (we would work)



words ending with “zione” (azione, meditazione, lezione…) do not require a double consonant.

Usually, we listen to words and we can know the spelling.

Besides today I would like remember you some little things.

In Italian double consonants sound stronger and longer than in English.

How can you listen to or pronounce double consonants?  Try to listen to the music and the beat of the sound. In Italian doubles letters always break into separate syllables, and double consonants tend to affect how the preceding vowel is pronounced so you have to practice a lot.

In the beginning you won’t hear them, but don’t worry: ask a native Italian to pronounce word pairs such as casa/cassa; papa/pappa; nono/nonno or pala/palla (the meaning changes) until you can hear the difference. Remember, in English you can listen to a similar sound in sentence as “bus stop” or “bad dog” and similar.


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