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Mica-Spoken Usage # 6-Italian Podcast


Hi everyone, and welcome to the Italian podcast.This is the “Spoken Language Use” column, today we will talk about a word we use in spoken language often (often). The word is “no”. Have you ever heard phrases like “Can you do me a favor?” Or “Jenny doesn’t speak English”? Maybe (= Maybe, Maybe) You have heard of it. But what does this strange word “mica” mean?

“Mica” is defined as a “negative adverb” in the Trecani dictionary and has the following functions: strengthen (strengthen) The negation of the sentence.

Let us take the sentence above as an example: “Your friend doesn’t speak English at all.”
Usually in Italian, we would say “Your friend can’t speak English”. The role of “mica” is to strengthen the negation, a bit like’at all’ (“he doesn’t speak English at all”), “absolute” (“he doesn’t speak English at all”) and other words,’not at all’ (” Don’t speak English at all”).
I know accidental (Under any condition) If you have studied French, you will know that double negation is used in written French (almost never used in spoken language): ne and pas. Usually only “pas” is used in spoken language, which corresponds to our “mica”, but there is a double negation in written language.
“He doesn’t speak English”-“Non parla Mica English”. The structure is the same: “ne” corresponds to “not”, and “pas” corresponds to “mica”.
But let’s go back to Italian, because this is Podcast Italiano and not Podcast Français, let’s see how the Treccani dictionary continues.
“This is typical oral and informal use, so written use is not recommended”
and so Not recommended (Suggested against) Use it when writing. It’s okay to use it when speaking, and it’s best to avoid it when writing in formal language; it can be used instead when we are trying to sarcasm. But what is the origin of “mica”?

“Mica” is there Briciola (Chips)For example, breadcrumbs (or breadcrumbs) are what remains when we eat bread.The remnants of what we eat, very small things, actually its meaning cancel (cancel) That verb next to (It’s very close); “No” is a trivial thing, in a sense similar to “(for) nothing”. “I don’t like it at all”-“I don’t like it at all.” Because’mica’ is similar to’nothing’, it is a very small thing. In my opinion, “not at all” is better than “mica”.But according to Trecani, “is not” has a vague meaning Contemptuous (Contempt, contempt), Why Compare (Compare) Use something worthless, such as breadcrumbs, it is so small and insignificant that it has no value.

Obviously, this is a very old usage, already found in Latin, and there is also the word “mine” in French. However, today, the French use “pas”.
So let’s review the “enhanced” function, perhaps what we call the main function.

1. = Not at all, strengthen the negation

-Carlo don’t know Mica Russians

– I do not have Mica Understand what your friend told me

-I don’t have it Mica complete deliberately (deliberately)!

In all these sentences, you can also invert, so you can also hear the following versions:

—— Mica Carlo understands Russian

—— Mica I understand what your friend told me

—— Mica I did that on purpose!

But “mica” has other functions, let us see what they are. For example, you can use it to politely ask for information or make suggestions (so similar to “accidental”)

2. = accidentally, ask for information politely

– Sea Mica (By chance) Seen Luca?

– Match Mica Where is Garibaldi Road?

-Yes Mica give me a hand?

This usage is also very widely used in spoken Italian.
We see the third usage, or “mica”, when we are surprised at something, or when we express enjoy We like things and say “nice!” (which more or less corresponds to “nice!”)

3. = No, expresses surprised appreciation

—— Mica Bad this beer!

—— Mica Lie to your son! At the age of 10, he could solve second-order equations.

-How much does this car cost?
– 80.000 Euro
—— Mica small!

In all these cases, we can also add “is not” before “is not”, so “It is not Mica Male “,”It is not Mica Fool”,”It is not Mica small”.

Let us now look at the last usage I have identified, which is the “no” in the rhetorical question.

4. Rhetorical question

-Why are you home?You won’t own it Play truant (Skip class) And today?

—— Mica Are you afraid of the dark (Are you really afraid of the dark?)? ! You are great now!

-What are you doing behind the door?You won’t stay Aurigliado (Eavesdropping)?.

There are also two possibilities here: not + verb + mica or Verb + mica.
you have not Mica Afraid of the dark? ! = Mica Are you afraid of the dark? !
Both are possible.

These are the “mica” I have used determine (= found). I admit that I will put them in a somewhat ridiculous dialogue as usual, where participants say “no” every two words. It’s interesting, but I think it’s useful to review the various uses. Also in parentheses, I will write numbers (1,2,3,4) according to the type of use.

M: Hi Marco, how long has it been! How are you?
F: Everything is fine Fabio, how about you?
A: I am fine too.listen You can (Are you willing, how about) Mica (2) Going to eat pizza the next night?
F: Yes, why not. Don’t know, tomorrow?
Man: I’ll be there tomorrow!
F No, wait… I can’t (1) Tomorrow, I will get off work late.
Man: mom you Mica (1) You are working.. Have you found a job?
F: Yes, I have been working for about a year.
A: Ah, Mica Small (3)! And why did you never tell me?
F: I thought you knew. Mica (1) I want Hide things from you (Hidden things from you). It’s just that we haven’t seen it in our lifetime.
M: Well, you are right. Will you be there on Wednesday?
F: Yes on Wednesday. At that time I also brought Laura back.
M: Who is Laura? Don’t you have a girlfriend now? !
F: Yes, you don’t (4) own it Mica Say?
M: No, Mica You told me!But it won’t Mica (4) Laura is the one in the gym?
F: Just her.
male: Mica bad! (3) She is very beautiful. Bravo Fabio, I am very happy. Look, now I must run away.
See you on Wednesday like this You refreshed me a little bit of your life (Let me speed up your life), if there is not Mica (1) Tell me what happened in your life.
F: Okay, let’s talk about it on Wednesday.
M: One last thing, you are Mica (2) Go to the pizzeria in via Verdi? They have been open for a month. The pizza there is very good. If you want, we can go there.
F: No, I haven’t been there yet. Okay, we can go there. So let’s talk, goodbye!

I hope you like this somewhat ridiculous dialogue, and this episode gives you an idea of ​​how to use “Mica”. If you haven’t, I suggest you listen to it again and read the transcript on This is the last episode of 2017. I wish you all a happy holiday and a happy new year. I hope that 2018 will bring you great happiness and success in life and learning Italian. By the way, see you next year!

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