TOP 10 Italian Mistakes – #3 – GIOCARE

By Manu Venditti | All Levels

Sep 05

Italian verbs: GIOCARE – TOP 10 MISTAKES IN ITALIAN

Today we look at the verb GIOCARE, which means TO PLAY.

First of all, GIOCARE is always followed by the preposition A, that is, we say:

GIOCARE A CALCIO (to play soccer)
GIOCARE A CARTE (to play cards)
GIOCARE A MONOPOLI (to play Monopoli)

(we “play at” something).


The Italian verb GIOCARE is only used to talk about GAMES and SOME SPORTS, when they are GAMES, that is, MATCHES.

GIOCARE A BINGO (to play bingo)
GIOCARE A SUPER MARIO BROS (to play Super Mario Bros)
GIOCARE A TENNIS (to play tennis)
GIOCARE A GOLF (to play golf)

We cannot use it for other sports. We cannot say:
* giocare a yoga
* giocare a rock climbing


GIOCARE is also NOT used for instruments.
The verb in that case is SUONARE (to play instruments).

SUONARE LA CHITARRA (to play the guitar)
SUONARE IL PIANOFORTE (to play the piano)


You cannot use GIOCARE or SUONARE to say “to play music“.
You need to use ASCOLTARE (to listen).

ASCOLTARE LA MUSICA (to play/listen to music)
ASCOLTO LA MUSICA SUL MIO TELEFONO (I play music on my phone)


Another tricky translation of the English verb TO PLAY can be RECITARE, when you are “playing as an actor“, that is, “playing a role“, or simply “acting“, or more often, “RECITARE IL RUOLE” or “FARE IL RUOLO“.

JENNIFER LAWRENCE RECITA IL RUOLO DI KATNISS EVERDEEN
Jennifer Lawrence plays the role of Katniss Everdeen


 

Looking for a Structured, Ongoing program to Learn Italian? Check out 'From Zero to Italian' then!