Learning Italian, Phrase by Simple Phrase
October 7, 2017
Di dove sei?
di = of
dove = where
sei = are, 2nd person singular present tense of essere, to be
Where are you from? After learning to meet people politely, and learning to order things so that you can eat and drink with them, it is nice to ask people where they are from! Travelers are always asked where they are from, and it is a good way to start a conversation.
Now is a good time to discuss contractions. In English, it's exceedingly common to contract words with the word "is" and the same is true in Italian. In fact, the formal way to ask where someone is from is the phrase Di dov'è? In this case, dove has been shortened to dov' and è has been added, exactly like the English "where is" shortened to "where's."