How do we talk about frequency — how many times in a period of time something happens or should happen? Let's find out.
Just as English has "every" and "each," so does Italian. Italian has tutti (all) and ogni (each). For more about tutti see this lesson.
In Italia, come ben sapete, la pasta è un alimento consumato tutti i giorni.
In Italy, as you well know, pasta's a food that's eaten every day.
Caption 1, Anna e Marika La pasta frescaPlay Caption
Note that with tutti, we use the plural. Both the noun giorni and the adjective tutti are in the plural. Not only that. If we replace giorni (days) with settimane (weeks), we have to change tutti to tutte, as settimana is a feminine noun. Note also that we have tutto il giorno, which means "all day." Here tutto is singular, so try not to get mixed up (we'll talk about this in a different lesson).
Usciamo quasi tutte le settimane, il sabato sera,
We go out almost every week, on Saturday night,
Caption 40, Erica e Martina La nostra amiciziaPlay Caption
When we use ogni (each), on the other hand, it's always singular.
Qui in Sicilia, in estate si va ogni giorno al mare e la sera si esce.
Here in Sicily, in the summer we go to the beach every day and in the evenings we go out.
Caption 49, Adriano Le stagioni dell'annoPlay Caption
What if we want to talk about "every other day?" We can say ogni due giorni (every two days) or we can say un giorno sì e un giorno no (one day yes and one day no).
Ah no, eh? E tu come lo chiami un bambino che vomita un giorno sì e un giorno no?
No? And what do you call a little boy who vomits every other day?Play Caption
When it comes to doing something once a day, once a week, once a month, or once a year, we use the noun volta, which we can also use in the plural when appropriate. It is followed by the preposition a (at, to, in)
Allora, amici di Yabla, all'interno del mio negozio, una volta al mese ospito degli artisti...
So, Yabla friends, inside my shop, I host artists once a month...
Captions 56-57, Adriano Negozio di Antichità SgroiPlay Caption
Note that the noun volta has other meanings and connotations, so consider checking out the dictionary entry linked to above. Learn more about the noun volta meaning "time" in this lesson.
una volta al giorno (once a day)
due volte al giorno (twice a day)
una volta alla settimana (once a week)
due volte alla settimana (twice a week)
una volta al mese (once a month)
due volte al mese (twice a month)
una volta all'anno (once a year)
due volte all'anno (twice a year)
There is a lot to talk about regarding time. We've covered one aspect of frequency in this lesson, but in future lessons, we'll talk about ways to say "usually," "sometimes," "always," "never," and so on.