Unit 1: the present simple

A) How is it formed?

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The present simple is formed by adding the base form to the subject for all the forms except the third person singular. We use the do auxiliary for the interrogative and don’t for the negative. With the third person singular (HE/SHE/IT) remember to add an “s” to the base form of the verb in affirmative sentences and to transform DO/DOES in the negative and , DON’T/DOESN’T in the interrogative (for the spelling rules concerning the “s” see BOX below).

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B) When is it used?

To describe habitual actions or routines, usually accompanied by frequency adverbs:
I always go to discos on Saturday nights.
[Vado sempre in discoteca ogni Sabato sera]

She never goes out during the week.
[Non esce mai durante la settimana]

Does she ever listen to her i-pod while she studies?
[Ascolta mai il suo i-pod mentre studia?]

to talk about general situations or things that are normally true or ask about factual infor-mation:
Water becomes ice when it is extremely cold.
[l’acqua diventa ghiaccio quando]

Does she speak a foreign language?
[Parla una lingua straniera?]

Does she speak a foreign language?
[Parla una lingua straniera?]

with state verbs (e.g. verbs which describe emotional states, love/like, or concern mental activities, believe/forget/understand or perceptions-senses, smell/taste/sound):
I love rap. [Amo il rap.]

She doesn’t believe him! [Non gli crede!]

It sounds fantastic! [E’ una buona idea!]

DO/DOES can also be used in affirmative/imperative sentences to express emphasis:
Do sit down, please!
[Ti chiedo di sederti, per favore!]

She does go to school!
[Va a scuola per davvero]

C) Exceptions

sometimes with the frequency adverb ALWAYS we may use the Present Continuous:
He’s always chatting in class!
[Chiacchiera sempre in classe!]

They’re always getting into truoble!
[Sono sempre nei guai.]

Here we are enphasizing a repeated action usually with a negative tone.

We always use the Simple Present with the verb TO BE + an adjective:
I’m tired. [Sono stanco.]

But when we use the verb TO BE to mean how a person is behaving, we may use the continuous form:
He’s being stupid! [Si comporta da stupido!]

Frequecy adverbs and expression

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Image 04

State Verbs

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Unit 2: Present Continuous

A) How is it formed?

Image 01

It is formed with the Present of the verb be + ing.

B) When is it used?

to describe things that are happening now:
e.g. We’re watching TV.
[Stiamo guardando la TV.]
What are you doing at the moment?
[Cosa stai facendo ora?]

to describe things that are happening during this period (not necessarily at this precise moment)
He’s living in London at the moment.
[Per ora vive a Londra.]
He usually lives in Italy, but at the moment he’s living in London. This is a temporary action.

Are you working at the moment? No,they’ve sacked me!
[Lavori per ora?No, mi hanno licenziato]
He usually has a job, but at the moment he’s unemployed.

to describe changes that are happening during this period with verbs like: increase; fall; rise; slow down; go up; etc…
The price of petrol is going up due to the war in Iraq.
[Il prezzo del petrolio sta aumentando a causa della guerra in Iraq.]

to describe planned actions with an appropriate time adverb

C) Exceptions

never use the –ing form with state verbs. (See Unit 1).

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1)il Present Continuous inglese corrisponde all’italiano “stare + gerundio” (sto andando ecc.)

2)si devono sempre usare le forme contratte nell’inglese informale (conversazione, lettere di tipo personale, e-mails ecc)

Unit 3: To Be and To Have

-To be
A) How is formed?

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B)When is it used?
it is used as the main verb:
I’ m tired. [Sono stanco.]
Are you English? [Sei inglese?]

apart from its use as an auxiliary to form both the Present Continuous (see Unit 2) and the Passive, it has its own independent meaning:
I’m from Sicily. [Sono dalla Sicilia.]
He isn’t interested in archeology. [Non è interessato in archeologia.]
Aren’t they late? [Non sono in ritardo?]

compared to Italian the verb to be has special idiomatic meanings in English:
I’m hungry. [Ho fame.]
I’m thirsty. [Ho sete.]
I’m right/wrong. [Ho ragione/torto.]
I’m 16/years old etc. [Ho 16 anni.]
I’m well. [Sto bene.]
What time is it? [Che ora sono?]
I’m in a hurry! [Ho fretta!]
It’s cloudy/hot/cold/misty/windy etc… [E’ nuvoloso/caldo/freddo/c’è nebbia/vento ecc...]

-To have
A) How is formed?

Image 01

B)When is it used?
to indicate possession together with got:
I’ve got a new bike. [Ho una bici nuova.]
Have you got an Apple computer? [Hai un computer Apple?]
I haven’t got enough money. [Non ho abbastanza soldi.]
When have means possession we never use the -ing form.

But in A.Eng. have is used without got to mean possession:
e.g. Do you have a light? [Hai da accendere?]
I don’ t have a big family. [Non ho una grande famiglia.]
I’ve an interesting idea! [Ho un’idea interessante!]

it is used as an auxiliary verb with the Present Perfect and in other compound forms:
I’ve always studied English. [Studio inglese da sempre.]

it is also used as a normal verb without got and with do/does with a variety of meanings:
I have a shower before going to school. [Mi faccio la doccia prima di andare a scuola.]
Do you have breakfast before leaving? [Fai colazione prima di partire?]
He doesn’t have a snack at school. [Non fa lo spuntino a scuola.]

have + to + base form is also used to express obligation:
I have to surf the net now. [Devo navigare su internet ora.]

have + got + to is also used in this sense in colloquial English:
I’ve got to do my homework this evening. [Devo fare i miei compiti stasera.]
(see Unit on modals for the different meanings of have in the negative/interrogative forms) Remember that in the Past forms of have we never use got.
I didn’t have any money yesterday. [Non avevo soldi ieri.]

Unit 4: the imperative

The imperative is used for orders, invitations and directions and is only used in the Present (direct speech). You use the base form of the verb withouth subject:
Go away! [Vattene!/ Andatevene!]
Be quiet! [Stai zitto!/ State zitti!] .

It can be used for advice:

Drive carefully! [Guidi/guidate con cura!]

Unit 7:A Present Simple

A) How is it formed ? (See Unit 1 for the form and primary uses of the Present Simple)

Image 01 Image 02

B) When is it used?

to talk about the future with time-tabled actions (trains, planes, ships, etc) or with a scheduled school or TV time-table:
When does the film start tomorrow evening?
[Quando inizia il fim domani sera?]

What time does this train to Liverpoool leave this afternoon?
[A che ora parte il treno per Liverpool per questo pomeriggio?]

Do not use Present Simple for personal plans or arrangements. For personal plans we generally use the Present Continuous (see B of this Unit):
They’re getting married tomorrow.
[Si sposano domani.]

with if- clauses (first conditionals) and time clauses (when, as soon as, until, before etc.):
If I go to London next year I’ll visit Westminster.
[Se andrò a Londra il prossimo anno visiterò Westminser.]
When we see him we’ll tell him you’ve called.
[Quando lo vedremo gli diremo che tu lo hai chiamato.]

Unit 7:B Present Continuous

A) How is it formed ? (See Unit 2 for the form and primary uses of the Present Continuous)

Image 01

B) When is it used?

for personal plans with an appropriate time adverb which must specify future time or in any case some sort of reference to the future must be implicit, otherwise the use of the Present Continuous may create ambiguity:
I’m leaving from Heathrow Airport tomorrow.
[Partirò.dall’aereoporto di Heathrow domani.]

Are you eating out this evening?
[Mangerai fuori stasera?]

She isn’t going out Saturday afternoon.
[Non uscirà sabato pomeriggio.]


Tomorrow = domani;
Next Monday/week/year/summer/Christmas etc.= il prossimo lunedì/la prossima settimana etc.
In a week/year etc.= fra una settimana/ fra un anno;
In two days’ time = fra due giorni;
The day after tomorrow = dopo domani;
In the future = in futuro
One week from now = fra una settimana

Unit 8:A Be Going To

A) How is it formed ?

The Images are not avaiable :(

The going to form is com-posed of the verb to be + going to + base form:
I’m going to study hard for my P.E.T. exam.
[Studierò molto per il P.E.T.]

Are you going to have breakfast together?
[Farete colazione insieme?]

He isn’t going to buy a new car this year.
[Non comprerà una machina nuova quest’anno.]

B) When is it used?

to describe things we have decided or intended to do in the future (the going to form is also called “Intentional Future”):
She’s going to get drunk
[Ha intenzione di ubriacarsi.]

They aren’t going to see the new Muccino film.
[Non hanno intenzione di vedere il nuovo film di Muccino.]

to describe actions which will really happen from the indications given:
She’s not studying enough! She’s going to have problems at University.
[Non sta . . studiando abbastanza! Avrà problemi all’Università.]
It’s really clowdy! It’s going to rain.
[E’ molto nuvoloso! Pioverà.]

Compare with the use of will with a similar meaning. (see the next Unit on will)

to describe things which are about to happen:
They’ve recentely had a serious quarrel. They’re going to divorce.
[Recentemente . hanno litigato seriamente. Hanno intenzione di divorziare.]

In many ways it is similar to the Present Continuous, although as we have seen the latter is used when we are talking about future plans (see Unit….) However with the going to form we don’t have to use a future adverb or expression. The going to part of the construction comunicates by itself the future.

there is also the past equivalent of the going to form composed of was/were + going to + base form which is used to describe things which you wanted to do in the past but didn’t manage to do (for the form See the unit on the Past Progressive):
I was going to play tennis yesterday afternoon but it rained. [
[Avevo intenzione di giocare a tennis ieri pomeriggio ma ha piovuto.]


A.Eng: I’m gonna see her.   [Ho intenzione di vederla.]
In A.Eng “gonna” often substitutes going to in both the written and oral language. See the lyrics of many American rock singers and groups.
Sometimes in spoken English going to is rended by /gənə/

Unit 8:B Will form

A) How is it formed ?

The images are not avaiable :(

This form of the future is composed of the modal will+base form. In the affirmative and negative the contracted forms are usually used (shall/shan’t are no longer used for the first person singu-lar and plural)
When does the film start tomorrow evening?
[Quando inizia il fim domani sera?]

What time does this train to Liverpoool leave this afternoon?
[A che ora parte il treno per Liverpool per questo pomeriggio?]

Do not use Present Simple for personal plans or arrangements. For personal plans we generally use the Present Continuous (see B of this Unit):
I think he’ll pass his exams.
[Penso che supererà i suoi esami. ]
They won’t go out if it rains.
[Non usciranno se piove.]
Will you see him tomorrow? [
[Lo vedrai domani?]

To Arise Arose Arisen Sorgere
To be Was/Were Been Essere
To bear Bore Borne Sopportare/Portare
To beat Beat Beaten Battere
To become Became Become Diventare
To begin Began Begun Incominciare
To bend Bent Bent Piegare/Piegarsi
To bet Bet Bet Scommettere
To bite Bit Bitten Mordere
To bleed Bled Bled Sanguinare
To blow Blew Blown Soffiare
To break Broke Broken Rompere/Rompersi
To breed Bred Bred Allevare/Generare
To bring Brought Brought Portare
To build Built Built Costruire
To burn Burned
Burnt (B.ENG)
Burnt (B.ENG)
To buy Bought Bought Comprare
To cast Cast Cast Gettare
To catch Caught Caught Prendere/Acchiappare
To choose Chose Chosen Scegliere
To come Came Come Venire
To cost Cost Cost Costarere
To creep Crept Crept Strisciare
To cut Cut Cut Tagliare
To deal Dealt Dealt Trattare
To dig Dug Dug Scavare
To do Did Done Fare
To draw Drew Drawn Disegnare
To dream Dreamed
Dreamt (B.ENG)
To drink Drank Drunk Bere
To drive Drove Driven Guidare (auto)
To eat Ate Eaten Mangiare
To fall Fell Fallen Cadere
To feed Fed Fed Nutrire
To feel Felt Felt Sentire/Sentirsi
To fight Fought Fought Combattere
To find Found Found Trovare
To flee Fled Fled Fuggire
To fly Flew Flown Volare
To forbid Forbade Forbidden Proibire
To forget Forgot Forgotten Dimenticare
To forgive Forgave Forgiven Perdonare
To freeze Froze Frozen Gelare
To get Got Got
Gotten (A.ENG)
To give Gave Given Dare
To go Went Gone Andare
To grind Ground Ground Tirare
To hang Hung Hung Appendere
To have Had Had Avere
To hear Heard Heard Udire
To hide Hid Hidden Nascondere
To hold Held Held Tenere
To hurt Hurt Hurt Ferire
To keep Kept Kept Tenere/Conservare
To kneel Knelt/Kneeled Knelt/Kneeled Inginocchiarsi
To know Knew Known Conoscere/Sapere
To lay Laid Laid Deporre/Posare
To lead Led Led Condurre/Guidare
To learn Learnt/Learned Learnt/Learned Imparare
To leave Left Left Lasciare
To lend Lent Lent Prestare
To let Let Let Permettere/Lasciare
To lie Lay Lain Giacere/Trovarsi
To light Lighted/Lit Lighted/Lit Accendere
To lose Lost Lost Perdere
To make Made Made Fare/Costruire
To mean Meant Meant Significare
To meet Met Met Incontrare
To pay Paid Paid Pagare
To put Put Put Mettere
To quit Quit Quit Smettere
To read Read /red/ Read /red/ Leggere
To ride Rode Ridden Cavalcare
To ring Rang Rung Suonare/Squillare
To rise Rose Risen Sorgere/Alzarsi
To run Ran Run Correre
To say Said Said Dire
To see Saw Seen Vedere
To seek Sought Sought Cercare
To sell Sold Sold Vendere
To send Sent Sent Spedire/Mandare
To set Set Set Porre
To shake Shook Shaken Scuotere
To shed Shed Shed Versare
To shine Shone Shone Brillare/Splendere
To shoot Shot Shot Sparare
To show Showed Shown Mostrare
To shrink Shrank Shrunk/Shrunken Restringersi
To shut Shut Shut Chiudere
To sing Sang Sung Cantare
To sink Sank Sunk Affondare
To sit Sat Sat Sedersi
To sleep Slept Slept Dormire
To slide Slid Slid Scivolare
To speak Spoke Spoken Parlare
To spend Spent Spent Spendere/Trascorrere
To spread Spread Spread Diffondere/Stendere
To spring Sprang Sprung Saltare
To stand Stood Stood Stare in piedi
To steal Stole Stolen Rubare
To stick Stuck Stuck Attaccare/Attaccarsi
To stink Stank Stunk Puzzare
To strike Struck Struck/Striken Colpire
To strive Strove Striven Lottare
To swear Swore Sworn Giurare
To sweep Swept Swept Spazzare/Scopare
To swim Swam Swum Nuotare
To swing Swung Swung Dondolare
To take Took Taken Prendere/Portare
To teach Taught Taught Insegnare
To tear Tore Torn Strappare
To tell Told Told Dire/Raccontare
To think Thought Thought Pensare
To throw Threw Thrown Gettare
To tread Trod Trodden Calpestare
To understand Understood Understood Comprendere
To wake Woke Woken Svegliare/Svegliarsi
To wear Wore Worn Indossare/Logorare
To win Won Won Vincere
To wind Wound Wound Avvolgere
To wring Wrung Wrung Torcere
To write Wrote Written Scrivere
Phrasal Verbs Italian meaning
Add up Sommare, avere un senso
Ask over Invitare
Back up Dare sostegno, appoggiare, fare la copia di file
Break down Rompersi, analizzare
Break into Entrare con violenza
Break out of Scappare
Bring about Causare
Bring up Crescere, educare, sollevare un argomento
Call of Annullare
Calm down Rillassarsi
Care for Predersi cura di
Carry on Continuare
Carry out Eseguire un compito
Catch on Diffondersi
Catch up Raggiungere
Cheer up Tirarsi su di morale
Come about Avvenire
Come across Incontrare per caso
Come back Ritornare
Come forward Proporsi
Come in Entrare
Come up with Escogitare, suggerire
Cross out Cancellare, eliminare
Cut down Eliminare, abbattere
Cut down on Ridurre
Cut of Interrompere
Cut out Ritagliare
Cut up Fare a pezzi
Die away Spegnersi a poco a poco
Die out Estinguersi, scomparire
Do without Fare a meno
Draw up Stilare, preparare
Dream up Escogitare
Dress up Vestirsi con eleganza
Drive away Spinger via
drive back Riaccompagnare con la macchina
Drop behind Rimanere indietro
Drop by/Drop in on Andare a trovare senza preavviso
Drop off Accompagnare a, addormentarsi
Drop out Ritirarsi dalla scuola
Eat out Mangiare fuori casa
Eat up Divorare, mangiare tutto
End up Finire per, concludersi
Face up to Affrontare, accettare
Fall apart Andare in pezzi
Fall behind Rimanere indietro, farsi superare
Fall down Cadere a terra
Fall for Innamorarsi
Fall out with Litigare
Fall over Cadere, crollare
Fell up to Sentirsi all' altezza, sentirsi di
Fight back Reprimere, controllare
Figure out Capire, risolvere
Fill in Completare con l'informazione richiesta
Fill up Riempire, colmare
Find out Scoprire, trovare
Fit in Inserirsi, ambientarsi
Get along with Andare d'accordo
Get away Scappare
Get away with Farla franca
Get by Sopravvivere
Get over Riprendersi da
Get through Riuscire a far capire/raggiungere/comunicare
Get up Alzarsi
Give away Donare
Give back Restituire
Give in Arrendersi, cedere
Give out Distribuire, consegnare
Give up Arrendersi, smettere
Go along with Essere d'accordo
Go back Ritornare
Go down Scendere
Go on Proseguire, continuare, succedere, accadere
Go out with Uscire con
Go over Ripassare, controllare
Go through Andare fino in fondo, attraversare
Go with Abbinarsi a, accompagnare, andare con
Go without Fare a meno di
Grow apart Allontanarsi
Grow up Crescere
Hand in Consegnare
Hand out Distribuire
Hang around/about Bighellonare, stare in giro
Hang out Stendere, appendere fuori
Hang up Mettere giù, riattaccare, appendere
Have on Indossare
Have over Invitare a casa
Hear from Ricevere/avere notizie da
Help out Dare aiuto
Hint at Alludere a, insinuare
Hold back Trattenere
Hunt down Scovare e punire
>Identify with Identificarsi con
Invite over Invitare a casa
Iron out Eliminare, risolvere
Join in Partecipare
Jump at Cogliere al volo
Keep away from Tenersi lontano da, evitare
Keep out Tenere fuori da
Keep up with Rimanere alla pari degli altri, stare aggiornato su
Kick out Cacciare, buttare fuori
Kneel down Inginocchiarsi
Know of Aver sentito parlare di
Lay down Mettere giù, posare
Lay off Sospendere dal lavoro
Lead up to Preparare, portare a
Leave behind Lasciare dietro
Leave out Escludere, tralasciare
Let down Deludere
Let in Lasciare entrare
Let out Fare/lasciare uscire
Lie down Stendersi
Light up Illuminare, accendere
Live up to Rispondere alle aspettative
Lock out Chiudere fuori
Lock up Chiudere a chiave, imprigionare
Log on to Entrare in un sistema informatico
Look after Badare a
Look down on Tenere in scarsa considerazione
Look for Cercare
Look forward to Non vedere l'ora di
Look into Indagare
Look out for Stare in guardia
Look over Esaminare
Look up Cercare una parola in un elenco o sul dizionario
Make out Decifrare, capire
Make up Inventare, riconciliarsi
Mix up Confondore, mescolare bene
Nod off Addormentarsi
Own up to Confessare, ammettere
Pass away Morire
Pass out Perdere coscienza, svanire
Pay back/off Finire di pagare
Pay off Essere redditizio
Pick on Prendersela con, sfottere
Pick out Selezionare, individuare, scegliere
Pick up Andare a prendere con la macchina, alzare, prendere, riprendersi
Play down Minimizzare
Point out Indicare, far fronte
Pull away Allontanare in macchina
Pull in Arrivare, accostarsi in macchina
Pull off Riuscire a concludere, tirare via, togliere i vestiti
Pull up Accostare in macchina
Put across Comunicare
Put away Mettere via, riporre
Put back Rimettere a posto
Put down Posare
Put off Rinviare
Put on Indossare, mettere su di peso
Put out Spegnere, fare uscire
Put up Alloggiare, ospitere
Put up with Sopportare, tollerare
Read up on Documentarsi su un argomento
Ring up Telefonare a
Rule out Escludere
Run across Incontrare per caso
Run against Candidarsi contro
Run around Andare in giro in maniera frenetica e sconclusionata
Run away Scappare
Run down Investire, travolgere
Run for Candidarsi per
Run off with Scappare per stare insieme a
Run out of Esaurire, finire
Save up Risparmiare
See about Informarsi su
See off Salute alla partenza
See through Capire, intuire
See to Provvedere, occuparsi di
Sell out Vendere tutto, esaurire
Set aside Riservare, mettere da parte
Set off Partire, cominciare un viaggio
Set up mettere su, istituire
Settle down Sistemarsi
Show off Mettersi in mostra, ostentare
Show up Apparire senza preavviso, mettere in imbarazzo
Shut down Chiudere battenti
Shut out Non fare entrare
Shut up Mettere a tacere
Slow down Rallentare
Speak out against Dissentire pubblicamente
Speak out for Parlare pubblicamente
Speak up Non tacere, parlare in modo chiaro
Spell out Spiegare chiaramente
Stand for Significare
Stand out Distinguersi
Stay out Stare fouri
Stay over Rimanere la notte
Stay up Non andare a letto
Take after Assomigliare a
Take away Sottrarre, portare via
Take back Restituire, far tornare indietro
take down Annotare
Take in Ascoltare attentamente
Take off Togliere, Prenderesi una vacanza, decollare
Take over Prendere il controllo di
Take up Iniziare un'attività come passatempo
Tell off Rimproverare
Think over Pensare bene prima di decidere
Throw away Buttare via
Throw up Vomitare
Tie up Legare per chiudere o impedire ogni movimento
Touch on Mensionare brevemente
Try on Provare un vestito,
Try out Collaudare
Turn down Rifiutare, abbassare
turn into Trasformarsi in
turn off Spegnere
Turn on Accendere, aprire
Turn up Apparire all'improvviso, alzare il volume
Use up Consumare
Wake up Svegliarsi
Walk out Uscire, uscire per protesta
Wash away Trascinare via con l'acqua
Wash up Lavare/fare i piatti
Watch out for Badare a, stare attento a, guardarsi da
Watch over Sorvegliare
Wear out Consumare
Wipe out Distruggere, eliminare
Work out Risolvere un prblema con un certo sforzo
Write back Rispondere per lettera
Write down Fare appunto scritto
Write out Scrivere per esteso

Note on the author

Pietro Cipolla was born in 1956 in Solihull where his Sicilian parents were working and living, and brought up in the Midlands where he completed his secondary education at the Kings Heath Grammar School (Birmingham). In 1974 he went to study Modern Languages at the University of Palermo and got he got his degree in 1978 and worked under Professor Giovanni Cianci for three years, teaching English at various levels at the Facoltà di Lettere e Filosofia, publishing an essay “Futurist Art and Theory in Wyndham Lewis's Vorticist Manifesto “Our Vortex”, in the Quaderno 9, Istituto di Lingue, Palermo (1979). A full-time secondary school English teacher since 1982, recently he has gone back to teaching at University, working part-time at the Facoltà di Scienze della Formazione (LUMSA University) in Caltanissetta under Padre Vincenzo Sorce. In all these years he has always alternated teaching with interpretation and translation work, travelled widely working as a translator and interpreter in Africa for ‘Casa Famiglia Rosetta’ (Caltanissetta) one of the most important NGOs in Italy specialized in drug treatment and prevention. He has been a component of the Board of Directors of the Association Casa Famiglia Rosetta since October 2009, participating in all the pro-Africa activities especially since it has acquired Special Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) of the United Nations, like the Treatnet II Project for the United Nations Office for Drugs and Crime (UNODC) concentrating on training courses in Cote D’Ivoire, Mozambique and Nigeria in the field of drug prevention and treatment, and working on the project to build a multipurpose health and training centre in the Tanga Region, Tanzania to be completed by 2014.He has published numerous translations, the most recent in Franco Carlisi’s Iavaivoi , Edizioni Gente di Fotografia, Palermo (2006) but also for the review Solidarietà (Caltanissetta)and for the various publications of the Facoltà Teologica di Sicilia (Palermo) like Ho Theológos.