In this short lesson, we will learn the meaning of the Italian idiom Sull’orlo dell’abisso along with its pronunciation. If you are a daytime dreamer, this expression is for you!
Let’s get started! Iniziamo!
Meaning of the idiom
Sull’orlo dell’abisso can be literally translated as “on the brink of the abyss”. Its meaning is the same as the English expression on the brink of disaster, so it’s used to describe someone who is in a very dangerous situation.
Linguistically speaking, it can be broken down into…
- sull’, shortened form of sullo, on the
- orlo, brink
- dell’, shortened form of dello, of the
- abisso, abyss
This idiom is very commonly found with the verbs essere, to be, and camminare, to walk.
For example, you could say…
Federico non si accorse di essere sull’orlo dell’abisso.
Federico did not realize that he is on the brink of disaster.
Stiamo camminando sull’orlo dell’abisso.
We are walking on the brink of disaster.
Pronunciation of Sull’orlo dell’abisso in Italian
Now let’s hear how this idiom is pronounced.
On the brink of disaster.
Literally: On the brink of the abyss.
If you need help with Italian pronunciation, check out the lesson on the Italian alphabet and pronunciation.
Where does Sull’orlo dell’abisso come from?
When you are on the brink of an abyss, you are a step away from a dramatic fall (rovinosa caduta).
This idiom is not to be taken literally. In this case, falling means failing or taking a huge risk.
And that’s the end of our lesson on the Italian idiom Sull’orlo dell’abisso!
Title: Italian All-in-One For Dummies
Language: English / Italian
Publisher: For Dummies
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Italian All-in-One For Dummies appeals to those readers looking for a comprehensive, all-encompassing guide to mastering the Italian language. It contains content from all For Dummies Italian language instruction titles, including Italian For Dummies, Intermediate Italian For Dummies, Italian Verbs For Dummies, Italian Phrases For Dummies, Italian Grammar For Dummies, and Italian For Dummies Audio Set.
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