Sometimes the challenge is understanding what someone tells you in Italian, but sometimes it's about coming up with the right Italian word for what we are trying to say (when we happen to be thinking English). So let's start with an English word this time. Let's start out with the English noun "way." We can translate it into Italian in a few different ways.
the way - la via
the way - il modo
the way - la maniera
What's the best way to solve this problem or get out of the situation? We're pretty much talking about a direction here, either literal or figurative. Which way? What route or path do we take?
Sembra che non ci sia più via d'uscita.
It looks like there won't be any way out.
Caption 31, Anna e Marika in La Gazza Ladra - Part 2Play Caption
We can often use the word "pathway" for via. Via, being more about "by what means," and also meaning "road," stands out from the other words we will be talking about, which are more about "how": the way to do something.
If we are talking about the way someone does something, then we will likely use il modo (the way, the manner).
Ma questo modo di conservare gli alimenti, paradossalmente, è un po' più rispettoso della natura...
But this way of conserving food, paradoxically, is a bit more respectful of nature...
Captions 28-29, L'arte della cucina La Prima Identitá - Part 4Play Caption
Le stagioni hanno specifici colori, clima, temperatura, e influenzano il nostro modo di vivere.
The seasons have specific colors, weather, temperatures, and influence the way we live.
Captions 5-6, Adriano Le stagioni dell'annoPlay Caption
Infatti, parliamo allo stesso modo... e facciamo le stesse cose.
In fact, we talk the same way... and do the same things.
Captions 5-6, Amiche sulla spiaggiaPlay Caption
A question to ask with modo is: in che modo (in what way, how)? It often goes hand in hand with the question come (how)?
We can use modo when we ask for or give instructions, such as in cooking. How should we slice the onion?
La nostra cipolla va affettata in modo molto sottile.
Our onion is to be sliced very thinly.Play Caption
Keep in mind that in many cases in which we might likely use an adverb in English (in this case "thinly"), an adjective after modo seems to work better in Italian (in modo sottile).
Here are a few more examples of this:
a roughly chopped onion - una cipolla tagliata in modo grossolano
uniformly - in modo uniforme
strangely - in modo strano
unusually - in modo insolito
messily - in modo disordinato
When you don't like someone's manner, you don't like the way they go about doing things, you can use modo.
Non mi piace il suo modo di fare (I don't like the way he does things).
The cognate for maniera is "manner," which often means "way." So that's easy.
In questa maniera, usando la pasta all'uovo la stessa ricetta, lasagna se ne vende a profusione qui da noi.
This way, the same recipe using egg pasta, lasagna sells profusely here at our place.
Captions 49-50, Anna e Marika Hostaria Antica Roma - Part 2Play Caption
Modo and maniera are very similar, and are pretty interchangeable, but keep in mind that modo is masculine and maniera is feminine.
Ha una maniera strana di parlare (he has a strange way of talking).
Parla in modo strano (he has a strange way of talking).
We have one more translation for "way," and that is senso.
Strangely enough, in the dictionary, we don't immediately see il senso as an Italian translation of "the way." Yet, when we look up il senso, "the way" turns up as the fourth choice as a translation.
Senso is a great word, and one Italians use all the time. Let's talk about 2 popular ways it is used to mean "way." When used in a statement, it's common to find the adjective certo (certain) before it. We have translated it, but you could also leave it out: "In a way..."
e in un certo senso, l'abbiamo anche conquistata
in a certain way, we even conquered it
Caption 22, Fratelli Taviani La passione e l'utopia - Part 3Play Caption
The other way Italians use senso is when they want a more complete explanation of something they didn't quite understand.
They'll ask, In che senso?
Perché? -Perché così nessuno avrebbe saputo che erano false. False? -False? -False in che senso, scusi? -Falsissime.
Why? -Because that way no one would have known they were fakes. Fakes? -Fakes? -Fakes in what way, sorry? -Very fake.
Captions 54-55, Il Commissario Manara S1EP4 - Le Lettere Di Leopardi - Part 16Play Caption
They are asking, "In what way?" but they might also be asking, "What do you mean by "fake"?" or "How do you mean?"
We might want to keep in mind that another meaning of il senso is "meaning."
il senso della vita (the meaning of life)
Check out these lessons that explore the noun, il senso.
Here's how we generally put these different ways of saying "way" into context:
in un certo senso (in a way)
in che senso (how do you mean, what do you mean by that)?
in qualche modo (in some way, somehow)
in qualche maniera (in some way, somehow)
ad ogni modo (anyway, anyhow)
per quale via (by what means)?
Now when you watch Yabla videos, maybe you will be a bit more tuned in to how people use via, modo, maniera and senso. They all mean "way."