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Italian Language/Use of: "bronzo", "bronzeo", e "di bronzo"

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Question
Dear Maria,

My question is about the use of the masculine noun “bronzo” (bronze) and the use of the adjective “bronzeo” (bronze).

Would you please help me to understand how these words are used.

I understand that both “bronzo” and “bronzeo” mean “bronze”, but I am unsure when they mean “bronze the metal” and/or “bronze the color”.

For example, would you please tell me if I am correct to think:

The masculine noun “bronzo” is used to say “bronze” - the metal

The masculine noun “bronzo” is used to say “bronze” – the color.

The adjective “bronzeo” is used to say “bronze” as an adjective  when referring both to the color and to the metal.

Can you also please also tell me if bronzo is ever used as a complemento as in saying -  “di bronzo”.

Thank you very much.  I really appreciate your help.

Very Sincerely,

Rich

Answer
Dear Rich,

Please note that the masculine noun “bronzo” is used to say “bronze” - the metal, but not to say “bronze” – the colour, unless it is used with the word “colore” in some expressions such as e.g. “Ha una pelle che ricorda il colore del bronzo” just to say that someone is being dark orange-brown in colour, like the metal bronze.

See for example:”Un vaso di bronzo” (a bronze vase, just to indicate the material of this vase), “Una statua di bronzo” (a bronze statue),  “L’etŕ del Bronzo” (the Bronze Age, characterized by bronze artifacts), “La medaglia di bronzo” (bronze medal), “Le campane della chiesa sono fatte di bronzo” (The church bells are made of bronze), “Il suo colorito rassomigliava al colore del bronzo”, etc.

Note that “di bronzo” in “vaso di bronzo”, “statua di bronzo”, “medaglia di bronzo” is a “complemento di materia” as it indicates the material of which “vase”, “statue” and “medal”  consist.


As for “bronzeo”, it is used to say “bronze” as an adjective  when referring both to the colour and to the metal as in e.g. “Una statua bronzea” ( “a bronze statue” as well as “a statue made of bronze”); “Una pelle bronzea” (a bronze skin, with reference to a skin which is orange-brown in colour ); “Un colorito bronzeo”.


To conclude, I have to tell you that in Italian we can also have  a metaphorical use of  the noun “bronzo” and the adjective “bronzeo”,  so that in a figurative language we say for example:”E’ una faccia di bronzo” (He is a brazen-faced person); “Che faccia di bronzo!” (What a nerve/a cheek!); “Ha una voce bronzea” to mean that this voice has the same sound as the bronze metal.

Hope this is clear enough.

Best regards,

Maria

Italian Language

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Maria

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Italian is my mother tongue and I'll be glad to answer any questions concerning Italian Language.

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Over 25 years teaching experience.

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I received my Ph.D.in Classics (summa cum laude) from Genova University (Italy).

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