How to say hello and goodbye in Italian:
Ciao Hi and bye
Youve probably already heard the word ciao, but here are some useful tips when using it.
First of all, ciao can be used as both hi and as bye. Second of all, ciao is a very informal way of greeting, so if you want to greet a friend, you can use it. But if you find yourself in a more formal situation, its always best to use some of the more formal greetings that well cover below.
Buongiorno Hello and good morning
When you enter a shop, a restaurant or you see your host in the morning at breakfast, you should use the word buongiorno, which means both hello and good morning.
Salve is the more formal way of saying hello. When you meet somebody for the first time, its more respectful to say salve than a simple ciao.
Buonasera Hello and good evening
Dont be surprised if you hear Italians saying buonasera already around 2 p.m. or 3 p.m. Its their way of saying hello in the afternoon/evening and it also means good evening.
When you want to say goodbye in a more formal way, you can use the word arrivederci. For example, you wouldnt say arrivederci to your friend (to him or her youd say ciao) but you could say it to the taxi driver or to the shop assistant.
Una buona giornata Have a good day
If you really want to make a good first impression when you leave, say, a restaurant, you can wish your waiter a good day by saying una buona giornata!
Buona serata Have a good/nice evening [to be used when youre leaving]
When you leave the restaurant after an amazing dinner you can wish a good evening in Italian using buona serata. Note buona serata is different from buonasera, which is used as a way of greeting people when you see them for the first time (like a hello). Buona serata is used when people are leaving and they want to wish a nice evening.
A presto See you soon
When talking to someone that you think youll see again someday, its always a good idea to add a presto to your goodbye.
A dopo See you later
A dopo, by contrast,
is something you can say to your friends if you have any intentions
of seeing them later in the day.
Must-know Italian Phrases for Shopping Addicts
Do you like
shopping? Well, who doesnt?! If you plan to do some shopping
in Italy, make sure to learn some useful phrases and words thatll
help you make the best choice!
Shopping in Italy is a must:
already made some plans for sightseeing while in Italy and maybe
youve found some cool places for dinner and drinks, but did
you add shopping to your itinerary? If havent done it yet,
make sure you leave some free time for it. Italy is the country
of fashion and you can find some good quality items over there.
Just make sure it says made in Italy on the label.
Where to go for shopping in Italy?
miss the so-called local markets. In Italy a market is called a
mercato and there you can find really nice clothes, bags, accessories
and more at a good price.
Get shopping with these useful phrases:
Mi scusi, quanto costa? Excuse me, how much does it cost?
If youre shopping at the local mercato, its very likely that some of the prices might be missing. If you cant see a price you can ask the salesperson, Mi scusi, quanto costa? Just make sure youve learned your Italian numbers beforehand, in order to avoid further confusion!
To be even more specific, you can say Non riesco a vedere il prezzo, quanto viene? (I cant see the price, how much is it?).
Posso pagare con la carta? Can I pay with a card?
Its always best to have cash with you when youre in Italy, because a lot of places dont accept cardsespecially in the small cities. However, in most cases, the big brands will have no problem accepting your credit card. If youre not sure whether you can pay with a card, just ask!
Another way to ask this is Accettate carte di credito? (Do you accept credit cards?).
Dove sono i camerini? Where are the changing rooms?
Some stores, especially in the big cities, might get busy and you might not be able to find the changing rooms. In those cases, the best solution is to ask Dove sono i camerini?
You can also use the phrase Dove posso provare questo? (Where can I try this?).
Cè uno sconto? Is there a discount?
Before you pay, always ask if theres any discount if youre not sure!
You could even ask for a discount by saying Mi può fare uno
sconto? (Can you give me a discount?).
Essential Phrases for Dining at Restaurants
cant wait to go to a beautiful restaurant in Italy and order
a glass of red wine and some amazing pasta dish, but dont
forget to learn a few phrases thatll help you order the best
Some useful tips for dining out in Italy:
If you intend to enjoy the real Italian cuisine, try not to go to the so-called touristy restaurants, because those are the worst. Youll find them normally very close to the main tourist attractions and youll see a lot of foreign people eating there.
Food is very important for the Italian people and there are lots of great places that you can go to. How to find the good places? Just look aroundvery often theyre small hidden restaurants with only a couple of things on the menu and only Italian people visiting them.
In those places,
youll definitely use some Italian, since almost no tourists
go there and the staff wont be used to talking in English.
Whats il bar in Italian?
Before we get
to the phrases below, heres a language quirk thats very
important to understand. Il bar in Italian doesnt refer to
a bar, like a place where you can go for a drink with your best
friend. Il bar is the place where Italians drink their coffee and
where you can go for an espresso or for breakfast.
Learn how to order the best pasta while in Italy, using these Italian phrases:
Posso prenotare un tavolo per due? Can I book a table for two?
If you want to go to a nice restaurant and try high-quality Italian food, its always best to book a table. Italians frequently go out for dinner, so if you dont book a table you might not be able to eat where you want.
Another phrase to try out is Siamo in due, possiamo prenotare? (We are two, can we book?).
Possiamo ordinare? Can we order?
When youve made your choice and are ready to order, just call your waiter and ask him or her, Possiamo ordinare?
Siamo pronti e vorremmo ordinare. (We are ready and we would like to order.) is another phrase you can use.
Voglio ordinare una bottiglia di vino rosso, quale mi suggerisce? I want to order a bottle of red wine, which one would you recommend?
Wine is a must in Italy. If youre not familiar with the Italian wines, dont be afraid and ask for help using the phrase above.
Cè una specialità locale? Is there a speciality of the area?
Every region in Italy has different speciality and its always a good idea to ask the waiters if there is any.
Vorrei ordinare un dolce. I would like to order a dessert.
Dont skip the dolci. A tiramisù is never a bad choice!
Possiamo avere il conto, per favore? Can we please have the bill?
ready to pay, simply ask your waiter for the bill. Just dont
be surprised when you see the coperto (cover fee) on it. Its
an added fee per-person and its usually somewhere around two
or three Euros.
Dont Get Lost! Learn How to Ask for Directions in Italian
Italy is full of lovely small streets and if you want to experience the real Italian lifestyle, you shouldnt miss those hidden places. But theres something to consider be really careful not to get lost, as it can be a bit difficult to find someone that can help you out in English.
Or you could
just learn how to ask for directions in Italian!
These are the must-know Italian phrases if you dont want to get lost:
A destra To the right
A sinistra To the left
Mi scusi, per andare in centro? Excuse me, how can we go to the center?
Scusi, dove posso trovare la fermata dellautobus? Sorry, where can I find the bus stop?
Dove si trova la stazione del treno? Where is the train station?
At some point youll probably have to take the train in Italy. Please remember to always validate your ticket before going on the train.
Dove posso comprare i biglietti per lautobus? Where can I buy tickets for the bus?
buy bus tickets when youre already on the bus, so youll
need take care of that before you board. You can buy the tickets
from the station or from the tabaccheria (tobacco store or the tiny
shops that sell cigarettes and bus tickets!).
Italian Phrases You Wont Find in Your Textbook
a little bonus for you as youre teaching yourself Italian10
great Italian phrases that youll probably hear very often,
but wont be able to find in your textbook or dictionary.
10 phrases that only native speakers use:
Sono incazzato/a nero Im really mad/pissed off
This phrase is often used and if you hear somebody saying that, it means that he or she is very mad. For example:
Ho perso il mio cellulare, sono incazzato nero! I lost my cell phone and Im really mad!
Oggi cè lo sciopero dei treni, non riesco ad andare al lavoro e sono incazzata nera! Theres a train strike today, I cant go to work and Im pissed off!
Prendere in giro To make fun of
Another very common Italian expression thats used when people make fun of each other.
In quattro gatti Only a few people
This literally means with four cats, and its used to describe situations where there are only a few people or almost nobody.
Me ne frega I dont care/I couldnt care less
This is probably one of the most used Italian expressions!
In bocca al lupo Good luck
This expression can be literally translated as In the mouth of a wolf, but its used to wish good luck.
Sono solo come un cane Im a loner/ lonely
People use this phrase when they want to say that theyre very lonely, and it literally means Im alone as a god.
Ogni morte di papa Hardly ever/almost never happens
Its literal translation would be when the Pope dies. You can use it when youre talking about something that happens very rarely or almost never.
Non vedo lora I cant wait
This expression is also very common. People use it when theyre excited and cant wait for something to happen.
Che palle What a pain
This expression literally means what balls. Its another phrase that Italians use when they want to complain about something.
E un ricco sfondato Hes very rich
If youre talking about someone whos extremely rich, this is the phrase that you should use if you want to sound like a native!
Buon viaggio! (Have a good trip!)
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