How to use “Pure” vs “Anche” vs “Neanche” in Italian: Italian Grammar Lesson


Key Takeaways

Ready to sound like a local in Italy? Dive into the nuances of using pure, anche and neanche to amp up your Italian with that authentic flair. Learn the subtle differences and how to avoid common mistakes with these handy words!

  • Definitions: Anche and Pure are positive conjunctions meaning “also” or “too,” whereas Neanche is a negative conjunction used in agreement to a negation, equivalent to “neither.”
  • Usage in Sentences: Placement matters in Italian. For instance, “Anche io devo andare in banca” implies the speaker, too, must go to the bank, stressing inclusion.
  • Subtle Differences: While Anche and Pure are interchangeable, Pure can express a stronger emphasis, often translating to “even” in contexts suggesting mild surprise.
  • Negative Constructions: Neanche aligns with negative statements to confirm non-actions or exclusions, such as in “Neanche io” (Neither do I).
  • Practical Examples: Understand each word’s impact through sentences like “Ho mangiato la pasta e anche la pizza” versus “Non ho mangiato la pasta e neanche la pizza.”
  • Advice for Learners: Grasp the nuances and practice using these conjunctions in varied sentence structures to enhance fluency in Italian.

Quick facts

What is the primary use of "anche" and "pure" in Italian?

Both "anche" and "pure" are positive conjunctions used to add affirmative information, meaning "too," "as well," or "also."

What does "neanche" signify in Italian?

"Neanche" is a negative conjunction used to agree with previously negated statements, meaning "neither" or "not even."

How does "pure" differ from "anche" in terms of emphasis?

While both mean "also," "pure" often conveys stronger emphasis, sometimes translating to "even," indicating slight surprise.

How would you translate "Anche io!" in English?

"Anche io!" translates to "Me too!" indicating agreement with a positive statement.

How does sentence placement affect the meaning of "anche"?

Placement changes meaning significantly; e.g., "Anche io devo andare" (I too must go) versus "Io devo anche andare" (I must also go).

Can "pure" and "anche" be used interchangeably?

Yes, they are synonyms and can be used interchangeably to mean "too," "as well," or "also," though "pure" can imply stronger emphasis.

What is an example of "neanche" in a sentence?

"Neanche io!" meaning "Neither do I!" is used to agree with a negative statement.

How does "neanche" add negative information in a sentence?

"Neanche" can connect negative information, e.g., "Non ho mangiato la pasta e neanche la pizza" (I neither ate pasta nor pizza).

What does "Neanche Marco è venuto" imply?

It implies that Marco, expected to come, didn't show up, adding to the list of absentees.

Why is understanding modifier placement crucial in Italian?

Modifier placement is flexible and significantly alters sentence meaning, making it essential for accurate communication.

My Thoughts

What are “Anche”, “Pure”, and “Neanche” in Italian?

Anche, pure, and neanche are Italian conjunctions, which means that their use is to link two or more sentences or words together.

While “anche” and “pure” are synonyms, “neanche” has a different meaning and therefore a slightly different classification.

All three words are copulative coordinating conjunctions, meaning they connect words or sentences to add connotations and, linguistically, they denote logical equivalence and inclusion.

On the one hand, “anche” and “pure” are positive copulative conjunctions. On the other hand, “neanche” is a negative copulative one.

This means that, in the first case, only positive pieces of information are added, while “neanche” is used to agree on something that has been previously negated.

I will show you here some examples to give you some context:

Oggi devo lavorare molto” (Today I have to work a lot”).

Anche io! / Pure io! (Me too!)

Io non devo lavorare oggi. (Today I do not have to work)

Neanche io! (Neither do I!)

Pure vs Anche vs Neanche

Pure vs Anche

As simple as it is, there is no difference between “anche” and “pure” in Italian. These words have the same meaning and can be used interchangeably to mean too, as well, or also.

These two words are usually placed before the word they modify, so be careful where you put them in the sentence!

Depending on where you put it in the sentence, the meaning might change a lot.

As a native speaker of Italian, sometimes I have an inborn sensitivity towards some nuances. In fact, I have the feeling that “pure” conveys a somewhat stronger emphasis compared to “anche”.

In fact, “pure” is more commonly translated into “even” in addition to the other meanings.

Have a look at the examples below:

Alla cena c’erano anche Giovanni e Marcella, e hanno pure portato il loro cane Puff.

At the dinner, there were Giovanni and Marcella as well, and they even brought their dog Puff.

Oggi ho fatto yoga, sono andata a correre e ho pure portato a spasso i cani.

Today I did yoga, I went running, and I even took out the dogs for a walk.

Here, pure includes an element of slight surprise in the tone of the sentence.

Anyway, as I mentioned, these are subtleties of the language. Do not worry, at first, you can use these two words interchangeably.

Anche vs Neanche

Using the words “anche” and “neanche” might be quite tricky for Italian learners, especially at the very beginning.

But I promise that after reading this article, you will master the difference perfectly!

Anche in Italian is used to express agreement between two affirmative sentences.

“Io studio Italiano” (I study Italian)

“Anche io” (Me too)

This is an affirmative sentence, therefore “anche” is used to confirm the previously mentioned action of studying Italian.

“Anche” can also be used to positively add something.

Ho mangiato la pasta e anche la pizza.

I ate pasta and also pizza.

Here, the speaker is affirming that he ate both things.

Neanche in Italian works similarly, but it has a negative meaning. In fact, it is used to express agreement between two negative sentences.

“Io non studio Spagnolo” (I do not study Spanish)

“Neanche io” (Neither do I).

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Just like “anche” it can also be used to negatively add something.

Non ho mangiato la pasta e neanche la pizza.

I neither ate pasta nor pizza.

How to use “Anche”, “Pure”, and “Neanche” in Italian

“Anche”, “pure”, and “neanche” are modifiers, and modifiers in Italian can be found both before and after the item they refer to. However, these three words usually precede the person, the action, or the object they modify.

If you have already read my article about Italian adjectives, then you know that Italian is pretty flexible in terms of modifier placement, and that’s why I believe it is crucial to understand their placement.

Depending on where in the sentence you put them, the meaning of the sentence itself can significantly change.

  • Anche

Anche io devo andare in banca.

Also I have to go to the bank.

    • Meaning that, beside someone else, also I have to go to the bank.

Io devo anche andare in banca.

I also have to go to the bank.

    • Meaning that, beside doing something else, I also have to go to the bank.

Io devo andare anche in banca.

I have to go to the bank, too.

    • Meaning that, beside somewhere else, I have to go also to the bank.
  • Pure

Pure tu dovresti seguire il consiglio.

Also you should follow the advice.

    • Meaning that, beside someone else, also you should do it.

Tu dovresti seguire pure il consiglio.

You should follow the advice, too.

    • Meaning that, beside following something else, you should follow the advice, too.

Tu dovresti pure seguire il consiglio.

You should also follow the advice.

    • Meaning that, beside doing something else, you should also follow the advice.
  • Neanche

Non è venuto neanche Marco.

Not even Marco came.

    • Meaning that Marco coming was a pretty certain episode, but even he did not come.

Neanche Marco è venuto.

Marco didn’t come either.

    • Meaning that, among all the people who were supposed to come and didn’t, also Marco did not show up.

For me, the most impressive difference is noticeable with “neanche”, as it implies meanings that are not explicitly stated, yet are essential for the final interpretation of the sentence.

Did you Understand the Differences?

Now that you dove into the details of these three important words, would you be able to use them properly?

Do not forget to keep on studying with our Italian courses and practicing with our AI tutor, which will allow you to engage in native-like conversations and use the tools you have achieved so far.

Sei pronto a migliorare? Anche io! (Are you ready to improve? Me too!)

Test your knowledge in 10 quick questions

What is the difference between "anche" and "pure" in Italian?

The Italian words "pure" and "anche" are often used interchangeably to indicate too, as well or also. However, "pure" is sometimes used to emphasize a point and can be translated as even.

How do you use "neanche" in Italian?

"Neanche" is a word used to express agreement between two negative statements. It is analogous to the English word neither or not either.

Italian word of the day
Hai la febbre! Sì, mi è venuta l’influenza.
You have a fever! Yes, I got influenza.
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