How to say “as far as possible”: Italian grammar lesson 137


Unlock the secrets of expressing possibilities in Italian like a native! Learn the nifty trick of using “il più possibile” and its counterpart “il meno possibile” to convey ‘as much as possible’ and ‘as little as possible’ with flair.

  • Grasp the Basics:Il più possibile” translates to ‘as … as possible’. It’s your go-to phrase for stretching the limits in Italian conversations. 🚀
  • Adverb Magic: Sandwich an adverb between “il più” and “possibile” to amplify your actions. Think “il più rapidamente possibile” for ‘as quickly as possible’. Speedy speech, here we come! ⚡
  • Flip the Script: Swap “più” for “meno” to play it down. “Il meno possibile” is your low-key, ‘as little as possible’ phrase. Keep it cool and minimal. 😎
  • Adjective Acrobatics: Adjectives aren’t left out! Use them with “il più” or “il meno” for a descriptive punch. “Il più elegante possibile” means ‘as elegant as possible’. Dress your words to impress! 👗
  • Noun Know-how: Count on nouns to quantify. Drop “il” and go plural or singular depending on the noun’s countability. “Più libri possibile” equals ‘as many books as possible’. Stack those word shelves! 📚

My thoughts

What does il più possibile mean in Italian?

In English, expressions like as far as possible, as soon as possible, and as fast as possible are very common. How do we translate them into Italian?

The answer is quite simple: there is a very similar construction in Italian that we can use: (il) più … possibile that translates as as … as possible.

Voglio andare il più lontano possibile da qui.

I want to go as far as possible from here.

Cerca di partire il più presto possibile.

Try to leave as early as possible.

Provo a vederlo il più possibile.

I try to see him as much as possible.

How to use il più possibile?

As you can see in the examples above, the Italian construction is quite similar to the English one and is also used similarly.

There are only a few things to remember. Usually, we place an adverb in between il più and possibile.

Il più rapidamente possibile

As quickly as possible.

Il più lentamente possibile

As slowly as possible

Il più presto possibile

As soon as possible

Il più tardi possibile

As late as possible

How to use il meno possibile?

Unlike in English, in Italian, we can use the same construction in the negative by changing the word più (more) with meno (less).

As we do not have an equivalent construction in English, you will use “as … as possible” and change the adverb or adjective to its opposite.

Il meno possibile.

As little as possible

Il meno velocemente possibile (velocemente – quickly -> slowly).

As slowly as possible.

Il meno sgarbatamente possibile (sgarbatamente – rudely -> politely).

As politely as possible.

Il più possibile: examples

We’ve seen how to use il più  and il meno … possible with adverbs, but the same construction can be used with nouns and adjectives, too.

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Have a look at the examples below:

  • Adjectives

With adjectives, the construction behaves in the same way as with adverbs.

Il vestito dev’essere il più elegante possibile.

The dress must be as elegant as possible.

Cerca di renderlo il meno noioso possibile.

Try to make it as little boring as possible (as fun as possible).

  • Nouns

With nouns, we usually drop the article il before più, and we use a plural noun for countable nouns (as many … as possible) and a singular for uncountable nouns (as much … as possible).

Sto cercando di leggere più libri possibile quest’anno.

I am trying to read as many books as possible this year.

Compra più caffè possibile, saremo in tanti.

Buy as much coffee as possible: we’ll be a lot.

Oggi berrò meno caffè possibile, ieri ne ho bevuto troppo.

I will drink as little coffee as possible today, I had too much yesterday.

How do you say as soon as in Italian?

If you're looking for ways to convey the idea of doing something as quickly as possible, there are two common phrases in Italian: "Al più presto" and "Il prima possibile."

What does "il più presto possibile" mean?

The phrase "il più presto possibile" translates to as soon as possible in Italian.

Italian word of the day
Hai voglia di fare una passeggiata?
Do you feel like going for a walk?
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