How to say “at least”: Italian grammar lesson 50

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Summary

Dive into the versatile world of the Italian adverb “almeno” and master the art of saying “at least” like a native! From expressing minimums to voicing desires and regrets, this guide has you covered.

  • Grasp the Basics: “Almeno” means at least in Italian. It’s your go-to word for setting minimums or emphasizing a baseline expectation. 📏
  • Stick It Together: Remember, “almeno” is one word, not two. Don’t split it up, or you’ll confuse your Italian pals. 🚫🔪
  • Position Matters: Just like in English, “almeno” precedes the noun or action it’s qualifying. Keep it front and center to make your point. 👈
  • Wishful Thinking: Pair “almeno” with the subjunctive imperfect to express desires in hypothetical situations, akin to “if only” in English. 🌠
  • Regretful Reflections: Use “almeno” with the past subjunctive to convey regrets about things that didn’t happen. It’s perfect for those “what if” moments. 😔
  • Consistency is Key: Whether you’re talking about cats or cash, “almeno” keeps its meaning. So, once you’ve learned it, you can use it across contexts. 🐱💰
  • Practice Makes Perfect: Try using “almeno” in different sentences to get comfortable with it. The more you use it, the more natural it’ll feel. 💪
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What does almeno mean in Italian?

In this lesson, we will look at how to say at least in Italian and how to use it correctly within a sentence.

Let’s have a look at some examples of how to use almeno.

Mi piacerebbe avere almeno due gatti.

I would like to have at least two cats.

In this case, the speaker wants to have a minimum of two cats and maybe more!

Voglio almeno pranzare prima di uscire.

I want to at least have lunch before leaving.

In this case, almeno refers to an action. The speaker wants to have lunch and maybe do something else before leaving.

How to use almeno in Italian?

almeno in italian

Be careful: even if almeno is a compound adverb made up of two words (al and meno), it must be written all together at all times!

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Used with the indicative mood, it always goes before the thing or action described, just like at least in English:

Guadagna almeno mille euro al mese.

He makes at least a thousand euro a month.

Devi lavarti i denti almeno due volte al giorno.

You should brush your teeth at least twice a day.

How to use almeno with the subjunctive?

almeno with subjunctive

When used with the subjunctive imperfect (congiuntivo imperfetto), almeno indicates a desire in a hypothetical sentence, like the English if only:

(Se) almeno piovesse!

If only it rained!

Se almeno mi parlasse, potremmo risolvere il problema.

If only he had talked to me, we could solve the problem.

If, on the other hand, we use the subjunctive mood in the past tense with almeno, we will be talking about regret, something that we wished happened but did not.

Se almeno si fossero sposati, ora forse non avrebbe così tanti problemi.

If only they had married, maybe now she would not have so many problems.

Se almeno mi avesse aiutato… E invece no, ho fatto tutto da sola!

If only he had helped me… But no, I had to do it all on my own!

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FAQs on How to say “at least”: Italian grammar lesson 50

Almeno + Indicative mood

It always goes before the action described, just like "at least" in English.

Almeno + Imperfect subjunctive

It indicates a desire in a hypothetical sentence, like the English "if only".

Almeno + Past subjunctive

It's used for talking about regret, something that we wished happened but did not.

Italian word of the day
cappuccino
Example
Vorrei un cappuccino, per favore.
I’d like a cappuccino, please.
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