What does invece mean?
Invece is a very common word in Italian. You’ll hear it all the time if you go to Italy or if you hang out with Italians.
For now, you should know that invece is a linking word that lets us join two ideas or sentences.
We can use invece on its own, but we can also say invece di or invece che, again depending on what we want to say.
How to use invece?
Let’s focus on invece on its own. It introduces a phrase contrasting with what we have just mentioned.
Here are all of its possible translations:
- But, instead
- On the other hand
- On the contrary
Have a look at the following sentences and see if you can replace the translation we have given you of invece with other linking words:
Io non posso andare al mare, invece tu sì.
I cannot go to the beach but you can.
Luigi sembrava simpatico, invece è proprio antipatico.
Luigi seemed nice but, instead, he’s very unpleasant.
Io adoro la pizza. Marco invece preferisce la pasta.
I love pizza. Marco, on the other hand, prefers pasta.
Noi siamo andati alla riunione. Loro invece sono rimasti in ufficio.
We went to the meeting whereas they stayed in the office.
How to use invece di?
If we want to say instead of, we can simply say invece di or invece del, della, dello, dell’, dei, delle, depending on what you’re referring to.
Invece di let us give or choose an alternative. So, we usually mention two options.
It can either be followed by a noun (an object, a person, etc.) or by a verb in the infinitive (like mangiare and ridere).
Have a look at the examples below:
Ho comprato una maglia invece di una camicia.
I bought a t-shirt instead of a shirt.
Avete preferito uscire invece di studiare!
You preferred to go out instead of studying!
Fai qualcosa invece di lamentarti sempre!
Do something instead of always complaining!
Preferiamo il vino invece della birra.
We prefer wine instead of beer.
How to use invece che?
In this case, we can translate it as instead of or rather than.
Here are some examples:
Preferisco lavorare in ufficio invece che a casa.
I prefer to work in the office rather than at home.
Devi parlare con Marta invece che con Francesca.
You have to talk to Marta rather than Francesca.
Lei vuole andare in Peru invece che in Bolivia.
She wants to go to Peru instead of Bolivia.
Learn more about Italian word tanto.
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