What is ormai in Italian?
Ormai is an adverb of time and it can generally be translated to the English by now. However, it can take on different shades of meaning depending on the context.
Let’s see how!
Sono sicura che ormai è andato via, gli parlerò domani.
I am sure he’s gone by now, I will talk to him tomorrow.
How to use ormai as “at this point”?
Ormai can be used with the meaning of at this point or currently as opposed to a past time. This is a very similar meaning to by now.
Have a look at the examples below:
Ormai questo programma non lo guarda più nessuno.
Currently, no one watches this show anymore.
Ormai dovresti sapere cosa fare.
You should know what to do at this point (by now).
How to use ormai to emphasize the passing of time?
Sometimes, we use ormai to emphasize the passing of time. In this case, we could translate it as already.
Sono ormai due settimane che non ci vediamo.
It’s been already two weeks since we last met.
Ormai sono due anni che mi sono trasferita.
It’s been already two years since I moved.
Ormai can be translated as already in other contexts, too. Have a look at the following examples:
Ormai è grande, non trattarlo come un bambino.
He’s already a grown up, do not treat him like a child.
Lo sapevo che si sarebbe arrabbiato, ormai lo conosco.
I knew he would get angry, I already know him. (I know him by now).
How to use ormai to say “it is too late”?
Even if it can be translated in many different ways, one of the main functions of ormai is to state that it is too late for something.
Using ormai rather than già (already) or a questo punto (at this point) often adds a negative connotation of being too late.
Read this examples and find the difference:
Sono già le dieci, arriveremo in ritardo.
It’s already 10 o’clock, we’ll be late.
Ormai sono le dieci, è troppo tardi.
It’s already ten o’clock, it’s too late.
In the first example, già implies that it is getting late, but we’re still in time, while in the other sentence ormai implies that it is actually too late to do what we had to do.
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