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Common Italian phrases 1

Common Italian Phrases: 100+ Basic Sentences to Learn

Contents

Learn Italian phrases to survive your trip to Italy!

Here’s a free list of common Italian phrases for your first conversation.

I also collected the most basic Italian phrases in PDF format at the end of the post.

This is the ultimate collection of common Italian phrases for beginners!

Why learn the most common Italian phrases first

Don’t feel overwhelmed only because there’s an infinite number of sentences in Italian.

I have some good news: you only need to know a fraction of the total number of Italian phrases to be able to speak Italian fluently.

For example, by knowing as little as 100 words you will understand 50% of any text.

There are various lists of the 1000 most common Italian words, to begin with.

With little effort, you can have a real basic Italian conversation with someone during your trip.

You just need to start with the most common Italian phrases to make basic sentences.

Here’s a collection of comprehensible input for the Italian language.

For spaced repetition, go through this post again after a night of sleep.

Have real conversations with basic Italian sentences from day one

Once you start learning a few basic sentences you will have the knowledge to start your first basic conversation.

That’s why I put together popular Italian sentences that simulate real-life conversations to get you speaking in no time.

Feel how easy it is to become confident

Every language experience should start gradually, from the easiest to the more complex concepts.

Learn how to boost your IQ.

By starting with the easiest and most common Italian sentences to know, you will feel confident in your ability to learn a new language.

Can you imagine how many things you can say by combining 1000 Italian sentences?

That’s what you get in 33 lessons of the audio course “Ripeti con me!”

Become fluent quicker with common sentences

Starting with basic Italian phrases, we quickly lay a foundation for you to learn more complex ones.

In fact, you don’t need to know thousands of them to speak fluently.

You can gradually build your knowledge so you get fluent faster than you could imagine.

Can you imagine how many things you can say by combining 1000 Italian phrases?

That’s what you get in 33 lessons of the  course “Ripeti con me!”

With these audio lessons, you can also improve your pronunciation.

Become smarter by learning Italian

Language learning is a challenging activity for your brain.

In fact, learning a language is a perfect way to boost your IQ.

In no time, your brain will make new connections and associations and you’ll feel that learning the Italian language was one of the best choices you ever made.

Suddenly, these useful Italian phrases look more promising, right?

Italian phrases to know

Easy sentences in Italian: tips for beginners

If you’re a beginner or a casual learner planning a trip to Italy, it makes sense to keep things simple and start with easy sentences in Italian.

Before you rush to memorize 1000 sentences, take a minute to reflect on how sentences are made.

Italian words and phrases must be arranged in a certain way to make a sentence.

A simple sentence is one independent clause that has a subject and a verb and expresses a complete thought.

There are some important requirements for a simple sentence.

A sentence must have a subject and a verb

Sei pronto?

Are you ready?

Are you looking for the subject? It’s tu, but you don’t need to say that. The verb conjugation already shows that.

A sentence must express a complete thought

Stazione vicino?

Station near?

Even if the sentence is not grammatically correct, a simple expression can already take you a long way.

A sentence must only have one clause

C’è un treno alle dieci. Prendo quello.

There’s a train at 10. I’ll take that.

Split complex sentences into simple ones to avoid advanced grammar and communicate effectively.

Useful sentences in Italian to listen and repeat

We all agree that it’s a good strategy to start with useful sentences in Italian.

Especially for specific situations like traveling because you probably want to learn Italian for travel.

But, how to do that? Where to find those Italian common phrases?

Find out more about how to learn Italian by speaking.

Not just listening or reading. Right now, you should be speaking with a native speaker, even if you’re just a beginner.

If you don’t have the time, money, or courage, you can still practice speaking by yourself.

How? With an audio course like “Ripeti con me!”.

With this course, you’ll improve your Italian by listening and repeating.

Grammar isn’t explicitly taught but you’ll begin to pick up the various grammar points on your own.

Check out the course program to learn basic Italian fast!

useful sentences in italian

Should you practice the 1000 most common Italian phrases with flashcards?

Some learners want to keep things efficient by memorizing the 1000 most common words.

For a more interactive experience, check out these flashcards with popular phrases.

There’s plenty of Italian phrases, including the 1000 most common phrases.

With Quizlet, you can make flashcard sets and quiz yourself.

How many do you need? The top 100 Italian phrases? 1000 phrases? 2000? 3000?

The question is rather, does it help to memorize words without context?

These apps are structured around sets of terms and definitions, so it’s just rote learning of Italian words.

That’s not the best way of learning basic Italian.

You need to put into practice information to really master it!

100+ Essential Italian travel phrases and words

Everyone should learn essential conversational words before traveling to Italy.

These are the best words and expressions because you’re sure to come up in most everyday conversations.

Make sure to pack these simple phrases to help you prepare for those common situations travelers find themselves in.

Learn Italian phrases for travel that you actually need, including some of the 1000 most common Italian words.

italian phrases

Greetings in Italian: how to say hello?

The first thing you need to learn to do is to meet and greet people!

After all, you’re going to be using greetings every time you have a basic conversation in Italian.

But the Italian greetings are not limited to ciao!

Italian phrases for beginners might look obvious but are still useful.

Knowing Italian greetings can make a good impression, whether you’re speaking for business or while traveling.

The Italian culture places importance on introductions and greetings as it is often considered a foundational way of showing respect.

There are different expressions you can use depending on if the situation is formal (business meeting) or informal (meeting someone at a restaurant).

Offer polite greetings to friends and associates or as a way to break the ice when meeting new people.

These phrases to learn are simple, easy to remember, and will go a long way to help you make friends and have your first basic conversations.

You’ll already speak like a native.

Salve!

Hello (any time of day)

Buongiorno.

Good morning/afternoon.

It is always polite to say “Hi” every morning because Italian speakers are really sociable.

“Good morning” in Italian is buongiorno.

Buonasera

Good evening

Buonanotte

Goodnight

Grazie mille

Thank you very much

Arrivederci

Goodbye

Mi chiamo…

My name is…

Sono americano/canadese/inglese

I’m American/Canadian/English

Piacere

Nice to meet you

Being polite is important also when you travel to Italy.

And it doesn’t cost anything, it’s free!

Learn the following words and phrases to have a polite, basic conversation, and sound like a native.

Yes

No

No

Per favore; per piacere; per cortesia

Please

Grazie

Thank you

Molte grazie

Thank you very much.

Prego!

You’re welcome!

Si figuri!

It’s nothing.

Mi scusi.

Excuse me.

Prego

By all means

Può ripetere, per cortesia?

Can you please repeat?

Notice how the most common phrases to be polite address people as “Lei” (formal you), not “tu” (informal you).

Also, check out how to say how are you in Italian.

italian sentences

How to say hello and goodbye in Italian

Ciao

Hi and bye

Ciao can be used as both “hi” and as “bye.” It’s a very informal way of greeting, so if you want to greet a friend, you can use it.

But if you find yourself in a more formal situation, it’s always best to use some of the more “formal” greetings below.

Buongiorno

Hello, good morning

Possibly (but not necessarily) more formal than ciao, this is the standard greeting in the morning and afternoon.

Salve

Hello

Salve is a formal way of saying “hello.” It’s not very common nowadays.

Buonasera

Hello and good evening

You start hearing buonasera around 5 p.m.

A presto

See you soon

When talking to someone that you think you’ll see again someday.

A dopo

See you later

A dopo, by contrast, is something you can say to your friends if you have any intentions of seeing them later in the day (not on another day!)

Arrivederci

Goodbye

When you want to say goodbye in a more formal way, you can use the word arrivederci.

Buona giornata

Have a good day

This looks like buongiorno, but you say it when parting.

Buona serata

Have a good/nice evening

The equivalent of buona giornata in the evening.

How to say hello and goodbye in Italian

Phrases to introduce yourself in Italian

How to introduce yourself in Italian?

If you’re just starting out, knowing how to introduce yourself is one of the best places to begin.

It gives you a taste of the grammar, allows you to start a conversation (even a short one!), and you can start practicing the pronunciation.

Here are some basic sentences for introducing yourself.

Come ti chiami?

What’s your name? (informal)

Come si chiama?

What’s your name? (formal)

If you’re not sure whether you should be using informal or formal, stick with formal.

Mi chiamo…

My name is…

This literally means, “I call myself…” and comes from the reflexive verbchiamarsi.”

Sono…

I am…

You can fill in with your name or with your nationality, like:

Sono Americano/a.

I’m American.

When you meet someone for the first time, you say:

Piacere.

Nice to meet you.

Piacere mio.

The pleasure is mine.

Other questions you may be asked include asking about your hometown:

Di dov’è?

Where are you from? (formal)

Di dove sei?

Where are you from? (informal)

Sono (australiana).

I’m (Australian),

Learn Italian sentences to ask about people’s age:

Quanti anni ha?

How old are you? (formal)

Quanti anni hai

How old are you? (informal)

Ho (trentadue) anni.

I’m (32) years old.

Finally, learn sentences about people’s jobs:

Che lavoro fa?

What do you do for work? (formal)

Che lavoro fai?

What do you do for work? (informal)

Faccio (l’insegnante).

I’m a (teacher).

Learn more Italian phrases.

1000 italian sentences

How to say I don’t understand in Italian

You want to learn Italian sentences to communicate.

However, as a beginner, there will be many moments when you get stuck and can’t understand what people are saying to you in Italian.

Italian for beginners can be embarrassing.

When this happens, don’t worry!

It’s a perfectly normal part of the learning process and in time, you’ll begin to understand more and more of what you hear.

You just need to learn sentences to show that you don’t understand.

Here are some Italian sentences to know to say… that you don’t know!

Mi scusi, non capisco

I don’t understand!

Non parlo italiano molto bene

I don’t speak Italian very well

Cosa vuole dire?

What does that mean?

Parla inglese?

Do you speak English?

Mi scusi

I’m sorry

Non lo so

I don’t know

Va bene

All right

Non importa

Never mind

How to order at the restaurant in Italian: essential phrases

How to speak Italian at the restaurant?

Dining is one of the best parts of traveling to Italy.

Indeed, many essential Italian phrases for travel are related to food.

However, reading an Italian menu can be intimidating!

Nevertheless, understanding how Italians dine will help you get the most out of your travel experience, especially in the many local, off-the-beaten-path establishments.

So you should learn expressions related to food and dining.

Here are some helpful hints on how to pick a restaurant on your trip to Italy and how to navigate its menu with confidence (and pay the bill too!).

Un tavolo per uno / due, per favore

A table for one / two, please

Siete già aperti?

Are you open yet?

Mi scusi!

Excuse me! (Calling a waiter)

Cosa mi consiglia?

What do you recommend?

Qual è la specialità della casa?

What’s your most popular dish?

Cos’è questo?

What’s this?

Faccia Lei!

It’s up to you/You can decide

Il conto, per favore

The cheque, please

Potrei avere il menu, per favore?

Can I have the menu, please?

Possiamo aspettare (per un tavolo)?

Can we wait (for a table)?

Possiamo sederci qui?

Can we sit here?

Learn how to book a table in Italian.

common phrases in italian

How to ask for directions in Italian: basic phrases

If you’re wondering how to speak Italian when you get lost, here you’ll find the answers.

If you’re planning a trip to Italy, you’re probably going to need public transport to get around.

It’s not free but still cheap.

You should learn these before you travel to Italy and communicate with native speakers.

Quanto dura il viaggio?

How long does it take?

Dove devo andare adesso?

Where should I go now?

Quando parte?

When does it leave?

Che ore sono (adesso)?

What time is it (now)?

Vorrei andare a _

I want to go to _

A che ora parte il prossimo treno/autobus per _?

What time is the next train/bus to _ ?

Quanto costa?

How much is it?

Un biglietto / due biglietti

One ticket / two tickets

Questo treno/autobus ferma a _ ?

Does this train/bus stop in _?

Mi scusi, è qui _ ?

Excuse me, is this _? (On the bus/train, when you aren’t sure when to get off)

Learn Italian for travel.

Useful Italian phrases to ask for directions

Basic Italian for travel includes giving directions.

By learning to say and understand the following, you’ll be able to ask for and receive directions from the locals.

Vorrei andare a _

I’d like to go to _ (If you know the name of your destination)

Vorrei andare qui

I want to go here (Pointing to your destination on the map)

Mi sono perso / Mi sono persa

I’m lost

È di qua?

Is it this way? (Useful for checking if you’re walking in the right direction)

Dov’è _?

Where is _ ?

Scusi, mi può dire come arrivare al Colosseo?

Excuse me, could you tell me how to get to the Colosseum?

Here are some of the basic Italian phrases for useful replies you might hear.

Gira a destra

Turn right

Gira a sinistra

Turn left

È qua vicino

It’s close by

È laggiù

It’s over there

È davanti alla scuola

It’s opposite the school

È dietro la stazione

It’s behind the station

È sotto il ponte

It’s under the bridge

È a fianco alla chiesa

It’s next to the church

È prima della stazione di servizio

It’s before the gas station

È dopo la gelateria

It’s past the ice-cream parlor

Dov’è il bagno?

Where is the bathroom/toilet?

These things might look obvious, but language learning has to start somewhere.

Learn more about how to give instructions in Italian.

useful italian phrases

Basic question words in Italian

To communicate in Italian and to travel with ease, there are practical questions in Italian (or any language for that matter) that you’ll use daily and have to know.

They’re found in many basic Italian sentences.

Parla inglese?

Do you speak English?

Chi?

Who?

Cosa?

What?

Quando?

When?

Dove?

Where?

Perché?

Why?

Come?

How?

Quanto?

How much?

Try these:

Dov’è la stazione?

Where is the station?

Scusi, dov’è il bagno?

Where is the bathroom?

Quanto dista il Colosseo?

How far is the Coloseum?

Dove si mangia il miglior gelato?

Where can you get the best ice cream?

Come si arriva in Piazza della Repubblica?

How do you get to Piazza della Repubblica?

Learn more about how to ask questions in Italian.

most common italian phrases

How to do shopping in Italian: common phrases

Basic Italian for travel includes shopping.

Whether in the supermarket, the shopping center, or the local farmer’s market you’re going to want to buy things at some point or another!

To do this, you need to be able to ask questions just like you would in English!

Here are the useful Italian sentences and phrases that you’ll need to learn:

Mi piace questo

I like this

Quanto costa questo?

How much is this?

È troppo caro per me

It’s too expensive for me

Sì, grazie

Yes, please

No, grazie

No, thanks

Può farmi uno sconto?

Can you do me a discount?

Cerco un/una _

I’m looking for a _

Sto solo guardando

I’m just looking around

Un attimo Just a moment

With these phrases in Italian, you can point your finger and buy virtually anything you can see.

italian common phrases for travel

How to say “I don’t feel well” in Italian: simple phrases

If you travel abroad, it’s always useful to know some basic medical vocabulary so that can handle an emergency in case you get sick or suffer an accident during your trip.

Learn these Italian sentences and phrases, just in case! Here are some Italian to English phrases in case you feel sick:

Mi porti in ospedale, per favore

Take me to the hospital please (To a taxi driver)

Mi fa male qui

It hurts here (pointing to body parts)

Ho bisogno di medicine

I need some medicine

Può aiutarmi, per favore?

Can you help me, please?

Devo andare da un medico

I need to see a doctor

Non mi sento bene

I don’t feel well

Non si sente bene

He/she doesn’t feel well

C’è un ospedale da queste parti?

Is there a hospital near here?

If you pass by a drugstore, try nootropics for language learning to boost brain power.

sentences in italian

Italian phrases to find hidden gems in Italy

Let’s learn some simple phrases that will help you discover the hidden gems on your next trip to Italy!

Locals are always keen to share their favorite restaurants and cafes with visitors, but if you want to find out about them you need to know how to ask!

Mi scusi, ma…

I’m sorry to bother you, but…

Posso farle una domanda?

Could I ask you something quickly?

Cerco un posto qui in zona dove si mangi bene

I’m looking for a place with good food around here

Cerco un bar carino qui in zona

I’m looking for a nice cafe in the area

Ne conosce qualcuno?

Do you know anyone [here]?

C’è qualche posto interessante da visitare qui in zona?

Is there anything interesting to see in this area?

Grazie comunque

Thank you, anyway [if they can’t help you]

The basics of Italian can make a difference in your first conversation.

Personal pronouns and references to people

You refer to people by using personal pronouns. These are the basics, right? In Italian, the pronouns (you and they) are complicated by gender and formality.

Io

(I)

Lui

(he)

Lei

(she)

Noi

(we)

Tu

(you, singular)

Lei

(you, singular, formal)

Voi

(you, plural)

Loro

(they)

Use the informal tu (singular you) for friends, relatives, younger people, and people you know well.

Use the formal lei (singular you) in the following cases:

  • when speaking to people you don’t know well;
  • in situations such as in stores, restaurants, hotels, or pharmacies);
  • and with professors, older people, and your friends’ parents.

Learn more about personal pronouns in Italian.

Even within simple Italian phrases, to avoid awkward situations, it’s useful to know the correct vocabulary term for referring to people based on their age, gender, or relationship to you.

Uomo

(a man)

Donna

(a woman)

Ragazzo

(a boy)

Ragazza

(a girl)

Bambino (m); bambina (f)

(a child)

Padre

(a father)

Madre

(a mother)

Figlio (m); figlia (f)

(child)

Fratello

(a brother)

Sorella

(a sister)

Marito

(a husband)

Moglie

(a wife)

Amico (m); amica (f)

(a friend)

Learn more about the most common Italian words.

The best way to learn is by speaking.

Use these common Italian phrases with your friends.

Even speaking to yourself will help!

basic italian phrases

Learn Italian phrases for travelers

Here are the most common Italian phrases that are particularly helpful to international travelers.

Use these simple Italian phrases often during your trip!

Mi scusi.

Excuse me. (Formal)

Non parlo bene l’italiano.

I don’t speak Italian well.

Parla inglese?

Do you speak English? (Formal)

Parlo inglese.

I speak English.

Non lo so.

I don’t know.

Non posso.

I can’t.

Non potevo.

I couldn’t.

Non lo faccio.

I won’t do it.

Non dimenticare!

Don’t forget!

Mi sono perso/persa

I’m lost.

Sto cercando il mio albergo.

I’m looking for my hotel.

Sì, lo so.

Yes, I know.

Non lo so.

I don’t know.

Non so dove sia.

I don’t know where it is.

Non capisco.

I don’t understand.

Capisco, grazie.

I understand, thanks.

Lei non mangia la carne.

She doesn’t eat meat.

Non siamo americani.

We aren’t American.

Il caffè non è buono.

The coffee isn’t good.

Non è caro!

It’s not expensive!

Può ripetere, per cortesia?

Can you repeat, please? (Formal)

È bello.

It’s beautiful.

È bellissimo.

It’s very beautiful.

Vado a casa.

I’m going home.

Domani visitiamo Venezia.

We’ll visit Venice tomorrow.

Due cappuccini, per favore.

Two cappuccinos, please.

Learn more about Italian for travel.

How to say common places and locations in Italian

How to speak Italian to find places?

Here’s some vocabulary for the common places or locations that you might need or want while traveling in Italy.

You definitely need to learn basic Italian phrases and phrases and feel free to speak, like a native!

Dove?

Where?

Dov’è il museo?

Where is the museum?

Gira a destra

Turn right

Gira a sinistra

Turn left

Vai diritto

Go straight ahead

Vai in quella direzione

Go that way

Vai indietro

Go back

Vicino

near

Lontano

far

Other places in italian:

Il teatro

theater

Il supermercato

supermarket

La stazione

train station

L’aeroporto

airport

L’ospedale

hospital

La stazione di polizia

police station

Il parco

park

Il centro

town center

Banca

bank

Città

city

La polizia

police

La stazione

station

Metropolitana

subway

Museo

museum

Il ristorante

restaurant

In campagna

in the country

In città

in the city

In montagna

in the mountains

L‘albergo

hotel

L‘ospedale

hospital

La casa

house

Negozio

store

Paese

country

Spiaggia

beach

Stato

state

Ufficio

office

How to say numbers in Italian

How to say numbers in Italian

Whether you’re ordering drinks, paying a bill, or buying a train ticket, numbers are something you’ll need to be familiar with in Italian right from the beginning.

In fact, when you start learning a new language, one of the first things you learn is numbers.

The numbers in Italian are not hard to remember, and everything follows a very logical pattern.

Let’s learn Italian numbers and how to count in Italian, then move on to useful Italian phrases related to numbers.

Sometimes, to make everyday Italian phrases, you need numbers, especially the first 10 numbers.

If you manage to learn how to count from one to 10, you will have an easy time learning further.

Italian numbers 1 – 10 for basic Italian phrases

Uno

1

Due

2

Tre

3

Quattro

4

Cinque

5

Sei

6

Sette

7

Otto

8

Nove

9

Dieci

10

After 10, things start to get interesting.

From 11 to 16, numbers end in dici.

Starting with 17, just say dici in front of the single-digit number.

Italian numbers 11-20

Undici

11

Dodici

12

Tredici

13

Quattordici

14

Quindici

15

Sedici

16

Diciassette

17

Diciotto

18

Diciannove

19

Venti

20

After 20, it gets easier. You only need to remember how to say the tens, and pair them together:

Italian numbers 21 – 30

Ventuno

21

Ventidue

22

Ventitré

23

Ventiquattro

24

Venticinque

25

Ventisei

26

Ventisette

27

Ventotto

28

Ventinove

29 

Trenta

30

Italian numbers 31 – 40

Trentuno

31

Trentadue

32

Trentatré

33

Trentaquattro

34

Trentacinque

35

Trentasei

36

Trentasette

37

Trentotto

38

Trentanove

39

Quaranta

40

If you pay attention to the pattern, starting with 40 and up to 90, all the tens will end in -anta, so it’s going to be very easy to remember.

Here are all the tens in Italian:

Dieci

10

Venti

20

Trenta

30

Quaranta

40

Cinquanta

50

Sessanta

60

Settanta

70

Ottanta

80

Novanta

90

Cento

100

Mille

1,000

Un milione

1,000,000

Un miliardo

1,000,000,000

Learn more about the numbers in Italian.

1000 most common italian phrases

Italian numbers in proverbs

Some common Italian proverbs involving numbers:

Chi fa da sè fa per tre

It literally means: “Someone who does for himself, does for three (people)” It really means: If you want something done well, do it yourself

Andare a fare quattro salti

It literally means: “To go make four jumps”
It really means: To go dance

Dare i numeri

It literally means: “To give numbers” — Originally in reference to people who picked lottery numbers based on signs or superstition.
It really means: To be crazy/raving/mentally imbalanced

For common Italian sentences that are not related to numbers, check out this collection of funny idioms, common Italian proverbs, and famous quotes.

Days of the week and months of the year in Italian

With just a few common phrases and words, you can cover the topic of time.

Everyday Italian sentences like this:

Che giorno è oggi?

What day is it today?

Days of the week in Italian

Steal my secrets

If you’ve started learning Italian, whether, for pleasure or to improve your professional profile, it won’t be long before you need to learn the days of the week in Italian.

Just so you know, in Italian, the days of the week aren’t capitalized. 

Here they are:

lunedì

Monday

martedì

Tuesday

mercoledì

Wednesday

giovedì

Thursday

venerdì

Friday

sabato

Saturday

domenica

Sunday

Did you notice? The first five days of the week (lunedì, martedì, mercoledì, giovedì, venerdì) end with , where the stress of the word falls.

Interestingly, is an old way of saying giorno (day), the equivalent of Mon-day, Tues-day, etc. This might help you remember the days of the week!

Also, you can make a pretty good approximation of the names of the months in Italian by just saying the English versions.

Learn more about the days of the week in Italian.

Months of the year in Italian:

If you are an English speaker, you are in luck, as the names for the months in Italian and English come from the same Latin root, which makes them sound similar in the two languages.

gennaio

January

febbraio

February

marzo

March

aprile

April

maggio

May

giugno

June

luglio

July

agosto

August

settembre

September

ottobre

October

novembre

November

dicembre

December

Did you notice that the names of the months don’t start with capital letters?

In fact, months aren’t capitalized in Italian. (It’s the same deal with days of the week too.)

Italians write dates in a different order than we do.

We start with the day, then the month, and then the year.

For example, to express January 08, 2009, you would write 8/1/09 instead of 1/8/09.

If you write it 1/8/09, it would be assumed you were talking about August.

Learn more about the months of the year in Italian.

Well, if you’ve learned the name of the months in Italian, you might as well learn the seasons!

le stagioni

the seasons

primavera

spring

estate

summer

autunno

autumn / fall

inverno

winter

Learn more about the season in Italian.

Dates and calendar terms

You can use the following phrases when discussing dates in Italian.

Che giorno è oggi?

What day is today?

Oggi è venerdì.

Today is Friday.

Che giorno parti?

What day are you leaving? [Informal]

Che giorno parte?

What day are you leaving? [Formal]

Parto lunedì.

I’m leaving on Monday.

In che mese vai in Italia?

What month are you going to Italy? Ad agosto.

In August. Quando è il tuo compleanno?

When’s your birthday?

Il sette novembre.

November 7.

Che giorno è oggi?

What’s the date?

É il cinque settembre.

It’s September 5.

Telling time with Italian phrases for beginners

Italian phrases for beginners often include time expressions.

The time of day can be described in general terms or at specific times.

You can use the following words to describe the time in a general sense.

di mattina

in the morning

del pomeriggio

in the afternoon

di sera

in the evening

di notte

in the middle of the night [until about5 a.m. or so]

giorno

day

ieri

yesterday

domani

tomorrow

mezzogiorno

noon

mezzanotte

midnight

oggi

today

Learn more about time expressions in Italian.

Telling time in Italian is really just a question of counting.

Italy commonly uses a 24-hour clock.

When using a 24-hour clock, just add 12 to every hour after noon, for example, 6 p.m. becomes 18.

When you want to know a specific time of day, you can ask:

Che ore sono?

What time is it?

When expressing time between the hours, say the hour + minute, for example:

e un quarto

(and a quarter)

e ventitrè

(and 23)

e mezzo

(thirty)

When you get past the half-hour, start going the other says the number of minutes until the next hour, for example, say:

meno un quarto

(a quarter to)

meno dieci

(ten minutes to)

popular italian phrases

You can use the following basic Italian phrases as a guide when talking about time.

È l’una.

It’s 1 a.m.

È l’una e dieci.

It’s 1:10 a.m.

È mezzogiorno.

It’s noon.

È mezzogiorno e mezzo.

It’s 12:30 p.m.

È mezzanotte.

It’s midnight.

Sono le due.

It’s 2 a.m.

Sono le due e un quarto.

It’s 2:15 a.m.

Sono le quindici.

It’s 3 p.m.

Sono le ventidue meno dieci.

It’s 9:50 p.m.

In Italian, 9:50 p.m. is spoken as ventidue meno dieci. (9:50 p.m.)

However, informally, it is usually written as 9:50.

Here are some important Italian phrases to know about opening hours and departure times.

A che ora parte il treno?

At what time does the train leave?

Parte all’una.

It leaves at 1.

A che ora inizia l’opera?

At what time does the opera begin?

Inizia alle venti.

It begins at 8 p.m.

A che ora chiude l’ostello?

At what time does the hostel close?

Chiude a mezzanotte e mezzo.

It closes at 12:30 a.m.

With these easy Italian phrases, you can survive during your trip to Italy.

Learn more about how to tell the time in Italian.

Common Italian phrases for daily life

Here are some Italian sentences that can be useful in daily life:

Vado a fare la spesa.

I’m going to buy groceries.

Non fare troppo rumore!

Don’t be too loud!

Abbiamo fatto amicizia con tanta gente del posto.

We made friends with lots of local people.

Ci siamo fermate per strada per fare due chiacchiere.

We stopped on the street to chat.

Volevo fare una bella figura.

I wanted to make a good impression.

Ho dovuto fare la fila per mezz’ora.

I had to wait in line for half an hour.

Yes, it’s quite common to wait in line in Italy, especially at the post office.

How to talk about your family in Italian

If you’ve watched enough gangster movies, you probably know the Italian word for family: la famiglia.

In Italy, family is sacred: it is an essential aspect of the culture and of every Italian’s life, so knowing all the terms to talk about your family is key if you want to sound like a native speaker.

Let’s start with those creatures who put us into this world…

genitori

parents

Careful here, as there is a word in Italian that is dangerously similar to “parents”: parenti. This, however, means “relatives”, and not “parents”!

madre/ mamma/ mammina

mother/ mom/ mommy

padre/papà/ babbo

father/ dad/ daddy

sorella

sister

fratello

brother

figlia

daughter

figlio

son

marito

husband

moglie

wife

zia

aunt

zio

uncle

nonna

grandmother

nonno

grandfather

When you’re talking about just one member of your family, or of someone else’s family, you just strap the Italian word for “my”, “your”, “his”, “her” etc (a.k.a possessive adjectives) onto the front.

my mother

mia madre

your grandfather

tuo nonno

her aunt

sua zia

When there are multiple family members to talk about (plural), like aunts, uncles, brothers, sisters, children, etc, you need to use one of those words for “The” in Italian (definite articles).

my grandfathers

i miei nonni

her aunts

le sue zie

their brothers

i loro fratelli

my sisters

le mie sorelle

By the way, did you know that there are 6 words for “the” in Italian?

You choose one depending on the number and gender of nouns.

Learn more about how to talk about your family in Italian.

How to talk about the family in Italian

Italian phrases for lovers

The Italian language is, after all, one of the most romantic languages in the world.

Learn the Italian phrases for lovers you’ll need to successfully navigate a romantic candlelit dinner with your lover.

First, you need some pet names:

Tesoro mio

My treasure

Cuore mio

My heart

Amore mio

My love

Caro/cara Dear

Oh, they’ve got a present for you!

Un mazzolino di fiori

A bouquet of flowers

Un mazzolino di rose

A bouquet of roses

Un pensierino

A little gift (literally a little thought)

Una scatola di cioccolatini

A box of chocolates

Here’s a list of romantic Italian phrases:

Ti amo.

I love you (romantically).

Sono attratto/a da te.

I’m attracted to you.

Mi hai cambiato la vita.

You changed my life.

Sei bellissimo/a.

You are beautiful.

Sono pazzo/a di te.

I’m crazy about you.

Sei l’uomo/la donna dei miei sogni.

You’re the man/woman of my dreams.

Dammi un bacio.

Give me a kiss.

Ho un debole per te.

I’m weak for you.

Sei l’unico/a per me.

You’re the only one for me.

Non posso vivere senza di te.

I can’t live without you.

Sei tutto per me.

You’re everything to me.

Sono innamorato/a di te.

I’m in love with you.

Ti penso ogni giorno.

I think about you every day.

Learn more about how to say I love you in Italian.

Useful phrases… with swear words (!)

A list of the most common phrases would not be complete without some colorful expressions.

Be it about politics, romance, or the weather, the Italians love arguing, possibly with swear words.

These are Italian phrases to know if you want to win an argument.

I’m not showing them in this post, but there’s a collection of swear words with audio.

It’s a lesson made up of 30 basic phrases with… you know.

With this audio material, you can also improve your Italian pronunciation.

Learn more about Italian swear words.

Italian hand gestures

Language learning is not limited to words, but also includes gestures.

In fact, some common Italian phrases are better expressed through typical hand gestures.

That’s why this language is so rich in gestures.

Some are funny, some are aggressive, some are just rude.

That’s culture, too! Sometimes, these Italian phrases in English just don’t feel the same.

That’s why you use gestures!

Learn more about Italian hand gestures.

How to practice new phrases

Now that you learned lots of new phrases, you can talk about pretty much everything (in general terms, of course).

Why don’t you play around with these new words and phrases?

You could invent dialogue and play two different characters.

Or if you have an Italian friend or a friend who speaks Italian, you could practice and perform with them.

You could also write a short story with dialogues.

Make sure they make sense and are not too overwhelming.

You could also make your own art-and-learning area.

Take the phrases that you find difficult, find a place in your room, and dedicate that space to those phrases.

You could do arts and crafts, or you could draw and associate a drawing with a phrase. 

Whatever you decide, make sure you feel motivated to do it!

What are the most common sentences in Italian

Basic Italian phrases PDF

I collected the most important basic Italian phrases in a 13-page PDF file.

To download the basic Italian phrases PDF, just tell me where I should send it and you’ll receive it immediately.

Do cheat sheets actually work?

Now that you found a list of common Italian phrases and sentences, you feel like you’re going to learn them right away.

But, does it work that simple?

After all, if you only had to read words in order to memorize them, you could take a dictionary as well, right?

The problem is that you need to put those phrases into practice.

The ideal way is to use them in conversation. A good alternative is to practice them with a structured course with a focus on conversation skills like Ripeti Con Me.

Take a lesson every day to listen and mimick useful Italian sentences that you need for basic conversations.

Bonus resources to practice Italian

If this list of common phrases in Italian is not enough, check out these free resources:

To expand your repertoire of expressions, check out my collection of Italian sentences, Italian idioms, Italian sayings, Italian proverbs, or Italian quotes.

If you want a more structured approach, download the best Italian audio course and start speaking today.

Listening and repeating useful content also improves your Italian pronunciation.

It includes tons of Italian conversations in English:

  1. Basic Italian phrases
  2. Intermediate Italian phrases
  3. Advanced Italian phrases

It’s also an excellent way to learn Italian while driving.

Are you still afraid of having a basic Italian conversation or watching the news in Italian?

Try these lessons and you’ll be speaking and thinking in Italian in a couple of days!

Are you serious about learning Italian? Check out our premium resources to become fluent fast!

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