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Italian words 3

Italian words

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Today, we’re going to talk about Italian words. More specifically, about the most popular Italian word, ciao, and the importance of the word mangiare (to eat).

We’ll also mention the most common Italian words.

Let’s dive deeper into the topic!

The most popular Italian word

It’s hard to tell which is the most popular Italian word.

We chose the word ciao, which means hello and is pronounced as “chaw”, since it’s a word Italians use every day.

It is mainly used in informal contexts. You can say ciao to friends and family members.

Ciao comes from the Venetian dialect (spoken in the Northeast of Italy), more specifically from the phrase s-ciào vostro, literally meaning “I am your slave”.

In the 17th century, this expression was used by servants when addressing their employers.

Often, s-ciào vostro was shortened to simply s-ciào and then to ciào.

With time, this word lost all its servile connotations and started to be used as an informal greeting.

most common word in Italian

Read more about the most popular Italian word.

The verb mangiare in Italian

This is probably the most important verb you need to know if you’re planning to go to Italy!

It is well known all around the world that the boot-shaped peninsula has a huge eating culture.

Mangiare is a regular verb of the first conjugation and follows the typical –are pattern:

Io mangio= I eat
Tu mangi= you eat
Lui/Lei mangia= He/she eats
Noi mangiamo= we eat
Voi mangiate= you (plural) eat
Loro mangiano= they eat

Here’s a list of all the Italian meals you will find yourself invited to by your Italian friends:

colazione

breakfast

spuntino

light meal, nibble

pranzo

lunch

merenda

snack

aperitivo

aperitif

cena

dinner

spuntino di mezzanotte

midnight snack

Just so you know, it is incorrect to use mangiare followed by the meals we just described above, so we DO NOT SAY: mangiare colazione, pranzo, etc.

Instead, for colazione, spuntino, merenda and aperitivo, we use the word fare (to do):

fare colazione

to have breakfast

fare uno spuntino

to have a nibble

fare merenda

to have a snack

fare l’aperitivo

to have an aperitif

To talk about lunch (pranzo) and dinner (cena), we actually use these verbs:

pranzare

to have lunch

cenare

to have dinner

Learn more about the verb mangiare in Italian.

what does mangiare mean

The most common Italian words

Did you know that knowing as little as 100 words helps you understand half of the words in an article or book written in Italian?

Learn the most common 1000 words and you get to a 75% understanding of texts in Italian!

Let’s have a look at some of the most common Italian words:

cosa

thing

giorno

day

anno

year

uomo

man

donna

woman

volta (as in “many times”)

time

casa

home

vita

life

tempo

time and weather

mano

hand

ora

now

paese

country, town

momento

moment

parola

word

famiglia

family

padre

father

madre

mother

figlio, figlia

son, daughter

amico

friend

lavoro

work

strada

street

nome

name

acqua

water

gente

people

persona

person

amore

love

mare
sea

 

Most common Italian words

Learn the 1000 most common Italian words.

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