How to use “mi sa che”: Italian grammar lesson

Lesson 99

Key Takeaways

Learn how to use the informal Italian expression mi sa che to convey feelings or impressions, and explore its variations for yes or no questions.

  • Mi sa che means I think or I have the feeling and is used informally.
  • It originates from the verb sapere, meaning to know, taste, or smell.
  • For yes or no questions, use mi sa di sì (I think so) or mi sa di no (I don’t think so).
  • Examples: Mi sa che non vengono (I think they’re not coming), Mi sa di no (I don’t think so).

Quick facts

What does "mi sa che" literally translate to in English?

Literally, "mi sa che" means "it tastes or smells to me like…," derived from the verb "sapere."

When is "mi sa che" used?

It's used informally to express feelings or impressions, akin to "I think that" or "it seems to me that."

Can "mi sa che" be used with other pronouns besides "mi"?

No, it's exclusively used with "mi" to indicate a personal impression or feeling.

How does "mi sa che" differ from "mi sembra che"?

Both mean "it seems to me," but "mi sa che" is more colloquial and informal.

What are informal responses using "mi sa" for yes or no questions?

"Mi sa di sì" means "I think so," and "mi sa di no" means "I don't think so."

Can "sa" in "mi sa che" be interpreted differently?

Yes, "sa" comes from "sapere," which also means to taste or smell, adding a poetic nuance.

Give an example of "mi sa che" used to express doubt about plans.

"Mi sa che non vengo" translates to "I think I'm not coming," showing uncertainty.

How does "mi sa che" convey impressions about others' actions?

"Mi sa che stanno studiando" means "I have the feeling they're studying," indicating a perception.

Is "mi sa che" suitable for formal contexts?

No, it’s informal and colloquial, better suited for casual conversations.

Can "mi sa che" express personal decisions?

Yes, "Mi sa che mangio fuori stasera" means "I think I'm eating out tonight," reflecting personal plans.

Audio images

🔊
Mi sa che l'incontro è cancellato.
🔊
Mi sa che domani piove.
🔊
Mi sa che farà freddo domani.

Vocab

sospetto
sento
probabilmente
idea
intuizione
espressione
frase
congettura
opinione
percezione
uso
lingua
contesto
significato
grammatica
verbo
comunicazione
impressione
italiano
indicativo

Sentences

Mi sa che sta per piovere.

I think it's going to rain.

Mi sa che abbiamo sbagliato strada.

I think we took the wrong way.

Mi sa che lui non viene.

I think he's not coming.

Mi sa che ho dimenticato le chiavi.

I think I forgot the keys.

Mi sa che ti ho già visto.

I think I've seen you before.

My Thoughts

What is mi sa che in Italian?

Like other informal expressions, mi sa che doesn’t have exact equivalents in other languages. In fact, there is no literal translation for this construction.

We only use it with mi (for “I”).

Have a look at these examples:

Mi sa che non vengono.

I think they’re not coming.

Mi sa che vuole invitarvi a cena.

I think she wants to invite you over for dinner.

🔊
Mi sa che l'incontro è cancellato.

🔊
Mi sa che domani piove.

What does mi sa che mean?

Even though there’s no literal translation for mi sa che, we’re going to explain what it means so that you understand how we use it.

In this construction, sa comes from the verb sapere, which means to know but also to taste or smell.

When we say mi sa che, we’re literally saying, “it tastes or smells to me like…”. Very poetic, right?

We use it to say something along the lines of I have the feeling or impression that.

In other words, mi sa che basically means mi sembra che (it seems to me that) or just penso or credo che (I think that or I believe that).

But remember, it’s quite informal and colloquial.

🔊
Mi sa che farà freddo domani.

How to use mi sa di sì, mi sa di no?

We can also use a similar construction to answer a yes or no question. In this case, instead of che, we use di right before or no. There are two options.

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Here they are:

  • Mi sa di sì (I think so)
  • Mi sa di no (I don’t think so)

Have a look at the example:

A: Venite stasera?
B: Mi sa di no.

A: Are you coming tonight?
B: I don’t think so.

A: Ha passato l’esame?
B: Mi sa di sì.

A: Did she pass the exam?
B: I think so.

Mi sa che: examples

Now, let’s have a look at some more examples. Remember, in terms of translations, there are different options.

All of them are fine, but some fit better than others.

Mi sa che non vengo.

I think I’m not coming.

Mi sa che stanno studiando.

I have the feeling they’re studying.

Mi sa che mangio fuori stasera.

I think I’m eating out tonight.

Mi sa che è arrabbiata con me.

I have the impression she’s angry at me.

Test your knowledge in 10 quick questions

FAQs

What is the meaning of "mi sa che"?

We are literally saying “it tastes or smells to me like…”. We use it to say something along the lines of I have the feeling or impression that.

What is the other constuction with "mi sa di"?

We can also use a similar construction to answer a yes or no question. In this case, instead of che, we use di right before sì or no: Mi sa di sì (I think so) and mi sa di no (I don’t think so).

Italian word of the day
aziende
Example
Dalla crisi, molte aziende hanno chiuso.
Because of the financial crisis, many companies shut down.
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4 Responses

  1. The “print” feature is not activated. Could you please activate it or do I need to pay more money for it to be activated.
    Thank You,
    Mark

    1. You’re right Mark! I had to remove the feature due to technical issues. I’ll put it back soon.
      Thank you for asking! 🙂

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