Different Meanings of the Italian word “Pure”

Key Takeaways

Readers will discover the versatile meanings and uses of the Italian word pure in various grammatical contexts.

  • Adverb: Pure means “also,” “too,” or “even,” adding emphasis or inclusivity to statements.
  • Conjunction: Used as “although,” “despite,” or “even if,” often shortened to pur before gerunds for smoother speech.
  • Expressions: Emphasizes statements, sometimes sarcastically, and grants permission, similar to “please” or “go ahead” in English.
  • Adjective: As the feminine plural of puro, it means “pure,” though less common in everyday conversation.
  • Minimal Pair: Pure and purè differ by stress, with the latter meaning “mashed potatoes.”
  • Related Words: Eppure means “yet” or “still,” and neppure means “even” or “not even,” requiring double negation in Italian.

Quick facts

How versatile is the Italian word "pure"?

"Pure" serves as an adverb, conjunction, adjective, and in expressions, highlighting its flexibility in Italian.

Can "pure" be used for emphasis in Italian?

Yes, "pure" can add emphasis or inclusivity, much like "also," "too," or "even" in English.

How does "pure" function as a conjunction?

As a conjunction, "pure" introduces concessive clauses meaning "although," "despite," or "even if," often abbreviated to "pur."

Is "pure" used in informal Italian speech?

Yes, "pure" is common in both formal and informal contexts, making it a staple in everyday Italian communication.

How does "pure" enhance sentence flow?

When shortened to "pur" before gerunds, it creates smoother, more harmonious speech, reflecting Italian's musicality.

Can "pure" provide permissions in Italian?

Absolutely, "pure" after an imperative verb translates to "please" or "go ahead," giving a polite connotation.

What's the difference between "pure" and "purè"?

"Pure" has multiple uses, while "purè" specifically means "mashed potatoes," highlighting the importance of accents in Italian.

How does "eppure" relate to "pure"?

"Eppure," derived from "pure," translates to "yet" or "nevertheless," indicating contrast or surprise.

What is "neppure" used for in Italian?

"Neppure" means "not even" and requires double negation in Italian, essential for accurate expression.

How does understanding "pure" aid Italian fluency?

Mastering "pure" in its various forms allows for more authentic, nuanced communication, reflecting deeper cultural connections.

Audio images

🔊
Pur avendo sonno, ha deciso di finire il libro.
🔊
Fai pure, prendi quello che ti serve.
🔊
Posso unirti pure io al viaggio?

Vocab

anche
sebbene
comunque
nonostante
tuttavia
anzi
perfino
addirittura
magari
benché
inoltre
se
persino
neppure
neanche
oppure
però
già
anzi
persino

Sentences

Pure lui è venuto alla festa.

He also came to the party.

Pure se piove, usciamo lo stesso.

Even if it rains, we will still go out.

Pure tu puoi farlo.

You can do it too.

Pure che tu non ci creda, è vero.

Even if you don't believe it, it's true.

Pure avendo studiato molto, ha fallito l'esame.

Even though he studied a lot, he failed the exam.

My Thoughts

“Pure” in Italian

The Italian word pure is a versatile linguistic tool that serves multiple grammatical functions and is commonly found in both formal and informal Italian speech.

This word has several meanings, depending on its use in a sentence: it can function as an adverb, as a conjunction, as an adjective, and it can be employed in phrases and expressions.

Being able to properly use pure enhances the expressiveness of the language and, at the same time, it reflects the nuanced ways Italians communicate subtlety and depth in everyday interactions.

Let me show you its primary uses:

  1. adverb: pure translates to “also,” “too,” or “even.” For example, in the sentence “Puoi venire pure tu” it means “You can come, too”.
  2. conjunction: when used as a conjunction, pure means “although”, “despite”, or “even if”, introducing a concessive clause. It is often used in its shortened form “pur” before a gerund, as in “pur essendo stanco, ha continuato a lavorare” (although being tired, he continued to work).
  3. in expressions: pure can emphasize a statement, sometimes sarcastically, as in “ci mancava pure questa!” (just what we needed!). It can also be used for encouragements or permissions, like after an imperative to give a polite connotation, similar to “please” or “go ahead” in English: “fai pure!” (go ahead!).

Let’s now see its uses and meanings.

As an adverb, it can mean “also,” “too,” or “even,” adding emphasis or inclusivity to a statement. When employed as a conjunction, “pure” introduces concessive clauses, translating to “although” or “despite,” and is often abbreviated to “pur” before gerund forms to smooth out the sentence flow. Additionally, “pure” is used to encourage or grant permission in conversational contexts, akin to saying “go ahead” in English.

 

🔊
Pur avendo sonno, ha deciso di finire il libro.

“Pure”: Meaning in Italian

Also, Too, Even

As an adverb, pure is the Italian translation ofalso“, “too“, oreven“. Here’s some example:

Certo che puoi venire pure tu!

Of course, you can come too!

Ho comprato le carote, il sedano, le cipolle e pure le patate.

I bought carrots, celery, onions, and also potatoes.

Non posso crederci! Hai fatto pure la torta, grazie!

I can’t believe it, you even made cake, thank you!

You might have noticed that, in these contexts, pure is a synonym of anche. In fact, they can be used in the same ways. The only difference between pure and anche is that the former is a little more conversational than the latter.

Although, Despite, Even if

Another translation of pure is when it is used as a conjunction meaning “although”, “despite”, or “even if”.

In these cases, it introduces a concessive clause and is always followed by a present or past gerund. I know I am being too technical, so let’s just see it in action.

Pur essendo stato più volte in Inghilterra, non ho mai visto Stonehenge.

Although I’ve been to England multiple times, I’ve never seen Stonehenge.

Pur mangiando sano, Samuele è ingrassato.

Even if he eats healthy, Samuele gained weight.

In these examples, pure has been shortened to pur, which is a phonetic phenomenon aimed at creating a smoother and more harmonious sound flow in speech.

This phonetic adjustment occurs in many languages, where some words are shortened to enhance the ease of pronunciation and the rhythm of phrases. In Italian, it also reflects a stylistic preference. It is not a coincidence that Italian is known for its musicality!

Go Ahead

When used after an imperative verb, pure is meant as a friendly way to give permission. In this case, its literal translation is “please” or “go ahead”, as in the examples below:

Entra pure!

Please, come in!

Certo, fai pure.

Sure, go ahead.

Pure – the Adjective

Given its similarity to English, you might think that pure has something to do with pureness or innocence. Semantically speaking, yes: it is the feminine plural of the adjective puro, which translates to pure.

I avoided explaining this meaning in the previous paragraph, because I preferred focusing on grammar, but I believe it is important that you are provided with all the possible translations of this word.

However, it is not a very commonly used word in everyday conversations, so this might not be the first translation of pure that a native Italian would think of.

🔊
Fai pure, prendi quello che ti serve.

The Difference Between Pure and Purè

As you might have noticed and read already, accents in Italian play a very important semantic role. This means that whether or not a word displays an accent, its meaning changes. In other words, accents in Italian must be used and pronounced properly.

In linguistics, when a pair of words is spelled the same but their meanings change depending on one sound – like when one has an accent and the other doesn’t, or how they are pronounced – it is called minimal pair.

This is the case with the two Italian words pure and purè. They do look almost the same, but they have different meanings and uses. isn’t the only difference just a stress on the e? Eppure, single stress can make a huge difference in Italian.

While we saw what pure can mean, you should know that purè translates to… mashed potatoes!

🔊
Posso unirti pure io al viaggio?

Eppure vs Neppure

Free Guide
How to Learn Languages Fast

Pure is the root of two other words:

  • eppure which translates to “yet/and yet”, “still”, “nevertheless”, and other similar words.
  • neppure, which means “even/not even”, depending on whether the sentence is negative or not in English, but remember: in Italian double negation is mandatory!

Let me show you some examples:

Il bar è vicino casa sua, eppure continua ad andarci in auto!

The bar is close to his house, and yet he keeps going there by car!

Non svelerei il tuo segreo neppure all’ultimo uomo sulla Terra.

I wouldn’t reveal your secret even to the last man on Earth.

The Many Faces of “Pure”

You now know that the role of pure is very conversational and versatile; it’s a word that you will commonly hear when speaking with Italians, in both formal and informal contexts.

At the same time, I believe it carries a fascinating layer when used as a conjunction: it conveys contrast and concession with elegance and simplicity. When you use it in structures with gerunds, I promise you will sound as a native Italian speaker, given its sophisticated grammatical nuance.

Overall, understanding pure in its various forms offers a deeper insight into the subtle complexities of the Italian language. As a learner of Italian, appreciating these subtleties will help you not only speak, but connect more authentically with the essence of Italian life.

Test your knowledge in 10 quick questions

FAQs

What does the Italian word "pure" mean?

"Pura" is the feminine plural of "puro," which means pure. However, "pure" can also be an adverb, a conjunction, or a phrase. As an adverb, "pure" means "also," "too," or "even." As a conjunction, it can mean "although," "despite," or "even if." When used after an imperative verb, "pure" is a friendly way to give permission.

What is the difference between "pure" and "purè"?

While the two words may look similar, "pure" means "also," "too," or "even," while "purè" translates to mashed potatoes.

What are "eppure" and "neppure," and how are they related to "pure"?

"Eppure" translates to "yet/and yet," "still," "nevertheless," and other similar words, while "neppure" means "even/not even." Both words are derived from "pure."

Italian word of the day
aziende
Example
Dalla crisi, molte aziende hanno chiuso.
Because of the financial crisis, many companies shut down.
Follow me to fluency​

Create a free lifetime account to get access to all the free courses and other resources.

Leave a Reply

Try my courses for free​
Stefano
Social signup
How long to fluency?

Find out how long it will take you to master Italian!
Get on the right track in 3 minutes.

all language resources

We're already friends!

Coming from All Language Resources?
Here's a special deal for you!
Just tell me where I should send the coupon.

50% OFF
GRAB A COUPON NOW, REDEEM IT LATER
50% OFF

To receive free resources once a week together with my best offers, just tell me where to send everything. Opt out at any time.

Create a free lifetime account to get access to all the free lesson and other resources.