“Allora” and “quindi”: Italian grammar lesson 48


Unlock the secrets of Italian conversation with our guide on using “allora” and “quindi”! Discover how these words can add flair to your chats and help you sound like a native speaker. 🇮🇹✨

  • Allora is your go-to for filling those awkward silences. Use it at the start of a sentence when you need a moment to gather your thoughts. It’s like the Italian “um” or “well”. 🤔
  • When you’re telling a story and need to set the scene for a past event, drop an allora to mean “back then”. It’s like a time machine in word form! ⏳
  • Got a conditional situation? Allora is perfect for saying “in that case”. It’s like a logical bridge to your next point. 🌉
  • Use allora to emphasize a question. It’s like adding a drumroll before you drop the big Q. 🥁
  • Quindi is your logical buddy. It connects cause and effect, perfect for when you want to say “so” or “therefore”. It’s the glue of reasoning! 🧠
  • Starting a question with quindi adds emphasis and shows you’re referring back to the previous topic. It’s like saying, “Given all that, what’s your move?” ♟️
  • Feeling sassy or need a mic-drop moment? Just say quindi on its own or at the end of a sentence to mean “so?” It’s the Italian eyebrow raise. 🤨
  • For a touch of class, swap quindi with dunque. It’s the tuxedo of conjunctions – totally interchangeable but with an air of sophistication. 🎩

My thoughts

What do allora and quindi mean in Italian?

If you’ve been around Italian people or have watched Italian movies, I am sure you heard the words quindi and allora over and over again.

These two words have a very similar meaning, can often be used interchangeably, and can be used in a variety of different contexts.

They can both translate into English with the words then or so, although they can also have other English equivalents.

Allora, che cosa facciamo stasera?

What shall we do tonight, then?

Era finito il cioccolato quindi ho comprato dei biscotti.

The chocolate was finished so I bought some biscuits.

In this grammar note, we will explain the difference between them and how to use them correctly.

How to use allora?

You must have noticed, even just by listening to colloquial Italian, that allora is used all the time. In fact, it is one of the most used Italian words.

Why? Because it can be used as a filler word, which is a word that does not really add any meaning to the sentence but is used to fill a blank.

With this function, it is often used at the beginning of a sentence:

Allora… oggi studieremo i pronomi personali.

So… today we will study personal pronouns.

Allora can also be used to say in that case. Have a look at the example below:

Se non conosci Roma, allora devi per forza andare al Colosseo.

If you do not know Rome, then you must go to the Colosseum.

In another context, allora can be used to indicate a moment in time, like then or back then:

Mio nonno è nato nel secolo scorso, allora non c’era quasi nulla qui.

My grandfather was born last century; there was almost nothing here back then.

If it is preceded by the preposition da  it means from that moment on or since then:

Giovanni ha avuto un problema con la droga, da allora non è più lo stesso.

Giovanni had a problem with drugs and since then he is not the same anymore.

Sometimes, we can also use allora to express a logical connection. This is when it takes on the same meaning of quindi and the two can be interchangeable.

Non c’era il gelato, allora ho mangiato la pannacotta.

There was no icecream, so I had a pannacotta.

Lastly, allora is often used at the beginning of a question to emphasize it. In this case, we can also use quindi. 

Allora, che hai fatto ieri sera?

So, what did you do last night?

How to use quindi?

As we just mentioned, quindi is used in Italian to express a logical connection as in so or therefore:

Sta piovendo, quindi portati un ombrello.

It is raining, so bring an umbrella.

Mi stai simpatico, quindi ti voglio invitare a cena.

I think you’re nice, so I want to take you out for dinner.

Quindi is also often used at the beginning of a question to emphasize often with a reference back to what you were talking about:

Quindi, cos’hai deciso alla fine?

So then, what did you decide in the end?

And you can even use it on its own or at the end of a sentence, the same as you would so:



Non mi ha neanche chiamato, quindi

He did not even bother to call, so

A more formal version of quindi is dunqueThese are completely interchangeable. Dunque is also used as allora as a filler word at the beginning of a sentence:

Dunque… Grazie a tutti per essere venuti.

So… Thank you, everyone, for coming.

How to say then in Italian?

Using "quindi" and "allora". This filler have similar meanings, can be interchangeable and can be used in several different contexts.

When to use "allora"?

At the beginning of a sentence, for saying in that case, to indicate a moment in time, to express a logical connection, at the beginning of a question to emphasize it, and followed by da to mean since then.

When to use "qundi"?

As a logical connection, at the beginning of a question to emphasize, and to mean so.

What is "dunque"?

The formal version of "quindi".

Italian word of the day
Hai voglia di fare una passeggiata?
Do you feel like going for a walk?
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2 Responses

  1. The structure in this program is excellent. I listen to rai3 prima pagina every morning for ear training and can honestly say I am not fluent by any measure but understand more every day Thank you Stefano.!

    1. Ciao @michael-de-lotto!

      We are so happy to read you understand more and more with each passing day 🤩 ! 

      Listening to the news, or other programs, is really important for developing the necessary skills to become fluent. 

      Just remember also to repeat and have conversations when is possible. 

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