Restare and rimanere: Italian grammar lesson 112


Dive into the Italian language and master the verbs “restare” and “rimanere”! This guide breaks down their meanings, subtle differences, and shows you how to conjugate and use them like a native. Plus, discover some cool expressions to spice up your Italian convo!

– **Understand the Basics**: “Restare” and “rimanere” both translate to to remain, to be left, to stay in English. They’re like two peas in a pod, but with a tiny twist in usage. 🌱
– **Spot the Difference**: “Restare” is your go-to for location vibes, while “rimanere” is all about the tick-tock of time. But hey, Italians often use them interchangeably, so no stress if you mix them up. 📍⏰
– **Conjugation is Key**: Get your conjugation game on! “Io resto,” “tu resti,” “lui/lei resta” for “restare,” and “io rimango,” “tu rimani,” “lui/lei rimane” for “rimanere.” Flex those verbs in the present tense! 💪
– **Past Participle Power**: When it’s time for compound tenses, remember “rimasto/a” and “restato/a” are your past participle pals, and “essere” is the helper verb that glues it all together. 🤝
– **Usage Scenarios**: Whether you’re chatting about chilling in a spot with “Sono rimasta a casa” or something staying the same with “La situazione resta incerta,” these verbs have got your back. 🏠🔄
– **Expressions Galore**: Jazz up your Italian with expressions like “rimanerci male” for that “bummed out” feeling, or “restare a bocca asciutta” when you’re left hanging. It’s like adding a sprinkle of Italian seasoning! 🌶️

Remember, whether you’re “restare” or “rimanere” in Italian, it’s all about context and what feels right in the convo. So go ahead, give these verbs a whirl and watch your Italian skills soar! 🚀

My thoughts

What restare and rimanere mean in Italian?

In this lesson, we will look at the Italian verbs restare and rimanere.

They both mean to remain, to be left, to stay.

Let’s have a look at some examples in context:

Sono rimasta a casa sua fino a mezzanotte.

I stayed (remained) at his place until midnight.

Resta solo un biscotto, li ha mangiati tutti Michele.

There is only one biscuit left, Michele ate them all.

As we just mentioned, restare and rimanere are synonyms most of the time.

However, there is a slight difference between the two: restare is mostly used to talk about a place, while rimanere is more about time.

Do not worry at all about this slight shade of meaning though, as even native speakers sometimes can’t tell the difference between the two, and in spoken language, they’ve practically always been synonyms.

Often, people choose one or the other based on personal preference, style or phonetics (how it sounds).

Restare and rimanere: conjugation

Here is the conjugation of the two verbs in the present tense:


io rimango
tu rimani
lui / lei rimane
noi rimaniamo
voi rimanete
loro rimangono


io resto
tu resti
lui / lei resta
noi restiamo
voi restate
loro restano

If you want to form compound tenses, you will need to use the past participle of these verbs:

  • rimanere: rimasto, rimasta, rimasti, rimaste
  • restare: restato, restata, restati, restate

Both verbs take the verb essere (to be) to form compound tenses.

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Here, for example, is the passato prossimo:

io sono rimasto/a sono restato/a
tu sei rimasto/a sei restato/a
lui/lei è rimasto/a è restato/a
noi siamo rimasti/e siamo restati/e
voi siete rimasti/e siete restati/e
loro sono rimasti/e sono restati/e

How to use rimanere and restare?

Now that we know how to conjugate these verbs, let’s have a more detailed look at when and how to use them.

Restare and rimanere can be used to:

  • Talk about staying or remaining in a place:

Sono rimasta a casa tutto il giorno.

I stayed home all day.

Resti qui a pranzo?

Will you stay for lunch?

  • Talk about a situation or state staying the same over time:

Siamo rimaste amiche.

We remained friends.

La situazione resta incerta.

The situation remains uncertain.

  • Talk about something “left“:

Mi restano solo 10 euro nel portafoglio.

I only have 10 euros left in my wallet.

Sono rimasti solo due partecipanti.

There are only two contestants left.

What are some common expressions rimanere and restare?

And here are some common colloquial expressions with the verbs rimanere and restare.

rimanerci or restarci male

to be disappointed

rimanere or restare d’accordo

to have agreed on something

rimanerci or restarci di sasso (di stucco)

to be stunned

restare or rimanere a bocca asciutta

to be left high and dry

What do restare and rimanere mean?

They both mean "to remain, to be left, to stay". But there is a slight difference between the two: restare is mostly used to talk about a place, while rimanere is about time.

How to use restare and rimanere as compound verbs

Verbo essere + Past Participle

Uses of restare and rimanere

For staying or remaining in a place; for talking about a situation or state staying the same over time; and for discussing something "left" over

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