How to use “tanto per”: Italian grammar lesson

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Key Takeaways

Dive into the nuances of the Italian phrase “tanto per” and unlock the secret to sounding like a native! From expressing purpose to adding a touch of sarcasm, this guide has it all. 🇮🇹✨

  • Grasp the Basics: “Tanto per” is your go-to for the English equivalent of “just to” or “in order to.” It’s a handy tool for stating the purpose behind an action.
  • Express Purpose: Use “tanto per” followed by an infinitive verb to clarify why you’re doing something. For example, “Sono uscita tanto per fare un giro” means “I went out just to go for a walk.”
  • Get Conversational: Phrases like “tanto per sapere” or “tanto per dire” are your friends in casual chat. They translate to “just out of curiosity” and “just saying,” adding that authentic Italian flair.
  • Master the Sarcasm: “Tanto per cambiare” is perfect for a sarcastic punch. It’s like saying “as usual” with an eye-roll. 🙄
  • Adapt to Context: Remember, translations can vary. “Tanto per cominciare” might become “to begin with” in English, so stay flexible and focus on the essence rather than a word-for-word translation.

Quick facts

What does "tanto per" mean in Italian?

"Tanto per" can mean "just to," "in order to," or "just because," often followed by an infinitive verb.

How is "tanto per" used to express purpose?

It is used before an infinitive verb to explain the purpose, like "tanto per fare un giro" meaning "just to go for a walk."

Can "tanto per" be translated to sound more natural in English?

Yes, translations might adapt to sound more fluent, such as "To begin with" for "Tanto per cominciare."

What does "tanto per sapere" mean?

"Tanto per sapere" translates to "just out of curiosity" or "just to know," used to inquire casually.

How would you use "tanto per dire" in a sentence?

"Tanto per dire" means "just saying" or "just because," as in "Non te lo dico tanto per dire" ("I'm not just saying that").

What is the sarcastic use of "tanto per cambiare"?

"Tanto per cambiare" can be sarcastic, implying "as usual" or "surprise, surprise," when things don't change.

How do you begin a clarification using "tanto per"?

Use "tanto per essere chiari" to start a clarification, meaning "just to be clear."

What phrase would you use to cite an example in Italian?

"Tanto per fare un esempio" means "just to give an example," showcasing a point.

How can "tanto per" indicate ensuring certainty?

"Tanto per essere sicuri" means "just to be sure," used to confirm or verify information.

What expression indicates maintaining a habit using "tanto per"?

"Tanto per non perdere l'abitudine" translates to "in order not to lose the habit," emphasizing consistency.

My Thoughts

What does “tanto per” mean in Italian?

We have an interesting combination of words in Italian to say just to, in order to, or to. You wouldn’t guess, if we didn’t tell you or if you didn’t already know.

We say tanto per followed by a verb in the infinitive .

We use this structure when we want to express the purpose of something, like in the example below:

Sono uscita tanto per fare un giro.

I went out just to go for a walk.

Remember sometimes we can translate certain expressions in a way that sounds more correct in English.

Have a look at the translation of the following sentence:

Tanto per cominciare, vorrei ringraziarvi di essere qua.

To begin with, I’d like to thank you for being here.

Here are some common sentences we use a lot bu are going to analyze later in this post.

  • Tanto per sapere
  • Tanto per dire
  • Tanto per cambiare

Tanto per: examples

Here are some more examples. See if you can translate the sentences differently while keeping the same meaning.

Dante è stato uno dei padri della lingua italiana, tanto per fare un esempio.

Dante was one of the fathers of the Italian language, just to give an example.

Tanto per essere chiari, ti dico subito che non posso venire.

Just to be clear, let me tell now right now that I cannot come.

Chiedi se possiamo rimanere, tanto per essere sicuri.

Ask if we can stay, just to be sure.

La vita è bella (tanto per citare un film italiano) è un film molto triste.

Life is Beautiful (just to mention an Italian film) is a very sad film.

Voglio andare a correre tutti i giorni tanto per non perdere l’abitudine.

I want to go running, in order not to lose the habit.

What is the meaning of “tanto per sapere”?

This expression is very common, so you will hear it a lot if you go to Italy or if you have Italian friends.

Here are its possible translations:

  • Just out of curiosity
  • Just to know
  • Out of interest

And here’s an example:

Tanto per sapere, mi puoi dire perché l’hai fatto?

Just out of curiosity, can you tell me why you did it?

A: Perché mi chiedi?
B: Tanto per sapere!

A: Why are you asking?
B: I’m just curious!

What is the meaning of “tanto per dire”?

This one is interesting and also very common among Italian speakers. We use it when we refer to someone who says something just because.

Here are its possible translations:

  • Just saying
  • Just because
  • For the sake of it
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Have a look at these examples:

Non te lo dico tanto per dire.

I’m not saying this just because.
Or
I’m not just saying that.

Anna ti ha detto quello tanto per dire.

Anna told you that just for the sake of it.

What is the meaning of “tanto per cambiare”?

This is our favorite one because we can use it very sarcastically. In other words, we don’t always mean what we’re saying but quite the opposite.

These are some possible translations of tanto per cambiare:

  • Just for a change (with or without a sarcastic tone)
  • As usual
  • So, no surprise here!
  • Surprise, surprise!

Have a look at these examples:

Mauro non vuole venire con noi, tanto per cambiare.

Mauro doesn’t want to come with us, as usual.

I miei genitori non mi lasciano uscire, tanto per cambiare.

My parents don’t let me go out, just for a change!

Test your knowledge in 10 quick questions

What's the meaning of "tanto per"?

Just to, in order to, or to.

What's the structure of "tanto per"?

We say "tanto per" followed by a verb in the infinitive .

What's the meaning of "tanto per sapere"?

Just out of curiosity, just to know, or out of interest.

What's the meaning of "tanto per dire"?

It's used when we refer to someone who says something just because. It can be translated as just saying, just because, or for the sake of it.

What's the meaning of "tanto per cambiare"?

We can use it very sarcastically and it can be translated as just for a change (with or without a sarcastic tone), as usual, so no surprise here!, and surprise, surprise!

Italian word of the day
persona
Example
Mi piace Silvio. Sia come politico che come persona.
I like Silvio. Both as a politician and as a person.
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