Tanto per: Italian grammar lesson 90

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How to use tanto per

Tanto per

We have an interesting combination of words in Italian to say “just to…”, “in order to…” or just “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 (its base form).

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.

Also, there are some common set phrases that we use a lot. We’ll analyze them later in this post.

For now, just have a look at them:

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

Tanto per meaning

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 does tanto per mean

Tanto per sapere: meaning

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!

Tanto per sapere meaning

Tanto per dire: meaning

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

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Here are its possible translations:

  • Just saying
  • Just because
  • For the sake of it

Have a look at these examples:

Non te lo dico tanto per dire.

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

Anna ti ha detto quello tanto per dire.

Anna told you that just for the sake of it.

Tanto per dire meaning

Tanto per cambiare: meaning

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!

Tanto per cambiare meaning

Still translating in your head? Wanna speak Italian for real? Check out Stefano's courses to think directly in Italian and become fluent fast!


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