The more the better: Italian grammar lesson 139

Summary

Unlock the secrets of sounding like a native with the Italian “the more… the more…” and its variations! This guide will have you mastering these expressions in no time, adding flair to your Italian conversations. 🇮🇹✨

  • Start with “Più”: Use più before both parts of the sentence to express “the more… the more…” in Italian. For example, “Più ti conosco, più mi piaci” means “The more I know you, the more I like you.”
  • Adjectives stay simple: Unlike English, there’s no need to change adjectives. Just repeat più for comparisons like “Più alto è il prezzo, più nuovo è il prodotto” (“The higher the price, the newer the product”).
  • Flip it with “Meno”: Swap più with meno to say “the less… the less…” in Italian. “Meno guadagni, meno potrai acquistare” translates to “The less you earn, the less you can buy.”
  • Mix it up: Combine più and meno for mixed comparisons. “The less you eat, the more you’ll be hungry tonight” becomes “Meno mangi, più avrai fame stasera.”
  • Upgrade “good” and “bad”: Use meglio (better) and peggio (worse) instead of più bene and più male. “Più siamo, meglio è” means “The more, the merrier.”
  • Remember the exceptions: Just like in English, some words have their own comparative forms. Don’t say “more good” or “more bad”; say “better” or “worse” with meglio and peggio.

My thoughts

How to use the more… the more… in Italian?

This is certainly a good expression to add to your Italian repertoire if you want to sound like a native, and it is so easy!

Let’s have a look at some examples of how to use it correctly:

Più ti conosco più mi piaci.

The more I know you, the more  I like you.

Più cerco di rilassarmi, più mi innervosisco.

The more i try to relax, the more nervous I get.

Più studi, più preparato sarai per l’esame.

The more you study, the more prepared you will be for the exam.

In English, if this construction is used with adjectives, we just add -er to the end of the adjective.

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In Italian, the construction stays the same whether it is used with adjectives, nouns or adverbs.

Più alto è il prezzo, più nuovo è il prodotto.

Higher the price, newer is the product.

Più intelligente sei, più veloce lo finirai.

The smarter you are, the faster you will finish.

How to use più… più… and meno… meno…?

Of course, this same construction can also be used with the opposite meaning, which in English would be the less… the less…

Meno guadagni, meno potrai acquistare.

The less you earn, the less you can buy.

Meno ti preoccupi, meno ti stresserai.

The less you worry, the less you become stressed.

As in English, we can even mix più (the more) and meno (the less):

Meno mangi, più avrai fame stasera.

The less you eat, the more you will be hungry tonight.

Più ti preoccupi, meno dormirai.

The more you worry, the less you will sleep.

How to use più and meno with bene and male?

As you say “better” and “worse” in English, rather than “more good” and “more bad”, in Italian we say meglio and peggio.

They must be used with these constructions as well so that when you’re modifying the adverbs bene and male you will have to use meglio and peggio instead.

Più siamo, meglio è.

The more the better (merrier).

Più ti stressi, peggio ti sentirai.

The more you stress, the worse you will feel.

Meno studi, peggio andrà l’esame.

The less you study, the worse your exam will go.

Learn more about the Italian adjective bene.

How do you say better and worse in Italian?

We say "meglio" and "peggio". 

Does "più... più..." or "meno... meno..." has any construction rules?

The construction stays the same whether it is used with adjectives, nouns or adverbs.

Italian word of the day
votare
Example
In democrazia, possono votare sia gli uomini sia le donne.
In democracy, both men and women can vote.
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