Venire bene / male in Italian
If you’ve been studying Italian for a while, or even if you’ve just listened to your Italian friends talking, you surely heard the expressions venire bene and venire male.
If you want to learn what they mean and how to use them correctly, you’ve come to the right place!
First of all, let’s see some examples of the expressions venire bene and venire male in context. They are very common in colloquial language.
Questo risotto è proprio venuto bene!
This risotto turned out really good.
Sono venuta male in quella foto, cancellala!
I look bad in that picture, delete it!
Ho preparato dei biscotti oggi, ma mi sono venuti male.
I prepared some cookies today, but they didn’t come out well.
Venire bene / male: Meaning
As you can see from the examples above, the expressions venire bene / male can have two main meanings: “to turn out/come out well or badly” and “to look good or bad in a picture“.
Sei venuto proprio bene in questa foto!
You look really good in this picture!
Il dolce non è venuto bene, lo dovrò rifare.
The dessert did not come out well, I will make it again.
Sometimes, when we use this expression with the meaning of “to turn out/come out well/badly” we can add an indirect personal pronoun (mi, ti, gli, le, ci, vi, gli) in front of the verb, to specify “who” made things turn out well or badly.
If we do not want to specify who did it, we can just omit the personal pronoun.
Here are some examples:
Ti è venuta bene questa torta, complimenti!
You made this cake (come out) well, well done!
Ci sono venuti male i bordi, non va bene.
The edges came out badly (to us), it’s not good.
Be careful, this cannot be done with the other meaning of the expression (to look good/bad in a photo).
Venire bene / male: When and how to use
This expression is quite informal and is often used with regards to food, but it can be applied to any kind of product we make/create.
Il quadro (ti) è venuto bene.
The painting came out well (to you).
Mi sono venute bene queste decorazioni secondo te?
Do you think these decorations came out well (to me)?
As you can see, the past participle “venuto, venuta, venuti, venute” must agree with the product we are describing in gender and number, and the verb essere (to be) also takes the third person singular (è) or plural (sono) depending on what we are describing.
With the meaning of “look good/bad in a photo” the verb essere can take any form, depending on the subject described:
Siamo venute bene in questa foto.
We look good in this photo.
Siete venuti davvero male qui.
You look really bad in this one.
Uscire bene / male in Italian
The expression uscire bene / male is also used for the same purposes in colloquial language.
It is basically a synonym of venire bene / male and the two can be used interchangeably with no problem. The same rules apply to both.
Queste bruschette ti sono uscite proprio bene.
These bruschettas came out (to you) really well.
Sono usciti malissimo in quella foto.
They look so bad in that photo.
If you want to ask someone how something turned out, or how you look in a picture, just use this construction with the word come (how).
Come ti sono uscite/venute le decorazioni di Natale?
How did the Christmas decorations come out (to you)?
Come sono uscita/venuta nella foto?
How do I look in the picture?
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