How to say “I got hungry”: Italian grammar lesson 101

To practice this grammar topic, take Lesson 101 of Ripeti Con Me!
get hungry italian
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I got hungry in Italian

You may be familiar with the expressions ho fame and ho sete in Italian, which respectively means “I am hungry” and “I am thirsty”.

But do you know how to say “I got hungry” and “I got thirsty” in Italian?

To do this, we use the expressions: mi è venuta fame and mi è venuta sete

Let’s see some examples to start:

Ho pranzato presto oggi e mi è già venuta fame.

I had lunch ealry today and I already got hungry.

Ieri mi è venuta sete durante la notte e mi sono alzata a bere.

Yesterday I got thirsty at night and I got up to drink.

get thirsty italian

The verb venire in this sense can be used with an indirect object pronoun (mi, ti, gli, le, ci, vi, gli) or, if you want to emphasise who is hungry / thirsty you can use a me, a te, a lei/lui etc.

It can also be used in other tenses, and not only in the past.

A me verrà fame prima che a lei, ne sono certa.

I will get hungry before she does, I am sure of it.

A me viene spesso sete mentre faccio yoga, mentre loro non bevono mai.

I often get thirsty when doing yoga, while they never drink.

In this case, the construction is used to express the idea of “becoming“, “getting into a state“.

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You can also use it with other states, like getting hot or cold:

Ti è venuto freddo?

Did you get cold?

Mi sta venendo caldo qui dentro, usciamo.

I am getting hot in here, let’s go out.

Venire in other contexts

mi viene da italian

This same construction (indirect pronoun + venire + noun) can be used in Italian in other contexts too, and not just to talk about being hungry or thirsty.

It can be used

  •  With the meaning of “to feel like“:

Mi viene da ridere.

I feel like laughing.

A Giacomo veniva da piangere.

Giacomo felt like crying.

  •  With “voglia” followed by di and the infinitive of a verb or a noun, also to mean “to feel like / want“:

Ci è venuta voglia di (mangiare un) gelato.

We feel like (having) an ice-cream.

Mi viene sempre voglia di abbracciarti quando ti vedo!

I always want to hug you when I see you.

  • With the meaning of “to have“:

Mi è venuta una bella idea.

I had a good idea.

Gli stanno venendo dei dubbi.

He’s having doubts.

get a cold italian

  • With the meaning of “catching an illness“:

Mi sta venendo il raffreddore.

I am getting a cold.

A Paolo è venuto il mal di testa.

Paolo got a headache.

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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