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

Summary

Unlock the secrets of expressing hunger, thirst, and more in Italian with this insightful guide! Learn the versatile uses of the verb venire to convey feelings, desires, and catching illnesses like a true Italian. 🍝🇮🇹

  • Expressing Hunger: Say “mi è venuta fame” when your stomach starts to rumble. It’s like announcing to the world, “Hey, I’m starving over here!” 🍽️
  • Quenching Thirst: When your throat’s as dry as the Sahara, drop a “mi è venuta sete” to signal it’s time for a refreshing drink. 💧
  • Emphasizing Who’s Affected: Want to make it all about you? Use “a me” before venire for that extra punch. It’s like saying, “I’m the one suffering here, folks!” 😤
  • Feeling Hot or Cold: Whether you’re freezing or sweating, venire has got your back. Say “mi è venuto freddo” or “mi sta venendo caldo” to express your discomfort. 🥶🥵
  • When You Feel Like…: Use venire to express an urge, like “mi viene da ridere” when something’s so funny you can’t help but laugh. 😂
  • Craving Something: Got a sudden desire for gelato? Say “mi è venuta voglia di gelato” to share your craving. It’s like your taste buds are making a public announcement! 🍦
  • Having Ideas or Doubts: A lightbulb moment or a skeptical thought? Use “mi è venuta un’idea” or “gli stanno venendo dei dubbi” to let others in on your mental state. 💡🤔
  • Catching Illnesses: Feel a cold creeping up? Announce its unwelcome arrival with “mi sta venendo il raffreddore”. It’s like a heads-up to start the sympathy train. 🤧

My thoughts

I got hungry in Italian

In Italian, there are two expressions for saying “I got hungry” and “I got thirsty”: 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 early 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.

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 emphasize who is hungry or thirsty you can use a me, a te, a lei, a 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“, or “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.

How to use venire in other contexts?

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 or 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.

  • 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.

How to use the verb venire for expressing hunger and thirst?

With an indirect object pronoun (mi, ti, gli, le, ci, vi, gli) or for emphasizing who is hungry or thirsty you can use a me, a te, a lei/lui etc.

How to use the verb venire for expressing "to feel like"?

Indirect pronoun + venire + noun. Example: Mi viene da ridere (I feel like laughing)

How to use the verb venire for expressing "want"?

Voglia + di + infinitive verb or a noun. Examples: Mi viene voglia di abbracciarti quando ti vedo (I want to hug you when i see you).

The verb venire can also express "to have" and "catching an illness"

Examples: Mi è venuta una bella idea (I had a great idea) and A Paolo è venuto il mal di testa (Paolo got a headache).

Italian word of the day
passeggiata
Example
Hai voglia di fare una passeggiata?
Do you feel like going for a walk?
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