What is quando in Italian?
Quando is one of the Italian Five Ws (chi, cosa, dove, quando, perché) and is a must-know for Italian students.
The meaning of quando can be both “when” and “once” just like in English. Here are some examples:
Quando parti per il Brasile?
When are you leaving for Brazil?
Chiamami quando finisci di lavorare.
Call me when you finish work.
Uscirò quando ho finito di studiare.
I will go out once I’m done studying.
How to use quando?
Quando can be used both as an interrogative adverb, to ask when something happened or is happening, or as a conjunction to link two sentences or to talk about a specific time.
Exaples as an Interrogative adverb:
Quando compie gli anni tua figlia?
When is your daughter’s birthday?
Quando siete arrivati?
When did you arrive?
Quando l’hai chiamato?
When did you call him?
Examples as a Conjunction:
Ha iniziato a piovere quando sono arrivata.
It started raining when I arrived.
È arrivato proprio quando non me lo aspettavo.
It arrived when I did not expect it.
Quando è nato Giorgio eravamo felicissimi.
We were so happy when Giorgio was born.
Quando with prepositions
The word quando in Italian can be followed by various prepositions to express different meanings, all related to time.
Have a look at the sentences below for some examples:
- da quando
Da quando t’interessa la politica?
Since when you’re interested in politics?
Sono passate settimane da quando l’ho vista l’ultima volta.
Weeks have passed since I last saw her.
- per quando
when for / by the time
Per quando ha preso appuntamento?
When did you get your appointment for?
Spero che sarà tutto a posto per quando arrivo.
I hope everything will be ok by the time I arrive.
- fino a quando / fin quando
Starò qui fin quando torni.
I will stay here until you come back.
Fino a quando possiamo rimanere?
Until when can we stay?
Potete rimanere fino a quando volete!
You can stay as long as you want!
Common Italian expressions with Quando
Quando can also be found in some common Italian expressions such as:
- Quando mai?
Since when? / when … ever
This can be used on its own, or in a sentence, as a rhetorical question implying that never happened:
Quando mai mi hai visto fumare?
When have you ever seen me smoke?
- Di quando in quando.
Sometimes / from time to time
Di quando in quando mi piace andare a nuotare.
I like going swimming from time to time.
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