How to say “when” – Quando: Italian grammar lesson 40

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when in italian

What is quando in Italian?

Learn how to say “when” in Italian in this grammar lesson.

quando italian

When in Italian: quando

Today we will look at one of the most important and most widely used (and useful) words in the Italian language: quando.

Quando does not only translate as “when” in English but it can also be used to convey the meaning of “once”.

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.

Quando: how to use

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.

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?


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

da quando italian

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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
    since (when)

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!

di quando in quando meaning

Quando: common expressions

Quando can also be found in some common Italian fixed 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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