Italian Phrases

When you learn Italian, you get a window into idiomatic and slang Italian phrases that take on a colorful meaning all of their own, vibrant than the sum of the individual words that make them up. These Italian slang phrases make language learning all the more fun!

When you learn Italian, you’ll naturally spend a lot of time focusing on Italian grammar and Italian vocabulary. A lot of the process of learning Italian vocabulary involves committing lists of lone words and their translations to memory. And these individual words are important when you want to describe the world around you.

So much of what makes the Italian language rich and engaging are the many Italian phrases that add flavor to the language; the ones you can’t necessarily get from a teacher or a textbook. Learning key Italian phrases can take you out of the classroom and into real conversations. Knowing what to say in real-life contexts when you’re introducing yourself, making new friends, shopping at a store, or finding your way around on your next vacation is much more important than knowing how to recite vocabulary lists or how to use Italian syntax effectively (though all these elements play a part in mastering Italian in their own ways).

Common Italian phrases

  • Good morning/goodnight — Buon giorno/buona notte (formal) or Ciao! (informal)

  • My name is... — Mi chiamo...

  • Please — Per favore

  • Thank you — Grazie

  • How are you? — Come sta?

  • I’m sorry — Mi dispiace

Original Italian expressions

Distinguishing between sounding like a non-local with basic Italian knowledge and speaking like a native lies in mastering commonly used and current phrases and colloquialisms. Here are three of the most valuable ones to learn:

É nei miei denti is the perfect phrase to use when you've reached your limit with someone. Literally meaning "he's in my teeth," it vividly expresses the frustration of someone truly getting on your last nerve.

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When someone says In bocca al lupo, which translates to "Into the mouth of the wolf," it might sound ominous, but fear not! In Italian, it's a quirky way of wishing someone good luck, akin to the English expression "break a leg." So, if you hear this phrase, it's a well-intentioned wish for your success!

When you want to express that "there's more to life than this," the Italian phrase Non si vive solo pane perfectly captures the sentiment. Translated literally to "There's more to life than bread," it conveys the idea that life is meant to be lived to the fullest, beyond the basic necessities. Embrace the richness of life!

Learning Italian with Babbel

Babbel is your go-to for mastering essential Italian phrases for real-life conversations. Developed by over 150 linguists and language experts, our goal is to boost your Italian speaking confidence. Interactive lessons cover reading, writing, listening, and speaking, complemented by multimedia content like podcasts and videos for a comprehensive learning experience. Benefit from our speech recognition feature to refine pronunciation.

Babbel prioritizes teaching Italian phrases you're likely to encounter in real-world situations. Dialogues in almost every lesson prepare you for actual conversations. Choose topics relevant to your interests, whether it be travel, business, or daily life. Not convinced yet? Try a free Italian lesson with Babbel, and see how quickly you'll gain the confidence to speak Italian in any situation!

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