95 Italian phrases to use in everyday conversations

95 Italian phrases to use in everyday conversations

You can learn thousands of Italian words but you will hardly ever use all of them. And yet, there will be some Italian phrases which you’ll hear all the time but won’t quite understand. Most of them just don’t make sense when translated directly in English, and a few others are just too rude to be included in your textbook (even though Italians use them all the time).

95 Italian phrases to use in everyday conversations

 

That’s why I made this list of common Italian phrases which will help you better understand Italians speaking, and will make you sound more like a local whenever you use them.

If you are not sure how to pronounce any of these, check this free lesson on Italian pronunciation.

Italian expressions with fare

Fare is by all means the most common verb in Italian. It means ‘to do’, and ‘to make’ but you can hear it all the time used in combination with other words and forming all sorts of Italian expressions. Basically, if you don’t know how to say something in Italian, you can most probably say it in another way using the verb fare. It is an integral part of so many Italian phrases, here are just a few of the most common ones.

Fare la spesa – to do the shopping

Vado a fare la spesa. – I am going to do the shopping.

Fare rumore – to make noise, to be loud

Non fare troppo rumore! – Don’t be too loud!

Fare pace – to make one’s peace, to be reconciled

Non abbiamo ancora fatto pace. – We are still not reconciled.

Fare eccezione – to be an exception

C’è tempo per tutto e l’amore non fa eccezione. – There’s time for everything, and love is not an exception.

Fare amicizia con – to make friends with

Abbiamo fatto amicizia con tanta gente del posto. – We made friends with lots of local people.

Fare due chiacchiere – to chat, to talk (informally, with a friend)

Ci siamo fermate per strada per fare due chiacchiere. – We stopped on the street to chat.

Fare una (bella / gran /  brutta) figura – to make a (good / great / bad) impression

Volevo fare una bella figura. – I wanted to make a good impression.

Fare un casino – to mess up, to make a mess

Non fare troppi casini! – Don’t make a lot of mess! (Behave yourself! Don’t make a lot of trouble!)

Fare la fila – to wait at a queue

Ho dovuto fare la fila per mezzora. – I had to wait at a queue for half an hour.

Fare il bravo / la brava – to be good, to behave oneself

Lui ha sempre fatto il bravo. – He has always been good.

Fare fronte a – to cope with, to face a problem 

Ho fatto fronte a molte difficoltà negli ultimi due anni. – I faced a lot of difficulties in the last two years.

Fare tardi – to be late

Mi raccomando, non fare troppo tardi! – Please, don’t come home too late!

Fa bel tempo – the weather is good

D’inverno faceva bel tempo. – In the winter the weather was good.

Far sapere – to let someone know

Fammi sapere quando vieni. – Let me know when you come.

Far vedere – to show

Adesso ti faccio vedere. – Now I am going to show you.

 

it makes me laugh in italian

Fare ridere – to make someone laugh

Questo mi fa troppo ridere. – This makes me laugh a lot.

 

 

 

Fare impazzire – to make someone go crazy

Lui mi fa impazzire. – He drives me crazy.

Fare stare male – to make someone feel bad

Ci hanno fatto stare malissimo. – They made us feel so bad.

Fare venire voglia di – to make someone want

Questa storia mi fa venire voglia di viaggiare. – This story makes me want to travel.

Fare tristezza – to make someone sad

Questa foto fa tanta tristezza. – This photo makes me very sad.

Fare paura – to frighten

Lui mi ha fatto tanta paura. – He scared me a lot.

Fare fatica a – to find it hard to

Facciamo fatica a capirlo. – It is hard for us to understand him.

Fare a meno di – to manage without, to be without

Non posso fare a meno di Facebook. – I can’t stay without Facebook.

Far finta di – to pretend to

Lui faceva finta di non capire. – He was pretending that he didn’t understand.

Fare da te – to do it yourself

Una ricetta fai da te. – a do-it-yourself recipe

Fare schifo – to be disgusting, terrible

Questa casa fa schifo. – This house is terrible.

Fare male a – to hurt

Le gambe mi fanno male. – My feet hurt.

Avere niente a che fare – to have something to do with

Io non ho niente a che fare con questa gente. – I have nothing to do with these people.

Fare caso a – to notice

Non ci ho fatto caso. – I didn’t notice it.

Farcela – to manage to do something

Non so se ce la facciamo. – I don’t know if we’ll manage this.

Come si fa a …? – How do you…? What should you do in order to…?

Come si fa ad andare avanti? – What should you do in order to go ahead?

 

Slang

It is a fact that the words which you always learn first in a foreign language (especially, when you are exposed to native speakers) are swear words and other casual expressions. The ones below are not exactly the beautiful Italian phrases you associate with the language of love and arts but they are nonetheless important to everyday communication. Even if you prefer not to use offensive language, no list of common Italian phrases is complete without some rude but honest vaffanculo, or cazzo.

Cazzo! – Fuck!

Cazzo! L’ho dimenticato! – Fuck! I forgot it!

Porco cazzo! – Fuck! Motherfucker! (literally: pig dick)

Porco cazzo! Che vuoi?  – Motherfucker! What do you want?

Stare sul cazzo – to be annoying, intolerable

Questa signora mi sta sul cazzo. – I cannot stand this lady.

Incazzarsi – to get mad, to get angry

Mi sono incazzato quando me l’hai detto. – I got mad when you told me this.

Non (…) un cazzo! – I don’t (…) a fuck!

Non ho capito un cazzo. – I didn’t understand anything. I didn’t understand a fuck.

Non me ne frega un cazzo! – I don’t give a fuck!

Che cazzo! – What the fuck?!

Che cazzo stai facendo? – What the fuck are you doing?

Che cavolo! – What the fuck?!

Cavolo

Cavolo literally means ‘cabbage’

Che cavolo vuoi? – What the fuck do you want?

Stronzo / stronza – an asshole / a bitch

Che stronza! – What a bitch!

Dire stronzate – to say bullshit

Non dire stronzate, non è mica vero! – Don’t say bullshit, this is not true at all!

Rompere le palle – to annoy someone, to get on someone’s nerves (literally: to break the balls)

Lei mi rompe le palle con questa musica. – She is getting on my nerves with this music.

Rompere i coglioni – to annoy someone, to get on someone’s nerves (literally: to break the balls)

Scusa, non volevo romperti i coglioni! – Sorry, I didn’t want to be so annoying!

Coglione! – Asshole!

Sei un coglione! – You are an asshole!

Vaffanculo! – Go fuck yourself! (literally: go take it in the ass; this one is so common you can hear it all the time from anyone and it is even the title of a famous song by a popular Italian singer Marco Masini)

Che figo! – So cool!

Sei stato in Messico?! Che figo! – You’ve been to Mexico?! So cool!

Che figata! / è una figata – So cool! / it is a cool thing

Ieri è stata una figata. – Yesterday was really cool.

sfigato – unlucky, a loser

Sono sempre sfigato. – I never have any luck.

Other common Italian phrases

You can hear the Italian phrases below in almost all conversations between native speakers, and they can make you sound more fluent if you use them every now and then. Most of them are very simple and can be used in any situation.

Insomma – In short

Insomma, hai fatto bene. – In short, you did well.

a lot of money in Italian

Un sacco di – A lot of (literally: a bag of)

Abbiamo un sacco di tempo. – We have a lot of time.

 

 

 

 

Magari – Maybe, hopefully

Magari ci vediamo di nuovo. – Hopefully we’ll see each other again.

Senza dubbio – Without any doubt

Questo è il migliore, senza dubbio. – This one is the best, without any doubt.

Comunque – Anyway / however

Non lo so, comunque adesso chiedo a qualcuno. – I don’t know, however now I will ask someone.

A questo punto / a quel punto / ad un certo punto – at this point / at that point / at some point

A quel punto non ero sicuro di cosa si trattasse. – At that point I wasn’t sure what this was about.

Assolutamente – absolutely

Questa è stata una esperienza assolutamente positiva. – This was an absolutely positive experience.

Meno male – It’s better this way

Meno male che sei rimasto a casa. – It’s better that you stayed at home.

Innanzitutto – First of all

Innanzitutto ti ringrazio per l’aiuto. – First of all, thank you for your help.

Dai – Come on

Dai, siamo vicino al posto. – Come on, we are close to the place.

Nel senso che – Meaning that

Non so niente, nel senso che non ho mai saputo niente. – I don’t know anything, I mean that I never knew anything.

Però vabbè – But okay / anyway, it doesn’t matter

Non è la stessa cosa, però vabbè. – It’s not the same thing but okay.

In realtà – In reality, actually

In realtà, è la prima volta che sono in Italia. – Actually, it is my first time in Italy.

Praticamente – practically

Praticamente non c’è nessuno. – Practically there is noone.

A quanto pare – apparently

A quanto pare stiamo per partire. – Apparently we are about to leave.

Mi sa che – I think that

Mi sa che lei è già uscita. – I think she already went out.

Secondo me – in my opinion

Secondo me, non si può fare. – In my opinion, it cannot be done.

.. e basta – and that’s it, that’s enough

Dobbiamo compilare il modulo, e basta. – We have to fill in the form, and that’s it.

Non è che… – It’s not that …, it is not as if…

Non è che hai tanto da fare. – It is not as if you had a lot to do.

È tanto che non… – It’s been a long time since…

È tanto che non ci sentiamo. – It’s been a long time since we last spoke.

Per carità! – For God’s sake! Please!

Per carità, non farlo! – Please, don’t do it!

Man mano – Slowly, step by step, gradually

Man mano ci siamo riusciti. – Slowly we managed to do it.

Pian piano – Slowly, step by step, gradually

Siamo arrivati pian piano alla lezione finale. – We got step by step to the final lesson.

Stare simpatico – to be liked (for a person)

È vero che mi sta simpatico. – It is true that I like him.

Vero e proprio – true, proper

Lei vuole avere una vera e propria famiglia. – She wants to have a proper family.

Andare in giro / fare un giro – to go around, to hang out

Andiamo a fare un giro. – Let’s go around (for a walk / ride).

 

The following fixed expressions in Italian are the ones you could never think of unless you actually knew their meaning. So next time someone says they don’t see the hour to do something, you won’t be staring at them silent and confused.

Fixed expressions

Non vedo l’ora di – I can’t wait to (literally: I don’t see the hour to)

Non vedo l’ora di tornare. – I can’t wait to come back.

Lascia stare – Let it go, let it be

Non è importante, lascia stare. – It is not important, let it go.

Rendersi conto – to realize, to get to understand

Appena adesso mi rendo conto della situazione. – I get to understand the situation just now.

Andare storto – to go wrong

C’è qualcosa che va storto. – There is something (that goes) wrong.

Andare a trovare – to go and visit (someone)

Sono andato a trovare i miei in Francia. – I went to visit my parents in France.

Dare per scontato – to take for granted

Non dare nulla per scontato. – Don’t take anything for granted.

Avere in testa – to have in mind

Non so che cosa hai in testa. – I don’t know what you have in mind.

A buon mercato – cheap, inexpensive, a good deal

Cercavo un ristorante a buon mercato. – I was looking for an inexpensive restaurant.

Tanto per cambiare – for a change (usually used ironically)

Stasera non esco, tanto per cambiare. – Tonight I’m not going out, for a change.

Stare zitto – to stay silent, to keep your mouth shut

Devi stare zitto, non riesco a sentire nulla. – You have to be silent, I can’t hear anything.

Prendere in giro – to be kidding with, to be making fun of

Hai capito che volevano prenderti in giro? – Did you understand that they wanted to make fun of you?

Vuol dire – it means

Che cosa vuol dire questo? – What does this mean?

Prestare attenzione – to pay attention to

Dovete prestare attenzione ai segnali stradali. – You need to pay attention to the road signs.

D’accordo – alright, agreed

D’accordo, vengo subito. – Alright, I am coming right away.

Mettersi d’accordo – to agree with

Ci siamo messi d’accordo all’inizio. – We reached an agreement at the beginning.

È uguale – it is the same, never mind

Prendi quello che vuoi, per me è uguale. – Take whatever you want, for me it’s the same.

Non importa – it doesn’t matter

Non importa da dove vieni. – It doesn’t matter where you come from.

Qualcosa del genere – something like that

Ci sarà una festa, o qualcosa del genere. – There will be a party, or something like that.

Non è un granché. – It is not a big deal. It is not anything special.

Ho visto il film però non è un granché. – I saw the movie but it’s not anything special.

Non c’entra niente. – It has nothing to do with it.

Non chiedere a lui, lui non c’entra niente. – Don’t ask him, he has nothing to do with it.

Vale la pena – it is worth it

Era un viaggio lungo però ne valeva la pena. – It was a long journey but it was worth it.

Dare fastidio – to be annoying for someone

Questo rumore mi da fastidio. – This noise annoys me.

 

Which is the most common Italian expression that you hear all the time in conversations? Share it in the comments below.

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