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About Me:I'm a graduate student studying International Criminal Law and first started writing for King's News almost 4 years ago! My hobbies include reading, travelling and charity work. I cover many categories but my favourite articles to write are about mysteries of the ancient world, interesting places to visit, the Italian language and animals!
Whilst devouring the delicious delicacies of Naples or admiring the architecture in Florence you will undoubtedly meet lots of people and the most vital words to know are common greetings. We’ve all felt that utter sense of bewilderment when faced with a fluent speaker who we cannot understand at all but learning a few simple words can dramatically improve your confidence! So whether you’re planning to become a fluent Italian speaker or just want to learn a few words to tell your friends, this article will provide you with a beginners knowledge on basic greetings in Italian!
Saying Hi and Goodbye!
In Italy it is very important to use the right type of greeting depending on who you are talking to which is why you may say hi to a friend (informal) in a different way than to your teacher (formal):
Ciao! Ciao, meaning both hello/hi and bye, is the informal greeting we say to friends and wouldn’t be used to greet your boss or teacher (which we address with Lei, the formal word for you)
Salve! Salve also means hello and bye and can be used both formally and informally.
Buon giorno! Good morning
Buona sera! Good evening
Buona notte! Good night
Arrivederci! Goodbye, used informally to friends
Arrivederla! Goodbye, used formally
A domain! / Ci vediamo domain! See you tomorrow
A presto! See you soon.
Who is who?
When addressing others keep in mind the following titles:
Dottore (for males), Dottoressa (for ladies): Doctor. This term is used for anyone who has a university degree, not only for doctors!
How are you?
Once you have said hello it’s time for the standard ‘how are you?’ ‘Fine thank you and you’ which are two of the most frequent phrases we hear every day!
Come stai? How are you? (Informal)
Come sta? How are you (Formal)
Benissimo grazie! Great thank you!
Bene grazie! Fine thanks
Non c’e’ male. Considerably well
Non mi posso lamentare. I can’t really complain
Non sto bene/ sto male. I’m not well/ I’m bad.
Other need to know phrases
Here are a few other phrases worth knowing when you meet someone who speaks Italian:
Come ti chiami? What’s your name? (Informal)
Come si chiama? What’s your name? (Formal)
Mi chiamo Sophia. My name is Sophia
Quanti anni hai? How old are you? (Informal)
Di dove sei? Where are you from? (informal)
Non capisco. I don’t understand
Dove vivi? Where do you live? (Informal)
Vivo in Inghilterra. I live in England
Sono Inglese. I am English
Grazie. Thank you
Per favore. Please.
Now that you know how to meet and greet in Italian why not practise these words with a friend? You can take it in turns to ask standard questions and you’ll be surprised at how quickly you’ll feel confident speaking Italian!