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How to Speak Common Italian Phrases

Learn how to say more than _la dolce vita_ when you visit Italy.


  • Step 1: Say hello Know how to bid people good day, good evening, and good night: Say "Buon giorno" in the morning and early afternoon, "Buona sera" in the late afternoon and evening, and "Buona notte" for good night. Answer the phone with a cheery, "Pronto!"
  • TIP: "Ciao" means both "hello" and "goodbye," but only use it with people you know.
  • Step 2: Be polite Be polite: Know how to say "please," "thank you," and "you're welcome" -- "per favore," "grazie," and "prego."
  • TIP: If you're really grateful, offer someone a thousand thanks with "Grazie mille."
  • Step 3: Make friends Make friends by knowing how to ask, "What's your name?" Use "Come si chiama?" to be formal, and "Come ti chiami?" in a more casual situation. Respond to introductions with "Nice to meet you" -- "Piacere."
  • Step 4: Ask for help If you need help, ask "Puo aiutarmi?" in a formal setting, or "Puoi aiutarmi?" informally. Locate the bathroom by asking, "Dove si trova il bagno?"
  • Step 5: Buy stuff Find out how much that souvenir will cost you by asking, "How much is it?" -- "Quanto costa?" For the check, say, "Il conto, per favore."
  • Step 6: Flirt To ask someone if you can buy them a drink, say, "Le posso offrire da bere?" To put a pushy suitor in their place, insult their intelligence with "Ma sei scemo!" Now have a good trip! Buon viaggio!
  • FACT: In Italian, the letter "h" is always silent.

You Will Need

  • Memorization skills

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