Listen to the phrases here:
1.) Ti va di…? – Would you like to go…? (Informal)
tee vah dee
- Ti va di andare a casa mia? – Would you like to go to my house?
- Ti va di andare al cinema? – Would you like to go the movies?
This expression is used in really informal situations with friends.
Ear Training! There’s also this really good video example of it being used at the 30 second mark: Ti va di andare a fare un giro? – Do you want to go out and go around?
tee vah dee ahn-DAH-reh ah FAH-reh oon JEE-ro
2.) Volentieri! – Yes! Willingly.
If there was one word in Italy that I adored over all of the others, it was volentieri.
There is something about the way it sounds that just makes me so happy.
Listen to it here: http://www.wordreference.com/iten/volentieri
If someone were to ask you:
– Ti va di andare al cinema?
tee va dee ahn-DA-reh al CHEEN-uh-mah
You could respond with:
3.) Dipende da te. – It depends on you.
dee-PEN-deh dah teh
Used in situations where you don’t really want to have input or make a decision. Don’t care what movie you go see? Don’t care what restaurant you eat at? Pull this phrase out to show that.
4.) Che c’è? – What’s up?
Easy way to greet a friend or inquire about what’s going on.
5.) Cosa? – What?
You’ll most often hear ‘Che?’ or ‘Cosa?’ for ‘What?’
6.) Sono… – I am/they are
Ad esempio, sono Cher. Sono cinese. Sono contenta.
This is a part of the verb Essere (to be), and it’s conjugated for the first person, so from your personal perspective.
7.) Basta così – That’s it. That’s enough.
You will hear this expression a lot when you’re at restaurants or supermarkets. They might ask you, “E poi?” (And then?). You can just reply with “Basta così, grazie.”
[photo credit: Monica Arellano-Ongpin]
Basta – Enough
By itself, it means enough. It’s used in tons of situations. You can say it to express that you want something to stop, or you can say it to express the fact that you’re finished with an activity.
Così – This way, so
There are a couple of important uses for così! It’s used to mean:
– Like this
– Like that
– So much
– As much
A couple of examples are:
- Sei così gentile. – You are so kind. (SEH-ee ko-ZEE jehn-TEE-leh)
- “È sempre stato così, chissà se guarirò mai.” – Il Giorno in Più (It’s always this way, who knows if I will ever heal.)
8.) Posso? – May I?
This can be used when you’re asking for permission to sit down somewhere. For example, I walk into a restaurant, see a table that I’d like, look at the owner, and say “Posso?” The owner will then nod or shake their head in reply.
9.) Dimmi – Tell me
This is one of the first things you’ll hear in Italy. When you go to cafe, the barista will look at you and say “Dimmi”, as in “Tell me what you want.”
10.) Tutte e due – Both
TOO-teh eh DO-eh
Per esempio, if someone asks you if you like Italian men or Spanish men, you can reply with saying “tutte e due” to show that you like both types of men.
11.) In che senso? – What do you mean?
een keh SEHN-so
This literally means ‘in what sense’, which I’ve taken to saying in English even though it sounds weird.
Per esempio, if I’m talking to my best friend in Italian, I could use the phrase in this way:
– Ieri sera, il mio ragazzo è stato antipatico. (Yesterday night, my boyfriend was mean.)
-In che senso? (In what sense? In what way?)
-Mi ha detto che sono grassa. (He told me that I am fat.)
Listen to the expressions using the video below or follow this link to hear them on Youtube.
In the comments below, ask me a question about an expression that you would LOVE to be able to say in Italian.
Start with “Ho una domanda!” It means “I have a question!”