What’s the difference between “in effetti” and “infatti”?
Before being prompted to dive deeper into this topic from a conversation with a bunch of other Italian language students, I had no idea. In fact (haha), I rarely use the phrase “in effetti” even though I hear it all the time.
And I’ve been told that they’re pretty much the same meaning, but as I dove into the topic, it turns out there are some subtle differences that are important to note if you want to sound natural while using them.
To get us started, here’s what each one means.
Main difference: You use “in effetti” when you want to agree, and it’s not likely to be used to enforce disagreement, unlike “infatti,” which can go both ways.
— Il mio ragazzo non avrebbe dovuto dirmi bugie, ha fatto un grande errore! – My boyfriend shouldn’t have lied to me, he’s made a big mistake.
— Beh, in effetti, hai ragione. – Indeed, you’re right.
— La dieta mediterranea ti ha fatto davvero bene, sei in grandissima forma!!! – The mediterranean diet has been really good for you, you’re in great shape!!!
— In effetti, sì, sono dimagrita 8 kg! – Actually, yes, I lost 8kg!
— Non hai lavorato bene ultimamente, ti vedo assente, c’è qualcosa che non va? – You haven’t been working well lately, you seem distant, is there something wrong?
— In effetti, non volevo parlarne, ma credo che adesso sia necessario. – Admittedly, I didn’t want to talk about it, but I think now it would be necessary.
— In fact
— After all
— Sure enough
— As a matter of fact
Main difference: You use “infatti” when you want to reinforce something you just said or explain it a bit more, like “Mi sento stanchissimo/a, infatti ieri sera ho dormito solo tre ore. – I feel so tired, after all I slept only three hours last night.
— Guarda quel cielo. Se continua così, non vedremo mai il sole. – Look at that sky. If it continues this way, we’ll never see the sun.
— Sì, infatti! – Yes, in fact!
— È una lezione di italiano difficile, solo per gli studenti ai livelli alti. Solo loro infatti, riescono a capirla. – It’s a difficult Italian lesson, only for those who are at high levels. in fact, only those will be able to understand it.
— Lui non avrebbe dovuto comportarsi così! – He shouldn’t have acted that way!
— Infatti!! – In fact!!
— Sapevo che di te non mi potevo fidare, infatti alla festa ti sei comportato proprio come un cretino! – I knew I couldn’t trust you, in fact you acted like an idiot at the party!
I know these differences are subtle, so I don’t expect you to walk away from this lesson having completely understood them, BUT I do hope that this serves as a starting point for some more clarity. Now, get out of there, and try to use both of them.
Have questions? Leave a comment below.