What Are Some Popular Italian Phrases?


Quick Answer

Popular Italian phrases are useful to know for exchanging greetings or pleasantries with others, and they include "buongiorno" for "good morning," "buono sera" for "good evening" and "ciao" for "hi." Other helpful phrases when meeting someone include "me chiamo" followed by the name of the person speaking.

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What Are Some Popular Italian Phrases?
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Full Answer

Like many Romance languages, Italian uses formal and informal modes of speech, so certain phrases change based on who the speaker is addressing. For example, the informal phrase in Italian for "where do you live?" is "dove vivi?" The formal Italian phrase, "dove vive?," is only slightly different, but a native speaker would hear the difference clearly. The formal mode is used any time when first meeting a person or with older persons and individuals who occupy positions of authority.

Some phrases are celebratory or intended to wish others well. Directly, the phrase to wish someone good luck in an endeavor or journey is "buona fortuna." To congratulate a person after accomplishing something, an individual simply says "congratulazioni." If an individual sneezes, it is proper to say "salute," which literally means "health" and implies wishing the person good health in spite of the sneeze. Right before partaking of a bountiful meal, it is proper to wish everyone present "buon appetito," which literally means "a hardy appetite."

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