89 Common Italian Phrases to Impress Every Italian Native

89 Common Italian Phrases to Impress Every Italian Native

If you are reading this article, you are probably interested in learning Italian.

Or you want to go to Italy and be well-prepared for the trip? 

Or perhaps you’ve come across this guide by accident…

No matter the reason, after roughly 7-8 minutes that it takes to read this post, you will surely learn a lot of common Italian phrases.

And you will surely know more about the Italian language, culture, and people.


The magic of the Italian language


So, why are this country and its language so fascinating?

It is a little bit challenging to list all the reasons, but here are some of them:

  • Italian culture is a perfect mix of food, music, architecture, art, and family love.
  • Italians are friendly, happy people, and always willing to help.
  • The Italian language is descendent from the Latin language, and part of the Romance language family, which is, again, one of the first languages in the world, and the one that gave at least 50 words to every single language.

And so on, and so on.


We could go on with the list, but the primary reason you are reading this article is to get to know some typical Italian phrases.

In this article, we’ve listed the most common phrases in Italian that can help you in everyday quick conversations, whether you want to ask for help of have a quick chat. 


Prepare to visit Italy with these most common Italian phrases


We’ve divided the phrases by chapters, so you can get ready for today’s lesson:

  1. Greetings
  2. Introduction
  3. Numbers
  4. What time is it?
  5. Being polite
  6. Basic question words
  7. ‘I don’t understand’ phrases
  8. Asking for help
  9. Basic phrases to ask for directions
  10. Quick answers
  11. Farewell


Greetings in Italian

Greetings are the base of every language.

Knowing how to use them can leave a good first impression when you’re speaking to Italians.

Some of them can be used formally, while others are more suitable for informal situations, mainly among friends and family members.


Ciao! – Hello/Goodbye


There’s no person in the world that doesn’t know what ‘Ciao’ means.


It can be translated as ‘Hello’ or ‘Goodbye,’ and it is very informal, which means that you can use it only with people you know well.


Salve! – Hello


‘Salve,’ on the contrary, is more formal, and what makes this phrase different from the first one is that it can be used at any time of the day.


Che piacere vederti! – How nice it is to see you!

Salve, come va? – Hello, how are you?


Buongiorno – Good morning/afternoon


Salutations during the day are specific for Italians.

Since they are very polite and friendly, you can hear ‘Buongiorno’ everywhere.

This phrase is used for saying ‘Good morning’ but also ‘Good afternoon.’


It can be used from morning until after lunch.


Buon pomeriggio – Good afternoon


The ‘Buon pomeriggio’ phrase means ‘Good afternoon’ and can be used from lunch until dinner time.


Buonasera – Good evening

Buonanotte – Good night




An introduction is how you should begin every conversation.

It is also something you have to learn if you want to speak to people, especially Italians, who love to talk.


Come ti chiami? – What’s your name?

Come si chiama? – What’s your name?

The difference between these two phrases is that the first one is informal, therefore, used among family members and friends, while the second one is formal.


Mi chiamo… – My name is…

Sono… – I am…


The ‘Me chiamo’ phrase literally means ‘I call myself.’

The other one means ‘I am.’

This phrase can be used not only to tell others your name but nationality as well.

You can say, for example, ‘Sono Eva,’ which means ‘I’m Eva’, that is, ‘My name is Eva.’

But you can also say ‘Sono Inglese,’ which means ‘ I’m English.’


Di dov’è? – Where are you from?

Di dove sei? – Where are you from?

Sono (Italiano). – I’m (Italian)

The ‘Di dov’è’ phrase is formal, while the other one is informal. Answers are the same in both cases, like in the example above.


Piacere. – Nice to meet you.

Piacere mio. – The pleasure is mine.

These phrases are the most common phrases to use when you meet someone the first time.



Numbers, especially from one to ten, are something you need all the time whether you are paying the bills, asking for the time, or ordering coffee.

If you are familiar or speak another Romance language as French or Spanish, then this will be a piece of cake for you.

If you don’t, there’s nothing to worry about. You can learn them in no time since they are pretty easy to memorize.


  1. Uno – one in Italian
  2. Due – two
  3. Tre – three
  4. Quattro – four
  5. Cinque – five
  6. Sei – six
  7. Sette – seven
  8. Otto – eight
  9. Nove – nine
  10. Dieci – ten


Check out this practical guide to Italian numbers to learn more.


What time is it?

Here’s a quick guide on how to tell the time in Italian.

It is good to know that Italians use a 24-hour clock, so if you want to say something about 4 pm, then you need to say 16.


Che ore sono?- What time is it?


É l’una.- It’s 1 a.m.

É l’una e dieci.- It’s 1:10 a.m.

É mezzogiorno.- It’s noon.


É mezzogiorno e mezzo.- It’s 12:30 p.m.

É mezzanotte.- It’s midnight.

Sono le due.- It’s 2 a.m.


Sono le due e un quarto.- It’s 2:15 a.m.

Sono le quindici.- It’s 3 p.m.

Sono le ventidue meno dieci.- It’s 9:50 p.m.


You want to learn more? 

Check out this helpful guide on how to tell the time in Italian.


Being polite

Being polite is a matter of culture, not just Italian but ours as human beings.

When the conversations are pleasant, the atmosphere is positive.

So, it is good to know some phrases that express politeness in Italian, too.


Grazie- Thank you

Grazie mille – Thank you very much

Molte grazie- Thank you very much.

Piacere – Nice to meet you


Per favore; per piacere; per cortesia- please

These three phrases are synonyms, and the meaning is the same.

According to native Italians, the only difference between them is part of the country where you use them.


Prego!- You’re welcome!/ by all means

This phrase is also known worldwide.

Many get confused by its usage since it is used a lot and in many different situations.

It literally means ‘You’re welcome,’ and it is often used after someone says ‘Grazie.’

It can be used as ‘Come in’ when you enter a house or a room with a hand gesture, as well as ‘How can I help you?’ by a shopkeeper.


Si figuri!- It’s nothing

Mi scusi- Excuse me

Può ripetere, per cortesia?- Can you please repeat



Basic question words

Without knowing some question words, you might get stuck if you want to ask something. In the following lines, find some of the most common ones.


Chi?- Who?

Cosa?- What?

Quando?- When?

Dove?- Where?

Perché?- Why?

Come?- How?

Quanto?- How much?


‘I don’t understand’ phrases

If you are a beginner, there will be situations when you don’t understand something, or you don’t know how to express your thoughts.

But don’t get discouraged. It is perfectly normal when you’re learning a new language.

We’ve listed some of the phrases that can be useful in those cases.


Mi scusi, non capisco – I don’t understand!

Non parlo italiano molto bene – I don’t speak Italian very well

Cosa vuole dire? – What does that mean?

Parla Inglese? – Do you speak English?

Mi scusi – I’m sorry

Non lo so – I don’t know

Va bene – All right

Non importa – Nevermind


Asking for help

In the following lines, you may find some helpful phrases when you need to ask someone for help.


Dov’è la stazione?- Where is the station?

Scusi, dov’è il bagno?- Where is the bathroom?

Quanto dista il Colosseo?- How far is the Colosseum?

Dove si mangia il miglior gelato?- Where can you get the best ice cream?

Come si arriva in Piazza della Repubblica?- How do you get to Piazza della Repubblica?


Basic Italian phrases to ask for direction

Just like asking for help, phrases to ask someone for directions, are as useful as any other phrases.


Quanto dura il viaggio? – How long does it take?

Dove devo andare adesso? – Where should I go now?

Quando parte? – When does it leave?

Che ore sono (adesso)? – What time is it (now)?

Vorrei andare a ... – I want to go to ...

A che ora parte il prossimo treno/autobus per ... What time is the next train/bus to ... ?

Quanto costa? – How much is it?


And possible answers that you might get:


Gira a destra – Turn right

Gira a sinistra – Turn left

È qua vicino – It’s close by

È laggiù – It’s over there

Un biglietto / due biglietti- One ticket / two tickets

Questo treno/autobus ferma a …. – Does this train/bus stop in ...?

Mi scusi, è qui ... – Excuse me, is this ...?- On the bus/train, when you aren’t sure when to get off.


Quick answers

Short, quick answers are a must, if you want to survive every conversation in Italian.

Look at these Italian short solutions and memorize them. As you can see, it isn't hard to learn them, so go ahead.


Sì- yes

No- no

Mi scusi, non capisco – I don’t understand!

Non parlo italiano molto bene – I don’t speak Italian very well

Cosa vuole dire? – What does that mean?

Parla Inglese? – Do you speak English?

Mi scusi – I’m sorry

Non lo so – I don’t know

Va bene – All right

Non importa – Nevermind



Just like greetings, saying goodbye is essential to know.

Here are some of the basic and often used phrases to say goodbye.


Arrivederci – Goodbye

Arrivederla!- Goodbye!

Although the ‘Arrivederci’ phrase is much more used, it is essential to mention that this phrase is used for ‘Goodbye’ to one person or more. The ‘Arrivederia’ phrase, however, addresses one person only and is quite formal.


A dopo!- See you later!

A presto!- See you soon!

Even though we can see the difference between these two phrases, it is important to understand that the ‘A dopo’ phrase is somehow informal and more colloquial, while ‘A presto’ phrase is more formal than the first one.


A fra poco- See you in a bit.

A domani!- See you tomorrow!




As you may see, common phrases in Italian aren’t tricky, but are very helpful.

There is also no need to be afraid or nervous when starting a conversation in Italian.

Remember what we’ve said: they are polite, friendly, and always willing to help.

 In the end, don’t hesitate to ask for help anytime you need it and believe in yourself.

To progress in your Italian studies, check out these excellent online resources: Babbel provides delightful, easy-to-follow lessons ideal for daily learning. For a thorough exploration of Italian, consider Udemy’s extensive courses, which provide insights from the basics to more advanced topics. If direct interaction suits your style, Preply’s native Italian tutors can help boost your speaking skills. Visit Preply.com now and take advantage of a 50% discount on your first lesson with this link.

How to learn Italian?

There are many ways to learn Italian. Read books and book online language lessons.

Why should you visit Italy?

Italy is famous for their food and culture.

What is the Italian culture?

Italy has a big culture of food, music, and art.

Do may people speak Italian?

Outside of Italy, there are a number of countries with Italian speakers, including Albania, the United States, and Switzerland.

Are there many dialects of Italian?

There are a number of dialects of the language spoken in the country, including Sardinian, Friulian, Neapolitan, Sicilian, Ligurian, Piedmontese, Venetian and Calabrian.

From which language does Italian derive?

Italian is a language (lingua) derived from Latin.

What importance is given to the family in Italian culture?

The family is really important and is a central part of life for Italians.

What is Italy famous for?

Italy is famous for its art, music, style, clothing and iconic food as well as the birthplace of Opera.

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