101 Basic Italian Phrases For Every Situation

101 Basic Italian Phrases For Every Situation

What do you think of the Italian language?

Beautiful, right?

Not only is the language beautiful and passionate, it is also easy to learn. Many say that Italian is one of the easiest languages to learn.

And have you started learning Italian?

If not, we have something that will make you wish you haven’t started earlier.

In the following lines, we give you 101 basic Italian phrases Italian students should know and use in every situation.

Either way, this post will be useful because, in the end, you can find a free PDF file with all the 101 Basic Italian Phrases in one place. Download it to your device and have the list with you anywhere you go.

101 Basic Italian Phrases to Use in Different Situations and in Everyday Conversations


Salutations are perhaps the most essential phrases any language learner has to know, from beginners to advanced ones. When you want to start a conversation or to ask for help, the first thing you have to do is to greet a person. You’ve surely heard of the famous salutation ‘Ciao.’ But it isn’t the only one. 

Here are the other, common Italian greetings you need to know.

  • Ciao! – Hello/Goodbye
  • Salve! – Hello
  • Buongiorno – Good morning/ afternoon
  • Buon pomeriggio – Good afternoon
  • Buonasera – Good evening
  • Buonanotte – Good night

Please note that greetings during a particular part of the day slightly differ from English. The ‘Buongiorno’ phrase means both ‘Good morning’ and ‘Good afternoon.’ It is used in the morning until after lunch. ‘Buon pomeriggio’ is used only in the afternoon, after lunch, and therefore it means ‘Good afternoon’ only.

As for ‘Buonasera,’ the meaning and usage are clear. It is used to salute people in the evening. The English equivalent is ‘Good evening.’

  • Che piacere vederti!-  How nice it is to see you!
  • Salve, come va? – Hello, how are you?

Even though these phrases are part of salutations, people mainly use them when they already know the person. In these greetings, you have the part that helps you not only to salute but also to start a casual conversation.


After you salute your speaker, it is polite to introduce yourself by telling your name, asking for his, or asking where he is from.

Luckily for you, the introduction phrases in Italian are quite easy to learn, do take a lot at them in the following lines.

  • Come ti chiami? – What’s your name? 
  • Come si chiama? – What’s your name? 

As you see, these two phrases are almost the same. The only difference is that the first one is used informally, among close friends and family members, while the second one is used in formal situations.

  • Mi chiamo… – My name is…
  • Sono… – I am…
  • Di dov’è? – Where are you from? (informal)
  • Di dove sei? – Where are you from? (formal)
  • Sono Italiano. – I’m Italian.
  • Piacere. – Nice to meet you.
  • Piacere mio. – The pleasure is mine.

How to Be Polite

No matter if you speak one or seven foreign languages or find it amusing, learning colorful Italian curse words, being polite is a matter of education. 

That’s why you should learn some phrases about politeness in Italian.

  • Grazie.- Thank you.
  • Grazie mille. – Thank you very much.
  • Molte grazie.- Thank you very much.
  • Grazie a lei. – Thank you, too.

The phrase ‘Grazice a lei’ is used as a reply to ‘thank you’ from someone else.

  • Per favore/ per piacere/ per cortesia.- Please.
  • Prego!- You’re welcome!/ By all means.

At The Restaurant

An inevitable part of Italian culture is food. Italian dishes are worldwide-known and therefore one of the most favorable ones.

If you visit Italy or have the chance to chat with the locals, you have to know some of the basic phrases about food and what to order in a restaurant.

  • Mi scusi! – Excuse me! [Calling a waiter]
  • Possiamo sederci laggiù? – Can we sit over there?
  • Cosa mi consiglia? – What do you recommend?
  • Qual è la specialità della casa? – What’s your most popular dish?
  • Cosa mi consiglia? – What do you recommend?
  • Il conto, per favore – The cheque, please.
  • L’acqua frizzante/naturale.- Sparkling/natural water.
  • Un litro di vino della casa, per favore.- A liter of house wine, please.
  • Vorrei le lasagne.- I would like lasagna.

Asking For Directions 

No matter if you plan to visit Italy or not yet, knowing the basic phrases to ask for directions, to get to the train or buy a ticket is something anyone should learn.

  • 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 …
  • Mi sono perso /persa – I’m lost.
  • Come posso arrivarci? – How can I get there?
  • Questo treno/autobus ferma a …. – Does this train/bus stop in ...?
  • A che ora parte il prossimo treno/autobus per ... What time is the next train/bus to ... ?
  • Quanto costa? – How much is it?

Please pay attention that the phrase ‘Mi sono perso’ is used for males, while ‘Mi sono persa’ is used for females.

And here are some answers to the previous questions you might expect.

  • 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.

‘Do You Speak Italian?’

When you first start talking to native speakers, likely, you won’t understand everything they say, especially if you are a beginner.

That’s why you should have the following expressions by hand, just in case.

  • Parla italiano? – Do you speak Italian?
  • Parla inglese? – Do you speak English?
  • 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?
  • Potrebbe ripetere, per favore? – Could you say that again please?
  • Mi scusi – I’m sorry.
  • Non lo so – I don’t know.
  • Va bene – All right.

Short Questions And Answers

If you continue learning new words and phrases along the way, you can construct your own sentences.

In these situations, some common questions and answers can be useful.

  • Chi?- Who?
  • Cosa?- What?
  • Quando?- When?
  • Dove?- Where?
  • Perché?- Why?
  • Come?- How?
  • Quanto?- How much?
  • Sì- Yes.
  • No.- No.
  • Può essere.- Maybe.
  • Naturalmente.- Of course.
  • Mi dispiace.- I am sorry.
  • Un attimo. – Just a moment.
  • Non importa. – Nevermind.
  • Va bene. – All right.

Italian Numbers

The great thing about learning Italian numbers is that they are very easy to remember.

If you speak one more Romance language, you have the luck of the Irish because you’ll memorize the Italian equivalents in no time.

  • Uno – One
  • Due- Two
  • Tre- Three
  • Cinque- Five
  • Dieci- Ten
  • Cento- Hundred

Goodbye Phrases

You’ve surely heard of ‘Arrivederci,’ right?

That's good for you. One phrase less to learn. But, there are other useful farewell phrases you should memorize as well. We’ll tell you that you knew one more phrase, but you probably weren’t aware of it. You can use the phrase ‘ciao’ to say goodbye. Now, two phrases less to learn.

  • Ciao.- Bye.
  • Arrivederci.- Goodbye.
  • Adio.- Farewell.
  • A presto.- See you soon.
  • A dopo.- Later.
  • A tra poco.- In a bit.
  • Ce vediamo.- See you.
  • Alla prossima.- Until next time.
  • Buona seratta.- Have a nice evening.

Final Thoughts

As you can see from the phrases, Italian isn’t hard to learn.

With these basic phrases and fun YouTube channels, you can learn Italian on your own.

If you're eager to enhance your Italian language skills, consider these standout online resources: Babbel offers fun, engaging lessons that fit easily into your daily schedule, perfect for learning at your own pace. For those seeking a deeper dive into Italian, Udemy’s comprehensive course covers everything from basic phrases to complex linguistic structures. Additionally, Preply connects you with native Italian tutors, ideal for improving your conversational skills. Check out Preply.com now and get 50% off your first lesson using this link.

Don’t forget when you come to the point of speaking the language, the best practice is speaking with real people, preferably native Italian speakers. Not only can you practice these phrases, but you can also learn many new things and become more confident. 

Then, Italian will sound even more beautiful than it previously sounded.

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