Italian Key Phrases

Here are some basic phrases to help you get through a meal, meet someone new or shopping around Italy.

Hi/bye (informal) — Ciao (chow) (informal)

Good Day/ Hello — Buongiorno (bwohn-johr-noh)

Good evening — Buonasera  (bwoh-nah-seh-rah)

Good night  — Buonanotte  (bwoh-nah-noht-teh)

Goodbye (formal) — Arrivederci (ah-ree-veh-dehr-chee) 

 

Let’s go — Andiamo (ahn-dee-ah-moh) 

Come on! — Dai (die) 

Yesterday — Ieri (ee-air-e) 

Today — Oggi (oh-jee) 

Tomorrow — Domani (doh-mah-nee) 

 

How are you? — Come stai/Come sta(formal)? (COH-meh STA-ee/ COH-meh STA)  

I am well, thank you. — Sto bene, grazie. (stoh BEN-neh, GRAH-tsee-yeh) 

Your welcome/May I help you?/ Please — Prego (PREH-goh) 

Please — Per favore/per piacere (pehr fah-VOH-reh/pehr pyah-CHEH-reh)

Nice to meet you.– Piacere (pee-ah-CHAIR-eh) 

Excuse me — Scusi (skoo-zee) 

See you soon — A presto (ah PREHS-toh) 

Good/ That’s fine — Va bene (vah BEH-neh) 

IMPORTANT questions!

Where is the bathroom? — Dov’è il bagno? (dov-EH eel bah-ngno)

How long does it take to get to…? — Quanto tempo ci vuole per andare a…? (KWAN-toh TEM-poh chee voo-oh-leh pair an-dar-eh ah…?

Do you speak English? — Parla inglese? (par-lah een-gleh-zeh) 

I don’t understand — Non capisco. (non ka-PEES-koh) 

I understand — Ho capito (oh kah-pee-toh)

Could you speak more slowly, please? — Può parlare più piano, per favore? (pwoh par-lah-reh pee-oo pee-ano, pair fah-vor-eh) 

I’m sorry — Mi dispiace (mee dee-spee-ah-cheh) 

Thank you — Grazie (grah-stee-eh) 

 

Shopping

How much is this? — Quant’è questo? (kwan-teh kweh-stoh) 

How much does it cost? — Quanto costa? (kwan-toh co-stah) 

How do you say…? — Come di dice…? (koh-meh see dee-cheh) 

What does this mean? — Cosa vuol dire questo? (coh-za vwohl dee-reh kweh-stoh) 

I would like a glass of red wine — Vorrei un bicchiere di vino rosso (voor-ray oon bee-kee-air-eh dee vee-noh ross-oh) 

Do you have a double room? — Avete una camera doppia? (ah-veh-teh oona kah-mair-ah doh-pee-ah)

Can I pay with a credit card? — Posso pagare con una carte di credito? (pohs-soh pah-gar-reh coh-nn oona kar-teh dee creh-dee-toh) 

What time do you open? — A che ora apre? (ah keh or-ah ah-preh) 

What time is it? — Che ore sono? (keh ohr-eh soh-noh) 

 

Meals of the day

Breakfast — Colazione (coh-laht-see-yo-neh)

Lunch — Pranzo (prahn-zoh)

Dinner — Cena (cheh-nah)

 

Dining out

Do you have a table for two? — Avete un tavolo per due? (ah-veh-teh oon tah-voh-loh pair doo-eh)

I would like to reserve a table for 8:00pm. — Vorrei prenotare un tavolo per le 20. (voor-ray preh-noh-ta-reh oon tah-voh-loh pair leh ven-tee)

Menu vocab

Dish of the day — Piatto del giorno (pee-ah-toh dell jor-no)

Fixed price menu — Il menù a prezzo fisso (eel meh-noo ah pret-soh fee-soh)

Starter/appetizer — Antipasto (an-tee-pass-toh)

First course — Il primo (eel pree-moh)

Main course/second course — Il secondo (eel seh-kon-doh)

Side dish — Il contorno (eel kon-tor-noh)

Dessert — Il dolce (eel doll-cheh)

Cover charge — Il coperto (eel koh-pair-toh)

Tip — la mancia (lah mahn-chyah)

The bill, please — Il conto, per favore (eel cohn-toh, pehr fah-VOH-reh)

Wine list — La lista dei vini (lah lee-stah day vee-nee)

 

Meat — Carne (car-nay)

Rare — Al sangue (al sang-gweh)

Medium — Al putino/medio (al poon-tee-noh/meh-dee-oh)

Well done — Ben cotto (ben kot-toh)

 

Glass — Il bicchiere (eel bee-kee-air-eh)

Bottle — La bottiglia (lah bot-teel-yah)

Knife — Il coltello (eel kol-tell-oh)

Fork — La forchetta (lah for-ket-tah)

Spoon — Il cucchiaio (eel koo-kee-eye-oh)

 

Enjoy your meal — Buon Appetito (bwon ah-peh-tee-toh)

 

I am vegetarian — Sono vegetariana/o (soh-noh veh-jeh-taree-ah-noh/nah)

I am vegan — Sono vegana/o (soh-noh veh-gah-nah.noh)

I don’t eat gluten — Non mangio glutine (non mah-joe glue-tee-neh)

Is this gluten free? — Questo è senza glutine? (kweh-sto eh sehn-zah glue-tee-neh)

I am allergic — Sono allergica/o (soh-noh ah-ler-gee-cah/coh)

 

Hope this helps! I recommend using the app Duolingo to help with pronouciation. My husband used it when he moved to the States without knowing any English. 

 

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A presto,

Kate