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  • Writer's pictureTeacher Stefano ENG

English Words you Use Every Day but don't know how to translate to Italian

Ready to learn how to say and use these words in Italian? They are mostly filler words and are so common!

I am sure you use these words or expressions in English every day but maybe you struggle in using them in Italian because you don’t know their translation or maybe the translation does not even exist! Well, in today’s article we’re going to go over these words and understand how to translate them to Italian, or at least I'll give you the closest word we have if there is not a direct translation!

Do you want to take your Italian to the next level? Check out my Online Italian course for beginners "Be Italiano" and start learning today to become a real Italiano, like me!

1. Actually

I use this word in English every single day. What would I say in Italian? First of all, I would say that this word is not used in Italian with the same frequency you would use it in English but we do have a translation. You have two options: in realtà or a dire il vero. Let me give you a couple of examples:

  • Il mio amico sembra italiano ma in realtà/a dire il vero è tedesco → My friend looks Italian but actually he is from Germany.

  • Pensavo che andassi in Italia. No, in realtà vado in Francia quest’estate → I thought you were going to Italy. No, actually I am going to France this summer.

2. Like

Oh wow! How many times do you use this in English? Although I hate using “like” too much, sometimes we just need it. And of course, Italian does have its counterpart. Let’s say you’re saying something but you need to think. What can you say in Italian?

  • Sono andato in Italia questa estate e siamo andati in, diciamo, una specie di ostello → I went to Italy this summer and we went to, like, this sort of hostel.

We use diciamo to buy ourselves some time and make sure we can continue our sentence. We can also use tipo. These two words are extremely informal and I tend to avoid them as much as I can both in English and Italian, but sometimes it’s useful to throw in some filler words like diciamo or tipo to buy yourself some time and think!

3. To be like

Let’s say you’re telling a story and you’re telling me what your friend was saying. You start saying: He came to my house and he was like: "Where’s the cake that I made?". How would we translate the he was like. For starters, we could just use dire (ha detto) but very often if we want to be colloquial we can use the verb fare in the present and dire mi fa.

  • (Lui) È venuto a casa mia e mi ha detto: "Dov’è la torta che ho preparato?"

  • (Lui) È venuto a casa mia e mi fa: "Dov’è la torta che ho preparato?"

4. Whatever

I absolutely love this one. I know this is not the nicest thing, but sometimes we just don’t care: so, whatever! How we would say that in Italian? You need one word: vabbè.

  • Scusa Stefano, sono in ritardo. Vabbè non ti preoccupare → I am sorry Stefano I am late. Whatever no worries.

Of course, intonation and context are key here.

5. It's not like

You have been invited to go to Europe this summer with your friends but they are going everywhere except Italy. We all know you want to visit Italy. So it’s not like you don’t want to go with them but you’d rather go to Italy. How would you say that?

  • Non è che non voglio andare con loro però preferisco andare in italia.

So, remember: it’s not likenon è che

6. You know

I am sure this is very common, and again we use it all the time to buy ourselves some time when we are speaking. This is not a tricky one though, because we say exactly the same thing in Italian. We just say: sai.

Sono stato in Italia e, sai, mi è piaciuta tantissimo ma mi sto pentendo di non essere andato a Venezia → I’ve been to Italy and, you know, I loved it but I am regretting I didn’t go to Venice.

7. It's good

This can be applied to so many things! You agree with your friends on something, you show interest and you say: it’s good, it’s ok, all right. How do we say that in Italian? Super easy: va bene.

Ci vediamo la prossima settimana alla stessa ora? Sì, certo, va bene! → Are we meeting next week at the same time? Yeah sure, it’s good (that’s good/all right).

8. That's it!

We're done for today's article, that's it! Before letting you go, let me tell you how we would say that's it in Italian! Very easy, I am going to give you two options: tutto qui or è tutto.

Ok, tutto qui for today's article! I hope it helped and if you have any questions, send me an email in the contact section of my website.

Un abbraccio,


Do you want to take your Italian to the next level? Check out my Online Italian course for beginners "Be Italiano" and start learning today to become a real Italiano, like me!


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