100+ Basic Italian Words for Students Studying Abroad

100+ Basic Italian Words for Students Studying Abroad

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Aishwarya
Aishwarya Bhatnagar
Study Abroad Expert
Updated on May 9, 2024 18:01 IST

Are you planning to study in an Italian-speaking country? Don’t worry we’ve got a basic Italian words’ guide for students going to study there. There are over 100+ Italian words listed in this article which can be useful for students for day-to-day conversations. Check out the article and refer to this guide for basic Italian words if you get stuck in a typical Italian conversation.

italian words

Learning Italian language for Indian students can be tricky. Based on language studies, it is said that Italian is difficult at first but gets easier as you advance. Some pronunciations in Italian can also be a challenge. Hence, to conquer all odds, students can begin their preparation by learning at least the language basics. You’ll get the basics of the Italian language along with other details in this article if you are planning to study in Italy. Check out 100 common Italian words for day to day use for international students. 

Why Learn Italian Language?

There are numerous reasons why you should consider learning the Italian language and they are as follows: 

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  • The Italian language is for food, art and music lovers. Thus, such enthusiasts can learn the Italian language.
  • International students who are going to study in an Italian-speaking country (Italy, Switzerland or San Marino) should also learn Italian language words. 
  • Students can also learn Italian language as a third language for a degree or for a job. 
  • Adding language skills like Italian language proficiency can prove beneficial for job seekers abroad. 
  • Finally, learning Italian can help people relate to Italian culture if they are interested to know about it and are intrigued by it. 

So, the reasons can vary with people based on their interests and choices as to why someone wants to learn Italian language. 

Check: 

Basic Rules of Italian Grammar for Students

There are a couple of rules of grammar that Italian language follows. These Italian grammar rules are as follows;

  • Italian language grammar rules are similar to English grammar rules. 
  • Italian language technically has 21 alphabets. There are no “J’, ‘K’, ‘W’, ‘X’ and ‘Y’ alphabets in Italian.
  • There is one silent alphabet that is, ‘H’ in Italian language. 
  • The basic sentences in Italian language follow the SVO format. Which is subject followed by verb and object. 
  • The plurals in Italian language usually do not change their form or end with ‘i’ irrespective of masculine or feminine denotions.

When you learn a new language, you should always check out the basic rules of grammar. This way, it is easier for students to learn the language, which in this case is Italian. 

Alphabets in Italian Language

Before getting to the basics, students must learn about the Italian alphabet and their pronunciations. Following is a list of Italian words with their corresponding English sounds for a better understanding:

Italian Letter

English Equivalent (Sound)

A

‘Ah’

B

‘Bee’

C

‘Che’ (before A, E, O, U) / ‘Chi’ (before I)

D

‘Dee’

E

‘Eh’

F

‘Effeh’

G

‘Ji’ (before E, I) / ‘Ghe’ (before A, O, U)

H

(Silent)

I

‘Ee’

L

‘Elle’

M

‘Emme’

N

‘Enne’

O

‘Oh’

P

‘Pee’

Q

‘Koo’

R

‘Erre’ 

S

‘Esse’

T

‘Te’

U

‘Oo’

V

‘Vi’

Z

‘Zeta’

As already mentioned before, there are just 21 alphabets in the Italian language, and ‘H’ is silent in Italian. The pronunciations may or may not vary based on the area of residence for those enrolled in Italian universities.

Numbers in Italian Language

After understanding the Italian alphabet, let's get to the numbers in Italian. In Italian numbers are also essential to understanding time, and directions and being able to pay money. So, for day-to-day usage, you can check out how numbers in the Italian language are said:

Numeral

Numbers in Italian

Pronunciation

1

Uno 

/ˈuːno/ 

2

Due 

/ˈdue/

3

Tre 

/ˈtre/ 

4

Quattro 

/ˈkwattɾo/ 

5

Cinque 

/ˈtʃiŋkwe/ 

6

Sei 

/ˈsɛi/ 

7

Sette 

/ˈsɛtte/ 

8

Otto 

/ˈɔtto/ 

9

Nove 

/ˈnɔve/

10

Dieci 

/ˈdjeːtʃi/ 

Just for starters, basic Italian numbers are mentioned. But those who are interested in learning more numbers in Italian, can go ahead once their basics are clear. 

Everyday Italian Words for Use 

For basic greetings and asking one another about them, here’s a list of everyday use Italian words for beginners: 

English Words

In Italian Language

Pronunciation

Good morning/afternoon (until sunset)

Buongiorno 

/bwɔnˈdʒorˈno/

Good evening

Buonasera

/bwɔnaˈsɛːra/

Good night

Buonanotte

/bwɔnaˈnɔtːe/

Hello/Goodbye (informal)

Ciao

/tʃaːo/

Nice to meet you

Piacere

/pjaˈtʃeːre/

My name is...

Mi chiamo...

/mi/ /kjamo/

How are you? (formal)

Come sta?

/koːme. /sta/

How are you? (informal)

Come stai?

/koːme/ /stai/

Where is...?

Dove si trova...?

/doːve/ /si/ /trɔva/

Please

Per favore

/per/ /faˈvoːre/

Thank you

Grazie

/ɡratːsje/

You're welcome

Prego

/preːɡo/

Excuse me

Mi scusi

/mi/ /skuːzi/

Yes

/si/

No

No

/nəʊ/

Pro Tip: In Italy, if you do not know someone, you must not ask someone how they are or how they are doing. 

Remember, when you are travelling to study in Italy, Switzerland or San Marino you will need these words handy. You can just put the transcription on Google and get its exact pronunciation. 

Days of the Week in Italian

While not many English speakers may be found in Italian-speaking countries, here’s a list of Italian words for the days of the week: 

Italian

English Meaning

Phonetic Transcription

Lunedì

Monday

/luˈneːdi/ 

Martedì

Tuesday

/marˈteːdi/

Mercoledì

Wednesday

/merkoˈleːdi/

Giovedì

Thursday

/dʒoˈveːdi/ 

Venerdì

Friday

/veˈneːrdi/ 

Sabato

Saturday

/ˈsaːbato/

Domenica

Sunday

/doˈmeːnika/

Pronunciations are given for a better understanding and usage for students specifically.

List of 20 Verbs in Italian Language

In Italiano, verbs play equally an essential role for describing the action. Here’s a list of 20 commonly used verbs in Italian language along with their English meaning:

Regular Verbs in Italian

English Meaning

Essere - /ˈɛssere/

To be

Avere - /ˈavere/ 

To have

Vedere - /veˈdeːre/

To see

Bere - /ˈbeːre/

To drink 

Volere - /voˈleːre/

To want

Parlare - /parˈlaːre/ 

To speak

Mangiare - /manˈdʒaːre/ 

To eat

Prendere - /ˈprɛndere/ 

To take

Sentire - /senˈtiːre/

To feel /  to hear

Sapere - /saˈpeːre/ 

To know (facts, places and situations)

Dire - /ˈdiːre/

To say

Dovere - /doˈveːre/

Must / to have to

Fare - /ˈfaːre/

To do

Mettere - /ˈmɛttere/

To put

Capire - /kaˈpiːre/

To understand 

Finire - /fiˈniːre/ 

To end/finish

Venire - /veˈniːre/ 

To come

Potere - /poˈteːre/ 

Can / to be able to

Andare - /anˈdaːre/

To go

Usare - /uˈzaːre/

To use

Conoscere - /koˈnoʃʃere/

To know (used for familiar people and places)

Stare - /ˈstaːre/

To stay

There are 140+ verbs in the Italian language and each of them are used across 21 tenses. All verbs in Italian language either end with - ‘ere’, ‘ire’ or ‘are’.

Adjectives in Italian Language

Adjectives in Italian language vary with singular use, masculine, feminine and plural usage. The following table lists the adjectives in Italian language with the variation in usage, plus pronunciations for a better understanding:

Adjectives in Italian

Masculine (Sing)

Feminine (Sing)

Plural (both m. and f.)

Bello (beautiful)

Bello - /ˈbɛllo/

Bella - /ˈbɛlla/

Belli - /ˈbɛlli/

Buono (good0

Buono - /ˈbwɔno/

Buona

Buoni - /ˈbwɔni/

Grande (big/large)

Grande - /ˈgrande/

Grande

Grandi - /ˈgrandi/

Piccolo (small)

Piccolo - /ˈpikkolo/

Piccola - ˈpikkɔla/

Piccoli - /ˈpikkɔli/

Interessante (interesting)

Interessante - /inteɾesˈsante/

Interessante

Interessanti - /inteɾesˈsanti/

Divertente (fun)

Divertente - /diverˈtente/

Divertente

Divertenti - /diverˈtenti/

Gentile (kind)

Gentile - /dʒenˈtile/

Gentile - /dʒenˈtile/

Gentili - /dʒenˈtili/

Caro (expensive)

Caro - /ˈkaːro/

Cara - /ˈkaːra/

Cari - /ˈkaːri/

Felice (happy)

Felice - /feˈliːtʃe/

Felice - /feˈliːtʃe/

Felici - /feˈliːtʃi/

Triste (sad)

Triste - /ˈtriːste/

Triste 

Triste 

Facile (easy)

Facile - /faˈtʃile/

Facile 

Facili - /ˈfaːtʃili/

Vecchio (old)

Vecchio - /ˈvɛkkjo/

Vecchia - /ˈvɛkkja/

Vecchi - /ˈvɛkki/

Giovane (young)

Giovane - /dʒoˈvaːne/

Giovane - /dʒoˈvaːne/

Giovani - /dʒoˈvaːni/

Bravo (well done)

Bravo - /ˈbraːvo/

Brava - /ˈbraːva/

Bravi - /ˈbraːvi/

It is not always necessary that Italian adjectives change their form in plural form like for sad. Some adjectives in Italian may be used similarly for both masculine and feminine contexts like - good, big, interesting and others. Based on each type of verb, the Italian verb conjugations vary for different types of tenses. Thus, each verb has a different connotation based on the context of use. 

Questions in Italian Language

So when students land in Italian-speaking countries, they may need some help. It can be either about getting a taxi or getting to their university or even to get a bottle of water. In order to ask for help, the following Italian question words can be used:

  • Where? - dove?
  • When? - quando?
  • How? - come?
  • Which? - quale?
  • What? - cosa?
  • Who? - chi?
  • Why? - perchè?

Students can memorise these Italian question words so that if they get stuck somewhere they at least know how to ask questions in Italian. 

Related Read: List of Basic Greek Words for International Students

Food Items in Italian Language

While Italian cuisine is a favourite among a lot of people, here are a few common food items that are Italian:

  • Breads - Bruschetta / Focaccia 
  • Pomodoro (tomato)
  • Pasta - Penne / Spaghetti / Lasagna / Ravioli
  • Risotto 
  • Pizza
  • Gelato 
  • Tiramisu
  • Caffè Espresso
  • Cappuccino 

This is not an exhaustive list of Italian foods, there are more foods in Italy which can be found once you land there. 

This guide for Italian words for regular use and for conversations can be used by students going to study in an Italian language-dominated country. Students will benefit from it and might not go wrong if they follow the pronunciations carefully.

Other Useful Reads: 

Common Italian Words FAQs

Q. Where can I learn Italian language?

A. You can learn Italian language in your home country across its public or private universities and institutions. There are also online language classes which can be considered if uncomfortable taking classes in person. Finally, there is another option which is learning from YouTube for free of cost.

Q. Are Italian words difficult to learn for Indian students?

A. Initially Indian students may find it difficult to learn Italian language. But as and when they’ll progress, they’ll find the language easy to understand. Like any language, Italian also has a set of rules and exceptions. Thus, once students pace up their understanding, they’ll advance easily.

Q. How are Italian words different from English words?

A. Italian words are very different from English words. There is no similarity in even the basic words. However, in terms of grammar rules, there is a similarity between the two. Italian words have limited alphabets, while English has more alphabets. Thus, the Italian words do not match in all cases with English words for use.

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Aishwarya Bhatnagar
Study Abroad Expert

Aishwarya is a professional Writer currently working as a Study Abroad Expert in the Editorial Team at Shiksha. She has over 5 years of experience and is skilled at creating Online Content with leveraged knowledge i... Read Full Bio

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