Category: Idioms (i modi di dire)

  • Nessuno è indispensabile 😊

    Today I was talking to a lovely girl who works in a beach bar near our house. She told me that she broke up with her boyfriend and she told me (and reminded me) of a lovely Italian saying: ‘Fatto un papa se ne fa un altro!’ (when a pope dies, another one is made)! […]

  • Volere la botte piena e la moglie ubriaca and other Italian proverbs

    Cosa significa (what does this popular Italian saying mean) ‘Volere la botte piena e la moglie ubriaca’? Literally, this Italian proverb is telling us that we cannot have the barrel full (of wine) and the wife drunk! In fact, if the barrel is full, the wife is sober and probably alert and watchful for her […]

  • Benvenuti alla sezione ‘I modi di dire italiani’

    Idioms (modi di dire in italiano) are essential parts of any language. They are ingrained in people’s history, culture and life and they reflect the way we perceive and express reality through our language. They are not essential, but they really make a difference in the way you master a language and how integrated you […]

  • Piantala!

    Piantala! This is very funny. Many of you know that we have the verbo piantare which means to plant. La is an object pronoun and stands for it. So, literally, it means: plant it! We actually use it when someone is annoying us (ci dà fastidio) and after a few warnings (smettila, lasciami in pace […]


    DUE PIEDI in UNA SCARPA Avete mai avuto due piedi in una scarpa?? Would you be comfortable with 2 feet in one shoe? Let’s say that the guy in the picture, Marco, should choose a girlfriend, but he can’t or he doesn’t want to. So he keeps up both relationships with lots of consequences, such […]

  • BUONO come il PANE

    Sapete come si dice in italiano AS GOOD AS GOLD? Si dice così… Marco è gentile, disponibile (available), generoso… allora, è proprio BUONO COME IL PANE!

  • FARE LE CORNA… a qualcuno…

    This is similar to the expression ‘fare le corna’, but it is not the same thing at all. In fact, fare le ‘corna a qualcuno’ means to cheat on someone and the word ‘cornuto’ or ‘cornuta’ is an insult which means that the person insulted is cheated on by their partners either wife or husband […]


    Facciamo le corna is an expression used all the time by Italian people which raises much interest among my students for its cultural peculiarity. It literally means ‘let’s make horns’ and it makes no sense for you, of course. Let me introduce you to the Italian concept of ‘Le corna’ : it is usually a […]

  • Che CAVOLO fa la POLIZIA??

    Che CAVOLO FA LA POLIZIA sulla SPIAGGIA CON LA MACCHINA?? WHAT a hell IS THE POLICE DOING on THE BEACH with the CAR? This is a very good question… let me know what you think and you can read the answers which have come up during our Conversation Classes…  1) I poliziotti sono andati in […]


    Here is a tip for those who are studying Italian and want to sound more Italian. We do have the word ‘cibo’, which means ‘food’, in our Italian dictionary, but we hardly use it. In fact, we use other words or expressions, depending on the situation. On an ordinary day we use the words ‘da […]