Italian words you need to know to build your Italian vocabulary

Facts: How many words are in the Italian language?

The Italian language is estimated to be made out of a total of 450,000 words with the largest Italian dictionary having over 270,000 words. According to the studies of De Mauro, 98% of the Italian used today consists of only 7,000 words.

  1. 1. Basic vocabulary: 2,000 words
  2. 2. High-use vocabulary: around 2,750 words
  3. 3. High availability vocabulary: about 2,300 words

Let's start to dig into Italian words!

Basic Italian verbs

  • fare: to do
  • dire: to say
  • venire: to come
  • volere: to want
  • sapere: to know
  • aspettare: to wait
  • stare: to stay
  • mangiare: to eat
  • vedere: to see
  • andare: to go

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Common Italian words

When you know the most common 100 Italian words

You can understand 50% of the texts written in Italian

Top 10 most common Italian words pronounced by fluent Italian speakers

  1. 1. Ciao = Hello

    Let's naturally start with "Ciao" which means "Hello" in Italian. This is one of the most known words in Italian and a great way to start a conversation with someone from Italy. Click play below to listen to the actual pronunciation:


  2. 2. Amore = Love

    Love is a universal feeling and we definitely had to talk about it here. Italian people have a lovely way of saying they love someone or something through the word "amore". Hear it in action here:


  3. 3. Felicità = Happiness

    When there's love, there's definitely happiness. We are all chasing "felicità" as Italian-speaking people would say. Listen closely and you might just get some “happiness” in your life today:


  4. 4. Gatto = Cat

    Let's talk pets. There are two types of people in the world: cat people and dog people. We are going to talk about cats first or how people in Italy would say: "gatto". Listen to how it sounds like:


  5. 5. Cane = Dog

    But let's not forget our lovely and loyal companions, dogs. A dog in Italian is "cane", a really useful word for dog lovers worldwide. Here is how you would pronounce it:


  6. 6. Sorridere = Smile

    Now it is time to smile. Or how someone from Italy would say: "sorridere". Smiling makes us happy and helps us stay healthy, so that's why we all need to smile every day. Here's the Italian pronunciation:


  7. 7. Italiano = Italian

    Next, let’s see how people in Italy say “Italian”. The correct answer is "Italiano". Listen to how an Italian speaker would pronounce it:


  8. 8. = Yes

    Yes, we have arrived at number 8 where “yes” is the subject to be discussed. Italian speakers say “yes” by simply saying "sì". Enhance your understanding by listening to how a person from Italy would pronounce it:

  9. 9. Grazie = Thank you

    Thank you for reading this far or should I say "Grazie" as they say in Italian. Here's a fluent speaker thanking you in Italian:


  10. 10. Arrivederci = Goodbye

    No polite conversation can end without a good old goodbye or "Arrivederci" how Italian people usually say. Now it's time for a delightful Italian voice to say "Goodbye" to you:


Basic Italian travel words

Speaking Italian

  • Turista: Tourist
  • Aereo: Airplace
  • Aeroporto::Airport
  • Bagagli: Luggage
  • Valigia: Suitcase
  • Treno: Train
  • Bigletto: Ticket
  • Ristorante: Restaurant
  • Museo: Museum
  • Chiesa/Duomo: Church/Cathedral
  • Biglietto: Ticket
  • Spiaggia: Beach
  • Ponte: Bridge
  • Strada: Street

Speaking Italian

Essential Italian words

People speaking Italian

    Italian words related to Places
  • • asa: 'house' or 'home'
  • • paese: 'country' or 'town'
  • • mondo:'world'
  • • città: 'city'
  • • strada: 'road'
  • • piazza: 'square'

  • Italian words related to Time
  • • tempo: 'time'
  • • ora: 'hour'
  • • giorno: 'day'
  • • notte: 'night'
  • • sera: 'evening'
  • • ieri: 'yesterday'
  • • oggi: 'today'
  • • domani: 'tomorrow'

    Italian words related to People
  • • amico/a: 'friend'
  • • famiglia: 'family'
  • • uomo: 'man'
  • • donna: 'woman'

  • Italian Verbs
  • • volere: 'to want'
  • • sapere: 'to know'
  • • prendere: 'to take'
  • • invitare: 'to invite'
  • • imparare: 'to learn'
  • • venire: 'to come'
  • • rilassarsi: to chill out'

People speaking Italian

The most beautiful 10 Italian words

Top Italian words

Sbocciare: bloom
Crepuscolo: twilight
Auguri: best wishes
Pioggia: rain
Boh: used to say "I don’t know, no clue, who knows?"
Apericena: pre-dinner drinks accompanied by food
Pantofolaio: someone who loves sitting around all day
Mamma mia: used to express exasperation, fear, joy and excitement
Passeggiata: walk but it is so much more than a late afternoon or an evening stroll and it is gelato involved.
Dai: used to encourage someone to do or not to do something, much in the same way English speakers say “go on” or “come on"
Bonus: The Italian language has had a great influence over cultures worldwide in fields like food, music and art. You probably know some Italian words already. When’s the last time you ate a “pizza”? Pizza is the most famous Italian dish and it was invented around 1860 in Naples. Or maybe you would like some “spaghetti”, “lasagna” or a “cappuccino”. These are all words that originated from Italy, much like “piano”, “solo” or “orchestra”. You might also have a foreign friend who sometimes answers the phone by saying “Ciao!”.

Top Italian words

Why learn the most common Italian words first?

Make Italian learning fun and easier

Starting with the Italian basics means you will begin by learning the easiest words first and gradually increase difficulty. This way you will feel great while learning and see how your language knowledge broadens.

Have basic Italian conversations in no time

You'll be able to speak to someone from Rome or Venice about regular topics like weather, politics or family. This will make you confident in your Italian skills and eager to learn more.

Become fluent in Italian faster

By learning the most common Italian words first you are learning the smart way. Why learn the most unusual words in Italian when you might never use them in real life?

You improve your Italian vocabulary

Each new Italian word you learn piles up until your vocabulary builds stronger and stronger. Each lesson gets you one step closer to fluency.

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