How to use some Common Words and Phrases Italians often Say

Building your vocabulary with some of the most commonly used Italian terms is an excellent starting point while studying this lovely language. You may get amazing results by learning just a few basic Italian words, phrases and expressions and how to use some Common Words and Phrases Italians often Say


Mamma Mia

Mamma mia is an Italian expression that denotes an intense emotion of various kinds: surprise, pain, fear, wonder

Examples: mamma mia che meraviglia!mamma mia che brutta storia.

You would use it when something unusual happens, positive or negative.

You can translate in English like “oh my goodness“.


Prego is used in many different situations:

  • you can answer prego as a kind reply when someone says: Grazie
  • you can say it after doing something very nice, like opening the door for someone or pulling out the chair at the table.
  • you can use it as a question (prego?) to invite someone to repeat something you may not have understood.
  • you can use it to answer to someone who wants to apologize for something he did wrong.

Example: Mi scuso per il ritardo. Prego! I apologize to be late you are welcome!


Allora is used at the beginning of a phrase when you start speaking or to answer a request for an explanation.

You can also use “Dunque” in the same way”

Example: Allora, cominciamo con il dire che …..


Dai is often used to encourage someone to do something or do it better or sooner.

Example: Forza dai, che dopo una dura salita arriva la discesa.

Meno Male

Meno male is an expression to state you are relieved because all went well.

You can also use it to express satisfaction.

Practice this expression by listening to this song from an Italian singer Simone Cristicchi

YouTube Video


You can say Magari to express a desire that you would like to come true when used alone in an answer.

Would you like to win the lottery?

Vorresti vincere la lotteria? -> Magari!

In a phrase, you can use it to express a doubt like “maybe” “probably” or “likely”

I would like to learn Italian, maybe next year

Vorrei imparare l’italiano, magari l’anno prossimo

Practice Magari listening to this son from Italian singer Renato Zero:

YouTube Video


Basta is used to telling someone to stop what they are doing or to say you have had enough.

Sometimes you can add ORA –> ORA BASTA! (Now stop)

Practice Basta (ora basta) with this Italian singer Giorgia : Ora basta

YouTube Video

What’s next?

You might want to keep learning Italian online with these free resources:

Top 10 Italian Phrases That Make You Sound Like a Local

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3 Responses

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