How to use some Common Italian Words and Phrases

How to use some Common Words and Phrases Italians often Say


  1. Mamma mia
  2. Prego
  3. Allora
  4. Dai
  5. Meno Male
  6. Magari
  7. Basta

Mamma Mia


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


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.


I apologize to be late

Mi scuso per il ritardo» «Prego!



Allora 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”



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

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 listening to this song from an Italian singer Simone Cristicchi



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” “likely”


I would like to learn Italian, maybe next year

Vorrei imparare l’italiano, magari l’anno prossimo



Practice Magari listening this son from Italian singer Renato Zero:





Basta is used 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



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3 Responses

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