How to use the word TIME in Italian – Volta – Momento – Tempo – Ora

Do you know how to use these words like volta, momento, tempo ora? Learn How to use the English word TIME in Italian – Volta – Momento – Tempo – Ora and avoid mistakes.

Look at these examples to see how these words are used in Italian.

Ti ho sempre aiutato, ma questa volta non posso.
Il mattino è il momento più bello: hai un’intera giornata davanti a te!
La fabbrica è stata chiusa poco tempo fa
Che ora è?
Sono le tre.

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Read the explanation to learn more.

1. VOLTA ⇒ occasion

This term refers to the act of repeating an action, whether it be once, twice, three times, or only once in a while.


♦ Una volta/due volte/tre volte  (once/twice, three times)

♦ Questa volta (this time)

♦ La prima volta (the first time)

♦ Un’altra volta (again)

♦ Ancora una volta (once again)

♦ La prossima volta (next time)

♦ Di volta in volta (from time to time)

♦ A volte (at times)

♦ Ogni volta (every time/each time) every time she sings, I’m happy)

♦ Per volta (at a time)

♦ Fare una cosa per volta (to do one thing at a time)

♦ C’era una volta (once upon a time)

♦ Per l’ennesima volta (once more time)

2. MOMENTO ⇒ point in time

We use this word to refer to a small amount of time, a very short amount of time. There is no m. to lose; it has meant something like ATTIMO/ISTANTE, with which it is frequently replaced: Non c’è un momento da perdere (there is no time to lose.)


♦ In qualunque/qualsiasi momento (any time) –> you can call me any time if you need me

♦ Da un momento all’altro (any time now) –> we’ll be ready to leave any time now.

♦ In un momento successivo ( later time) –> we can discuss it at a later time

♦ Al momento (at the present time) –> at the present time there are many problems

♦ In quel momento (at that time) –> At that time I didn’t understand what she meant

♦ In questo momento (at this time) –> That car model is not available at this time

3. TEMPO ⇒ length of time

We use this word to describe the passage of time


♦ Arrivare in tempo per (right time for)

♦ Aver tempo di fare qualcosa (to have time to do something)

♦ Perdere tempo (to waste time)

♦ (per) Tutto il tempo (for the whole time)

♦ Nel giro di poco tempo (within a short space of time)

♦ Il tempo giusto per  (right time for)

♦ Arrivare in tempo per (to arrive in time to)

♦ In tempo di guerra (in wartime)

♦ Allo stesso tempo (at the same time)

♦ Per molto tempo (for a long time)

♦ Fuori tempo (out of time)

♦ Perdita ti tempo (waste of time)

♦ Quanto tempo! (it’s been a long time)

♦ Tanto tempo fa (tanto tempo fa)

4. ORA – ORARIOTime Unit

(time relating to the hour of the day or to timetables)


Che ore sono? (What time is it?)

♦ Hai l’ora esatta? (Do you have the right time?)

♦ È ora di andare (It’s time to go)

♦ Domani a quest’ora (this time tomorrow)

♦ Era ora! (About time!)

♦ L’ora di punta (the rush hour)

♦ L’ora di pranzo (lunchtime)

♦ L’orario d’uffico, di lavoro, delle lezioni (office, work, school hours)

♦ L’orario di apertura/chiusura (opening/closing times)

♦ In orario (on time, according to the timetable)

What’s next?

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

How to use prepositions to talk about the time

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