Buongiorno! Italian greetings and goodbyes

What is the most important thing you should learn before you go to Italy? To greet and say goodbye, of course! You don’t want to be rude, do you? Let’s learn useful Italian greetings and goodbyes.

persone salutano - Buongiorno! Italian greetings and goodbyes

Italian greetings and goodbyes

1. Say hello

GreetingFormalityWhen?
Ciao!informalany timeHi! Hello!
Salve!formalany timeHello!
Buon giorno!formal | informalmorning, afternoon,
after waking up
Good morning! | Good afternoon!
Buona sera!formalafternoon, eveningGood evening!
Buona notte!formal | informalNight before going to bedGood night!

The time when you start say buona sera depends on the region. The further south, the earlier. For example, in the north you’ll hear buona sera from about 5 p.m., in the south already after lunch.

You can write the buon greetings both as one word and separated: buongiorno | buon giorno; buonasera | buona sera; buonanotte | buona notte.

2. Pleased to meet you

– Piacere, Valentina.
– Piacere, Matteo.

Piacere is something you say when you first meet someone, usually when shaking hands, to express your pleasure. You could also add a few words:

Piacereformal | informalIt’s a pleasure (Pleased to meet you)
Piacere di conoscertiinformalPleased to meet you
Piacere di conoscerlaformalPleased to meet you

When you leave

When you’ve just met someone and then you leave, you can say:

– È stato un piacere conoscerti.
– Anche per me!

È stato un piacere conoscertiinformalIt was a pleasure meeting you
È stato un piacere conoscerlaformalIt was a pleasure meeting you
Anche per meinformal | formalFor me, too

3. How are you?

– Ciao Emma, come stai?
– Bene, grazie! E tu?

There are a few way to ask how you are and to reply. Let’s learn some of the most common:

Come stai?informalHow are you?
Come sta?formalHow are you?
Come va? formal | informalHow’s it going?

Answers

Bene, grazie!Good, thanks!
Benissimo
Molto bene
Very good
Non male
Non c’è male
Not bad
Così cosìSo so
Male
Molto male
Bad
Very bad

4. Say goodbye

– Arrivederci, signor Rossi!
– Arrivederci, signora Bianchi!

The most common expressions for saying goodbye are:

Ciao!
Ciao ciao!
informalBye!
Bye bye
!
Arrivederci!formalGoodbye!
Arrivederla!more formalGoodbye!

5. See you!

– Ciao Emma, a presto!
– Ci vediamo!

When leaving, you may also say something else than just goodbye. Here you’ll find some common expressions:

Buona giornata!Have a nice day!
Buona serata!Have a good evening!
A presto!See you soon!
A dopo!
A più tardi!
See you later!
A domani!See you tomorrow!
Ci vediamo!See ya!

How to reply

– Ciao Emma, buona giornata!
– Grazie, altrettanto!

Of course, if someone wish you a good day, you should reply accordingly:

Grazie, altrettanto!formal | informalThank you, the same to you!
Grazie, anche a te!informalThank you, you too!
Grazie, anche a Lei!formalThank you, you too!

Esercizi

1. Rispondi

2. Ciao ciao!

3. Buon giorno e buona giornata

Illustration credits: Freepik

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