Greetings in Italian

Greetings in Italian

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Welcome to our Italian grammar course for beginners! Today we're going to talk about the common greetings.

If you are a beginner in Italian, greetings can help you in a variety of situations. It is very important to use the correct greeting depending on who your conversation partner is. This is why you will use different phrases to greet friends or strangers, young or old people. This means that you need to choose the right greeting.
Let's talk about it below. Don't forget to remember the italian alphabet before reading.

Formal Greetings

In Italian, formal greetings are used if you are meeting someone for the first time, if you are addressing someone you treat with respect, an older, etc.

When using formal greetings, it's essential to demonstrate respect and courtesy. Pay attention to the appropriate level of formality, especially when addressing someone you don't know well or someone in a position of authority. In professional settings, using formal greetings shows professionalism and cultural awareness.

Keep in mind that the level of formality can vary depending on the context and the relationship between the speakers. If you are not sure about the appropriate level of formality to use, it is generally safer to start with a formal greeting and then adjust based on the response you receive.

Here are some common formal greetings in Italian:
Buongiorno! (Good morning!)
A standard formal greeting used in the morning until around midday.

Buonasera! (Good afternoon / evening!)
A formal greeting used in the late afternoon and evening.

Salve! (Hello!/Hi!)
A polite and neutral way how to say "hello" that you can use at any time of the day.

Buona giornata! (Have a nice day!)
A formal way of wishing someone a pleasant day ahead.

Buona serata! (Have a nice evening!)
A formal way of wishing someone a pleasant evening.

Arrivederci! (Goodbye!)
A standard formal way how to say "goodbye" used in formal and informal settings.

A presto! (See you soon!)
A polite way of saying that you'll see the person again soon.

A dopo! (See you later!)
A formal expression to indicate that you will see the person later.

Mi scusi (formal) Scusi (formal) (Excuse me / Sorry)
Use these phrases to apologize or get someone's attention politely.

Per favore (Please)
A polite way to say "please" when making a request or asking for something.

Informal Greetings

In Italian, people use informal greetings when addressing friends, family members, peers, or anyone with whom you have an acquaintance and friendship. Informal greetings are more casual and relaxed compared to formal greetings.

Informal greetings in Italian are used among close friends, family members, and people you are familiar with. They create a warm and friendly atmosphere in conversations. When using informal greetings, be mindful of the relationship with the person you are addressing and the context of the situation. If you are uncertain about the level of formality, it is generally safer to start with a formal greeting and adjust based on the other person's response.

Here are some common informal greetings in Italian:
Ciao! (Hello!/Hi!)
This is a versatile and widely used informal greeting suitable for both saying hello or goodbye to friends and acquaintances.

Salve! (Hello!/Hi!)
While "Salve" can also be used as a formal greeting, it is often used informally among friends and peers.

Buongiorno! (Good morning!)
While "Buongiorno" is typically used as a formal greeting, it can also be used informally, especially when expressing enthusiasm or affection.

Buonasera! (Good evening!)
Similar to "Buongiorno," "Buonasera" is a formal greeting, but it can also be used casually with family or friends.

Ciao, come va? (Hi, how are you?)
This informal way how to say "how are you" includes a friendly inquiry about how the other person is doing.

Ciao, tutto bene? (Hi, everything okay?)
Another informal greeting with a friendly inquiry about the other person's well-being.

Ehi! EhilĂ ! (Hey! / Hey there!)
Playful and informal ways to get someone's attention or greet a friend.

Ciao, ci vediamo dopo! (Hi, see you later!)
A casual way to say goodbye and express that you will see the conversation partner later.

A dopo! (See you later!)
An informal way to say "see you later" to someone you will meet again soon.

A presto! (See you soon!)
A friendly way to say that you will see the person soon.


In this lesson you learned some common italian greetings. These words and phrases will not only help you in day-to-day interactions but also showcase your politeness and appreciation for the Italian language and culture.
We are waiting for you in the next lesson, where we will talk how to introduce yourself in Italian. Good luck!