Home Language HacksItalian How to Say Italian Days of the Week PLUS 4 Rules for Using them

How to Say Italian Days of the Week PLUS 4 Rules for Using them

Learning Italian days of the week is easy! This Italian lesson includes audio clips so you can practice your Italian pronunciation.

by Michele
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Days in Italian - Italian Days of the Week
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Learn the days of the week with this complete guide! Includes audio snippets so you can nail your Italian pronunciation and sound like a native.

Once you’ve learned your Italian numbersand the most common Italian words, the next step is to master how to say the days of the week in Italian. Semplice! (Simple!). Since days in Italian don’t resemble their English counterparts, I’ve included some fun facts that will act as memory hooks to help you remember them. 

What’s a memory hook? A memory hook is where you map (or connect) something new with something you already know. This way, you think of the ‘hook’ and work backwards to reach the newly learned material. Memory hooks are the foundation of all my language courses because they are so effective and powerful.

For example, the subject pronoun he in Italian is lui (loo-ee), and she is lei (lay), so your memory hook could be King Louis and Princess Leila. It’s that simple!

Here are the days of the week in Italian, how to remember them, plus how to pronounce them! So, when someone asks you ‘Che giorno è oggi?’ (What day is it today?) you can reply correctly!

The first thing you’ll notice is that all weekdays in Italian end in , meaning day (giorno) from the Latin dies. The grave accent shows you where the stress falls in the word.

Interestingly, Italian days of the week come from the names of the planets! Something that is common to many languages. The Babylonians first started this trend, believing that celestial bodies controlled the first hour of each day. Then along came the Romans and adopted it into Latin. So, by learning the days in Italian, you’re actually killing two birds with one stone – you will learn the names of the planets too!

Days of the Week in Italian (Giorni della settimana in Italiano)

English translation Italian translation Italian Pronunciation Memory hack to help you remember
Monday lunedì
loo-ne-dee From Latin lunae dies, it means the ‘day of the Moon’ or ‘Moon Day’ which kind of sounds like Monday.
Tuesday martedì
mar-te-dee From Latin Martis dies,  it means the ‘day of Mars’ or ‘Mars day’.
Wednesday mercoledì
mayr-ko-le-dee From Latin Mercurĭi dies,  it means ‘day of Mercury’ or ‘Mercury day’.
Thursday giovedì
jo-ve-dee From the Latin Jove dies, it means ‘day of Jove’ (aka Jupiter).
Friday venerdì
ve-ner-dee Named after the Roman goddess Veneris (aka, Venus), it comes from the Latin term Venĕris dies and means ‘Venus day” or ‘day of Venus’.
Saturday sabato
sa-ba-to From Latin word sabbatum, which comes from the Hebrew word shabbat, meaning ‘sabbath’ or ‘seventh’ day.
Sunday domenica
do-dee-ee-ka From Latin dominicus, ‘day of the Lord’, or ‘day of God’.

So, what happened to sabato (Saturday) and domenica (Sunday)? Why don’t they end in like the others do? And why aren’t they named after planets? As a matter of fact, they are! In English, Saturday is the day of Saturn (Saturno in Italian) and Sunday is the day of the Sun (Sole in Italian). 

In the aftermath of Christianity spreading across the Western world, the pagan names for Saturday and Sunday were replaced by the Hebrew word Sabbath (meaning, day for resting) and the Latin Dominus dies (meaning, day of the Lord).

Italian days of the week: 4 Rules to follow

All days of the week in Italian are considered masculine, except for domenica, which is feminine.

1. Use articles for repeated actions

In general, we do not use an article with the days of the week, unless we are talking about an action that is repeated. Take a look at the difference in meaning in the examples below:

  • Martedì vado al cinema.On Tuesday I am going to the cinema.
  • Il martedì vado al cinema. – On Tuesdays, I go to the cinema.

In the first example, we’re saying that I will go to the cinema this Friday. However, in the second example, the article il shows that this action is repeated and is a habit. In other words you’re saying, Usually, on Fridays, I go to the cinema.

Here’s another example:

  • Domenica non posso andarci. – I can’t go there on Monday.
  • La domenica non posso andarci. – I can’t go there on Mondays.

If we add the article il, it means I can’t go there on any given Monday.

2. Use articles to describe specific days

Another way in which you use the article is when we talk about or describe a specific day of the week. For example:

  • Il venerdì è il mio giorno preferito.Friday is my favourite day.
  • Odio il mercoledì! – I hate Wednesdays!

Alternatively, when talking about recurring actions or habits with regard to certain days of the week you can use the preposition di. This has the same meaning as when using an article.

  • Cosa fai di Sabato?What do you do on Saturdays?
  • Vado a pranzo dai miei genitori di domenica. – I go to my parents for lunch on Sundays.

3. Say tutti i…. instead of articles

Finally, if you want to say “every Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and so on.”, you can use the sentence tutti iAttenzione! (Be careful!) When using this, the word for the day does not change to the plural form, it stays the same. Again, the only exception is domenica (Sunday), which becomes domeniche (Sundays).

Here are some examples:

  • Gioco a tennis tutti i lunedì. – I play tennis every Monday.
  • Tutte le domeniche faccio la spesa. – Every Sunday I do the grocery shopping.

4. Write all days of the week in Italian in lowercase (except for Sunday)

Unlike English, when writing both days of the week and months of the year in Italian, the first letter doesn’t have a capital letter. This isn’t as strange as it sounds. Many languages follow this same rule such as French, Spanish, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Serbian, Dutch and Norwegian. This makes English the odd one out, along with Greek.

Bonus tip: While Italian technically has its own equivalent of the word weekend, which is ‘il fine settimana’, most Italians use the English word instead. The only difference is they pronounce it as if it were an Italian word so it sounds something like wee-ken-deh.

Sei sempre in mezzo come il giovedì

For Italians, the day in the middle of the week is Thursday, not Wednesday. In fact, there is even a fun Italian idiom to help you remember. ‘Sei sempre in mezzo come il giovedì’ literally means ‘You’re always in the middle like Thursday’. It can even be shortened to ‘Sei come il giovedì” (‘You’re like Thursday’).

Italian Adverbs of Time

Here is a list of more useful Italian vocabulary to know when talking about time.

Italian word English Translation Italian word English Translation
dopo, poi after piano, lentamente slowly
ancora still, yet, again subito immediately, right away, at once
sempre always allora, poi then
ogni tanto sometimes presto early
prima before, first oggi today
domani tomorrow adesso, ora now
mai never in fretta in a hurry
di solito usually spesso often
quando when ieri yesterday
presto quickly, soon tardi late
stamattina this morning mai never
stasera this evening nel frattempo in the meantime
oggigiorno nowadays appena just, barely
finora until now domani tomorrow
di nuovo again fa ago
tra poco / fra poco in a little while ormai by now
già already più again
la settimana week il fine settimana / il weekend weekend

There you have it! Those are the days of the week in Italian plus some helpful facts and memory hooks to help you remember them. So, the next time someone asks you ‘Che giorno è oggi?’ (What day is it today?) You’ll know exactly what to say!

Days in Italian - Italian Days of the Week Guide and Pronunciation

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Days in Italian - Italian Days of the Week

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