Home Language HacksExpressions & Idioms Top 10 Italian Phrases to Make You Sound More Italian Instantly

Top 10 Italian Phrases to Make You Sound More Italian Instantly

by Michele
Top 10 Italian Phrases to Make You Sound More Italian Instantly
The Intrepid Guide contains affiliate links. At no cost to you, I will earn a commission which helps reduce the ever-increasing costs of keeping this site active. Thank you for your support.

Blend in with the locals and sound molto Italiano with these common Italian phrases that Italians love to use every day.

In an earlier guide I shared common expressions Italians frequently use, and some hilarious Italian insults, now it’s time to learn some Italian phrases that will make you feel more confident speaking Italian. And if you’re just starting out in Italian then grab your free travel phrase guide or join my travel Italian course here.

So, who do you sound more Italian? Easy!

Simply slip in any one of these choice Italian phrases and you’ll feel more at ease with the language. Andiamo! (Let’s go!)

1. In bocca al lupo!

Perhaps you have an Italian friend facing a difficult situation and you want to wish them good luck. The literal translation of “Buona fortuna!” (bwoh-nah fohr-tooh-nah) would work, but to sound more Italian use “In bocca al lupo!” (een bohk-kah ahl looh-poh). This literally means “in the wolf’s mouth!” to which your friend will probably reply “Crepi!” (kreh-pee), meaning die! implying “May the wolf die!”.

Italian Phrases In bocca al lupo

2. Acqua in bocca!

Want to share a secret with somebody? Say “Acqua in bocca!” (ahk-wah een bohk-kah). This expression literally means “water in mouth.” If your mouth is full of water, you can’t speak. In English, an equivalent would be “Don’t say a word!” or “Mum’s the word!”
Italian Phrases Acqua in bocca

3. Salute!

Someone sneezes and you say “Salute!” (sah-looh-teh), which means “health.” In fact, it’s a way to wish the person gets better soon. “Bless you!” is the English equivalent. Italians also say “Salute!” when making a toast.

Italian Phrases Salute

4. Macché!

Certain situations call for the expression of just one word, “Macché!” (mahk-keh). This word is actually formed by two words “ma” (but) and “che” (what) meaning “but what” which expresses disbelief. It’s a strong and determined way to say “Of course not” or “Certainly not!”.

Italian Phrases Macche

5. Neanche per sogno!

“Neanche per sogno” (neh-ahn-keh pehr sohnyoh) literally means “not even in a dream.” It is another way to say “No way!” and is close to the English expression “In your dreams!”.

Italian Phrases Neanche per sogno

6. Peggio per te!

You don’t show much sympathy when saying this phrase, but if you’re looking for the Italian equivalent of “Tough luck!” then use “Peggio per te” (pehj-joh pehr teh).

Italian Phrases Peggio per te

7. Piantala!

This is an informal way to say “Stop it!” or “Cut it out!”. The literal translation of “Piantala” (pyahn-tah-lah) is “Plant it!”.

Italian Phrases Piantala

8. Vacci piano!

“Slow down!” is the translation of the Italian expression “Vacci piano!” (vah-chee pyah-noh). Use it when someone is going too fast or being too enthusiastic about something.

Italian Phrases Vacci piano

9. Eccome!

This emphatic word sums up the following phrases: “And how!” “You’d better believe it!” “Very!” “And then some.” Let’s say you ask a friend if they like Spaghetti Bolognese: Your friend would respond: “Eccome!” (ehk-koh-meh).

Italian Phrases Eccome

10. Lascia perdere!

What do you say to your Italian friend who won’t stop complaining about something? A quick “Lascia perdere!” (lah-shah pehr-deh-reh) (Let it go! Forget about it!) will set them straight.

Italian Phrases Lascia perdere

Learn Italian with my unique 80/20 method

How to Learn Italian for Travel FAST!

Travelling to Italy? Don’t be treated like a tourist! Live your best travel experiences and learn Italian for less than the cost of eating at a tourist trap restaurant or a taxi driver who has “taken you for a ride”.  In addition to my free Italian travel phrase guides, I’ve made it even easier for you to master the Italian language so you can create lifelong memories as you mingle with locals, get local tips, avoid tourist traps, and make new friends. Who knows you, you may even be invited over for afternoon tea by a lovely Sicilian family, like I was! Read all about how speaking Italian changed my life and check out The Intrepid Guide Languages courses here.

Here’s what my students are saying: 

Testimonial - How to Learn Italian for Travel FAST! - Roma Small

I really enjoyed the Master Italian for Travel FAST course, it certainly exceeded my expectations. The learning methodology is great, and easy to follow and found that I progressed much faster in the last 4 weeks than I ever did on my own or using other language apps. Grazie mille Michele, I can’t wait until I can put my new skills into action! – Roma Small

Click here for instant access!

Learning Italian? Check out these Italian language guides

Like it? Pin it!

Top 10 Italian Phrases to Make You Sound More Italian Instantly

Over to you!

How many of these Italian phrases have you heard in Italy? What other Italian phrases would you add to this list?
Let me know using the comments section below or join me on social media to start a conversation.

Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoyed this post.

Like what you see? Subscribe using the form below to have all of my posts delivered directly to your email.

Get my best language and travel tips FREE by email...

Subscribe to my newsletter to receive detailed travel guides, exclusive travel and language learning tips, priority access to giveaways and more!

I will never give away, trade or sell your email address. You can unsubscribe at any time.


Richard Hadfield August 3, 2018 - 08:41

Love the phrases. Will look for more. Inspired me to get back to my Italian studies. Thanks

Michele August 3, 2018 - 11:24

Thanks, Richard. That makes me so happy to hear you’re going to start back up 🙂 In bocca al lupo! 🙂

Denise July 16, 2018 - 12:58

I thought the expression was “Eccomi” and meant: Here I am!” ????

Michele July 16, 2018 - 13:06

Hi Denise, “Eccome” is different from “Eccomi”. Note how there is an ‘e’ on the end. It’s like saying “And how!” or “e come!”. To clarify the pronunciation, it sounds like the Italian “come” so it’s ‘ehk-koh-meh’. I hope this helps 🙂

Jerry Richter June 18, 2017 - 16:37

Whooeee! I’m gonna have to look into this site a bit more. Looks really interesting. We lived in Italy for a couple of years in Tuscany and fell completely in love with the people and the country. The border is maybe seven hours from us so occasional drives down are no problem for us. Ever since we “Found” Italy, I have wanted to learn the language. But…..at 83 years old, can I ??????

Michele June 18, 2017 - 19:25

Ciao Jerry! So lovely to hear from you. Absolutely! It’s never too late to start learning. I’m a huge advocate for those who want to learn a language. Age doesn’t matter and if you’re interested in learning Italian, then I encourage you to consider getting my book on learning Italian. It’s for absolute beginners to language learning and to learning Italian. O break down everything and make it ‘digestible’. Here is some information if you’re keen https://www.theintrepidguide.com/learn-italian-fast-step-by-step/ The book is available on Amazon Kindle which you can read with the free Kindle App. If you have any questions, please let me know. Happy to help and see you succeed. Yay!


Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.