Corso di italianoItalianoPrima unità

1.3. Buon giorno! Greetings in Italian

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What is the most important thing you should learn when you go to Italy? To greet each other with the appropriate greetings, of course! You don’t want to be rude, do you? At the end you will find il video del professore!

The greetings – i saluti

I bet you know a few saluti, greetings in Italian, right? Let’s do a little quiz: Bruno just woke up, what do you say to him?

Fai un esercizio!

Let us learn the most important greetings together!

To greet each other


The most common and widespread greeting of all. Short, simple, always young. It is used among friends and generally with people you know.

Buon giorno

Somewhat more formal than ciao, corresponds to both Good morning and Good afternoon. It can be written both together, buongiorno, and separately, buon giorno. Alternative form: buondì (dì is a bit outdated synonym of giorno). Abbreviated form: ‘giorno.

Buona sera

Buona sera means good evening. One tends to greet with buona sera from about 5 p.m. onwards, but it depends on the region. In the south, buona sera is said after lunch. Also in this case it can be written together or separately. Abbreviated form: ‘sera.

Buon pomeriggio

Formal greeting for the afternoon, which can now be heard almost exclusively on television, e.g. news broadcasts.


Salve, like buon giorno, is a formal greeting, but can be used at any time of the day.

And then

Benvenuto Welcome
Bentornato Welcome back

How are you?

To ask how you are, there are a couple of possibilities:

Come sta?How are You? (formal)
Come stai?How are you? (informal)
Come va? / Com’è?What’s up / How’s it going?
Tutto bene? / Tutto a posto?Is everything all right?

Possible answers:

(Tutto) bene, grazie!(Everything’s) alright, thanks!
Tutto a posto.Everything’s fine.
Non male.Not bad.
Così così.So so.
Male / malissimo.Bad / very bad.

To say goodbye

Ciao / ciao ciao

For the goodbye ciao is often doubled. Informal.


The classic way to say goodbye in a more formal way. Alternative form: arrivederla (even more formal).

Buona giornata

To wish someone a nice day, one uses buona giornata. It can also be used in informal situations. It crresponds to the English “have a nice day”.

Difference between giorno and giornata: il giorno is the period and corresponds either to 24 hours of a day or to the period between sunrise and sunset. One says il giorno e la notte (day and night), che giorno è oggi? (Which day is today?), il giorno dopo (the next day). La giornata is the course of the day or the day taking into account the events of the day. Therefore, one says È stata una bella giornata (it was a beautiful day), Hai passato una bella giornata? (Did you have a nice day?).

Buona serata

Same as for buona giornata, but with evening dress.

Buona notte

Good night. That’s what you say when someone or yourself goes to bed and wants to say goodbye. You can also say sogni d’oro sweet dreams (lit. dreams of gold).


One could answer:

Grazie, altrettanto!Thank you, the same to you!
Grazie, anche a Lei / teThank you, You / you too.
Grazie, buona giornata anche a Lei / a teThanks, have a nice day You / you too.

What else can you say

A presto!See you soon!
A dopo!See you later!
A più tardi!See you later!
A domani! A lunedì!See you tomorrow! See you on Monday!
Ci si vede / Ci vediamo!See you!

Guarda il video del professore!


Fai un esercizio!

Prossima lezione: Nationalities and languages

Il corso
, ,
1.2. Ciao! Mi chiamo Kira: introduce yourself
1.4. Sono italiana: Nationalities and languages

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