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Basic Italian Greetings and Introductions

Learning basic Italian greetings and introductions is essential for anyone beginning their journey with the Italian language. These phrases are your gateway to friendly interactions and effective communication in Italy. Here’s a detailed guide on how to greet people, introduce yourself, and make small talk in Italian.


1. Buongiorno (Good morning)
Used from early morning until early afternoon, “buongiorno” is a versatile greeting suitable for both formal and informal contexts.

  • Example: Buongiorno, come sta? (Good morning, how are you?)

2. Buonasera (Good evening)
This greeting is used from late afternoon until nighttime. It’s more formal but still widely used in casual situations.

  • Example: Buonasera, signora Rossi. (Good evening, Mrs. Rossi.)

3. Ciao (Hello/Hi)
“Ciao” is the most common informal greeting, suitable for friends and acquaintances. It’s also used for “goodbye.”

  • Example: Ciao, Marco! Come stai? (Hi, Marco! How are you?)

4. Salve (Hello)
“Salve” is a polite yet less formal greeting than “buongiorno” or “buonasera.” It’s appropriate in both formal and semi-formal settings.

  • Example: Salve, piacere di conoscerla. (Hello, nice to meet you.)

5. Buonanotte (Good night)
Used when parting ways late in the evening or before going to bed.

  • Example: Buonanotte, a domani. (Good night, see you tomorrow.)


1. Come ti chiami? (What is your name?)
Use this question to ask someone’s name informally.

  • Example: Ciao, come ti chiami? (Hi, what’s your name?)

2. Mi chiamo… (My name is…)
Respond with your name.

  • Example: Mi chiamo Laura. (My name is Laura.)

3. Piacere di conoscerti (Nice to meet you)
An informal way to express pleasure in meeting someone.

  • Example: Ciao, mi chiamo Giorgio. Piacere di conoscerti. (Hi, my name is Giorgio. Nice to meet you.)

4. Come si chiama? (What is your name?)
The formal version of “come ti chiami?”

  • Example: Buongiorno, come si chiama? (Good morning, what is your name?)

5. Mi chiamo… (My name is…)
In a formal context, introduce yourself similarly.

  • Example: Buonasera, mi chiamo Stefano Bianchi. (Good evening, my name is Stefano Bianchi.)

6. Piacere di conoscerla (Nice to meet you)
Formal way of saying nice to meet you.

  • Example: Buongiorno, mi chiamo Anna. Piacere di conoscerla. (Good morning, my name is Anna. Nice to meet you.)

Common Phrases for Small Talk

1. Come stai? (How are you?)
Informal way to ask someone how they are.

  • Example: Ciao, come stai? (Hi, how are you?)

2. Sto bene, grazie. E tu? (I am fine, thank you. And you?)
Responding politely and asking back.

  • Example: Sto bene, grazie. E tu? (I am fine, thank you. And you?)

3. Come sta? (How are you?)
Formal version of the same question.

  • Example: Buonasera, come sta? (Good evening, how are you?)

4. Sto bene, grazie. E lei? (I am fine, thank you. And you?)
A formal response.

  • Example: Sto bene, grazie. E lei? (I am fine, thank you. And you?)

5. Di dove sei? (Where are you from?)
Informally ask someone’s origin.

  • Example: Di dove sei? (Where are you from?)

6. Sono di… (I am from…)
Responding with your hometown or country.

  • Example: Sono di Milano. (I am from Milan.)

7. Di dov’è? (Where are you from?)
Formal way to ask the same question.

  • Example: Buongiorno, di dov’è? (Good morning, where are you from?)

8. Sono di… (I am from…)
A formal response.

  • Example: Sono di Roma. (I am from Rome.)


1. Arrivederci (Goodbye)
A common way to say goodbye in a formal or informal context.

  • Example: Arrivederci, ci vediamo domani. (Goodbye, see you tomorrow.)

2. A presto (See you soon)
Used when you expect to see the person again soon.

  • Example: Ciao, a presto! (Bye, see you soon!)

3. A domani (See you tomorrow)
When you plan to see the person the next day.

  • Example: Buonanotte, a domani. (Good night, see you tomorrow.)

Practice with a Dialogue

Here’s a short dialogue putting some of these greetings and introductions into practice:

  • Anna: Ciao, come ti chiami?
  • Marco: Ciao, mi chiamo Marco. E tu?
  • Anna: Mi chiamo Anna. Piacere di conoscerti.
  • Marco: Piacere mio. Di dove sei?
  • Anna: Sono di Firenze. E tu?
  • Marco: Sono di Roma. Come stai?
  • Anna: Sto bene, grazie. E tu?
  • Marco: Anch’io sto bene. A presto, Anna!
  • Anna: Ciao, Marco! A presto!

By mastering these basic greetings and introductions, you’ll be well on your way to confidently starting conversations in Italian. Buona fortuna! (Good luck!)