October 11, 2014

Learn Basic Italian: Alphabet, Numbers 1-1000, Greetings

In this article provided by you will learn the basics of the Italian language by studying the alphabet, the numbers 1-1000 and some common greetings. The examples and tips we provide in this Italian lesson will make the learning process fast and easy.

The Italian Alphabet

The Italian language has an alphabet composed of 21 letters, the same letters found in the English except: j, k, w, x, y (the 5 missing letters can be found in foreign words). In the table below you will find the Italian alphabet and how to pronounce individual Italian letters.

Letter (Pronunciation) Letter (Pronunciation)
A (a)
B (bi)
C (ci)
D (di)
E (e)
F (effe)
G (gi)
H (acca)
I (i)
L (elle)
N (enne)
O (o)
P (pi)
Q (cu)
R (erre)
S (esse)
T (ti)
U (u)
V (vi)
Z (zeta)
M (emme)

In Italian language you will find 5 vowels (a, e, i, o, u) with 7 different sounds (each of the letters 'e' and 'o' have two different sounds), when you will find more than one vowel in a word, you will have to pronounce them separately.

Italian Pronunciation Guide

Start learning how to pronounce Italian words and avoid mistakes made by beginners with our basic pronunciation guide. In the table below you will be able to study and learn how to pronounce the individual letters in Italian words.

Letter Pronunciation
A like a in faster
B like b in boy
C - before i or e, like ch in chin
- otherwise like c in cat
D like d in dog
E - like e in bed
- like the sound eh or ay in say
F the same as in English
G like g in gold
H is always silent
I like ee in see
L like l in live
M the same as in English
N the same as in English
O like the sound oh or like o in top
P like p in pick
Q the same as in English
R the same as in English
S - between vowels like z in zoo
- otherwise like s in smile
T the same as in English
U like oo in moon
V like v in voice
Z like ts in bits

Italian Numbers 1-1000

Now, you will learn the numbers and how to count in Italian with pronunciation tips. First, let's learn how Italians are calling the number zero. In Italian zero is called zero and the pronunciation is ze-roh. In the table below you will learn the numbers from 1 to 30 in Italian.

English Italian Pronunciation
one uno oo-noh
two due doo-eh
three tre treh
four quattro kwaht-troh
five cinque cheen-kweh
six sei seh-ee
seven sette set-teh
eight otto oht-toh
nine nove noh-veh
ten dieci dee-eh-chee
eleven undici onn-dee-chee
twelve dodici doh-dee-chee
thirteen tredici treh-dee-chee
fourteen quattordici kwaht-tor-dee-chee
fifteen quindici kween-dee-chee
sixteen sedici seh-dee-chee
seventeen diciassette dee-chahs-set-teh
eighteen diciotto dee-choht-toh
nineteen diciannove dee-chahn-noh-veh
twenty venti ven-tee
twenty-one ventuno ven-too-noh
twenty-two ventidue ven-tee-doo-eh
twenty-three ventitré ven-tee-treh
twenty-four ventiquattro ven-tee-kwaht-troh
twenty-five venticinque ven-tee-cheen-kweh
twenty-six ventisei ven-tee-seh-ee
twenty-seven ventisette ven-tee-set-teh
twenty-eight ventotto ven-toht-toh
twenty-nine ventinove ven-tee-noh-veh
thirty trenta tren-tah

Counting in Italian - Italian Numbers 31 to 99

Numbers in Italian from 31 to 99 are formed according to the following pattern: tensunits. e.g: trentasette (thirty-seven), cinquantaquattro (fifty-four), ottantadue (eighty-two). The most important thing to remember from this second table are the names of the tens. Note! The numbers ending in uno (one) and otto (eight) follow a different pattern: the last letter of the tens is cut from the word (trentauno => trentuno). All the exact tens from 40 to 90 end in '-anta'. Since you already know the numbers from 1 to 30, this second table will start from 31.

English Italian Pronunciation
thirty-one trentuno tren-too-noh
thirty-two trentadue tren-tah-doo-eh
thirty-three trentatré tren-tah-treh
forty quaranta kwah-rahn-tah
fifty cinquanta cheen-kwahn-tah
sixty sessanta ses-sahn-tah
seventy settanta set-tahn-ta
eighty ottanta oht-tahn-ta
ninety novanta noh-vahn-tah

Counting in Italian - Italian Numbers 100 to 1000+

If you want to form hundreds or thousands in the Italian language all you have to do is to glue the number of hundreds or thousands with the word cento or mila. The word mila is the plural form of the word mille, cento has no plural form.

English Italian Pronunciation
one hundred cento chen-toh
two hundred duecento doo-eh-chen-toh
three hundred trecento treh-chen-toh
four hundred quattrocento kwaht-troh-chen-toh
five hundred cinquecento cheen-kweh-chen-toh
six hundred seicento seh-ee-chen-toh
seven hundred settecento set-teh-chen-toh
eight hundred ottocento oht-toh-chen-toh
nine hundred novecento noh-veh-chen-toh
one thousand mille mee-leh
two thousand duemila doo-eh-mee-lah
three thousand tremila treh-mee-lah

Mathematics in Italian

Here, you will find some of the most used words in mathematics translated in Italian:

English Italian Pronunciation
divide diviso dee-vee-zo
equals uguale ooguale
minus meno mee-noh
multiply per per
plus più pyoo

Italian Greetings and Introductions

Below you will learn basic greetings, introductions and common expressions useful when you want to greet or to start a conversation in Italian. In almost all the lessons provided by you will find pronunciation tips and examples. Only this way we think the learning process is faster and easier for all the learners. What do you think about our lessons? Leave us a message through our contact page.

Italian Greetings

Now, let's learn how to say Hello, Goodbye, Thank you and You’re welcome in Italian. The greetings and goodbyes found below are used formal and / or informal.

English Italian Pronunciation
Hello / Hi Salve salvay
Hello / Hi Ciao ciaooh
Good day Buongiorno bown-giorno
Good evening Buonasera bownah-seh-rah
Good night Buona notte bownah no-te
Welcome Benvenuto behnveh-noo-toh
A warm welcome Un caloroso benvenuto oon caloh-roh-zo behnveh-noo-toh
Goodbye / Bye Ciao ciaooh
Goodbye / Bye Addio addio
Goodbye / Bye Arrivederci arrivedehrci
See you soon A presto ah prestoh
Thank you Grazie grahtseeay
You’re welcome Prego pray-go

How are you? in Italian - Ask & respond

Sometimes asking a question like How are you? is a way of saying Hello!, the same pleasantries are found between Italian speakers.

English Italian Pronunciation
How's it going? Come va? ko-meh vah
How are you? Come stai? ko-meh stah-ee
How are you? Come sta? (formal) ko-meh stah

There are many possible responses to give when someone asks you How are you?, below we have listed some of the most popular answers translated in Italian.

English Italian Pronunciation
I'm fine, thank you. Bene, grazie. beh-neh, grahtseeay
Very well, thank you. Molto bene, grazie. mohl-toh beh-neh, grahtseeay
I'm so-so Così così. cohsi cohsi
Not well Va male. vah mah-leh

After you answer, it is customary to ask how the other person is doing. You can do this easily by saying E tu? (And you?) if is a casual meeting or E Lei? (And you?) if you want to be formal.

How to make introductions in Italian

Meeting and greeting often requires introductions and knowing the proper way to make introductions in a particular language can help you make a good first impression.

English Italian Pronunciation
What is your name? Qual è il tuo nome? kuahl eh eel towh nomeh
What is your last name? Qual è il tuo cognome? kuahl eh eel towh co-neo-may
My name is... Il mio nome è... eel mee-oh nomeh eh
Glad to meet you Felice di conoscerti feh-lee-ceh dee coh-noh-shehr-tee
Nice to meet you Piacere di conoscerti peeah-cehreh dee coh-noh-shehr-tee
Can you help me? Mi puoi aiutare? mee poy ah-yoo-tah-ray
yes ; no sì ; no see ; noh
I do not understand Non capisco nohn kapee-scoh
I do not speak Italian Non parlo italiano nohn par-loh ita-lee-anoh
I do not speak well Italian Io non parlo bene italiano yoh nohn par-loh beh-neh ita-lee-anoh

How to apologize in Italian

Below you will study some common Italian expressions of forgiveness useful for situations like squeezing through crowds, to more serious situations where a personal apology is necessary.

English Italian Pronunciation
Excuse me Mi scusi mee skoo-zee
Excuse me Scusi / Scusa skoo-zee / skoo-zah
I apologize Mi scuso mee skoo-zoh
I owe you an apology Ti devo delle scuse tee deh-voh deh-leh skoo-zeh
Please Per favore per fah-voreh
Please accept my apology Per favore accetta le mie scuse per fah-voreh aceh-tah leh mee-eh skoo-zeh
Forgiveness! Perdono! per-donoh

Important! Because some Italian sounds are not found in English we have tried to come up with something that sounds similar, for this reason the pronunciation tips from above are simply informational and does not offer any guarantee.

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