How to say “Really” in Italian [Ep. 05]

By Manu Venditti | All Levels

Jun 28

Lee from the UK asks:
How can use the word "VERAMENTE"? 

How do I say "REALLY" in Italian?

VERAMENTE means "REALLY" in statements

Whenever "REALLY" can be replaced with "VERY" or "TRULY" in statements, then in Italian we tend to use the words VERAMENTE.

Some examples

MI PIACE VERAMENTE TANTO
I like it (really) a lot!
I truly like it a lot!

ANDREA È VERAMENTE INNAMORATO DI SARA
Andrea is really in love with Sara
Andrea is truly in love with Sara

BUT when VERAMENTE starts a sentence...

When VERAMENTE starts a sentence though, it usually has a completely different meaning.

  • ACTUALLY
  • AS A MATTER OF FACT
  • TRUTH BE TOLD
  • TO BE HONEST

Or any other similar expressions, depending on the mood you are trying to confer in English!

In Italian we use VERAMENTE at the beginning of a sentence to mean "Actually", "As a matter of fact", "Truth be told"...

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You basically want to use VERAMENTE any time you would say "ACTUALLY" / "AS A MATTER OF FACT" in English! 

Some examples

VERAMENTE IO NON HO MAI DETTO QUELLO!
Actually, I’ve never said that!

– MI AMI?
– VERAMENTE, NO!
– Do you love me?
– Actually, I don’t.

In all these cases, a synonym of VERAMENTE would be the expression A DIRE IL VERO

So what do I say when I'm surprise? (Really??!!)

In Italian it is very rare to use VERAMENTE when in English we would say REALLY with a sense of shock/surprise. It's possible in some circumstances, but in most cases you will hear Italians say:

  • DAVVERO?
  • MA DAI!
  • NON MI DIRE!

Please note that NON MI DIRE can only be used when addressing one person. It doesn't work when addressing two or more people.

In Italian we say "DAVVERO" or "MAI DAI!" or "NON MI DIRE" to mean "Really?" when we are surprised! DO NOT USE "veramente?"

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Some examples

– HO COMPRATO UNA FERRARI!
– NON MI DIRE!!! (or DAVVERO?) (or MA DAI!)
– I bought a Ferrari!
– Really? (OR You’re kidding?) (OR For real?)

– DOMANI MI SPOSO!
– DAVVERO
– I’m getting married tomorrow!
– Really?

Depending on the situation, an expression might be more appropriate than another. DAVVERO is the most suitable way to express pure surprise.

NON MI DIRE and  MAI DAI! also work, but  NON MI DIRE has the literal meaning of "DON'T TELL ME" and MA DAI!  of "COME ON!", so use them accordingly. 

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