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e, ma, anche, o, perché, che and se - Easy Learning Grammar Italian

  • These common Italian conjunctions correspond to common English conjunctions, such as and and but. However they are sometimes used differently from their English counterparts, for example, Ma no! (literally, But no! ) means No!, or Of course not!
  • Shown below are the common Italian conjunctions e, anche, o, ma, perché, che and se and how they are used:
  • e and, but, what about
io e GiovanniGiovanni and I
tu ed ioyou and me
Lo credevo simpatico e non lo è.I thought he was nice, but he isn’t.
Io non ci vado, e tu?I’m not going, what about you?
  • Note that you use di or a, not the conjunction e, to translate try and, go and and so on.
Cerca di capire!Try and understand!
Vado a vedere.I’ll go and see.
  • ma but
strano ma verostrange but true
Dice così, ma non ci credo.That’s what he says, but I don’t believe it.
  • Note that ma is used for emphasis with and no.
Ti dispiace? – Ma no!Do you mind? – Of course not.
Non ti piace? – Ma sì!Don’t you like it? – Yes of course I do.
  • anche also, too, even
Parla tedesco e anche francese.She speaks German and also French.
Ho fame. – Anch’io!I’m hungry. – Me too!
Lo saprebbe fare anche un bambino.Even a child could do it.
  • o or
due o tre voltetwo or three times
Tipoppure is another word for or. It is used to join two parts of a sentence when you’re talking about alternatives.
Possiamo guardare la TV oppure ascoltare musica.We can watch TV or listen to music.
  • perché because
Non posso uscire perché ho molto da fare.I can’t go out because I’ve got a lot to do.
  • Note that perché also means why.
Perché vai via? – Perché è tardi.Why are you going? – Because it’s late.
  • che that
Ha detto che farà tardi.He said that he’ll be late.
Penso che sia il migliore.I think that it’s the best.
  • For more information on che followed by the Subjunctive, see The subjunctive.
TipIn English you can say either He says he loves me or He says that he loves me. In Italian che is NOT optional in this way.
So che le piace la cioccolata.I know (that) she likes chocolate.
  • se if, whether
Fammi sapere se c’è qualche problema.Let me know if there are any problems.
Se fosse più furbo verrebbe.If he had more sense he’d come.
Non so se dirglielo o no.I don’t know whether to tell him or not.
  • For more information on se followed by the Subjunctive, see The subjunctive.

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