Don"t say "Prego" all the time. Here"s how to say "you"re welcome" in Italian that will impress the locals.
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When learning Italian, it’s essential to know the most comment phrases and expressions that are widely used by natives in everyday conversations. These are the basis for engaging in a polite and effective conversation. When it comes to variety in ways of expressing yourself, Italian is rich in colourful phrases that will elevate your speech and make you sound more like a native!
As proof of this, not only are there several ways to express gratitude, but also there are countless ways to respond! It’s just as important to know how to express your willingness and pleasure to help someone, as it is to say “grazie” (thank you). That is why you should definitely master the most common words and expressions to say things like “No problem!”, and “You’re very welcome” in Italian, plus how to use them in different contexts.
In this guide, you’ll learn 10 ways to say “you’re welcome” in Italian like a native speaker! Pronti? (Ready?)… Cominciamo! (Let’s get started!)
Pronunciation: preh-gohUsage: formal/ informalExample: Grazie per il tuo aiuto! – Prego! (Thank you for your help! – You’re welcome!)
“Prego” is certainly the most popular and frequently used expression and directly translates to the English “you’re welcome”. It’s a standard answer used in response to “grazie”. “Prego” in Italian can be used both in formal and informal situations. This means that you might hear native speakers use it in a variety of interactions: with friends, family members, elderly people, doctors… Basically, any type of exchange regardless of the degree of formality required by the situation.
However, you’ll be surprised to see that this versatile little word has many other meanings! Eccoli qua (here they are):
5 ways you can use “Prego”
1. Prego also translates to “please” and is a polite word that you can use:When you hold the door for someone. For instance: Prego, dopo di Lei. (Please, after you.)When you invite someone to sit down. For instance: Prego, si sieda. (Please, have a seat.)
Notice how here “prego” is used in formal contexts and therefore you must use the “Lei” form (that is, the formal “you”) to address someone.
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With the same meaning but in a different (much more informal) context you might hear the expression “Ti prego”, which translates to “Please”, “I implore you”, “I’m begging you”. For example:Papà, posso usare la tua macchina? Ti prego! (Dad, can I use your car? Pleeeease!)
2. Another situation where you might hear “prego” is from a waiter/waitress or a salesperson when walking in a bar or restaurant or shop. If they greet you with “Buongiorno, prego?” they’re asking “How may I help you?” or (in the case of the bar/ restaurant) “Are you ready to order?”. So don’t look so shocked, they’re not telling you “you’re welcome”, they’re actually starting a conversation with you