We can use exclamations to express a range of emotions including happiness, sadness, surprise, anger, excitement, enthusiasm and disgust. Learning some Italian exclamations and using them in the right context can bring life to your spoken Italian as well as make you sound more like a local. You are already likely familiar with the exclamation Mamma mia! This can be translated as ‘Oh my!’ or ‘My goodness!’ or ‘Dear me!’ depending on the context and the emotion it expresses, be it surprise, shock or dismay.

 

There are a range of types of exclamations, you can find out more below.

 

Che + adjective

 

A very common type of exclamation in Italian is made using che + adjective:

 

 

Che bello! How beautiful / nice looking! 

Che buono! How good / tasty! 

Che brutto! How horrible / bad!

Che peccato! What a shame!

Che schifo! How disgusting / gross!

Che scemo! How stupid!

Che barba! How boring! What a drag!

Che palle! What a pain!

Che figata! How cool / awesome!

Che casino! What a mess!

Che roba! Unbelievable

 

 

Quanto/a/i/e + noun

 

If your exclamation is in relation to a large amount or number you can use quanto / quanta / quanti / quante, which needs to agree in gender and number:

 

Quanta gente! What a lot of people!

Quanti soldi! What a lot of money! 

Quanto mangi?! How much do you eat?!

 

 

Here is a selection of some of the most common exclamations, made up of nouns, verbs and adjectives:

 

Magari! If only! I wish!

Dai! Come on! Hurry up!

Oddio! Oh my goodness! Oh god!

Accidenti! - Damn! My goodness!

Forza! You can do it! Be strong!

Mannaggia! Damn! Blast!

Salute! Cheers!

Zitto! Silence!

Evviva! Hurray! Hurrah!

 

Sometimes an exclamation isn’t a proper word, just a sound which represents a meaning, for example:

 

Uffa! What a bore!

Mbeh! - So what?!

Boh! - I don’t have a clue! I have no idea!

Ahimè! Alas! Dear me!

I hope this lesson has helped you to understand the meaning of some exclamations so that you can recognise them and use them in your conversations. Dai! Forza! Have a look at our other Italian language lessons here!