A question my friends and I used to ask each other regularly when I lived in Italy was: what are you doing on Saturday evening? This would then spark a conversation around restaurants, bars, clubs, dates and so on.
As English speakers asking this question, we can often stumble over how to translate the ‘on’, as in ‘on Saturday evening’. You may be surprised to find out that no translation is needed in Italian!
What are you doing on Saturday evening?
Che cosa fai sabato sera? – What are you doing on Saturday evening?
This is the same for all of the days of the week, for example:
Lavoro lunedì – I am working on Monday
Dove vai martedì mattina? – Where are you going on Tuesday morning?
Barbara va in vacanza mercoledì – Barbara is going on holiday on Wednesday
Giacomo fa shopping giovedì – Giacomo is going shopping on Thursday
Studiamo insieme venerdì? – Shall we study together on Friday?
Ballate sabato sera? – Are you dancing on Saturday evening?
Dormono domenica – They sleep on Sunday
If you’d like to say you do the same thing every week, there are a few options you can choose from. Let’s look at an example sentence, such as:
I go to the gym every Tuesday
In Italian, you could say:
Ogni martedì vado in palestra (literally each Tuesday I go to the gym)
Note: Ogni is followed by a singular day of the week
Tutti i martedì vado in palestra (literally every Tuesday I go to the gym)
Note: Tutti / tutte are followed by a plural article (i/le) and a plural day of the week. Monday through to Friday in Italian end in an accent so the ending of each word doesn’t change in the plural form (i lunedì, i martedì, i mercoledì, i giovedì, i venerdì). Saturday and Sunday in the plural are ‘i sabati’ and ‘le domeniche’.
Il martedì vado in palestra (literally every Tuesday I go to the gym)
The last option to use the article ‘il/la’ before the day of the week is a useful one to remember. All of the days of the week are masculine and therefore use ‘il’ beforehand, except Sunday, which is feminine, so:
La domenica vado in chiesa – On Sundays I go to church
Il sabato vado in pizzeria – On Saturdays I go to the pizzeria
If you’d like to ask what someone is doing next week, you could say:
Che fai martedì prossimo? – What are you doing next Tuesday?
Usciamo il weekend prossimo? – Shall we go out next weekend?
Andiamo al mare il fine settimana prossimo? – Shall we go the beach next weekend?
Every other week
There’s a lovely expression in Italian to say that you do something every other week, literally it translates as ‘a week yes and a week no’.
So, I go to the supermarket every other day would be: vado al supermercato un giorno sì e uno no.
I go to the office every other week is: vado in ufficio una settimana sì e una no.