After a series of lessons based on the Italian grammar,
After a series of lessons based on the Italian grammar, we switch to another important aspect of Italian language - also to answer at a comment made by lisiamic, www.italymagazine.com/community/post/your-italian-language-agony-aunt:
"Greetings. When is the right time to switch to Buonasera? After noon? After 2 pm? After 4 pm? I seem to get funny looks no matter which I try. Can I just cheat and use Salve in the early afternoon?"
According to the part of a day you can say:
Buongiorno - in the morning, before 1 p.m.
Buon Pomeriggio - early in the afternoon
Buona Sera - after about 6 p.m.
Buona Notte - said when you go to bed
ATTENTION: Don't assume this categorization is fully respected. I need to say that Italians rarely say "buon pomeriggio". For example, even if it may sounds a little odd to say "buonasera" when you meet someone at a coffee bar, "buongiorno" would sounds even more odd, given the fact that midday is already passed.
When to say "Ciao"
Of course we say "ciao" the same you say "hi" to your friends. It is considered informal and it's not related to time.
1) Note we use more "sera" than "notte", as you can see from the expressions:
Tonight - Questa sera: "Would you like to go to a pizzeria tonight?" - "Ti piacerebbe andare in pizzeria stasera"?
2) "Salve" is considered kind and formal and you can use it to replace every greeting - especially when you're not really sure about which of the above to use.
Hope this may help to talk with Italian native speakers or at least to start a speech! In bocca al lupo!
Prima il dovere e poi il piacere
Enjoy this funny spot which made famous also one of the above greetings: