Learning Italian: Introduce yourself!

In order to get the conversation going, you’ll want to say a bit about yourself – what your name is, what you do and so on. Having a few phrases under your belt will come in very handy if you’re making friends or meeting acquaintances for the first time.

There are two ways you can say your name in Italian, the first being mi chiamo which literally means I call myself, from the verb chiamarsi (to be called).

Salve, come ti chiami?

Hello, what is your name?

Piacere, mi chiamo David.

Nice to meet you, my name is David.

If you want to say how old you are, use ho followed by your age and anni (literally I have … years). Ho comes from the verb avere (to have).

Quanti anni hai?

How old are you?

Ho ventidue anni.

I am twenty-two years old.

If you want to say what you do in Italian, use the verb fare (to do). Remember that when talking about people’s jobs, a in English is often translated by the definite article (il, la and so on) in Italian.

Cosa fai/Che lavoro hai?

What do you do/What’s your job?

Faccio l’insegnante.

I’m a teacher.

Faccio il medico.

I’m a doctor.

Essere (to be) is a very versatile verb, and it can be used when saying your name, what you do, and where you’re from. You can simply say sono… (I am…).

Ciao, io sono Cathy.

Hi, I’m Cathy.  

Siamo avvocati.

We are lawyers.

Sono francese.

I’m French.

When chatting socially, it’s always good to ask the other person a few questions about themselves. Simply say mi parli di te (tell me about yourself) to someone you don’t know very well, or parlami di te to someone younger.

Ma basta parlare di me. Mi parli di te, adesso.

Enough about me. Now tell me about you.

Parlami della tua nuova ragazza.

Tell me about your new girlfriend.

Now you’ve got some key conversation starters, don’t forget to come back for the next blog post to help you continue with the conversation!

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