How to Say "Is" in Italian. It IS Easy.. To Be Mistaken!

How to Say "Is" in Italian. It IS Easy.. To Be Mistaken!

When talking about the third person, the word “is” comes in handy. It helps you describe the state of things and people, which makes it easy to identify items and communicate what you want.

In Italian, this word translates as è. It’s pronounced [ɛ] in the IPA transcription.

Also, you will find out that it is one of the most used words in the Italian language. This makes it one of the essential words to master and learn its use.

Italian dictionary with most used words

If you’re interested in learning other most used words in Italian, you should look at the Italian Frequency Dictionary series. In these books, you’ll find 10,000 most common Italian words used in context listed by their frequency of occurrence.


Describing People


Lui è alto. – He is tall.

This can be used to describe someone you need to find. For instance, a waiter in a restaurant, a thief on the street, or a friend in a meet-up location. This can be used with any other describing adjectives such as short, which is corto for men and corta for women, and slim, which translates to sottile.


  • Giovanni è innamorato di me. – John is in love with me.
  • Marco è felice qui. – Mark is happy here.


Lei è mia amica. – She is my friend.

This phrase is used to explain the form of relationship you have. It can be used when one is talking about the person you are visiting or the one you are trying to find. Learning this phrase helps you go through several types of conversations.

“He is my friend” becomes lui è il mio amico, and “they are my friends” becomes essi sono i miei amici.


  • Lui è mio ragazzo. – He’s my boyfriend.
  • Lei è Sara. – This is Sarah.


Describing Things


Questo vino è buono. – This wine is good.

Complimenting food and drinks is kind. This phrase is one of the many you can use to commend someone for recommending or serving you a good bottle of wine.


  • Questo cibo è buono is used when talking about good food. Alternatively, these phrases can be used when making recommendations to a friend who is visiting a city that you have already explored.
  • Hanno buon vino e cibo is a general note pointing out that a particular establishment has good food and wine.


How to Say “Where is” in Italian


This is an essential phrase for any tourist. Visiting a new place often goes hand in hand with the possibility of getting lost. So, being able to ask where a particular place of interest is will help you a lot.


The Italian phrase is Dov’è. It’s a contraction of dove – “where” and è – “is.” It’s pronounced [dovˈɛ] in the IPA trancription.


  • Dov'è Roma? – Where is Rome?
  • Dov’è il bagno? – Where is the toilet?


How to Say “What Is” in Italian


Qual è il tuo numero di telefono? – What’s your telephone number?

It is essential to get several telephone numbers, especially when you are in a new city. This could either belong to the hotel you are staying in or a tour guide. You can also use the phrase when you meet someone new, and you wish to keep in contact with them.

However, it is essential to note that you only use this phrase after you have communicated your wish to get someone’s number. If you want to ask for a phone number, the more polite phrase to use is Posso ottenere il tuo numero di telefono?


Other Ways to Translate “Is” into Italian

  1. Va tutto bene? – Is everything okay?

This is a polite inquiry into the state of things and can be used in an array of situations. For instance, if you are concerned that a stranger might need your help, or if the hotel receptionist is taking too long to check you in. It shows concern and care without seeming intrusive.


  1. C'è qualcosa che posso fare? – Is there anything I can do?

If you are looking to offer assistance in any situation, it is best to find out how you may be helpful. This shows that you care and are willing to assist in the best way that you can. 

“Is” as an Auxiliary verb

“Is” is a verb form of “essere” – to be (in the meaning of “to exist”). The Italian language also has the verb “stare” which also means “to be.” However, stare is used mostly if something is only temporary.


You can find it as an auxiliary verb in present continuous tense.


  • Lei sta dormendo. – She is sleeping.
  • Sta piovendo. – It is raining.


Other Common Expressions with “Sta”

  1. Come sta Giovanni? – How is John? Come sta is also a formal way to say “How are you?” Informally, you can say “Come stai?”
  2. Sta per nevicare. – It is going to snow. Stare per + infinitive is used to describe that something is going to happen.
  • Sta per leggere un libro. – He is going to read a book.
  • Il mio telefono sta per morire. – My phone is about to die.
  • Il treno sta per partire. – The train is about to leave.



In this article, we have learned how to translate “is” into Italian. Let’s revise the most important information:


  1. The most common translation is “è.”
  2. Dov’è means “where is.”
  3. Qual è means “what is.”
  4. Sta is used as an auxiliary verb (for example, in the present continuous tense).


Everybody would agree that the verb “to be” is probably the most important verb in any foreign language. Using it correctly in the third person singular makes it easier to communicate and talk about other people or things, which everybody likes doing.

If you have any other questions or comments, let us know in the comments below.

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