Polite Talks: Asking How Are You in Italian

Ellison Clapton8 min
Created: May 23, 2024Last updated: May 27, 2024
How Are You in Italian

Language opens doors to new cultures and meaningful connections. When traveling to Italy, greetings are beautiful Italian words that help to initiate a talk and establish rapport. Asking how are you in Italian can create a good impression and show your interest in their well-being. In this article, we will explore different ways to ask this question. You’ll learn basic expressions and more nuanced forms used in formal and informal contexts.

The Basics: How to Say How Are You in Italian

As with the Italian alphabet, starting with basic phrases builds a strong foundation. Italians value friendly and polite exchanges, and there are different ways to ask someone how they are doing. Below are the essential phrases to know:

  • Come stai? [ˈkome ˈstai] – How are you? The most basic and informal way to ask someone how they are.

Come stai dopo il lungo viaggio? [ˈkome ˈstai ˈdopo il ˈluŋgo ˈvjaʤʤo] – How are you after the long trip?

  • Come sta? [ˈkome ˈsta] – How are you? Use this version formally or when speaking to someone you don’t know well.

Buongiorno, signora Rossi, come sta oggi? [buoŋˈdʒorno siˈɲoːra ˈrossi ˈkome ˈsta ˈoʤʤi] – Good morning, Mrs. Rossi, how are you today?

  • Come va? [ˈkome ˈva] – How’s it going? This phrase in Italian for how are you is used among friends or acquaintances.

Ciao Marco, come va con il nuovo lavoro? [ˈʧao ˈmarko ˈkome ˈva kon il ˈnwɔːvo laˈvoro] – Hi Marco, how’s it going with the new job?

  • Tutto bene? [ˈtutto ˈbɛne] – Everything good? A casual way to ask if everything is okay.

Ehi, tutto bene con la tua famiglia? [ˈɛi ˈtutto ˈbɛne kon la ˈtua faˈmiʎʎa] – Hey, is everything good with your family?

  • Come ti senti? [ˈkome ti ˈsɛnti] – How do you feel? It is more personal and used when you are concerned about someone’s health or emotions.

Come ti senti dopo l’operazione? [ˈkome ti ˈsɛnti ˈdopo lʊperaˈtsjone] – How do you feel after the operation?

  • Come vanno le cose? [ˈkome ˈvanno le ˈkɔze] – How are things going? A more general way to ask about someone’s life or situation.

Come vanno le cose al lavoro? [ˈkome ˈvanno le ˈkɔze al laˈvoro] – How are things going at work?

How Are You in Italian Formal and Informal Contexts

The situation affects the way we talk to others, so formal and informal settings need different approaches. The proper phrase will help in any situation, and using the right one shows respect and understanding of social norms. Below are the expressions for asking how are you in Italian formal and informal contexts:

  • Come si trova qui? [ˈkome si ˈtrɔva ˈkwi] – How do you find it here? Used to inquire politely about someone’s experience in a new place.

Signore Bianchi, come si trova qui in Italia? [siˈɲore biˈanki, ˈkome si ˈtrɔva ˈkwi in iˈtalja] – Mr. Bianchi, how do you find it here in Italy?

  • Lei come sta oggi? [ˈlei ˈkome ˈsta oˈʤi] – How are you today? (very formal) Suitable for formal occasions or when addressing someone in a respectful manner.

Professore, Lei come sta oggi? [profeˈsore, ˈlei ˈkome ˈsta oˈʤi] – Professor, how are you today?

  • Come va la salute? [ˈkome va la saˈlute] – How is your health? This how are you Italian phrase is used with elderly people or someone who has been unwell.

Cara Signora Martini, come va la salute ultimamente? [ˈkara siˈɲora marˈtini, ˈkome va la saˈlute ultimaˈmente] – Dear Mrs. Martini, how is your health lately?

  • Come procede tutto? [ˈkome proˈʧede ˈtutto] – How is everything going? A formal way to inquire about several aspects of someone’s life or work.

Dottore, come procede tutto al lavoro? [dotˈtore, ˈkome proˈʧede ˈtutto al laˈvoro] – Doctor, how is everything going at work?

  • Sta trovando tutto a suo agio? [sta troˈvando ˈtutto a ˈswo ˈaʤo] – Are you finding everything comfortable? Useful in formal settings to ask if someone is comfortable with their accommodations or situation.

Signor Rossi, sta trovando tutto a suo agio in hotel? [siˈɲor ˈrossi, sta troˈvando ˈtutto a ˈswo ˈaʤo in oˈtel] – Mr. Rossi, are you finding everything comfortable at the hotel?

  • Che si dice? [ke si ˈdiʧe] – What’s up? A casual and friendly way to greet someone.

Ciao Paolo, che si dice? [ˈʧao ˈpaolo, ke si ˈdiʧe] – Hi Paolo, what’s up?

  • Come butta? [ˈkome ˈbutta] – How’s it going? It is a casual phrase, great for saying how are you in Italian to a woman, especially if you know her well or are in a relaxed setting.

Ehilà, come butta oggi? [eˈila, ˈkome ˈbutta oˈʤi] – Hey, how’s it going today?

  • Tutto apposto? [ˈtutto apˈposto] – Everything in order? Used to check in casually on someone’s situation.

Luca, tutto apposto con i preparativi? [ˈluka, ˈtutto apˈposto kon i preparaˈtivi] – Luca, everything in order with the preparations?

  • Stai bene? [ˈstaj ˈbɛne] – Are you well? A common and informal inquiry about someone’s general well-being.

Ciao Sofia, stai bene? [ˈʧao soˈfia, ˈstaj ˈbɛne] – Hi Sofia, are you well?


Adding Warmth: Follow-Up Questions After How Are You

Real interest makes conversations meaningful. After asking how are you doing in Italian, follow-up questions add warmth and engagement. Below are phrases to deepen your exchanges after asking ‘how are you’:

  • Hai fatto qualcosa di interessante ultimamente? [aj ˈfatto kwalˈkɔːza di intereˈssante ultimaˈmente] – Have you done anything interesting lately? Great for encouraging the other person to share recent experiences or activities.

Dimmi, hai fatto qualcosa di interessante ultimamente che vorresti raccontare? [ˈdimmi, aj ˈfatto kwalˈkɔːza di intereˈssante ultimaˈmente ke voˈrɛsti rakˈkontare] – Tell me, have you done anything interesting lately that you’d like to talk about?

  • Ci sono novità nella tua vita? [ʧi ˈsono noˈvita nella ˈtua ˈvita] – Are there any updates in your life? This question invites the other person to share any significant life changes.

Ultimamente mi chiedo, ci sono novità nella tua vita? [ultiˈmamente mi ˈkjɛːdo, ʧi ˈsono noˈvita nella ˈtua ˈvita] – Lately, I wonder, are there any updates in your life?

  • Che fai? [ke ˈfaj] – What are you doing? It is a phrase to ask what are you doing in Italian.

Stai sempre guardando il telefono, che fai di così interessante? [ˈstaj ˈsɛmpre ɡwarˈdando il teˈlɛfono, ke ˈfaj di koˈzi interˈessante] – You’re always looking at your phone. What are you doing that’s so interesting?

  • Che ne pensi di...? [ke ne ˈpɛnsi di] – What do you think about...? It can lead to discussions on a wide range of topics.

Che ne pensi di queste nuove politiche governative? [ke ne ˈpɛnsi di ˈkweste ˈnwɔve poliˈtiːke ɡovernaˈtive] – What do you think about these new government policies?

Responding Appropriately: What to Say When Asked Come Stai in Italian

Showing real care for someone’s well-being is just a part of the interaction. You also need to respond in the right way when someone asks you, ‘Come stai?’ Your answer should match the tone and setting. Below are common responses to use when asked how are you feeling in Italian:

  • Sto bene, grazie! [sto ˈbɛːne ˈɡratˈtsje] – I’m fine, thanks! A simple and common response that indicates you’re doing well.

Sto bene, grazie, e ho appena finito un progetto importante. [sto ˈbɛːne ˈɡratˈtsje e o apˈpɛna fiˈnito un proˈdʒɛtto imporˈtante] – I’m fine, thanks, and I’ve just finished an important project.

  • Non sto male. [non sto ˈmale] – I’m not doing badly. Used when you’re doing okay but not great.

Non sto male, solo un po’ stanco ultimamente. [non sto ˈmale ˈsolo un po stanˈko ultimaˈmente] – I’m not doing badly, just a bit tired lately.

  • Così così. [koˈsi koˈsi] – So-so. A neutral response that indicates neither good nor bad feelings.

Così così, è stata una settimana piena di alti e bassi. [koˈsi koˈsi ɛ ˈstata una setˈtimana ˈpjɛna di ˈalti e ˈbassi] – So-so, it’s been a week full of ups and downs.

  • Potrebbe andare meglio. [potˈrjebbe anˈdare ˈmɛʤːo] – It could be better. Suggests that things are not going as well as they could be.

Potrebbe andare meglio, sto affrontando alcune sfide al lavoro. [potˈrjebbe anˈdare ˈmɛʤːo sto afˈfrɔntando alˈkune ˈsfide al laˈvoro] – It could be better, I’m facing some challenges at work.

  • Tutto a posto, grazie. [ˈtutto a ˈposto ˈɡratˈtsje] – Everything’s fine, thanks. A positive reply that everything is in order.

Tutto a posto, grazie, e la famiglia sta bene anche. [ˈtutto a ˈposto ˈɡratˈtsje e la faˈmiʎʎa sta ˈbɛne ˈanke] – Everything’s fine, thanks, and the family is also doing well.

Learn Italian with Promova

If you want to learn Italian, Promova is your one-stop solution. We offer tools to make the process easy. Our platform suits learners of all levels, from beginners to advanced speakers. You can get access to:

  • Structured courses. Lessons guide you step-by-step. You will pick up new words and grammar rules in a structured manner.
  • Interactive tasks. Practice what you have learned. Quizzes and tests help reinforce your knowledge and track your progress.
  • Bite-sized learning. Learn Italian in short, manageable segments, making it easy to fit into any schedule.

You can download our mobile application for Android and iOS. With it, you’ll gain access to all our resources on your mobile device. These include interactive lessons, quizzes, flashcards, and more.


Knowing how do you say how are you in Italian will help you in everyday interactions. These expressions connect you with others on a basic yet important level. Practice them often, and soon they will feel natural to you. Pay attention to the setting and use the right phrase for each situation. With such tools, you’ll feel more confident talking to native speakers.


Is body language important when speaking with Italians?

Body language plays a large role when you say how are you today in Italian. Gestures and eye contact often accompany verbal interactions and convey emotions.

Are there cultural tips to keep in mind when greeting someone in Italy?

Always greet elders first out of respect. A handshake is common among strangers. Cheek kisses may be used among friends and family.

What are common mistakes when asking ‘How are you’ in Italian?

One typical error is confusing formal and informal styles. For instance, using the informal ‘Come stai?’ when speaking to someone you should address formally, or using the formal ‘Come sta?’ with friends or peers. It's important to know the appropriate level of formality.

How can I improve my Italian vocabulary?

To learn other phrases, like how are you in the Italian language, use WordReference or Reverso Context. They offer word lists, examples, and audio pronunciations of words.