Basic phrases

Here are some basic Italian phrases which you can use in everyday conversation, as well as some common words you will see on signs.

yes
nono
forsemaybe
per favoreplease
graziethanks
Grazie tante or Molte graziethanks very much

The following are some polite ways you can reply to someone who thanks you:

pregoyou're welcome
figurati or si figuridon't mention it
di nientenot at all

Saying hello and goodbye

Here are some different ways to greet people:

ciaohi (quite informal)
Salvehello
buongiornogood morning (used before noon)
buon pomeriggiogood afternoon (used between noon and 6pm)
buona seragood evening (used after 6pm)

The following expressions, on the other hand, are some different things you can say when saying goodbye:

Ciaobye
Arrivederci or Addiogoodbye
buonanottegoodnight
ci vediamo!see you!
ci vediamo presto!see you soon!
ci vediamo dopo!see you later!
buona giornata!have a nice day!
buon fine settimana!have a good weekend!

Getting someone's attention and apologising

Scusami or Mi scusiexcuse me (can be used to get someone's attention, to get past someone, or to apologise)
Scusa or ScusiSorry

If someone apologises to you, you can reply using one of the following expressions:

Non c'è problemaNo problem
Fa niente or Non fa nienteIt's OK
Non preoccuparti or Non si preoccupiDon't worry about it

Making yourself understood

Parli italiano?Do you speak Italian?
Io non parlo italianoI don't speak Italian
Parlo italiano solo un po'I only speak a little Italian
Non parlo molto bene italianoI don't speak Italian very well
Parlo poco italianoI speak a little Italian
parli più lentamente per favoreplease speak more slowly
lo scriva per favoreplease write it down
può ripetere per favore?could you please repeat that?
capisco or Ho capitoI understand
non capiscoI don't understand

Other basic phrases

lo soI know
non lo soI don't know
scusi, dov'è il bagno?excuse me, where's the toilet?

Things you might see

EntrataEntrance
UscitaExit
Uscita di emergenzaEmergency exit
SpingerePush
TirarePull
WCWC
UominiGentlemen
DonneLadies
LiberoVacant
OccupatoOccupied
GuastoOut of order
Vietato fumareNo smoking
PrivatoPrivate
Divieto d'ingressoNo entry
sound

Sound is available for all the Italian phrases on this page — simply click on any phrase to hear it.