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Learn how to greet people in Italian, at any time of day or night.
What to say (and when)
Buonasera means good evening or even good afternoon as it is often used as early as 4pm. To wish someone a good evening upon leaving, say buona serata.
Note that the greetings are usually single words: buongiorno and buonasera. It’s possible, though much less common, to write them as two words: buon giorno and buona sera. In contrast, the good wishes upon leaving are always two separate words: buona giornata and buona serata.
Salve can be used at any time of day: Hello.
Ciao is an informal greeting: Hi.
What not to say
While the expressions buona mattina (good morning) and buon pomeriggio (good afternoon) exist, they are very rare. It’s far more common to say buongiorno or salve.
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