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Come sta? Bene.
Before you dive into a conversation, it’s nice to exchange a few pleasantries. Greetings are first, of course, and then if you know the person, it’s typical to ask how they are. There are several different Italian expressions, depending on your relationship with the people you’re talking to and how many there are.*
How are you?
There are four ways to ask the basic question "How are you?" depending on the person(s) you’re addressing. (See “You” in Italian for detailed information.)
The verb to use is stare (to be):
How’s it going?
This question is informal, so use it only for people you address as tu / voi.
Depending on the situation, you can offer a real answer (with friends, you might talk about feelings, work, family, travel, etc.), but most of the time, you’ll just want to respond with an Italian equivalent of "fine" or "very good":
Sto is optional: you can respond with either sto bene, sto molto bene or just bene, molto bene.
- Essential Italian
- Parting words
- Stare (to be)
- Subject pronouns
- Tu / voi / Lei / Loro
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