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Italian expression of the day: 'Non vedo l'ora'

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Italian expression of the day: 'Non vedo l'ora'
13:18 CET+01:00
We bet you can't wait to start using this Italian phrase.

If you were to ask an Italian out on a date, they might respond with: ‘non vedo l'ora!'

Since this literally translates as ‘I can't see the time', you might think you'd just been flatly turned down.

But this is when it really pays to know your Italian idioms, since this phrase actually means “I can't wait” or “I'm looking forward to it.”

As in, you're just so excited about this future event that you can't even ‘see' or imagine the time coming.

Isn't that a bit more romantic than the impatient English ‘I can't wait'?

And it's definitely one phrase you'll hear from a romantic Italian lover. The guy or girl you met on your last trip to Italy, now separated from you by thousands of miles of ocean, may text you something mushy like:

non vedo l'ora di rivederti amore mio

I can't wait to see you again my love

I mean, they don't call it the language of love for nothing…

But obviously, the phrase is used all the time in all sorts of situations; some of them markedly less romantic.

Some other useful phrases might be:

non vedo l'ora di finire

I can't wait to finish

non vedo l'ora di conoscerlo

I'm looking forward to meeting him

As you can see, you can simply add on verbs in the infinitive, just like in English. Not too difficult!


‘Time' in Italian

The ora part trips some people up though, as we might expect ora to mean ‘hour' and tempo to mean ‘time.' In this context though, ora means ‘time'

In Italian, can be used to mean ora both ‘hour and ‘time', and tempo means both ‘time' AND 'weather'.

Obviously, that never gets confusing at all…

Just know that we very often use ora when we're talking about time in general, and not just the hour on the clock.

Some examples:

che ora è?

what time is it?

è ora di andare

It's time to go

ora di cena

Dinner time

a quest'ora

At/by this time

che tempo fa?

What's the weather like?

And now you know how to tell people how incredibly excited you are about your next visit to Italy:

Non vedo l'ora di tornare in Italia!

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