Italian word of the day: 'Addirittura'

The Local Italy
The Local Italy - [email protected] • 6 Dec, 2018 Updated Thu 6 Dec 2018 18:19 CEST
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Never heard this one before? You don't say!


A reader wrote to us asking what today's word meant, and the simplest answer we can give is that addirittura adds emphasis.

It does so in a few different ways. Say you're telling someone something and you really want to hammer home just how extraordinary it is: slip in addirittura the same way we'd say 'even'.

Si è messo addirittura due maglioni!
He even put on two sweaters!

Non solo ha vinto la gara, ha addirittura battuto il record del mondo.
Not only did she win the race, she even beat the world record.

Or, if you just want to stress your point, addirittura serves the same way 'downright' or 'frankly' does in English.

È una cifra addirittura ridicola.
It's a frankly ridiculous figure.

I bus sono spesso vecchi e talvolta addirittura pericolosi.
The buses are often old and sometimes downright dangerous.

There's a different way you might have heard the word used in conversation: as an expression of surprise. If you tell a friend something and they reply "Addiriturra!", it probably means they can't quite believe what you're saying.

– Sono arrivata prima.
– Addirittura!

– I got here first. 
– Is that so!

– Pretendono due mila euro di risarcimento.
– Addirittura!

– They want two thousand euros in compensation.
– Really!

Warning: depending on what tale you've just told, addiriturra may contain sarcasm.


Do you have a favourite Italian word, phrase or expression you'd like us to feature? If so, please email our editor Jessica Phelan with your suggestion.



The Local Italy 2018/12/06 18:19

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