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Italian word of the day: 'Intrattenersi'

Clare Speak
Clare Speak - [email protected]
Italian word of the day: 'Intrattenersi'
Photo: Annie Spratt/Unsplash/Nicolas Raymond

Keep yourself entertained for a minute by learning how to use this Italian word.


Italians are famous for finding leisurely ways to pass the time – whether that’s a three-hour Sunday lunch or an afternoon of people-watching on the piazza. However you spend it, free time is an important topic here.

So if you’ve got a moment to spare, let’s talk about keeping ourselves entertained in Italian.


We can say:

Per far passare il tempo

To pass the time

Or alternatively, we can use the verb intrattenersi – to be entertained.

For beginners, this is a fairly easy way to up your Italian game with an impressive bit of grammar while still talking about a simple subject.

For example:

La gente vede i film per intrattenersi, questo è quanto.

People watch films to be entertained, that’s all.

This is the intransitive reflexive version of the verb intrattenere (to entertain). Don’t click away in horror just yet - that basically just means we add a different ending to the verb depending on who we’re speaking to or about, and it's a common construction that you'll see time and time again in Italian.

Intrattenermi means ‘to entertain myself.’

Intrattenerti means ‘to entertain yourself’

And so on. For example:

Devo trovare altri modi per intrattenermi.

I have to find other ways to entertain myself.

Cosa fai per intrattenerti tutto il giorno?

What do you do to keep yourself entertained all day?


As well as entertaining yourself, in Italian you can also ‘entertain’ a conversation or even a relationship.

Intrattenere una conversazione 

To hold a conversation

Intrattenere buoni rapporti con qualcuno 

To maintain a good relationship or rapport with somebody

Whatever level your Italian is at, we’re sure you’ll agree that learning a new language is a great way to keep yourself occupied.

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