Italians are famous for finding leisurely ways to pass the time – whether that’s a three-hour Sunday lunch or an afternoon spent 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.
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 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.
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 a relationship.
Intrattenere una conversazione
To hold a conversation
Intrattenere buoni rapporti con qualcuno
To have 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 entertained.
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.