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Italian word of the day: ‘Abbastanza’

Italian word of the day: 'Abbastanza'
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Do you understand this word well enough?
Abbastanza is a word you'll hear a lot in Italian conversation.
 
In its simplest form, it means ‘enough’ or ‘sufficiently’

– Ho mangiato abbastanza

– I've had enough to eat

It can also be used as a quantifer, meaning quite, rather, fairly or somewhat, and making it a synonym of piuttosto or alquanto.

– È abbastanza antipatico.

– He's pretty annoying.

– Sto abbastanza bene.

– I’m quite well.

Just be careful not to get abbastanza mixed up with a similar word: basta, which also means ‘enough’ but is used differently – usually by frustrated parents.

– Basta, non ce la faccio più

– Enough, I can’t stand it anymore

But the most common ways you’ll hear Italians using abbastanza don’t translate into English as easily.

It’s used when you want to be ambiguous or aren’t feeling very enthusiastic.

– La torta è buona?

– Si, abbastanza

– Is the cake good?

– Yes, not bad

– come va a scuola?

– abbastanza bene

– how's school?

– not bad

Abbastanza can also be a form of understatement

– Questa casa è abbastanza grande

– This house is big enough (meaning that the house is absolutely enormous.)

– Ci vuole pazienza per imparare l’italiano? 

– Si, abbastanza.

– Do we need to be patient to learn Italian?

– Yes, enough.

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