Italian Word of The Day Supported by: Fluente logo For Members

Italian word of the day: 'Problema'

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

You won't have any more problems using this word.


It's true that 'no problemo' sounds plausibly like it could be Italian. I hear English-speaking visitors say it all the time, for example to waiters in restaurants.

But il problema is that it doesn't work.

Before you accuse me of having my Italian grammar muddled up, let's have a closer look:

Problema is one of a surprisingly long list of Italian nouns that are actually masculine, and which take a masculine article (il/un), despite having a feminine-looking form (ending in a).

This can all get very confusing for English speakers who are having enough problemi (yep, the plural is masculine) already getting to grips with the concept of words having a gender at all.

- Sto avendo dei problemi con questo

- I'm having some problems with this

The thing to remember is that this rule usually applies to nouns that end in '-ema', which tend to be words derived from ancient Greek.

Other words that fit into this category include un dilemma (a dilemma), un sistema (a system), un poema (a poem), un fantasma (a ghost), and il clima (the climate).

So, how do you correctly say 'no problem' in Italian...?

- Nessun problema

- No problem


Nessun, or nessuno, is a way of saying 'none' and can also be used to mean nobody, no-one, anyone or anybody.

Because double negatives are used in Italian, we can end up with phrases like:

- Non ho nessun problema con nessuno

- I haven't got a problem with anyone (literally translated, this would sound very ungrammatical to English speakers:  'I don't have no problem with nobody')

More simply, you could also say

- Non c'e problema

- it's not a problem/that's fine.

We hope these quick lessons are helping to solve your problems with the Italian language.

Do you have an Italian word you’d like us to feature? If so, please email us with your suggestion.

Make sure you don't miss any of our Italian words and expressions of the day by downloading our new app (available on Apple and Android) and then selecting the Italian Word of the Day in your Notification options via the User button.



Join the conversation in our comments section below. Share your own views and experience and if you have a question or suggestion for our journalists then email us at [email protected].
Please keep comments civil, constructive and on topic – and make sure to read our terms of use before getting involved.

Please log in to leave a comment.

Anonymous 2021/05/03 23:59
Leggervi e' un piacere immenso!
Anonymous 2019/10/22 17:29
Non ho un problema con questa parola! Grazie mille per i tuoi post. Mi piacciano molto!

See Also