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Italian word of the day: 'Ogni'

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Italian word of the day: 'Ogni'
Photo: DepositPhotos
15:47 CEST+02:00
You'll find this word everywhere. But do you get it right every time?

It sometimes seems like just one Italian word can be used in place of a handful of words in English. Today's is one example.

Ogni (pronounced on-yee) is a word that's versatile and very frequently used.

While we English speakers might use "each”, “every”, “any” and “all” to mean something slightly different, ogni means, well, all (or each?) of those things. Or any of them.

- l'autobus passa ogni 20 minuti

- the bus comes past every 20 minutes

- È arrivato ogni alunno della scuola.

- Every pupil in the school was there.

- Ogni libro è splendidamente illustrato.

- Each book is beautifully illustrated.

- Ogni uomo e’ mortale

- All men are mortal

Phrases including the word ogni are used frequently to mean things like everyone, everywhere, and every time.

- in ogni luogo

- everywhere

- ogni cosa

- everything

- da ogni parte

- from everywhere

- ad ogni modo

- anyway, anyhow

- ogni volta che

- whenever, every time that...

And the word forms part of lots of other common phrases.

- ogni tanto / una volta ogni tanto

- every so often

- in ogni caso

- In any case, anyhow

Once you know this, you'll probably be able to figure out what an Italian speaker means by ogni from the context. Unless they're using it in idioms or sayings:

- Ogni morte di papa

- “Every death of a pope,” which is used to talk about rare events, much like the English “once in a blue moon.”

- A ogni uccello il suo nido è bello.

"To every bird, his own nest is beautiful" – the closest translation in English is "There's no place like home".

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

 

 
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