Italian expression of the day: ‘Ti andrebbe’

Italian expression of the day: 'Ti andrebbe'
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How do you fancy learning a new way to ask a question in Italian?

Italians aren't generally shy about telling you what they want. But if you get bored of asking people what they 'want' or 'would like', today's expression is a great way to mix it up.

Ti andrebbe might look like it should mean 'would it go to you', combining as it does the second-person pronoun with the third-person conditional of andare, 'to go'. 

But in fact the expression means something like 'how about…', 'do you fancy…' or 'do you feel like…'

Ti andrebbe di andare al cinema?
Do you fancy going to the cinema?

Ti andrebbe un caffè?
How about a coffee?

As you can see from the examples, you can use to it propose a thing, like coffee, or an activity, like going out. In the second case, add di + the second verb in the infinitive.

Ti andrebbe di mangiare qualcosa?
Do you feel like something to eat? 

You can also use the present tense of andare, making the expression ti va…? The two versions work in exactly the same way, but ti andrebbe is a touch more polite.

You'll also need to alter the phrase according to who you're addressing: while andrebbe will stay the same, the pronoun changes if you're referring to several people directly (vi), to 'us' (ci), to 'him' or 'them' for a group of guys (gli), to 'her' or 'them' for a group of women (le), or to one other person to whom you need to be especially polite (le). 

Vi andrebbe dell'acqua naturale o gassata?
Would you lot like still or sparkling water?

Signora Ricci, le andrebbe di entrare?
Would you like to come in, Mrs Ricci?

So how about it? Try asking someone what 'would go to them' today and see where you get.

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

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