We learn this little word quite early on in our Italian language-learning journey. But often, we later find that it's even more useful than we first thought.
Più has various applications, including as an adverb, adjective, and noun. Let's have a look at how they work.
The most important (and obvious) meaning of più is as an adjective meaning “more”.
– Ha fatto più punti di me.
– He scored more points than me.
More often it's paired with an adjective and becomes as a modifying adverb, usually creating phrases that, when literally translated, would not be grammatically correct in English: (“more fast”, “more happy”, “more cold”, etc.)
– È più ricco di quanto pensassi
– He’s richer than I thought (which literally translates to the grammatically questionable: “he's more rich than what I thought”.)
– Si è svolto tutto più rapidamente del previsto.
– Everything happened faster than expected.
It also doubles up as a superlative: più means “most” when it's used like this:
– È il più preparato della classe
– He’s the best student in the class.
And in certain contexts, it can also mean “many”:
– It’s a movie that I have seen many times.
As a noun, it means the “majority” or “bulk” of something.
– I più hanno votato contro
– The majority voted against.
And di più/in più also means “more” or “longer”
– Non verrà piùIt's often found in phrases that mean “no more/not any more”
– He won’t come any more.
When used in mathematics, it means “plus”:
– Tre più tre fa sei.
– Three plus three equals six.
And it can also mean “plus” or “in addition to” in other scenarios:
– Il costo è di duecento euro più IVA.
– The price is two hundred euros plus VAT.
And when talking about temperature, it means “above”, as in above zero.
– La temperatura massima è stata di più cinque.
– The high temperature was five degrees above zero.
And don't forget that the accent is important when speaking as well as writing.
There are lots of other phrases that include the word piu, such as per lo più
(usually), and più o meno (more or less.)
These are the most common uses of piu, although we're sure there are plenty more!