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Italian word of the day: 'Mollare'

The Local Italy
The Local Italy - [email protected]
Italian word of the day: 'Mollare'
Photo: Annie Spratt/Unsplash/Nicolas Raymond

Don't ditch this verb before you've mastered its many uses.

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If you spend much time in Italy, you'll get used to hearing the verb mollare used in a variety of contexts - but what does it mean?

For starters, it can be used as a translation for 'to release' or 'to let go', in a physical sense:

Mi molli la mano, per favore?
Would you please let go of my hand?

Mollalo subito, Rocco!
Drop that right now, Rocco!

Or to 'ditch' something (or someone):

Non possono risalire a noi per la rapina, abbiamo mollato l'auto il giorno stesso.
They can't trace the heist back to us, we ditched the car the same day.

Scusa se ti abbiamo mollato alla festa di Laura.
Sorry we ditched you at Laura's party.

It's also frequently used to refer to dumping a person you have some kind of relationship with - usually with reference to romantic relationships, though not always:

Hai tempo per parlare? Francesco mi ha mollata.
Do you have time to talk? Francesco dumped me.

Lo dovrebbe aver mollato ormai.
She should have dumped him by now.

La mia terapista mi ha mollato quando si è trasferita in Spagna.
My therapist dropped me when she moved to Spain.

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It can mean to 'drop out' or 'quit':

Ha mollato l'università dopo tre settimane.
He dropped out of university after three weeks.

Non pensare nemmeno di mollare la scuola.
Don't even think of dropping out of school.

Or to talk about 'dropping everything':

Molla tutto quando la chiami.
She drops everything when you call.

Ragazzi, mollate tutto e stammi e sentire.
Guys, stop what you're doing and listen up.

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Finally, mollare can mean to give in, or back down (in this context, you'll usually hear it used as an encouragement to non mollare, or not give up).

Non mollo, è esattamente quello che cercano.
I'm not backing down, that's exactly what they're after.

Ora più che mai, non bisogna mollare!
Now more than ever, you mustn't give up!

brigitte nielsen GIF by Isola dei Famosi

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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].
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Patricia Sullivan 2023/09/28 13:16
Can 'stammi e sentire' be used in the plural?, or is it always in singular. I was thinking that after 'mollate tutto' it might be 'statemi e sentire' Patricia

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