how to say please in italian

20 Different Ways to Say Please in Italian Like a Local

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Whether casually chatting with a friend or asking for an espresso at the bar, Italians always like to be polite. That’s where “le buone maniere” (good manners) come in. These are taught to kids even before they learn to speak, as they make up a very important part of Italian etiquette, and are necessary for “fare la bella figura” (make a good impression). And it all starts with one tiny but mighty Italian word – “per favore”, which is the phrase to say please in Italian.

In this article, we’ll embark on an exciting journey through the world of Italian politeness. We’ll explore the cultural significance of saying “please” in Italy and answer the intriguing question: “Do Italians say please?” Understanding the nuances of politeness in Italy will lay the foundation for our linguistic adventure, and help you learn Italian the right way.

But our exploration doesn’t stop there! By reading this article, you will gain the following insights:

  1. Discover “20 Different Ways to Say Please in Italian Like a Local,” including phrases for various informal and formal settings.
  2. Uncover the art of using conditional verbs to imply a polite request subtly.
  3. Enjoy a curated list of songs with “please” in the title, immersing yourself in the Italian language and culture.
  4. Practice with exercises to improve your pronunciation and usage of “please” in Italian.

By the end of this enriching journey, you’ll have mastered the art of politeness, “per favore,” and “grazie”. just like a true Italian connoisseur! So, let’s set forth and embrace the warmth of Italian culture through its language of courtesy and charm.



asking for an italian gelato

Do Italians Say Please A Lot?

Within Italian culture, politeness and good manners are key. So, in case you are wondering, do Italians say please?, the answer is a resounding yes! Italians, with their warm and expressive nature, value the art of politeness and use “please” regularly in their daily interactions. Whether it’s a simple request for a delicious gelato or asking for directions to the nearest piazza, “per favore” gracefully graces their speech. From the bustling streets of Rome to the picturesque canals of Venice, this magic word effortlessly opens doors and hearts, reinforcing the Italian spirit of “le buone maniere” and “fare la bella figura.” 


Italian For Please And Thank You

No matter which language you are speaking, if you are going to say please, it’s also very likely you’ll say thanks right after. Do you agree?

That’s the same in Italian, so it’s only right I equip you with the ability of saying both “per favore” and “grazie” right at the beginning of this article.

What’s please in Italian?

There’s one main way to say please in Italian, and that’s “per favore”.

What’s thanks in Italian?

In Italian, we say “grazie” when we mean thanks.

Now that you know how to write them, let’s look at how to pronounce them.

Italian WordPronunciation (read by an English Speaker) & Italian Spelling
Per favorePEHR fah-VOH-reh [per fa-vo-re]
GrazieGRAH-tsee-eh [gra-zie]

Click the audio clips below to listen to me saying both words.

Per favore audio

Grazie audio

Things To Know About Per Favore

  1. It’s always written as two words, never perfavore.
  2. The two words are per (“preposizione” or preposition) and favore (“nome” or noun).
  3. It can be used both at the start and the end of your sentence, although the latter is more common.
  4. Per favore is always correct, whether you are in a casual situation or a very formal one.
  5. It’s not the same as prego.


ordering politely in italian

20 Different Ways To Say Please In Italian

  1. Per favore
  2. Per piacere
  3. Per cortesia
  4. Per gentilezza
  5. Ti prego / vi prego
  6. La Prego
  7. Si prega di
  8. Siete pregati
  9. Si chiede gentilmente
  10. Si, grazie
  11. Gentilmente
  12. Cortesemente
  13. Cordialmente
  14. Se non le dispiace/ se non le spiace
  15. Se non disturbo
  16. Mi scusi
  17. Prego
  18. Se mi permette
  19. Si chiede gentilmente
  20. Per carita` (dramatic)

Italian ExpressionMeaningPronunciation
1Per favorePleasePEHR fah-VOH-reh
2Per piacerePleasePEHR pyah-CHEH-reh
3Per cortesiaPleasePEHR cor-TEH-zee-ah
4Per gentilezzaPlease PEHR jen-tee-LETZ-zah
5Ti pregoPlease (informal)Tee PREH-goh
6La pregoPlease (formal)Lah PREH-goh
7Si prega diPlease (formal)See PREH-gah dee
8Siete pregatiPlease (plural/formal)SYEH-teh preh-GAH-tee
9Ti chiedo gentilmentePlease (formal, gentle request)Tee kyeh-doh jen-tee-lehn-teh
10Si, grazieYes, pleaseSee, GRAH-tsyeh
11GentilmenteKindlyJen-tee-LMEN-teh
12CortesementeCorteouslyCor-teh-ZMEN-teh
13CordialmenteCordiallyCor-dee-AHL-men-teh
14Se non le dispiace/se non le spiaceIf you don’t mind (formal)Se non le dis-pya-cheh / se non le spee-ah-cheh
15Se non disturboIf I’m not disturbingSe non dis-TOOR-boh
16Mi scusiExcuse me (formal)Mee SKOO-zee
17PregoYou’re welcome / Please (informal)PREH-goh
18Se mi permetteIf you allow me (formal)Seh mee per-MEHT-teh
19Si chiede gentilmenteIt is kindly requested (formal)See kyeh-deh jen-tee-lehn-teh
20Per caritàPlease, for the love of God (dramatic)PEHR kah-REE-tah
Most common expressions to say please in Italian



How To Say Please In Italian For Each Of These 8 Situations

(1) When Asking For Something

Puoi darmi dell’acqua, per favore?

Translates to: Can you give me some water, please?

Potresti passarmi il pane, per favore?

Translates to: Can you pass me the bread, please?

Mi dai un passaggio, per favore?

Translates to: Can you give me a lift, please?

Fate i bravi, per favore.

Translates to: Be good, please.

Che ora è, per favore?

Translates to: What time is it, please?


(2) How To say Excuse Me In Italian

When you want to say Excuse me, you’ll need to use the expression “mi scusi”. Let’s look at different examples.

Signora, mi scusi. (Excuse me, Madam)

You would say that on the bus, at the supermarket, or whenever you are trying to go through and someone is in the way.

Mi scusi, è già passato l’autobus? (excuse me, did the bus already come?)

The example shows you that you can also use “mi scusi” before asking for information.

NB: Mi scusi is also used when asking for an apology. For example, signora mi scusi. Let’s say you’ve hit a lady with your bag while walking, then you could say that to say sorry.

italian please face

(3) When Trying to Persuade Someone

Per favore is also a great one to use when you want to get someone to do something for you. Sometimes, all you have to do is ask nicely, while making the right expression with your eyes, and using the right tone of voice.

This depends on who is asking, and to whom they are asking it to. The way a kid would ask per favore to persuade a parent is different to the way a wife would persuade her husband with the same two words.

Here are the examples:

  1. Papá, per favore mi compri un gelato? (please Dad, can you buy me an ice cream?)

If you were a kid, you would say that with a low voice and make that cute mouth expression that dads can’t resist.

  1. Amore, potresti portare fuore l’immondizia, per favore? Dai, per favore. (Love, could you please take the rubbish out, please?)
  2. La prego, mi lascerebbe passare per prima, perché ho la bimba in macchina, per favore? (Sir, could you let me go first, as I have my kid in the car, please?)

italian please in formal announcements

(4) Formal Announcements

Per favore, chiediamo gentilmente di evacuare la stanza.

Translates to: We kindly ask you to evacuate the room.

Spegnete i telefoni, per favore.

Translates to: Switch off your phones, please.

Usually, however, a more formal way to ask please is used in formal announcements. See the examples below:

  1. Siete gentilmente pregati di evacuare la stanza. (You are kindly requested to evacuate the room.)
  2. Si chiede gentilmente di far silenzio. (We kindly request silence.)
  3. Siete pregati di recarvi nella zona d’aspetto. (You are requested to go to the waiting room.)

(5) To Reply Politely

Si, prego. This expression can be a little confusing, as the word “prego” means I pray, however, in other instances it means welcome.

Example 1: Posso entrare? 

                   Si, prego. 

Translates to: Can I come in? Yes, please.

In this case, prego means please.

Example 2: Grazie del pane. 

                   Prego.

Translates to: Thanks for the bread. You’re welcome.

In this case, prego means welcome.

(6) When Inviting Someone To Do Something

Puoi chiamare la mamma, per favore? (can you please call mum?)

Puoi prendere tu i bambini oggi, per favore? (can you please pick up the kids today?)

Potresti occuparti di questo rapporto, per favore? (could you please take care of this report?)

(7) When Giving Orders And Indications

Lasciate l’ascensore, per favore. (please, exit the elevators)

Spegni la luce, per favore. (please, switch off the light)

Cammina dritto, per favore. (please, walk straight)

You don’t usually need to say please when you are giving an order, as that seems like one defeats the purpose of the other. However, in real life, unless you are the police ordering an arrest, it’s okay to say please when asking someone to do something with imperative verbs.

using please in italian correspondence

(8) In Written Communication

Here’s an example of a formal work email written in Italian, which includes the expression ‘la prego’.

Gentile sig.re Barbuto,

La ringrazio della sua mail. Purtroppo, siamo impegnati con un altro progetto, e chiediamo un pò più tempo per definire i termini di questa collaborazione.

La prego quindi di darci ancora qualche settimana.

La ringrazio in anticipo per la sua pazienza, e le auguro una buona giornata.

Cordiali Saluti,

Alessia S.


How To Use The Conditional Form To Imply A Please

To ask please in Italian, you don’t necessarily need to use the phrase “per favore” or any other alternative expressions we’ve explored earlier. You could simply ask it in the conditional form. That way, you are being extra polite and also more formal, which is a great way to ask for something.

Here are five examples of Italian sentences that include the conditional form and imply a please:

  1. Potresti passarmi il sale? (Could you pass me the salt, please?)
  2. Mi piacerebbe avere un cappuccino. (I would like to have a cappuccino, please.)
  3. Vorrei gentilmente chiederti un favore. (I would kindly like to ask you a favor.)
  4. Ti pregherei di aiutarmi con questa valigia. (I would beg you to help me with this suitcase.)
  5. Se non ti disturba, potresti chiudere la finestra? (If you don’t mind, could you close the window?)

In these sentences, the conditional form is used to make polite requests, showing respect and courtesy in the language. I have bolded the main conditional verb for you to take note of when reading the examples.


Want To Listen To Others Say Please In Italian?

There’s nothing better than listening to someone else speak Italian to learn it yourself. So how about you listen to Italian songs that say please in the lyrics? If that sounds good, here are 5 songs you should listen to.

  1. “Per favore” by Nyv
  2. “Ti prego, resta” by Alessandra Amoroso
  3. “Per cortesia” by Annalisa
  4. “Per piacere” by Lucio Dalla
  5. “Per favore no” by Elisa


Practice Saying Please In Italian With These Exercises

  1. Listen to the songs above and spot every “per favore”, or an alternative way to say it. 
  2. Then google the lyrics, and take note of the written use of this expression.
  3. Each time you say please when speaking in English, or any other language, try to say it in Italian. If you are a little more advanced, try to say the entire sentence in Italian.


Final Thoughts

And there you have it, amici! We’ve explored the charming world of “per favore” and uncovered the many delightful ways Italians infuse courtesy into daily life. This tiny but powerful phrase opens doors and hearts, bringing warmth to every interaction. 

As you continue your journey into the Italian language, embrace opportunities to sprinkle “per favore” into your conversations. Let it gracefully grant simple requests, softly persuade, or subtly imply through clever conditionals. 

Wherever your travels take you, carry this spirit of politeness with you like a good luck charm. Stay alert for chances to savor the sounds of “per favore” and “grazie” as they dance playfully across Italian streets and piazzas. And remember – a little courtesy goes a long way in making “la bella figura.”

If you enjoyed learning about per favore, you might want to check out this language guide on how are you in Italian.


Frequently Asked Questions about How to Say Please in Italian

How do you politely ask for something in Italian?

To politely ask for something in Italian, you can say “Per favore, puoi passarmi il sale?” (Please, can you pass me the salt?). Using “per favore” is the most common polite way.

What is the difference between per favore and prego?

“Per favore” means please, while “prego” means you’re welcome. “Per favore” is used to politely request something, while “prego” is used to respond to thank you. 

What is the most common way to say please in Italian?

The most common way to say please in Italian is “per favore.”

How do you ask to order in Italian?

To ask to order in a restaurant in Italian you can say “Potrei ordinare?” or the polite version “Potrei ordinare, per favore?”

How do you politely ask for something in Italian?

To politely ask for something in Italian, say “Per favore, puoi…” and state your request using conditional verbs like “potresti” or “vorrei.” For example, “Per favore, potresti passarmi il sale?” 

How do you ask for something at a restaurant in Italian?

At a restaurant, you can politely ask for something by saying “Potrei avere…, per favore?” For example, “Potrei avere il conto, per favore?” to request the bill.

Are there any other phrases similar to “si prega”?

Yes, some phrases similar to “si prega” include “si chiede” and “si sollicita“.

What is the meaning of “per piacere”?

Per piacere is another Italian phrase that translates to “please” in English. It is used in a similar context as per favore.

When should I use “per piacere” instead of “per favore”?

Both phrases, per piacere and per favore, are interchangeable and can be used in similar situations. It is mostly a matter of personal preference.

Alessia
Alessia Spampinato