What does “ti va” mean in Italian?

In Italian, ‘ti va‘ is a colloquial expression that can be translated into English as ‘do you want to do something or want something?’ Hence, it’s used to ask someone if they are interested in doing something or if they would like to participate in some activity.

The question “ti va un caffè?” can be translated into different forms in English.

For example:

  • Do you want a coffee?
  • Would you like a coffee?
  • Are you up for a coffee?
  • How about a coffee?
  • Shall we have a coffee?
  • Do you fancy a coffee?

This is an interesting use of the verb “andare,” which is used in the impersonal form (similar to the verb piacere).

We can also say “ti vanno una pizza e un caffè?” which means, “Would you like a coffee and a pizza?”

In fact, these forms, entail the use of the verb “andare” in the 3rd person singular and plural (‘va’/’vanno’) and of the indirect object pronouns (‘mi’/’ti’/’gli’/’le’/’ci’/’vi’/’loro’). We’ll use the 3rd person singular ‘va’ for a singular entity and the 3rd person plural for plural entities.

Ti va‘ is typically used when you’re addressing only one person; however, you can change the indirect pronouns depending on the context.

For example:

  • Ti va/vanno? – Do you want?
  • Gli va/vanno? – Does he want?
  • Le va/vanno? – Does she want? or Do you want [in the formal setting]?
  • Vi va/vanno? – Do you (all) want?Gli va/vanno? – Do they want?

The meaning of mi va 

What does ‘mi va’ mean in Italian?

Another similar expression to ‘ti va’ is ‘mi va’ or ‘non mi va’, which is used to express whether one wants or does not want something or to do something.

Mi va‘ is also used in response to a question asked with the pattern ‘ti va…?’

The sentence ‘mi va‘ can be translated in different ways in English, such as:

  • I feel like having a coffee.
  • A coffee sounds good to me.
  • I’m in the mood for a coffee.

Ti va plus infinitive

When asking someone if they would like to do something, use the pattern ‘ti va + di + infinitive verb.‘ 

For example:

  • Ti va di andare al ristorante cinese stasera? – Do you want to go to the Chinese restaurant tonight?
  • Ti va di andare a ballare? – Shall we go dancing? 

When asking someone if they would like a specific thing, you would use the pattern ‘ti va + noun.’ 

For example:

  • Ti va un gelato? – Do you want an ice cream?

About the Author

Serena Capilli

I’m the creative force behind both this blog and my collection of short stories in simple Italian for language learners, available on Amazon.

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Ciao, I'm Serena!

I’m the creative force behind both this blog and my collection of short stories in simple Italian for language learners, available on Amazon.

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