Everyone has heard at least once the words “basta! or “abbastanza” or “mi basta.”And although they all look very similar, their uses and meanings differ significantly. Let’s take a look at it now!
Basta! means enough! stop!
It’s an invariable noun, and it’s used as an interjection or exclamation.
Sometimes we can attach an additional phrase to basta, like this:
|Basta con questo rumore!
|Enough with this noise.
|Basta parlare ad alta voce
|Enough with speaking loudly.
Don’t forget that the tone you use when saying “basta” defines the message you want to get across.
Basta (enough!) can sound very harsh if you yell it at someone, or it can sound just like “that’s all.”
Basta or basta così, is a common phrase you can use at a market or restaurant, and it means that’s all.
|Vuole altro, Signora?
|Anything else, M’am?
|No, basta così, grazie
|That’s all, thank you
Abbastanza is an adverb of quantity. As all adverbs, abbastanza is an invariable word (it always stays the same).
When abbastanza is used after a verb, it always means “enough“.
|Stanotte non ho dormito abbastanza
|I didn’t get enough sleep last night
|Hai abbastanza soldi?
|Do you have enough money?
|Ho comprato abbastanza libri per oggi
|I’ve bought enough books for today
When abbastanza is used before an adjective, so before a noun, it always means “quite” or “pretty”.
|Questa casa è abbastanza nuova
|This house is quite new
|Questo libro è abbastanza vecchio
|This book is pretty old
Mi basta / Mi bastano
(If you’re a beginner learner, you can skip this for now.)
Bastare doesn’t have a straightforward translation into English, and it means something close to “enough” or “sufficient.”
Similar to the verb piacere, bastare gets conjugated in the third person singular and plural and with the indirect object pronouns, like in the following chart.
|3rd person singular
|3rd person plural
|it’s enough for me
|it’s enough for you
|it’s enough for him/her
|it’s enough for us
|it’s enough for you
|it’s enough for them
Example sentences using the verb ‘bastare‘
|Mi bastano 6 ore di sonno
|Six hours of sleep is enough for me
|Ti basta questo formaggio per cucinare la lasagna?
|Is this cheese sufficient to make the lasagna?
|Questo mi basta
|This is enough for me
|Ti bastano 20 dollari?
|Is 20 dollars enough for you?
|Ci basta questo pane
|Is the bread enough for us?
|Gli bastano sei mesi per prepararsi all’esame?
|Is six months enough for him to prepare for the exam?