How to Use ‘Proprio’ in Italian

1. Really, just

As ad adverb, proprio, meaning really.
  • Quello studente è proprio bravo!
  • Mi piace proprio il nuovo film di Sorrentino
Sometimes proprio means ‘just’, especially when combined with the adverbs of time (adesso, ora ) or a numeral adjective
  • Ho finito di cenare proprio adesso  – (just now)
  • Maria mi ha chiamato proprio due minuti fa – (just a few minutes ago)

2. Own

As a possessive adjective proprio changes its ending and so becomes proprio, propria, proprie, propri, depending on the noun that it is referring to. When proprio used in the third person is considered just like suo/sua/suoi/sue and loro.
  • Marco lava la propria macchina – his car
  • Lucia Accompagna a scuola i propri figli – his kids
Most importantly, its usage is required when the sentence is impersonal, meaning that the subject of the sentence is not specified.
  • Ognuno deve pensare alla propria saluto e al proprio benessere
  • Bisogna pensare ai propri interessi

3. Proprio as an intensifier

When proprio comes together with other possessive adjectives has an intensifying function and describe one’s ownership of something
  • Vivo nella mia propria casa – my own house
  • E’ il suo proprio lavoro – his own job

4. At all

  • Non mi piace proprio! – I don’t like it at all
  • Oggi non mi sento proprio bene! – I don’t feel well at all
  • Non voglio proprio vederlo! – I don’t reale want to see him

Common phrases with proprio

  • Lavorare in proprio – to be self-employed
  • Mettersi in proprio – to start one’s own business
  • Non proprio – not really
  • Proprio così! – exactly

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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