Italians have a reputation for being emotional and sentimental, and this is entirely right. No need to say, we like to express positive and (negative) emotions with friends and family, and we do it often.
Have you ever wondered what the most common ways to say in “well done” or” was happy about..” or “cool‘” are?
Keep reading this article to find it out!
Rimanere + Adjective
By using the present perfect of rimanere followed by an adjective you will mean you were happy/excited/ satisfied with something.
|Sono rimasto soddisfatto della lezione di ieri
|I was satisfied with yesterday’s lesson
|Lucia è rimasta molto contenta del regalo che hai ricevuto
|Lucia was very happy with the gift you received
|L’insegnante rimane contento del mio livello di italiano durante ogni lezione
|The teacher remains happy with my Italian level during every lesson
Don’t forget, most adjectives expressing feelings are followed by the preposition di and the verb infinitive.
|Essere felice di + infinito
|To be happy to + infinitive
|Rimanere felice di + infinito
|To remain happy about + infinitive
|Essere contento di + infinito
|To be content with + infinitive
|Rimanere contento di + infinito
|To remain content with + infinitive
|Essere soddisfatto di + infinito
|To be satisfied with + infinitive
|Rimanere soddisfatto di + infinito
|To remain satisfied with + infinitive
|Essere scioccato di + infinito
|To be shocked by + infinitive
|Rimanere scioccato di + infinito
|To remain shocked by + infinitive
|Essere sorpreso di + infinito
|To be surprised by + infinitive
|Rimanere sorpreso di + infinito
|To remain surprised by + infinitive
|Avere paura di + infinito
|To be afraid of + infinitive
Exclamations are the most everyday ways to express positive emotions.
Many joyous Italian exclamations result from the combination of che with adjectives.
|Che bel film!
|What an excellent movie!
|Che bella donna!
|What a beautiful woman!
|Che giornata fantastica!
|What a fantastic day!
There are also many other exclamations used in day to day Italian that take the shape of simple adjectives.
|Cool! (very informal)
Another way to express satisfaction or happiness in Italian is using the expression fare piacere a qualcuno, which means ‘to make someone happy or to please someone).
|Mi fa molto piacere che tu sia arrivato
|I’m very pleased that you have arrived
|Mi fa piacere che tu abbia superato l’esame
|I’m pleased that you have passed the exam
Fare piacere is an impersonal expression; so it has to be conjugated in the same way you would conjugate the verb piacere:
‘Mi fa piacere’ with the present tense
|Mi fa piacere
|It pleases me/I’m pleased /it makes me happy
|Ti fa piacere
|It pleases you/You’re pleased /it makes you happy
|Gli/Le fa piacere
|It pleases him/her – it pleased him/her /it makes him/her happy
|Ci fa piacere
|It pleases us/We’re pleased / /it makes us happy
|Vi fa piacere
|It pleases you (plural)/You’re pleased / /it makes you all happy
|Gli fa piacere
|It pleases them/They’re pleased /it makes theme happy
‘Mi fa piacere’ with the passato prossimo
|Mi ha fatto piacere
|It pleased me / it make me happy
|Ti ha fatto piacere
|It pleased you / it make you happy
|Gli/Le ha fatto piacere
|It pleased him/her – it make him/her happy
|Ci ha fatto piacere
|It pleased us / it make us happy
|Vi ha fatto piacere
|It pleased you (plural) / it make you all happy
|Gli ha fatto piacere
|It pleased them / it make them happy
Showing Approval in Italian
Expressing positive emotions can take the shape of showing approval. The most common ways to show support or approval in Italian are:
- Va bene! – All right!
- D’accordo! – Agreed!
- Giusto! – Correct!
- Certo! – Of course!
- Esatto! – Precisely!
Showing Relief in Italian
Last but not least, let’s see how to express relief in Italian:
- Meno male! – Thank goodness!
- Per fortuna! – Luckily!
- Grazie a Dio! – Thank God!
Meno male is Italy’s most common verbal sigh of relief. This phrase is used when you want to explain that you have prevented a possible situation, like in the following examples:
- Meno male che ho preso l’autobus delle 11, sennò avrei perso l’aereo.
- Meno male che Lucia è arrivata in orario per l’appuntamento con il capo.
Both Grazie a Dio and per fortuna are used with the same meaning. However, meno male is the expression you are most likely to hear in your Italian conversations.