Mettersi is an Italian verb that a non-native speaker might find difficult to use. However, it is widely used in spoken Italian and you might want to know how to use it.

First things first, the verb mettersi is a reflexive verb and when it appears in a compound verb, e.g. passato prossimo the helper verb is essere.

  • mi sono messo/a
  • ti sei messo/a
  • si è messo/a
  • ci siamo messi/e
  • vi siete messi/e
  • si sono messi/e
how many different meanings it has?

Mettersi has at least four different meanings which can be summed up in the below categories of examples.


TO PUT ON  a piece of clothing or accessories

  • Mi metto sciarpa e cappello per uscire oggi, fa proprio freddo – I ‘m putting on a scarf and a hat to go out today, it’s really cold
  • Ti metti una gonna o i pantaloni per la cerimonia? – Are you putting on a skirt or a pair of trausers for the cerimony?
  • Luca si mette gli occhi da sole anche in inverno – Luca is putting on shades even in the winter
  • Le cose si mettono bene per Franco, ha appena ricevuto una bella promozione a lavoro – Things are turning out well for Franco, he’s just got a promotion at work
  • Le cose si mettono male per Federica, ha perso il lavoro e ha finito i soldi – Things are turning out badly for Federica, she lost her job and finished the money



Mettersi means to start doing something, when is used with the preposition “a followed by an infinite verb.

  • Domani mi metto a dieta – Tomorrow I am starting a diet
  • Patrizia si è messa a studiare russo – Patrizia started to learn Russian
  • Matteo si mette a fare i compiti – Matteo starts to do his HW

 Mettersi means to stay mainly I the Italian slang

  • Mettersi seduto – stay sit
  • Mettersi qui – stay here
  • Mettersi in piedi – stay still

Also, mettersi is a popular verb in Italian idiomatic expressions,  such as

Mettersi in proprio: to set up one’s own business

Mettersi a letto: to go to bed

Mettersi in agitazione : to get worked up

Mettersi all’opera : to get down to

Mettersi da parte: to back away, to set oneself aside

Mettersi d’accordo su/con: to agree on/with

Mettersi in cattiva luce : to appear in a bad light

Mettersi in guardia: to take one’s guard

Mettersi insieme: to start having a love affair

Mettersi in malattia: to go on a sick leave

Mettersi l’anima in pace: to send one’s mind at rest

Mettersi nei panni di qualcuno: to put oneself in somebody else’s shoes

Mettersi nei guai: to get into troubles

Mettersi in contatto con qualcuno: to contact

Mettersi in fila: to start to queue