Today I thought about writing about of the most frequent doubts students of Italian have when it comes to using the word giorno, that is to say, the difference between the word giorno and the word giornata, how and why they differ and how to use.
Giorno and giornata are essentially synonyms, with slight differences in usage.
Giornata is used when referring to the approximate duration of the day from morning to evening or when speaking about the weather or characteristics of day
- Che bella giornata oggi!
Ho passato un bel giorno!
- Una giornata soleggiata
Un giorno soleggiato
- Ho passato una bella giornata
Ho passato un bel giorno.
- Ho avuto una giornata pienissima
Ho avuto un giorno pienissimo
The word giornata is often accompanied by a specification or an adjective
Giornata is also used when referring to a special celebration or commemoration, often with a social or political aim such as
- Giornata della musica.
Giorno della musica.
- Giornata delle lingue moderne nel mondo. G
iorno delle lingue moderne nel mondo.
- Giornata della donna.
Giorno della donna.
Giornata is also the amount of hours worked in a day, thus it is used to say something about the working day.
- Che giornata faticosa a lavoro!
- Questa giornata non finisce più!
And, of course, there are several idiomatic expressions including giornata
idiomatic expressions with GIORNATA
- Fare le cose in giornata, doing something by the end of the day
- È a una giornata di macchina, it’s a day by car
- Giornata lavorativa, working day
- Vivere alla giornata, to live one day to the next
Giorno is used when referring to the astronomical days, indicating the 24 h period.
Giorno is more generic and is used when referring to several days or a duration of time
- Vado in vacanza per 10 giorni.
- Ho preso 3 giorni di ferie.
and it is used in several idiomatic expressions also
idiomatic expressions with GIORNO
- Ogni giorno/settimana/mese/anno, every day/week/month/year
- Da un giorno all’altro, from one day to the next
- Tutto il giorno, all day long
- Uno di questi giorni, one of these days
Serena is a proud polyglot, teacher and language expert. After learning 8+ foreign languages and working long hours a job she was not born for, she decided she urged a significant life change. She is now combining what she loves doing with what she is good at, helping people to learn Italian online. She has been sharing her love for Italy and the Bella Lingua across the world for the last four years. Her goal is helping enthusiastic humans to transform Italian Language Learning into a habit in their lives.