5 ways to say how in Italian

1. COME

The most frequent translation of how in Italian, is come.

Come is used as an interrogative words in many common Italian questions, such 

 

Come stai? – how are you?

Come ti chiami? – what is your name?

Come ti senti? – how do you feel?

Come  va? – how are you? 

Come si dice …in Italiano? – how do you say … in Italian?

Com’è andato il fine settimana? – How did your weekend go?

Come hai passato il Natale? – How did you spend Christmas?



You may already know that, COME also means WHAT in English.

In fact, come is used with all forms of essere in order to find out what people or things are like.

  • Com’è il tempo? – What’s the weather like?
  • Com’è il centro di Milano? – What’s the city center like?
  • Com’è il nuovo capo? – What’s the new boss like?

Come is followed by the third person singular of the verb to be  “è”when the thing or person we want to find out is one, singular.

If we want to find out about people or more things are like, we use the third person plural of the verb to b “sono.” 

  • Come sono le lasagne? – How are the lasagne?
  • Come sono gli amici di Maurizio?= How are Maurizio’s friends?

In the same way, come is used with the verb andare to find out the outcome of something. In this way, the verb is often conjugated in the past tense, as we are usually asking about a past event.

  • Com’è andato l’esame? – How did your exam go? 
  • Com’è andato l’appuntamento?  – How did your appointment go?
  • Come sono andate le vacanze? – How did your vacations go? 

 

COME as an exclamation. 

When you want to compliment someone or to express satisfaction you can say:

  • How beautiful you are! – Come sei bella!
  • How lucky I am! – Come sono fortunato!

The “how” in exclamations becomes “COME” in Italian

 

2.QUANTO COSTA? (How much is it?)

 

If you want to ask how much is something in Italian you can opt for two possible questions:

  • Quanto costa?
  • Quanto viena? (slightly more colloquial)

 

3.QUANTI/E (How many?)

How to say how many in Italian? 

How many is a question word which translates into QUANTI or QUANTE

Quanti is followed by a masculine plural noun.

  • Quanti figli hai? 

Quante is followed by a feminine plural noun.

  • Quante camere ha la tua casa?

 

4.QUANTO TEMPO? (How long?)

If you want to ask someone how long has she been doing something, you should put together this structure.

Question: DA + QUANTO TEMPO + VERB IN PRESENT TENSE

Answer: VERB IN PRESENT TENSE + OBJECT + DA + PERIOD OF TIME

Question: da quanto tempo studi l’italiano? 

Answer: studio italiano da 3 anni 

 

The usual pitfall for English speakers is to use the past perfect also in Italian. 

For example, da quanto tempo hai studiato italiano? Which is WRONG!

 

5.QUANTO? QUANTA? (How much?)

How to say how much in Italian?

How much is a question word which translates into QUANTO or QUANTA

Quanto is followed by a masculine singular noun.

  • Quanto vino vuoi?

Quanta is followed by a feminine singular noun.

  • Quanta acqua vuoi?

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