Mettersi is an Italian verb that non-native speakers might find not so easy to use. However, it is widely used in conversational Italian and you might want to know how to use it.

Before learning the meaning of this peculiar verb, let’s have a look at conjugation of the verb in presene and passato prossimo.  

Presente of mettersi

  • mi metto
  • ti metti
  • si mette
  • ci mettiamo
  • vi mettete
  • si mettono

 

Passato prossimo of mettersi

  • mi sono messo/a
  • ti sei messo/a
  • si è messo/a
  • ci siamo messi/e
  • vi siete messi/e
  • si sono messi/e

 

Now let’s work out the different meanings of the verb mettersi. 

 

METTERSI = PUTTING ON

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
 

METTERSI = TURNING OUT WELL (or BADLY)

  • 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 = STARTING

Mettersi means to start doing something, but just when it 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 = STAYING

 Mettersi means also to stay and it is mainly used in the Italian slang. 

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

METTERSI = IDIOMATIC EXPRESSIONS

Also, the verb mettersi appears in man Italian idiomatic expressions. There are the most popular ones:

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

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