How to Use “Ancora” in Italian
Ancora is one of those words used in a number of different ways in Italian—and it’s very common. As always, when learning something new, it’s paramount to consider the context and the sentence in which the word is used.
In the case of ancora, I recommend memorizing a few examples for every use and then trying to re-use them by replacing the vocabulary in the examples with the vocabulary you want.
The most common meaning of ancora is “still“. It implies the idea that the action described by the verb has been carried out until now. Ancora is especially used for this meaning with the present progressive (the stare + gerund form).
- Stai ancora dormendo? – Are you still sleeping?
- Sto ancora aspettando l’auto – I’m still waiting for the bus
- Sto ancora cucinando – I’m still cooking
However, it’s common to use it with other tenses, like the present tense.
- Sono ancora qui – I’m still here
- Ancora dormi? – Are you still sleeping?
Ancora is also used with the meaning of doing something again.
- Fallo ancora – do it again
- Prova ancora – try it again
- Ripeti ancora – repeat again
In the foregoing sentences, ancora can be replaced by its synonym, di nuovo.
- Fallo di nuovo – do it again
- Prova di nuovo – try it again
- Ripeti di nuovo – repeat again
Non…ancora = not…yet
When ancora appears with non, it means not…yet. This pattern is commonly used with the passato prossimo.
- Non ho ancora mangiato oggi – I haven’t eaten yet today
- Non sono ancora stato in Italia – I haven’t been to Italy yet
- Non abbiamo ancora preparato la colazione – we haven’t yet made breakfast
The position of non..ancora is always fixed in these sentences.
When Italians mean to add a quantity of something to something else, (e.g. more coffee, more sugar, more salt, more days, more time, etc.), they use the adverb ancora (and not più).
- Vuoi ancora zucchero? – Do you want more sugar?
Ancora is used with this meaning, especially in the following types of sentences:
- ancora due giorni – two more days
- ancora un minuto – one more minute
- ancora una volta – one more time
Lastly, Italians use ancora together with the adverbs più or meno when they want to say even more (or less).
- even hotter – ancora più caldo
- even chapter – ancora più economico
- even less attractive – ancora meno attraente