Lasciare, Partire, Uscire, Andare via – The Difference

In this article I want to shed light on the difference in the usage of four Italian verbs that my students mix up all the time!

  • lasciare – to leave (permanently)
  • partire – to leave for/from 
  • uscire – to leave, to go out, to hang out
  • andare via – to leave 

As you can see, they all kind of mean  “to leave” but they’re used in different situations.  Of course, they’re not interchangeable, and you should choose the appropriate one for each circumstance.

LASCIARE: to leave, to break-up

Lasciare means to leave something behind (1), to break up with a person (2) or to leave something or a place permanently (3). Lasciare is always followed by a noun.

  • ho lasciato la macchina in garage – I left my car in the garage (1)
  • Maria ha lasciato il suo ragazzo – Maria broke up with her boyfriend (2)
  • ho lasciato il mio lavoro – I left my job (3)
  • ha lasciato l’Italia quando era piccolo  – I left Italy when I was little (3)

PARTIRE: to leave from, to leave for

PARTIRE PER or DA has a very similar use to the English to leave from/for. It’s usually used to say you’re going on vacation or traveling for other reasons or by a form of transportation. So, remember that when using partire there should be always a form of transportation implied in the movement. 

  • domani parto per Roma – tomorrow I am leaving for Rome 
  • i miei amici sono partiti per le vacanze – my friends went on vacation    
  • il treno parte dalla stazione centrale – the train leaves from the Central Station 

Partire also means to leave when it’s a train or any other means of transport that is leaving. 

  • Il treno è partito due minuti fa – the train left two minutes ago 
  • l’autobus è partito – the bus left 

What’s the difference between “partire” and “uscire”?

You shouldn’t use the verb partireif you’re going out of a place, like your home. In this case, you should use the verb uscire. The typical mistake I hear all the time is “parto la casa” instead of “esco di casa“. Let’s focus on this now…

USCIRE: to leave, to go out, to hang out

Uscire means to leave in the sense of going out of a place (your home, your office, your gym, a shop) knowing that you’re coming back the same day or later. It’s always followed by the preposition da, with the exception of the idiomatic expression: uscire di casa (to leave your house).

  • Esco di casa alle 8 – I leave (my home) every day at 8 
  • Quando sei uscito ieri? – When did you leave yesterday?
  • Esco sempre dall‘ufficio alle 18 – I always leave my office at 6 pm

Uscire has other meanings, though.

Uscire is also frequently used with the meaning of “hanging out” or “going out,” and it’s typically used in some sentences, like the ones below.  

  • uscire con gli amici – to go out with friends 
  • uscire a bere qualcosa – to go out for drinks 

Lastly, when uscire is used with the preposition con in the combination “uscire con” it means to date someone. 

  • Esco con Marco da un po’ → I have been dating Marco for a while 

ANDARE VIA: to leave, to go away from 

Andare via  means to leave in the sense of leaving a place. In this sense, it’s similar to uscire, but it’s used differently.

  • è tardi, dobbiamo andare via – it’s late, we should leave (or go) 
  • andiamo via? Sono un po’ stanco – shouldn’t we go? I’m a little tired

What’s the difference between “andare via” and “uscire”?

Andare via can’t be followed by any noun, while uscire is always followed by “da” + the place you’re leaving

  • siamo usciti dalla palestra alle 9 – we left the gym at 9


Serena Capilli

I’m the creative force behind both this blog and my collection of short stories in simple Italian for language learners, available on Amazon.

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Ciao, I’m Serena! I’m the creative force behind both this blog and my collection of short stories in simple Italian for language learners, available on Amazon.

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