Migliore and Meglio: The Difference

Migliore vs. Meglio

Migliore” and “meglio” are two words that students frequently mix up. 

The reason for this is that meglio means “better”, and migliore means both “best” and “better” and this causes a little confusion when translating from English. 

In Italian we can’t draw a division between best and better, like English. Instead we have to consider the word’s function in the sentence, when deciding whether to use migliore or meglio.

How to use ‘migliore’

Migliore means ‘best’ or ‘better than’.

“Migliore” means ‘best’ when used as an adjective in conjunction with a noun.

Examples:

  • il mio miglior amico vive a Londra – my best (adjective) friend lives in London
  • i miei migliori studenti viaggiano spesso in Italia – my best (adjective) students often travel to Italy
  • Quelle fragranze sono le migliori – those fragrances are the best (adjective)!
  • il riposo è la miglior medicina contro lo stress – resting is the best (adjective) medicine again the stress

Note that, when migliore comes before a singular noun, the last-e is dropped (it’s just a phonetic adjustment). 

Example

  • il mio miglior amico (and not migliore)

Migliore” also means ‘better than’ when it is used in comparative sentences, such as when comparing one thing to another in English.

  • Questo vino è migliore di quello – This wine is better than (adjective) the other 
  • La lezione di oggi è migliore di quella ieri – Today’s lesson is better than (adjective) yesterday’s 

How to use ‘meglio’

Meglio” means ‘better’ and is always an adverb. As the definition suggests, it follows verbs and is often used in comparative sentences as well.

  • Se non hai capito questo argomento, studiarlo meglio – If you didn’t understand this topic, study it better (adverb) 
  • Martina sa cucinare meglio di Serena – Martina can cook better than (adverb) Serena 
  • E’ meglio studiare un poco ogni giorno che studiare tanto una volta settimana – It is better (adverb) to study a little every day than to study a lot once a week
  • Conosco meglio Roma che Napoli – I know better (adverb) Rome than Naples 

Peggiore vs. Peggio 

Peggiore” and “peggio” are the antonyms of “migliore” and “meglio.” The same rules discussed before apply to them as well.

Peggiore” means ‘worst’ when used as an adjective in conjunction with a noun.

  • La peggiore vacanza – The worst (adjective) vacation

Peggiore” also means ‘worse than’ when it is used in comparative sentences, such as when comparing one thing to another in English.

  • Questo è peggiore di quello che ho bevuto ieri – this is the worse then the one I had yesterday

Peggio” means ‘worse’ and is always an adverb. As the definition suggests, it follows verbs and is often used in comparative sentences as well.

  • Capisco peggio lo spagnolo che il francese – I understand Spanish worse (adverb) than French 

In conclusion, because both “migliore” and “meglio” mean “better,” this can lead to confusion for my students who speak English as their first language. Therefore, it’s critical to consider the grammatical function of the word in sentences rather than relying solely on a direct translation.

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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