Mastering Italian Vocabulary: Main Uses of ‘Pure’

What does pure mean?

The word “pure,” often used in spoken Italian, has two main meanings in Italian. The first meaning is “also” or “too.” The second meaning is more nuanced and typically accompanies an action, indicating that it can be done without hesitation or problems. In English, this usage of “pure” can be translated as “feel free to do something.”

Pure = too, also, as well

“Pure” means too, also, and as well when it’s used as a synonym of the Italian word anche.

For example:

  • Pure quello = also that
  • Pure io = me too
  • Pure Marcello = Marcello as well

This use of “pure,” as opposed to the more standard “anche,” belongs to a more colloquial register of Italian.

Pure = feel free to do something / please

This use of “pure” is common in imperative commands as it softens the tone, making the invitation sound more polite and less forceful.

For example:

  • Vieni pure = Feel free to come
  • Dimmi pure = Feel free to tell me
  • Mangia pure = Feel free to eat
  • Sali pure = Feel free to come up

In short, the word “pure” in this context is used to encourage someone to proceed with an action in a reassuring manner. For instance: When someone says “Vieni pure,” you are not just telling you to come; you are reassuring you that you are welcome to come without any reservations.

This nuanced usage of “pure” adds a layer of friendliness and politeness to the interaction, which is an important aspect of courteous communication in Italian culture.

What does pur mean?

Pur,” which is the shortened form of “pure,” is exclusively used with the gerundio form and has the same meaning as “even if” or “even though.”

(This is an advanced form belonging to an elevated register.)

For example

  • Pur volendo venire non posso = anche se volessi venire non posso (Even if I wanted to come, I can’t.)
  • Pur studiando molto, non è riuscito a superare l’esame = anche se ha studiato molto non è riuscito a superare l’esame (Even though he studied a lot, he couldn’t pass the exam.)

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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