What’s the meaning of “Chi troppo vuole nulla stringe”?

In this short lesson, we will learn the meaning of the Italian idiom Chi troppo vuole nulla stringe along with its pronunciation. If you like hoarding things, this proverb is for you!

Let’s get started! Iniziamo!


Chi troppo vuole nulla stringe

Meaning of the proverb

Chi troppo vuole nulla stringe can be literally translated as “he who wants too much grasps nothing”. Its meaning is equivalent to the English idiom grasp all, lose all, so it’s used to mean that if you want too many things, you may end up having none.

Linguistically speaking, this idiom can be broken down into…

  • chi (who)
  • troppo (too much)
  • vuole (“it wants”, from volere, to want)
  • nulla (nothing)
  • stringe (“it graps”, from stringere, to grasp/squeeze)
two kids playing a card game

For example, you could say…

Mattia ha voluto tentare la fortuna per l’ennesima volta e ha perso tutto il jackpot. Chi troppo vuole nulla stringe!
Mattia tried his luck for the nth time and lost the entire jackpot. Grasp all, lose all!


Pronunciation of Chi troppo vuole nulla stringe in Italian

Now let’s hear how this idiom is pronounced.

Chi troppo vuole nulla stringe.
Grasp all, lose all.
Literally: He who wants too much grasps nothing.

If you need help with Italian pronunciation, check out the lesson on the Italian alphabet and pronunciation.


Where does Chi troppo vuole nulla stringe come from?

It is thought that this proverb comes from Aesop’s fable The Goose that Laid the Golden Eggs (it’s actually a hen in Italian, La gallina dalle uova d’oro!). In this tale, a farmer has a goose that lays one golden egg a day. Wanting to be rich quick, the farmer ends up killing the goose to open it up and get ahold of all the golden eggs in its belly. Problem is, there are none!

white goose

And that’s the end of our lesson on the Italian idiom Chi troppo vuole nulla stringe!


What next?

See all the other Italian idioms!

Now that you’ve seen what the meaning of the proverb Chi troppo vuole nulla stringe is in Italian, you might want to keep learning Italian online with these free Italian resources:

Title: Italian All-in-One For Dummies
Language: English / Italian
Publisher: For Dummies
Pages: 672

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Italian All-in-One For Dummies appeals to those readers looking for a comprehensive, all-encompassing guide to mastering the Italian language. It contains content from all For Dummies Italian language instruction titles, including Italian For Dummies, Intermediate Italian For Dummies, Italian Verbs For Dummies, Italian Phrases For Dummies, Italian Grammar For Dummies, and Italian For Dummies Audio Set.

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