What’s the meaning of “Coi piedi per terra”?

In this short lesson, we will learn the meaning of the Italian idiom Coi piedi per terra along with its pronunciation. If you are a daytime dreamer, this expression is for you!

Let’s get started! Iniziamo!

Coi piedi per terra

Meaning of the idiom

Coi piedi per terra can be literally translated as “with the feet on the ground”. Its meaning is the same as the English expressions to keep one’s feet on the ground and to be realistic, so it’s used to describe someone who is not prone to flights of fancy or unrealistic expectations.

Linguistically speaking, it can be broken down into…

  • coi, or con i, with the
  • piedi, feet
  • per terra, on the ground

Per terra literally means “for ground”, but it’s used to translate on the ground.

This idiom is very commonly found with the verbs rimanere and stare, which both mean “to stay, to remain”. Coi piedi is a more informal variation of con i piedi.

man playing golf

For example, you could say…

Dobbiamo essere realistici e stare con i piedi per terra.
We have to be realistic and keep our feet on the ground.

Mio fratello ha sempre avuto la testa tra le nuvole, ma adesso che è diventato padre sta imparando a rimanere coi piedi per terra.
My brother has always had his head in the clouds, but now that he’s become a father he’s learning to keep his feet on the ground.

Pronunciation of Coi piedi per terra in Italian

Now let’s hear how this idiom is pronounced.

Coi piedi per terra.
With one’s feet on the ground.
Literally: With the feet on the ground.

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

Where does Coi piedi per terra come from?

When you daydream (sognare a occhi aperti), it’s like your flying out of reality, so your feet are no longer on the ground.

children daydreaming

When you are grounded in reality, you are aware of the world around you. The idea of this idiom is that you are rooted in reality and you don’t take off to chase your fantasies in the clouds.

And that’s the end of our lesson on the Italian idiom Coi piedi per terra!

What next?

See all the other Italian idioms!

Now that you’ve seen what the meaning of the idiom Coi piedi per terra 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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