How to accept or turn down a proposal in Italian

How exactly do you accept or turn down a proposal in Italian? What’s more appropriate to say depending on the relationship between you and the other person? What do you have to say to politely decline an invitation to dinner?

In this lesson, we will take a look at the different ways you can accept or turn down a proposal during your visit to Italy so you may never be uncertain again. Read on to learn them all!

Let’s start! Iniziamo!

how do you accept or turn down a proposal in italian - let's start - iniziamo - athlete woman running

How do you accept or turn down a proposal in Italian?

Italian people are very friendly and social, and invitations to parties and other events are all’ordine del giorno, on the agenda (“on the order of the day”).

You can’t really plan a journey through Italy without knowing how to accept or turn down a proposal in Italian when you are offered one!

Making a proposal in Italian

Oftentimes, any invitation to do something will begin with the expression ti va di…? if you are alone, or vi va di…? if you are moving as a group (this is because Italian has different you‘s in the singular and in the plural number: tu and voi).

For example, people might ask you…

Ti va di uscire?
Do you feel like going out?

Ti va di mangiare un gelato stasera?
Do you feel like eating ice cream tonight?

Vi va di andare al cinema?
Do you all feel like going to the cinema?

people watching a movie at the cinema

If you are in a polite setting, you need to use the formal pronoun Lei and conjugate any element of the sentence accordingly: Le va di…?.

Signor Rossi, le va di venire alla cena aziendale?
Mr. Rossi, would you like to come to the company dinner?

Other times, a suggestion can start with the words che ne dici di…?, translating the English expression how about…? and literally translating to “what do you say about…?”.

For groups, the verb must be conjugated in the plural: che ne dite di…?. The polite version of it, che ne dice di…? sounds a bit informal.

Che ne dici di mangiare sushi per pranzo?
How about eating sushi at lunch?

Ragazzi, che ne dite di andare in piscina nel weekend?
Guys, how about going to the pool on the weekend?

Aiuta Lingookies con un 👍!

It’s also very common for proposals to start with the imperative mood that is equivalent to the English expression let’s + verb. In this case, you just conjugate the verb in the first-person plural imperative mood (noi, we) regardless of the number and kind of setting.

Forza, giochiamo un po’ a calcio in cortile!
Come on, let’s play some soccer in the backyard!

Facciamo una passeggiata?
Shall we go for a walk?

two students walking in front of a tree

Accepting a proposal in Italian

If you are willing to accept an invitation, you can use several common answers depending on your degree of enthusiasm.

Sì, certo.
Yes, of course.
(A bit formal)

Sì, volentieri.
Yes, gladly so.
(A bit formal)

Sì, sarà un piacere.
Yes, gladly so.

Va bene.
It’s ok.

Certo che sì!
Of course I do!

Assolutamente sì!

Ma sì, dai!
Well yes!
(Very informal)

man signing "ok" with his hand

Declining a proposal in Italian

If you are unwilling to do something, you still have a wide array of answers to choose from so you can avoid sounding impolite.

Mi dispiace molto, ma ho un altro impegno.
I’m very sorry, but I have another commitment.
(A bit formal)

Vorrei, ma non posso accettare perché…
I would like to, but I can’t accept because…

Non posso, sono impegnato.
I can’t, I’m busy.

No, non mi va.
No, I don’t feel like it.

Nemmeno per idea!
Not even a chance!

angry businessman

Accepting or declining any invitation in Italian will never give you anxiety again! 🙂

And that’s it, now you know how to accept and turn down a proposal in Italian!

What next?

Now that you’ve seen how to accept and turn down a proposal in Italian, you might want to keep learning Italian online with these free Italian resources:

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