How to accept or turn down a proposal in Italian

How exactly do you accept or turn down a proposal in Italian? What is 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 that you may never be unsure again. Read on to learn them all!

Let’s get started! Iniziamo!

woman stretching at the desk

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

Italians 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 trip to Italy without knowing how to accept or turn down a proposal in Italian if you are offered one!

Making a proposal in Italian

Often, 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 in a group (this is because Italian has different you‘s in the singular and plural: tu and voi).

For example, you might be asked…

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

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

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When you are in a polite setting, you must use the formal pronoun Lei and conjugate each 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 may begin with the words che ne dici di…?, which translates as “how about…?” and literally means “what do you think about…?”.

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

Che ne dici di mangiare sushi per pranzo?
How about having sushi for lunch?

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

It’s also very common for suggestions to begin with the imperative mood, which is equivalent to the English expression let’s + verb. In this case, you simply conjugate the verb in the first person plural imperative mood (noi, “we”), regardless of the number and type 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

When you are ready to accept an invitation, you can use several common responses, depending on your level of enthusiasm.

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

Sì, volentieri.
Yes, with pleasure.
(A bit formal)

Sì, sarà un piacere.
Yes, it will be a pleasure.
(Formal)

Va bene.
It’s ok.
(Neutral)

Certo che sì!
Of course I do!
(Neutral)

Assolutamente sì!
Absolutely!
(Informal)

Ma sì, dai!
Well yes!
(Very informal)

man signing "ok" with his hand

Declining a proposal in Italian

If you do not want to do something, you still have a wide range of responses to choose from to avoid sounding rude.

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…
(Neutral)

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

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

Nemmeno per idea!
Not even a chance!
(Impolite)

angry businessman

Accepting or declining an invitation in Italian will never cause you anxiety again! 🙂

And that’s the end of our lesson on 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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