You wish good night in Italian to family members just before going to bed, or just before saying goodbye to a friend late at night.
You can’t say good night at the start of a conversation, however: if you were to meet people at 1am, you would greet them first with a buonasera instead, then end the conversation with a buonanotte as a final wish. Look here if you wish to know how to greet in Italian.
How do you say good night in Italian?
Good night, (have a) good night!
Compund: From buona, “good”, and notte, “night”
Good evening, (have a) good evening!
Other ways of wishing a good night in Italian
Along with buonanotte and buonasera, there are other Italian greetings that are used to end a conversation.
As for buonanotte, buona giornata and buona serata are never used to greet someone. Use buongiorno or buonasera instead. We’ll see why shortly.
(Have a) good day!
(Have a) good evening!
Sera and serata both translate to evening.
Giorno and giornata both translate to day.
Why is that? What’s the difference between wishing a buonasera or a buona serata?
Sera is that time of day between sunset and night. Generally, that comprises the hours between 6pm and 6am. Remember: you never start a conversation with a buonanotte!
Serata is how you spend your evening and go on with your activities during this time after enjoying a nice aperitivo.
Likewise, giorno is that time of day between dawn and sunset.
Giornata is how you go about your daily activities.
So if I wish you a buongiorno I’m simply greeting you or saying goodbye to you, but if I’m wishing you a buona giornata, I’m hoping you’ll have a great day today!
That’s it! Now you know everything you need to know to wish a good night in Italian.
You can do the Italian good night interactive exercises!
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