How do you say I am hungry in Italian?

How exactly do you say I am hungry in Italian? What is more appropriate to say depending on the relationship between you and the people around you?

In this lesson, we will take a look at the 9 most common ways to translate this sentence into Italian so that you will never feel your stomach growling. Read on to learn them all!

Let’s get started! Iniziamo!

woman who's about to eat a meal

How do you say I am hungry in Italian?

Ho fame

Ho fame is the most common translation for I am hungry in Italian. It’s quite simple and direct and literally means “I am hungry”, from fame, which means “hunger”.

Ho fame
I am hungry

Ho fame. Non c’è niente da mangiare in frigo?
I’m hungry. Isn’t there anything to eat in the fridge?

You will often hear c’ho fame in everyday language, but don’t use it in your essays.

C’ho fame!
I’m hungry!

hungry dog dreaming of a bowl of food

This common sentence in Italian is made up of two elements.

Ho
I have

Fame
Hunger

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Language: English / Italian
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Pages: 672

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You see, avere fame, to be hungry, is a very common collocation in Italian and it’s very different from its English translation.

Ho sempre molta fame quando torno a casa dal lavoro.
I am always very hungry when I come home from work.

Non ho molta fame. Mangerò più tardi.
I’m not very hungry. I will eat later.

woman with a headache

Ho is the first-person singular present tense conjugation of avere, to have. It’s an irregular verb.

Present tense conjugation for avere

ioho
tuhai
lui, leiha
noiabbiamo
voiavete
lorohanno

For example, you could say…

Mia mamma ha un fratello e tre sorelle.
My mom has one brother and three sisters.

Martina e Franco non hanno figli.
Martina and Franco do not have children.

a couple watching a movie at the cinema

What other ways are there to say I am hungry in Italian? Let’s see in the next section.


Ho una fame da lupi

Ho una fame da lupi is an idiomatic expression that literally translates to “I have a wolf’s hunger” and it means I’m starving or I’m hungry as a bear, so it has a pretty strong tone.

Ho una fame da lupi!
I’m starving!

Ho mangiato tre panini e un pezzo di torta, ma ho ancora una fame da lupi.
I had three sandwiches and a piece of cake, but I’m still as hungry as a bear.


Non ci vedo più dalla fame

There’s a catchphrase from a popular series of Italian commercials that goes… Tutto il giorno fuori casa, a pranzo un panino al volo e adesso non ci vedo più dalla fame.

Non ci vedo più dalla fame literally translates to “I can’t see anymore from hunger” and you use it in a funny way to say that you can’t function without a bite to eat.

Non ci vedo più dalla fame!
I’m starving!

hungry man wishing for a ball of rice

Sono affamato

Although you could literally translate being hungry as essere affamato, where affamato is an adjective and matches the English syntax, in everyday life this expression is rarely used to say I am hungry in Italian unless you’re talking about a hungry animal.

Sono affamato.
I am hungry.

Le famiglie delle vittime sono affamate di giustizia.
The families of the victims are hungry for justice.

Sono affamato is more often used in a figurative sense: you’re ambitious and crave something like power, respect, or fame.


Muoio di fame! / Sto morendo di fame!

If you are a drama queen and want to make a fuss about having an empty belly, you can use the expression morire di fame, which literally means “to die of hunger,” to say I am hungry in Italian. Sto morendo di fame, using the gerund tense, is more common.

Muoio di fame!
I’m starving!

Sto morendo di fame!
I’m starving!

Sto lavorando ininterrottamente da ore. Sto morendo di fame!
I have been working non-stop for hours. I am starving!

exhausted man in a business suit sitting on a chair

Ho lo stomaco che brontola

Ho lo stomaco che brontola is another translation for I am hungry in Italian. It literally means “my stomach is rumbling”, while brontolare alone can mean either “to grumble” or “to complain”. If your stomach is rumbling, it’s because it’s asking for food, and so are you when you say that!

Ho lo stomaco che brontola.
I’m hungry!

Ho lo stomaco che brontola! Quando si cena?
My stomach is rumbling! When is dinner?


Ho l’acquolina in bocca

“Drool” is most commonly translated as saliva in Italian, but there is one particular expression where it is translated as acquolina instead, from acqua, water.

If you have “drool in your mouth”, acquolina in bocca, it means that your body senses that food is coming and is anticipating it!

Ho l’acquolina in bocca.
I’m drooling!

dog drooling over a meal

Ho un certo languorino

Ho un certo languorino is a fun way to translate I am hungry in Italian. Languorino comes from languore, languor, and can be translated as “little languor”. Unlike languore, which means “longing, lethargy,” languorino is used specifically to translate “appetite”.

➡️ Learn why the -ino suffix means “little” here!

Ho un certo languorino.
I’m a little hungry.

And that’s the end of our lesson on how to ask I am hungry in Italian in all situations!


What next?

➡️ Learn other common Italian questions!

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