How do you say I am hungry in Italian?

How exactly do you say I am hungry in Italian? What’s 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 you can translate this sentence into Italian so that you may never feel your belly rumbling. Read on to learn them all!

Let’s start! 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 pretty straightforward and direct and it literally means “I have hunger”, 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?

In everyday language, you will often hear c’ho fame, but don’t use this in your essays.

C’ho fame!
I’m hungry!

hungry dog dreaming of a bowl of food

This common sentence in Italian is made of two elements.

I have


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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 conjugation of avere, to have, in the present tense. It’s an irregular verb.

Present tense conjugation for avere

lui, leiha

For example, you could say…

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

Martina e Franco non hanno figli.
Martina and Franco have no 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 paragraph.

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 hungry as a bear.

Non ci vedo più dalla fame

There’s a catchphrase from a popular series of Italian advertisements 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 humorous way to say you can’t no longer function without having a bite.

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

hungry man wishing for a ball of rice

Sono affamato

Although you could literally translate to be hungry as essere affamato, with affamato being an adjective and matching 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 commonly used in a figurative sense: you’re ambitious and are longing for something such as power, respect, or glory.

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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, literally meaning “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 nonstop 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 yet another translation for I am hungry in Italian. It literally translates to “I have my stomach rumbling”, whereas brontolare alone can either mean to grumble or to complain. When your belly rumbles, it’s because it’s asking for food and so are you if you say this!

Ho lo stomaco che brontola.
I’m hungry!

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

Ho l’acquolina in bocca

Drool is most commonly translated as saliva in Italian, but there’s a particular expression where it’s translated as acquolina instead, from acqua, water.

If you “have drool in your mouth”, acquolina in bocca, it means your body is sensing 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 funny way of translating I am hungry in Italian. Languorino comes from languore, languour, and can be translated as “little languour”. Differently from languore which means “yearning, lethargy”, languorino is specifically used as a translation of appetite.

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

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

And that’s it, now you know how to ask I am hungry in Italian in all situations!

What next?

➡️ Learn other common Italian questions!

Now that you’ve seen how to say I am hungry in Italian, you might want to keep learning Italian online with these free Italian resources:

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