How to use INSOMMA in Italian

How do you use the word insomma in Italian? What does it mean? How do you pronounce it?

In this lesson, we will look at how to use this word with the help of many audio recordings and example sentences. Read on to learn everything you need to know!

Iniziamo! Let’s go!

kid frantically doing homework

Insomma in Italian

What is insomma?

Insomma is an adverb that usually means “so”, “well” or “therefore”. It’s one of those pesky little words that have no direct equivalent in English.

So, well, therefore

Its pronunciation is close to een-saw-mmah and it comes from the Latin word ĭn sŭmma, “to sum it up”. If you have trouble pronouncing Italian sounds, check out the Italian pronunciation guide.

Now, let’s see some example sentences with insomma in Italian, just to get a taste before we take a look at how to use this word.

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

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Insomma, Luca, non ti sei ancora alzato? È quasi mezzogiorno!
For goodness sake, Luca, aren’t you up yet? It’s almost noon!

Hai preso un bel voto all’esame? – Insomma.
Did you get a good grade in the exam? – So-so.

Questo libro è avvincente, scritto bene e mi è costato solo tre euro… Insomma, mi è piaciuto molto.
This book is compelling, well written and cost me only three euros…. In short, I enjoyed it very much.

Insomma, spegni quel cellulare!
Turn off that cell phone!

two boys at a cinema, one of them is looking at their phone and annoying the other boy

Now let’s see how to use insomma in Italian.

Use of insomma in Italian

The meaning of insomma depends entirely on the context. It can stand alone at the beginning of a sentence to mean “for goodness sake” or it can be used to sum up something you’ve just said, like the English expressions “in short” or “to sum it up”. Sum and somma actually share a Latin root!

Il cane è scappato dopo cena, mia zia si è sentita male e si è rotto il portone del nostro garage. Insomma, non ho avuto il tempo per fare i compiti!
The dog ran away after dinner, my aunt got sick, and our garage door broke down. In short, I didn’t have time to do my homework!

Insomma is also used to express impatience as in “cut it short” or “well”.

Mi dispiace davvero tanto, non volevo proprio, ti chiedo scusa. – Insomma, cos’hai fatto?
I’m really sorry, I really didn’t mean to, I apologize. – Well, what did you do?

Mi sono alzato, mi sono avvicinato piano piano, mi sono chinato… – Insomma, com’è finita?
I got up, I approached slowly, I bent down…. – Cut it short, how did it end?

cornered guy with an impeding shadow

As said, it’s also a very common translation of “for goodness sake!”, used to convey exasperation.

Ma insomma! Smettila di correre per la stanza!
For goodness sake! Stop running around the room!

Insomma, smettila!
Alright, that’s enough!

We can also use insomma as an answer to mean “so and so”, or “not bad”. It’s very often accompanied by a shrug of one’s shoulders to mean that you’re neither displeased nor satisfied with something.

Com’è andato il test? – Insomma.
How did the test go? – Not bad, not good.

Oggi come ti senti? – Insomma, potrei stare meglio.
How are you feeling today? – So and so, I could be better.

And that’s the end of our lesson on how to use insomma in Italian!

What next?

Now that you’ve seen how to use insomma in Italian, you might want to keep learning Italian online with these free Italian resources:

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