Using INTANTO in Italian

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

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

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Intanto in Italian

What is intanto?

Intanto is an adverb of time that can be translated into English as “in the meantime” or “meanwhile”.

In the meantime, meanwhile

Its pronunciation is close to een-tahn-toh. If you have trouble pronouncing Italian sounds, refer to the Italian pronunciation guide.

Now, let’s see a couple of example sentences with intanto in Italian, before taking a look at how to use this word in other contexts as well.

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

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Io esco a fare spesa. Tu intanto puoi mangiare uno snack.
I’m going out for groceries. You can have a snack in the meantime.

Luca tornerà tra un paio d’ore. Intanto prepariamo la cena.
Luca will be back in a couple of hours. In the meantime, let’s make dinner.

Devo fare una telefonata. Intanto chiama un taxi.
I have to make a call. Call a taxi in the meantime.

woman taking a taxi

Now let’s see what the use of intanto in Italian is.

Using intanto in Italian

You use intanto in Italian to talk about actions occurring at the same time as others.

Io preparo la cena. Tu, intanto, porta fuori il cane.
I will make dinner. You, meanwhile, take the dog out.

For the sentence to be complete, you need two actions.

La mamma era impegnata a lavorare a maglia. Intanto papà faceva un pisolino accanto al fuoco.
Mom was busy knitting. In the meantime, dad taking a nap by the fire.

Don’t confuse intanto with tanto, which means much! It’s true that this word used to be written as two different words, in tanto, but that spelling is no longer used.

The expression intanto che translates “while” and is a synonym of mentre.

Intanto che tu fai i compiti, io pulirò il pavimento.
While you do your homework, I will clean the floor.

Siediti un po’ sulla poltrona intanto che io sistemo la cucina.
Sit in the armchair for a bit while I set up the kitchen.

Mio padre si addormenta spesso intanto che guarda la TV.
My father often falls asleep while watching TV.

woman trying to wake up her sleeping husband

Intanto in Italian can also translate yet when you are introducing a counter-argument to what you’ve just said.

Marco dice di avere mal di stomaco, ma intanto ha appena mangiato mezza tavoletta di cioccolato.
Marco says he has a stomachache, but in the meantime he just ate half a chocolate bar.

And that’s it, now you know how to use intanto in Italian!

What next?

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