How do you say are you hungry in Italian?

How exactly do you say are you hungry in Italian? What’s more appropriate to ask depending on the relationship between you and the other person?

In this lesson, we will take a look at the different ways you can translate this sentence into Italian. Read on to learn them all!

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How do you say are you hungry in Italian?

Singular: Hai fame?

Hai fame? is the translation for are you hungry in Italian when you are addressing only one person you are on familiar terms with and know well, such as your best friend, a relative or even your pet.

Hai fame?
Are you hungry?
(singular, informal)

hungry cat wishing for a bowl of dried food

This common sentence in Italian is made of two elements.

Hai
You have, or have you, singular

Fame
Hunger

You can’t translate to be hungry literally, because Italian uses a noun (hunger) and a different verb (to have)! You can find more info about this expression in the “to be hungry” Lingookie.

Hai fame, Veronica? Ti preparo un panino.
Are you hungry, Veronica? I’ll make you a sandwich.

Hai fame, micione?
Are you hungry, big kitty cat?

➡️ How can “micione” mean big kitty cat? Learn the descriptive Italian suffixes here!

a pink bag of cat food

Hai is the second person singular conjugation of avere, to have, in the present tense. It’s an irregular verb.

Present tense conjugation for avere

ioho
tuhai
lui, leiha
noiabbiamo
voiavete
lorohanno

For example, you could say…

Ho un fratello e due sorelle.
I have a brother and two sisters.

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

a couple watching a movie at the cinema

Now, what do you have to say to ask are you hungry in Italian to groups of people? You will need to conjugate the verb avere in the second person plural. Let’s see what this form is in the next paragraph.


Plural: Avete fame?

Avete fame? is the translation for are you hungry in Italian when you are addressing more than one person.

Avete fame?
Are you hungry?
(plural)

Italian has two kinds of “you”, unlike English. There’s a singular “you” and then there’s a plural “you”. If you are addressing a group, you will need to conjugate any verb or pronoun accordingly.

Look at the conjugation table again. The subject pronoun for the second person plural is voi, and its avere verb conjugation is avete.

Avete fame, bambini? Venite, vi preparo la merenda!
Are you hungry, children? Come, I’ll make you a snack!

three people waiting to eat around a circular table

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Now, how do you say are you hungry in Italian when you need to be polite? Keep on reading to find out!


Formal: Ha fame?

If you are just visiting Italy and often meet new people, unless you both agree on using the informal pronoun tu you will have to stick to the polite pronoun Lei when talking to other adults and people you are not on familiar terms with. With kids, it’s customary to use tu, no matter the degree of familiarity.

This is the equivalent of she in English. Basically, when speaking formally, Italians address each other with the subject “she”, lei.

That said, how do you formally say are you hungry in Italian?

Ha fame?
Are you hungry?
(singular, polite)

I wouldn’t use this form though, as it can still sound a bit informal. The polite way of addressing more than one person uses voi, the same pronoun used in informal situations.

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


What next?

➡️ Learn other common Italian questions!

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

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