How to say BIG BROTHER in Italian

How exactly do you say big brother in Italian?

Let’s say you have an Italian friend who asks you if you have any siblings. You do! So how do you say I have a big brother in Italian?


This lesson will be useful to learn all the different ways you can translate this word into Italian. (Yes, there’s more than one way!)

Let’s get started! Iniziamo!

two brothers having an argument

How do you say big brother in Italian

Fratello maggiore

The direct translation for big brother in Italian is fratello maggiore.

Maggiore is a comparative adjective that translates into English as bigger.

Fratello maggiore
Big brother

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

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So in order to say “I have a big brother in Italian”, you would simply say…

Ho un fratello maggiore.
I have a big brother.

two brothers playing

But wait! What if you have more than one big brother? Here’s what you have to say:

Ho … fratelli maggiori.
I have … big brothers.

Just replace the … with how many big brothers you have.

Other ways to say big brother in Italian


Fratellone is an affectionate way you can refer to your older brother. Literally, this would be translated as “big brother”, with the suffix -one meaning “big”.

This is commonly used by children to refer to their big brothers, so don’t use this in casual conversation with other adults unless you want to use humor!

Don’t say: Ho un fratellone.

Big brother (affectionate)

Il mio fratellone gioca a calcio tutti i pomeriggi.
My big brother plays soccer every afternoon.

two brothers playing rock paper scissors

Fratello più grande

This is yet another synonym for big brother in Italian, and it would literally translate as “older brother”. It’s a neutral term and you can use it instead of fratello maggiore.

Fratello più grande
Big brother

Ho un fratello più grande che va alle scuole superiori.
I have an older brother who is in high school.

high school student on a bicycle

Do you have any siblings?

Now that we’ve seen all the possible translations for big brother in Italian, let’s see how to ask people if they have any siblings.

These sentences literally translate as “do you have any brothers or sisters?”. There is no direct translation for “sibling” in Italian.

Hai fratelli o sorelle?
Do you have any siblings? (informal)

Ha fratelli o sorelle?
Do you have any siblings? (polite)

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Use the first sentence if you are talking to a friend. Use the second sentence if you are talking to your boss, a stranger, etc.

That’s the end of our lesson! Now you know how to pronounce all the different ways to say big brother in Italian!

What next?

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

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