How do you say go to sleep in Italian?

How exactly do you say go to sleep in Italian?

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 go to sleep in Italian?

Singular: Vai a dormire!

Vai a dormire is how you translate go to sleep in Italian when you are addressing only one person you are on familiar terms with.

Vai a dormire!
Go to sleep! (singular, informal)

This common sentence in Italian is made of three elements.

Imperative for “you go”, informal

The preposition “to”


Vai a dormire, Matteo! Domani devi andare a scuola.
Go to sleep, Matteo! You have to go to school tomorrow.

Sembri stanco. Vai a dormire e riposati un po’.
You look tired. Go to sleep and get some rest.

very angry woman telling his child to go to sleep at once

Vai can be shortened to va’, with an apostrophe (never as , that’s a common mistake learners make and a few natives make as well!). It’s the second person imperative form of the verb andare, meaning to go. This verb has an irregular conjugation.

Imperative tense conjugation for andare

lui, leivada

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Vai a prendermi un po’ di latte, per favore.
Go get me some milk, please.

Andiamo a prendere un gelato, vi va?
Let’s go get some ice cream, shall we?

woman selling ice cream

We then have a dormire, literally meaning to sleep.

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

Plural: Andate a dormire!

Andate a dormire is how you translate go to sleep in Italian when you are addressing more than one person.

Andate a dormire!
Go to sleep! (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 the verb andare according to the latter pronoun, which is voi.

From the table in the previous paragraph, you can see that the imperative conjugation you have to use is andate.

È quasi mezzanotte. Andate subito a dormire!
It is almost midnight. Go to sleep right now!

Avete viaggiato per ore, sarete stanchi. Andate a dormire, ragazzi.
You have been traveling for hours, you must be tired. Go to sleep, boys.

very tired traveling family

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

Polite: Vada a dormire!

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.

Vada a dormire!
Go to sleep! (polite)

Basically, when speaking formally, Italians address each other with the subject “she”, lei. If you want to formally translate go to bed into Italian, you will have to use a third person singular conjugation of the verb andare, which is vada.

I would advise you against using this form, however. It can be quite rude and it’s so uncommon it almost sounds wrong to my native ear.

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A letto!

For all translations of go to sleep in Italian that we’ve seen in the previous paragraphs, you can swap a dormire with a letto.

Vai a letto!
Go to sleep! (singular, informal)

Andate a letto!
Go to sleep! (plural)

Vada a letto!
Go to sleep! (polite)

È tardi, Veronica, vai a letto. Non farmelo ripetere.
It’s late, Veronica, go to bed. Don’t make me tell you again.

These directly translate go to bed, because il letto is the Italian translation for the bed.

And that’s it, now you know how to say go to sleep in Italian in all its forms!

What next?

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