It’s raining in Italian

How exactly do you say it’s raining in Italian?

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

Piove.
It’s raining.

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How do you say it’s raining in Italian?

Piove

Piove is the most common way to translate it’s raining into Italian.

Piove.
It’s raining.

how do you say it's raining in italian - man running in the rain

This common sentence in Italian is made up of just one element.

Piovere
It rains

Piove a catinelle. Vado a chiudere le persiane.
It’s raining cats and dogs. I’ll go close the shutters.

Piove comes from piovere, to rain, which belongs to the second -ere group. Its indicativo presente conjugation is as follows.

Present tense conjugation for piovere

iopiovo
tupiovi
lui, leipiove
noipioviamo
voipiovete
loropiovono

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This verb is mostly used in the third person singular as an impersonal verb, it rains, because people don’t normally “rain”.

A giudicare dal cielo, pioverà presto.
Judging from the sky, it will rain soon.

Piovve per ore e ore.
It rained for hours and hours.

river engorged by the falling rain in the city

From piovere comes la pioggia, the rain.

La pioggia
The rain

However, piove is not the only way to say it’s raining in Italian. Read on to find out why!


Sta piovendo

If you want to emphasize that it’s raining at this very moment, you can use sta piovendo, which literally means “it stays raining”.

Sta piovendo.
It’s raining.

The gerund tense in Italian uses the verb stare, to stay, while English uses to be. Sta is basically the third person singular present conjugation of stare (that’s a mouthful!).

Present tense conjugation for stare

iosto
tustai
lui, leista
noistiamo
voistate
lorostanno
people running in the rain

Less common ways to say it’s raining in Italian

Piove and sta piovendo are not the only translations for this phrase. Although less common, there are other ways to say it’s raining outside, such as è piovoso and c’è la pioggia.

Piovoso directly translates to rainy.

È piovoso.
It’s rainy.

C’è la pioggia literally means “there is rain”.

C’è la pioggia.
It’s rainy.

However, 9 times out of 10, you will hear either piove or sta piovendo.

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Kinds of rain in Italian

Last but not least, I’d like to teach you some words and expressions that you can use to describe rain in Italian.

Piovere forte
To rain heavily

Fuori sta piovendo molto forte. È meglio che tu esca più tardi.
It is raining very heavily outside. You’d better go out later.

Piovere a dirotto
To rain dogs and cats

Piove a dirotto da due ore.
It has been pouring rain for two hours.

Piovere a catinelle
To rain dogs and cats
Literally: To rain in basins

heavy rain in a city street

If the rain is heavy enough, you can drop piovere and use a stronger verb like diluviare (to pour). If the rain is quite light, you can use a weaker verb like piovigginare, to drizzle.

Diluviare
To pour

Fuori diluvia e il gatto non è ancora tornato.
It’s pouring outside and the cat is not back yet.

Piovigginare
To drizzle

Sta solo piovigginando. Basterà un piccolo ombrello.
It’s just drizzling. A small umbrella will be enough.

And that’s the end of our lesson on how to say it’s raining in Italian in all its forms!


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