How do you say let’s eat in Italian?

How exactly do you say let’s eat 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!

Let’s start! Iniziamo!

how do you say let's go in italian - let's start - iniziamo - athlete woman running

How do you say let’s eat in Italian?

Mangiamo!

Pronunciation: Mahn-jah-moh

Mangiamo!
Let’s eat!

friends eating fast food

If you are familiar with Italian verb tenses, you will probably already know the present tense conjugation of the verb mangiare, meaning to eat, as shown below.

Present tense conjugation for mangiare

iomangio
tumangi
lui, leimangia
noimangiamo
voimangiate
loromangiano

For example, you could say:

A che ora mangiate di solito?
What time do you usually eat?

Cosa mangiano le cavallette?
What do grasshoppers eat?

green and brown grasshopper

Why did I highlight the noi (we) conjugation here? That’s because the Italian imperative for the first person plural “we” works a bit differently than in English.

In English we say let us… eat/start/finish/read. In Italian, you just conjugate the main verb (to eat, in our case) in its imperative mood.

The imperative noi conjugation of any verb matches the noi present tense conjugation of that same verb. Take a look at the table below and see for yourself.

Imperative tense conjugation for mangiare

io
tumangia!
lui, leimangi!
noimangiamo!
voimangiate!
loromangino!
boy eating chips

That’s why we translate let’s eat in Italian as mangiamo!

How do you distinguish between imperative and present tense? Context is key:

Mamma, stasera mangiamo fuori. Non ci aspettare per l’ora di cena!
Mom, we are going out to eat tonight. Don’t wait for us for dinner time!
(Mangiare fuori = To go out to eat)

Mangiamo fuori, ragazzi!
Let’s go out to eat, guys!

In the first example, the speaker tells their parents that they’ll not be coming back for dinner. The sentence conveys a piece of information, not an order.

In the second sentence, the speaker makes a suggestion. The Italian verb is actually conjugated in the imperative mood here, which coincidentally matches the present tense conjugation of the same verb.

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Common expressions with to eat in Italian

Let’s wrap up this lesson with a few common expressions featuring the verb mangiare in Italian.

Mio figlio mangia troppo velocemente.
My son eats too fast.

Cosa mangi per cena stasera?
What are you having for dinner tonight?

couple eating sushi

Giorgia ed Enrico mangiano spesso al ristorante.
Giorgia and Enrico often eat at restaurants.

Non riesco ad abbandonare il vizio di mangiarmi le unghie.
I can’t seem to give up the habit of biting my nails.

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


What next?

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