Meaning of PEGGIO in Italian

What is peggio in Italian? How do you pronounce it? How do you translate it into English?

In this lesson, we will look at how to use this word with the help of many audio recordings and example sentences. Read on to learn everything you need to know.

Let’s get started! Iniziamo!

woman about to eat a meal - how do you use peggio in italian and what does it mean

How to use peggio in Italian

Meaning of peggio in Italian

Peggio is a comparative adverb. It translates into English as worse and, rarely, as worst.

First of all, let’s hear how peggio is pronounced.

Worse, worst

Its pronunciation is close to pedge-joe. If you have trouble pronouncing Italian sounds, check out the Italian pronunciation guide.

Now, let’s see some example sentences with peggio in Italian, before we look at how to use this word.

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

Learn to speak Italian like a native? Easy.
Italian All-in-One For Dummies appeals to those readers looking for a comprehensive, all-encompassing guide to mastering the Italian language. It contains content from all For Dummies Italian language instruction titles, including Italian For Dummies, Intermediate Italian For Dummies, Italian Verbs For Dummies, Italian Phrases For Dummies, Italian Grammar For Dummies, and Italian For Dummies Audio Set.

Ho perso una diottria. Vedo peggio dell’anno scorso.
I lost one diopter. I see worse than I did last year.

Poteva andare peggio.
It could have been worse.

I bambini maleducati sono peggio degli animali selvatici.
Rude children are worse than wild animals.

Cos’hai fatto al disegno? È peggio di prima!
What did you do to the drawing? It’s worse than before!

L’uragano è passato a categoria 5. Prepariamoci al peggio.
The hurricane has been upgraded to a Category 5. Let’s prepare for the worst.

drawing of a tornado damaging things

Now let’s see how to use peggio.

Use of peggio in Italian

We’ve said that peggio in Italian is an adverb that translates to the English adverb “worse”. It’s the comparative form of male (bad) and it’s used to compare something to something else in a negative way.

Peggio is different from peggiore, which is an adjective (it modifies a noun) and translates as “worst”. Unlike regular Italian adjectives, it doesn’t change and doesn’t need to agree in gender and number with the noun.

Chi scrive peggio tra voi due?
Who writes worse between the two of you?
(the verb is scrivere)

Attento al marciapiede! Guidi peggio di un bradipo ubriaco!
Watch out for the curb! You drive worse than a drunken sloth!
(the verb is guidare)

boy waiting to cross the zebra lines

In colloquial speech, however, it’s often used as an “adjective” before the verb essere, to be, and just in front of the preposition di.

Questa classe è peggio di un mercato all’ora di punta.
This class is worse than a market at rush hour.

Per chi soffre di diabete, la Coca Cola è peggio di un pezzo di cioccolato.
For those with diabetes, Coke is worse than a piece of chocolate.

In all other cases where you need an adjective, use peggiore. In this case, peggiore must match the noun in both gender and number. Peggio is unchanged.

Ho trascorso giorni peggiori.
I have had worse days.

Qual è il tuo incubo peggiore?
What is your worst nightmare?

woman having a nightmare

Common expressions with peggio in Italian

There are some common idiomatic expressions featuring peggio in Italian. Among them you can find…

  • non c’è limite al peggio (there is no limit to how bad things can be)
  • prepararsi al peggio (to prepare for the worst)
  • avere la peggio (to take a beating)
  • alla meno peggio (crudely, quickly)
  • andare sempre peggio (to be worse and worse)

And that’s the end of our lesson on the meaning of peggio in Italian!

What next?

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

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