How do you say MILK in Italian?

How exactly do you say milk in Italian?

As you will see in this lesson, there are many types of Italian milk. Read on to learn them all!


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How do you say milk in Italian?


Latte is how you say milk in Italian.

Il latte
The milk

how do you say milk in italian - milk jug made of metal

It is a masculine uncountable noun, so it has no plural form: il latte (definite, the milk), del latte (indefinite, some milk).

Its pronunciation is similar to laht-teh and it comes from the Latin lacte, “milk”. Make sure the final -e doesn’t have a -y quality, because Italian vowel sounds are clean!

Nella bottiglia è rimasta una piccola quantità di latte.
There’s a tiny amount of milk left in the bottle.

Potrei avere un bicchiere di latte, per favore?
May I have a glass of milk, please?

Elena beve latte ogni mattina.
Elena drinks milk every morning.

Latte macchiato is what you have to ask for to get a latte in an Italian café! If you ask for a plain latte, you will probably get… a glass of milk. Latte macchiato literally means “stained milk”.

cup of latte macchiato - how do you say milk in italian

Types of milk in Italian

There’s cow milk, almond milk, goat milk. How do you say these in Italian?

Latte di mucca
Cow milk

The latte di mucca, literally “milk of cow”, is also commonly called latte vaccino, from the Latin vacca, “cow”. This is where the English word vaccine comes from!

Latte vaccino
Cow milk

Esistono molte alternative al latte vaccino, come il latte di capra, il latte di mandorla e il latte di cocco.
There are many alternatives to cow milk, such as goat milk, almond milk and coconut milk.

cow which is being mechanically milked

Another common (and delicious) type of milk in Italy is latte di bufala, which is used to make mozzarella di bufala. Try it on your pizza!

Latte di bufala
Buffalo milk

Preferisco il latte di bufala a quello di mucca.
I prefer buffalo milk to cow milk.

Other types of milk in Italian based on the animal are:

Latte di capra
Goat milk

Latte d’asina
Donkey milk

Latte di pecora
Sheep milk

Di cosa sa il latte di capra?
What does goat milk taste like?

Il pecorino è un derivato del latte di pecora.
Pecorino cheese is made from sheep’s milk.

two smiling sheep

If you are a vegetarian, you can drink latte di soia, latte di mandorle or the sweet and savory latte di cocco!

Latte di soia
Soy milk

Il latte di soia è un ottimo sostituto del latte vaccino.
Soy milk is a great substitute for cow’s milk.

Latte di mandorle
Almond milk

Sara ha messo un po’ di latte di mandorle nel caffè.
Sara put some almond milk in her coffee.

Latte di cocco
Coconut milk

Hai mai assaggiato il latte di cocco? È dolce.
Have you ever tasted coconut milk? It’s sweet.

Whole or skimmed milk in Italian?

There are two common types of milk that you can find in Italian supermarkets:

Latte intero
Whole milk

Il latte intero mi crea problemi allo stomaco.
Whole milk upsets my stomach.

Latte scremato
Skimmed milk

Il latte scremato ha meno calorie di quello intero.
Skimmed milk has fewer calories than whole milk.

Latte parzialmente scremato
Partially skimmed milk

Other less common, but still widely used, types of milk in Italian are:

Latte a lunga conservazione
Long-life milk

Latte UHT
UHT milk

Latte in polvere
Milk powder

Latte artificiale
Infant formula
Literally: Artificial milk

Latte arricchito con vitamine
Vitamin-enriched milk

latte artificiale - infant formula in italian - how do you say milk in italian

A cosa serve il latte in polvere?
What is milk powder used for?

Compriamo sempre latte a lunga conservazione.
We always buy long-life milk.

Freshly milked milk is called latte appena munto or latte fresco di mungitura, where mungere means “to milk”.

Latte appena munto
Freshly milked milk

If you forget to put it in the fridge and the milk goes bad, you can use the verbs andare a male, “to go bad”, or scadere, “to expire”.

Latte andato a male
Spoiled milk

Latte scaduto
Expired milk

Il latte scaduto può causare problemi all’intestino.
Expired milk can cause intestinal problems.

expired milk - plate of expired food

Breast milk is called latte materno, literally “maternal milk”.

Latte materno
Breast milk

Mio figlio non beve abbastanza latte materno.
My son doesn’t drink enough breast milk.

From latte comes the adjective latteo, “milky”. In fact, our galaxy, the Milky Way, is translated into Italian as…

La Via Lattea
The Milky Way

La nostra galassia si chiama Via Lattea.
Our galaxy is called the Milky Way.

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.

Verbs with milk in Italian

To milk, as mentioned in the previous paragraph, translates to mungere in Italian.

To milk

Hai mai munto una mucca?
Have you ever milked a cow?

Raw milk, il latte crudo, is pasteurized, pastorizzato, from pastorizzare, to kill off any pathogen that might harm us.

To pasteurize

Il latte viene pastorizzato per evitare contaminazioni.
Milk is pasteurized to prevent contamination.

And of course, milk can be skimmed, scremato, from the verb scremare, “to skim”.

To skim

Milk itself can curdle, cagliarsi.

Cagliare il latte
To curdle milk

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Other expressions featuring milk in Italian

Let’s wrap up our lesson on how to say milk in Italian with a few expressions and sayings featuring this word.

Dente da latte literally translates to milk tooth.

Il dente da latte
The milk tooth

Quando cominciano a cadere i denti da latte?
When do milk teeth start to fall out?

Dairy products like…

  • il burro (the butter)
  • il formaggio (the cheese)
  • la panna (the cream)
  • lo yogurt (the yogurt)

are called latticini.

I latticini
The dairy products

butter - how do you say milk in italian

Now for a couple of sayings featuring milk in Italian:

Piangere sul latte versato
To cry over spilled milk

Avere ancora il latte alla bocca
To be young and naïve

While piangere sul latte versato can be literally translated into English, avere ancora il latte alla bocca literally means “to still have milk on your mouth” and it’s used to address someone who is still young and naïve about life.

And that’s the end of our lesson on how to say milk in Italian!

What next?

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