What does ORA mean in Italian?

How do you use the word ora in Italian? What does it mean? How do you pronounce it?

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

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Ora in Italian

What is ora?

Ora is both a noun and an adverb that can be respectively translated into English as “hour” and “now”.

Hour, now

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

Now, let’s see some example sentences with ora 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

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Ora devo andare. Ci vediamo domani.
I have to go now. I’ll see you tomorrow.

Mia moglie sta preparando la cena proprio ora.
My wife is preparing dinner now.

Sta piovendo da tre ore.
It has been raining for three hours.

Ha smesso di nevicare un’ora fa.
It stopped snowing an hour ago.

wintry landscape with trees, snow and a snowman

Now let’s see what the use of ora in Italian is.

Using ora in Italian

We’ve said that ora in Italian is both a noun and an adverb. When it’s a noun, it means “hour”. When it’s used as an adverb (it modifies a verb), it means “now”.

Ora is a feminine noun in Italian.

Mi ci sono volute due ore per tagliare l’erba del giardino.
It took me two hours to mow the grass in the garden.

Lasciare la torta in frigo per almeno un’ora e mezza.
Leave the cake in the fridge for at least an hour and a half.

As an adverb, it means “now”. Now can also be translated into Italian as adesso, which is interchangeable with ora (however, adesso can never be used as a noun).

Il tuo tè si raffredderà se non lo bevi ora.
Your tea will get cold if you don’t drink it now.

Ora che cosa facciamo?
What are we going to do now?

Adesso che cosa facciamo?
Now what are we going to do?

panicked woman

If you want to translate by now in Italian, use ormai.

As an adverb, ora in Italian also means “time”.

Che ore sono?
What time is it?
Literally: What hours are they?

È ora che mi prenda una vacanza.
It is time for me to take a vacation.

È ora di andare a letto.
It’s time to go to bed.

boys sleeping on campus

Idiomatic expressions with ora in Italian

There are a number of idiomatic expressions featuring the word ora in Italian. Some of these are…

  • era ora! (about time too!)
  • non vedo l’ora! (I can’t wait!)
  • ora come ora (as of right now)
  • ora o mai più (now or never)
  • d’ora in poi (from now on)
  • fare le ore piccole (to stay up late)
  • quarto d’ora (quarter of an hour, fifteen minutes)
  • mezz’ora (half an hour)

For example, you could say…

Ho fatto le ore piccole stanotte e ora non riesco a concentrarmi.
I was up late last night and now I can’t concentrate.

D’ora in poi andrò a letto alle 10 di sera!
From now on I will go to bed at 10 o’clock at night!

Non vedo l’ora che arrivi sabato.
I can’t wait for Saturday to come.

And that’s the end of our lesson on how to use ora in Italian!

What next?

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

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