How to use SPESSO in Italian

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

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!

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Spesso in Italian

What is spesso?

Spesso is an adverb of frequency (it modifies a verb) that can be translated into English as “often” or “frequently”.

Often, frequently

Its pronunciation is close to speh-ssoh. If you have trouble pronouncing Italian sounds, especially the doubled consonants like “ss”, check out the Italian pronunciation guide.

Now, let’s see some example sentences with spesso in Italian, before we take a 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.

Spesso rimango fuori casa nel fine settimana.
I often go away from home on weekends.

Mio papà va spesso all’estero per lavoro.
My dad often goes abroad on business.

Mio figlio inventa spesso delle storie.
My son often makes up stories.

Marta suona spesso il piano.
Marta often plays the piano.

happy woman playing the piano

Now let’s see how to use spesso in Italian.

Use of spesso in Italian

We’ve said that spesso in Italian is an adverb of frequency, equivalent to the English adverbs “often” or “frequently”.

There’s not much difference from these English adverbs, but you have to remember that spesso in Italian is never placed right after the subject, but either before or after the verb it modifies.

Let’s listen to some other examples.

Vedi spesso i tuoi vicini di casa?
Do you often see your neighbors?
(right after vedi, from vedere, to see)

Giulia dice spesso bugie.
Giulia often tells lies.
(right after dice, from dire, to say)

Spesso non faccio colazione.
I often don’t eat breakfast.
(Before non faccio, “I don’t do”)

plate full of food: fish, rice, spinach and pudding

It’s also worth noting that spesso in Italian can also be the first element in a sentence when the subject is implied. For example…

Spesso mi alzo prima delle 7.
I often get up before 7 o’clock.

Mi alzo spesso prima delle 7.
I often get up before 7 o’clock.

If there’s a proper noun in the sentence, spesso is usually put after the verb.

Giulia si alza spesso prima delle 7.
Giulia often gets up before 7 o’clock.

boy stretching after waking up

Spesso as an adjective

Note that spesso in Italian can also be an adjective. As an adjective, it translates as the English word “thick”.

Like all other adjectives in Italian, spesso must match the noun in both gender and number.


For example, you could say…

Quanto può essere spesso un doppio vetro?
How thick can double glazing be?

Queste calze sono molto spesse. Tengono caldo?
These socks are very thick. Do they keep you warm?

black rabbit playing with a christmas sock

Expressions with spesso in Italian

There are a number of common idiomatic expressions featuring spesso in Italian. These are…

  • spesso e volentieri (very often, literally “often and willingly”)
  • avere spesso la luna di traverso (to be often in a bad mood)
  • non troppo spesso (not very often)

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

What next?

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