How to say what’s up in Italian

How exactly do you say what’s up in Italian?

In this lesson, we will take a deep look at how you can translate this sentence into Italian. Read on to find out!


Let’s get started! Iniziamo!

man working on a computer

How do you say what’s up in Italian?

Che succede?

Che succede? is the most common way to translate what’s up into Italian. You will also find the variation che è successo?.

Che succede?
What’s up?
Literally: What happens?

This common sentence in Italian is made up of two elements.



Che succede, ragazzi? – Stiamo dipingendo il cancello d’ingresso.
What’s up, guys? – We’re painting the front gate.


Che succede, amico? is the Italian translation of Bugs Bunny’s famous catchphrase What’s up, Doc?.

Succede comes from succedere, to happen, which is a verb of the second group -ere. Be careful not to confuse che succede?, in the present tense, with cos’è successo, in the past tense.

Cosa succede? can also be translated as “what happens?”, but it’s really used to ask what’s happening. Che succede? can also be used as a greeting.

The meaning is very different!

Cos’è successo? – Il cane è scappato!
What happened? – The dog ran away!

Cosa succede, papà? – Non trovo le chiavi di casa!
What is happening, dad? – I can’t find my house keys!

man rummaging in his pockets after losing something

Successo has a double function in Italian.

It can be a masculine noun, il successo, meaning success.

La recita è stata un successo strepitoso.
The play was a resounding success.

And it is the past participle of the verb succedere, meaning to happen.

La corrente elettrica va spesso via. Ormai succede ogni giorno.
The electricity often goes out. It happens every day now.

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

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Come va?

Along with che succede?, come va? is another popular translation for what’s up in Italian.

Come va?
How’s it going?

Va is the third-person singular conjugation of the verb andare, which means to go.

Italians use come va? mostly with friends and relatives. It’s neither formal nor informal, although you will rarely hear it in formal situations.

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

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