How do you say where are you in Italian?

How exactly do you say where are you in Italian? Wha is more appropriate to say depending on the relationship between you and the other person?

In this lesson, we will take a look at the different ways you can translate this sentence into Italian. Read on to learn them all!

Dove…?
Where…?

Let’s get started! Iniziamo!

woman stretching at the desk

How do you say where are you in Italian?

Singular: Dove sei?

Dove sei? is how you translate where are you in Italian when you are addressing only one person you know well, such as a friend or relative.

Dove sei?
Where are you? (singular, familiar)

family of three consulting a map

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

Dove
Where

Sei
Are you

Dove sei? – Sono davanti all’edicola. Tu dove sei, invece?
Where are you? – I’m in front of the newsstand. Where are you instead?

Dove sei? – Sono ancora a casa. Sarò da te fra un quarto d’ora.
Where are you? – I’m still at home. I’ll be there in fifteen minutes.

boy relaxing at home in front of a window

As you may already know, Italian verb endings change for all subject pronouns, so you can actually do without pronouns in the sentence. The subject is understood thanks to the verb ending!

Sei is a conjugation of the verb essere, which means to be. Sei is basically the second-person singular present conjugation of essere. This is an irregular verb.

Present tense conjugation for essere

iosono
tusei
lui, leiè
noisiamo
voisiete
lorosono

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For example, you could say…

Il gatto è sul davanzale della finestra.
The cat is on the windowsill.

Prima siamo andati al museo, poi siamo tornati al parco.
First we went to the museum, then we went back to the park.

to be continued... movie that has just ended at the theater - italian irregular verbs

Now, what do you say to ask where are you in Italian to more than one person at a time? You need to conjugate the verb essere in the second person plural. You may already have guessed what this is from the table above, but let’s see exactly what this form is in the next paragraph.


Plural: Dove siete?

Dove siete? is how you translate where are you in Italian when addressing groups of people, in both formal and informal contexts.

Dove siete?
Where are you? (plural)

In Italian, unlike English, there are two kinds of “you”. There is a singular “you” and then there is a plural “you”. If you are addressing two or more friends, you must conjugate the verb essere according to the latter pronoun, which is voi.

From the table in the previous paragraph you can see that the conjugation to use is voi siete.

Ragazzi, dove siete? Non vedo niente con questo buio!
Guys, where are you? I can’t see a thing in this darkness!

Dove sei? – Sono al binario 4. Spicciati, il treno parte fra cinque minuti!
Where are you? – I’m at track 4. Hurry up, the train leaves in five minutes!

woman running to catch the train

Now, how do you ask where are you in Italian when you need to be formal? Read on to find out!


Polite: Dov’è?

If you are just visiting Italy and often meet new people, unless you both agree to use the informal pronoun tu, you will have to stick to the formal pronoun Lei when talking to other adults and people you are not familiar with. With children, it’s customary to use tu regardless of familiarity.

So, how do you formally ask a person where they are in Italian?

Dov’è?
Where are you? (formal)

More commonly, however, you will find these expressions instead:

Lei dov’è?
Where are you? (formal)

Dov’è lei?
Where are you? (formal)

This is because dov’è is the contracted form of dove è, which can also be translated as where is it. To avoid any misunderstanding, the formal subject pronoun Lei is added to the sentence.

This question uses the third-person singular conjugation. Basically, Italians address each other formally with the subject “she”, lei.


Trovarsi

The verb trovarsi literally means to find oneself and can be translated as to be when you’re asking for directions. It’s less common than essere, but still very much used.

Here’s what you would say to ask where are you in Italian using the verb trovarsi:

Dove ti trovi?
Where are you? (informal, singular)

woman sitting on a sofa and video calling her boyfriend

Dove vi trovate?
Where are you? (plural)

Lei dove si trova?
Where are you? (formal)

And that’s the end of our lesson on how to say where are you in Italian in all its forms!


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