How do you say WHILE in Italian?

How exactly do you say while in Italian?

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

Let’s start! Iniziamo!

How do you say while in Italian?


Mentre is the most common way to translate while in Italian.


For example, you could say…

Ascolti musica mentre studi?
Do you listen to music while you study?

Ascolto spesso la radio mentre faccio i compiti.
I often listen to the radio while I do homework.

kid listening to a radio

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Language: English / Italian
Publisher: For Dummies
Pages: 672

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Finché is a less common translation for while in Italian.


For example, you could say…

Bevi il tè finché è caldo.
Drink the tea while it’s hot.

Devo fare il bucato finché c’è il sole.
I have to do the laundry while it’s still sunny.

How to use mentre and finché in Italian

Mentre introduces an action that takes place at the same time as another, just like the English conjunction “while”.

La mamma stira mentre il gatto dorme.
Mom is ironing while the cat is sleeping.

Mi sono sporcato i vestiti mentre mangiavo un gelato.
I got my clothes dirty while I was eating an ice cream.

Finché, however, works a bit differently. It introduces actions that are valid for a limited time.

Mangia la zuppa finché è calda.
Eat your soup while it’s warm.

Bevo la mia birra finché è fredda.
I drink my beer while it’s cold.

It’s worth noting that this translation for while in Italian can also mean “instead” and can be translated as whereas. In this case, it’s no longer describing an action that’s happening at the same time as another, but introducing a contrasting statement.

Le salamandre sono anfibi, mentre i gechi sono rettili.
Salamanders are amphibians, while geckos are reptiles.

Le patate crescono nel terreno, mentre le mele crescono sugli alberi.
Potatoes grow in the ground, whereas apples grow on trees.

And that’s the end of your lesson, now you know how to say while in Italian!

What next?

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

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