How do you say LOW in Italian?

How exactly do you say low in Italian?

In this lesson, we will take a look at the different words you can use to talk about being low in Italian. Read on to learn all you need to know!

Basso
Low

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Low in Italian

Basso

Basso is how you translate low into Italian. Let’s listen to how this adjective is pronounced.

Its pronunciation is similar to bus-saw and it comes from the Latin word bassum, meaning “low, small”. Make sure the final -o has a clean sound, because Italian vowel sounds are clean!

Basso is also used to translate “small” when referring to height.

Basso
Low

rich man and poor man sitting on stacks of coins

Like all other adjectives in Italian, basso needs to match the gender and number of the noun.

SingularPlural
MasculineBassoBassi
FeminineBassaBasse

If the volume is low, you would say basso because volume, volume, is a masculine noun in Italian.

Likewise, you will say bassa, if you’re talking about a hill, collina, which is a feminine noun.

Plural nouns behave the same way: if you want to describe some low prices (prezzi, masculine plural), use bassi. If you’re talking about some low temperatures (temperature, feminine plural), use basse instead.

Basso can also be used to describe someone’s height (“short“).

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For example, you could say…

Il suo stipendio è troppo basso per mantenere la famiglia.
His salary is too low to support his family.

La donna parla a voce bassa.
The woman speaks in a low voice.

Mio fratello non studia quasi mai. Ha voti molto bassi.
My brother hardly ever studies. He has very low grades.

Queste sedie sono troppo basse.
These chairs are too low.

woman whispering to another woman

To translate “to turn down” or “to lower”, use abbassare.

Potresti abbassare il volume del televisore?
Could you turn down the volume of the TV?

Il cane abbassa la testa.
The dog lowers its head.

As we’ve already said, basso also translates “short” and “small” when referring to heights.

Michele è più basso di Giorgio.
Michele is shorter than Giorgio.

To describe a low level or low quality of something, such as a low food supply, use the adjective scarso.

SingularPlural
MasculineScarsoScarsi
FeminineScarsaScarse

Le provviste sono scarse. Dovremo razionarle.
Supplies are low. We will have to ration them.

blue bin full of wasted food

Common expressions featuring low in Italian

There are some common idiomatic expressions featuring the word for low in Italian. Among them, you can find…

  • tenere un basso profilo, to keep a low profile, to lay low
  • abbassare la cresta, to get off your high horse
  • cadere in basso, to go off the deep end
  • guardare dall’alto in basso, to look down on

For example, you could say…

La regina guardò il contadino dall’alto in basso.
The queen looked down on the farmer.

Abbassa la cresta, amico, perché non sei superiore a nessuno qui!
Take it down a notch, man, because you are not superior to any of the people here!

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


What next?

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

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