Using MAGARI in Italian

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

In this lesson, we will look at how to use this very tricky word along with many audio recordings and example sentences. Read on to learn everything you need to know!

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Magari in Italian

What is magari?

Magari is mainly used as an adverb that can be translated into English as “maybe” or “perhaps”.

Maybe, perhaps, may

Its pronunciation is close to mah-gah-ree. If you have trouble pronouncing Italian sounds, refer to the Italian pronunciation guide.

Now, let’s see a couple of example sentences with magari in Italian, before taking a look at how to use this word in other contexts as well.

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.

Magari uscirò dopo cena.
Maybe I’ll go out after dinner.

Cosa mangerai per pranzo? – Magari mi preparo un piatto di pasta.
What are you going to have for lunch? – Maybe I’ll make myself a plate of pasta.

Magari Mattia non sarà intelligente, ma è simpatico e onesto.
Mattia may not be smart, but he is nice and honest.

Luca non è in casa? Magari è uscito senza dire nulla.
Luca isn’t home? Maybe he went out without saying anything.

man standing in front of a train door

Now let’s see what the use of magari in Italian is.

Using magari in Italian

We’ve said that magari in Italian is an adverb that translates to the English adverb words “maybe” and “perhaps”. This is also used to make a suggestion. Notice how it’s usually the first element in a sentence.

Magari pioverà stasera.
Maybe it will rain tonight.

Magari potresti portare il cane al parco giochi.
Maybe you could take the dog to the playground.

However, magari also means I wish or if only. So it can be used as an exclamation for something you are longing for. It can be used on its own and also to introduce a complement. The intonation is also different.

I wish!

Magari comes from the Greek word makários, meaning “blessed, happy”.

Vorresti possedere un’auto da corsa? – Magari!
Would you like to own a race car? – If only!

Magari piovesse! La terra è arida.
I wish it would rain! The land is dry.

Forse mia suocera si trasferirà all’estero… Magari fosse vero!
Maybe my mother-in-law will move abroad…. I wish that were true!

girl wishing on a star

In these last two examples, you will maybe notice that magari is followed by a verb in the subjunctive mood.

This is mandatory when using magari in Italian to express an impossible wish because you are imagining a hypothetical scenario. When followed by a past subjunctive, magari is also used to express a regret.

Magari guadagnassi di più!
I wish I had studied more last night!

Magari potessi trasferirmi alle Hawaii!
If only I could move to Hawaii!

Magari avessi studiato di più ieri sera!
If only I had studied more last night!

Magari fossi arrivato in tempo per il concerto!
I wish I had arrived in time for the concert!

And that’s it, now you know how to use magari in Italian!

What next?

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