How do you use the word meglio in Italian? What does it mean? How do you pronounce it?
In this lesson, we will look at how to use this word with the help of many audio recordings and example sentences. Read on to learn everything you need to know!
Meglio in Italian
What is meglio?
Meglio is an adverb (it modifies a verb) that can be translated into English as “better”.
Its pronunciation is close to meh-hlee-oh. If you have trouble pronouncing Italian sounds, especially the palatalized L that has no equivalent in English, check out the Italian pronunciation guide.
Now, let’s see some example sentences with meglio in Italian, before we take a look at how to use this word.
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Language: English / Italian
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Non so cosa dire per farti sentire meglio.
I don’t know what to say to make you feel better.
Non hai niente di meglio da fare che guardarmi mangiare?
Don’t you have anything better to do than watch me eat?
Visto che sembri stanco, è meglio che ti riposi.
Since you look tired, you better rest.
È meglio che non mangi troppo.
You better not eat too much.
Now let’s see how to use meglio in Italian.
Use of meglio in Italian
We’ve said that meglio in Italian is an adverb that translates to the English adverb “better”. It’s the comparative form of bene (well) and it’s used to compare something to something else in a positive way.
Meglio is different from migliore, which is an adjective (it modifies a noun) and translates as “best”. Unlike regular Italian adjectives, it doesn’t change and doesn’t need to agree in gender and number with the noun.
Questo è il miglior giorno della mia vita.
This is the best day of my life.
(modifies a noun, giorno, so you have to use migliore)
La mia scrittura è migliore della tua.
My writing is better than yours.
(modifies a noun, scrittura, so you have to use migliore)
Marina parla svedese meglio di chiunque altro.
Marina speaks Swedish better than anyone else.
(modifies a verb, parlare, so you have to use meglio)
So cucinare meglio di te.
I can cook better than you.
(modifies a verb, cucinare, so you have to use meglio)
In colloquial speech, however, it’s often used as an “adjective” before the verb essere, to be, and just in front of the preposition di.
Un cioccolatino è meglio di un bicchiere di Coca Cola.
A chocolate candy is better than a glass of Coke.
Let’s listen to some other examples.
Sarebbe meglio per te rimanere a letto.
It would be better for you to stay in bed.
Mi sento molto meglio dopo una bella dormita.
I feel much better after a good night’s sleep.
È meglio lasciarla in pace.
We’d better leave her alone.
Expressions with meglio in Italian
There are a number of common idiomatic expressions featuring meglio in Italian. These are…
- meglio tardi che mai (better late than never)
- andare di bene in meglio (to get better and better)
- fare del proprio meglio (to do one’s best)
- avere la meglio (to get the upper hand, to prevail)
- meglio un uovo oggi che una gallina domani (“it’s better an egg today than a chicken tomorrow)
Ho fatto del mio meglio, ma non ho comunque superato la prova.
I did my best, but I still failed the test.
Il cane ha la meglio sul ladro e lo morde a una caviglia.
The dog overcomes the thief and bites him in the ankle.
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And that’s the end of our lesson on how to use meglio in Italian!
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