What’s the meaning of “Passare il segno”?

In this short lesson, we will learn the meaning of the Italian idiom Passare il segno along with its pronunciation. If you often exaggerate, this expression is for you!

Let’s get started! Iniziamo!

Passare il segno

Meaning of the idiom

Passare il segno can be literally translated as “to go past the mark”. Its meaning is the same as the English expressions to be out of line, to cross the line or to go too far: when you behave in an appropriate way, you’re “going past the mark”.

Linguistically speaking, it can be broken down into…

child having a tantrum

For example, you could say…

Ora hai davvero passato il segno. Smettila subito!
Now you have really gone too far. Stop it right now!

Mattia ha problemi di gestione della rabbia. Ha passato il segno.
Mattia has anger management issues. He has crossed the line.

Pronunciation of Passare il segno in Italian

Now let’s hear how this idiom is pronounced.

Passare il segno.
To be out of line, to cross the line.
Literally: To go past the mark.

If you need help with Italian pronunciation, check out the lesson on the Italian alphabet and pronunciation.

Where does Passare il segno come from?

The mark is a boundary: when you “get past the mark”, it means you’ve crossed an invisible boundary of politeness (educazione) and you’re behaving in a socially inappropriate manner.

a drawing of two men having a party at night

And that’s the end of our lesson on the Italian idiom Passare il segno!

What next?

See all the other Italian idioms!

Now that you’ve seen what the meaning of the idiom Passare il segno is in Italian, you might want to keep learning Italian online with these free Italian resources:

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.

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