What’s the meaning of “Perdere il filo”?

In this short lesson, we will learn the meaning of the Italian idiom Perdere il filo along with its pronunciation. If you have a short memory, this expression is for you!

Let’s get started! Iniziamo!

Perdere il filo

Meaning of the idiom

Perdere il filo can be literally translated as “to lose the thread”. Its meaning is the same as the English expression to lose track or to lose your train of thought, so it’s used to describe someone who forgets the conversation’s topic.

Linguistically speaking, it can be broken down into…

a woman sewing

Sometimes you can also find this idiom as perdere il filo del discorso, literally meaning “to lose the conversation’s thread”.

For example, you could say…

Ho perso il filo dei discorso. Cosa stavo dicendo?
I lost my train of thought. What was I saying?

Il nostro professore di lettere perde spesso il filo mentre spiega.
Our literature professor often loses track (of his conversation) while explaining.

Pronunciation of Perdere il filo in Italian

Now let’s hear how this idiom is pronounced.

Perdere il filo.
To lose your train of thought.
Literally: To lose the thread.

Perdere il filo del discorso.
To lose your train of thought.
Literally: To lose the conversation’s thread.

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

Where does Perdere il filo come from?

This idiom is related to the old art of weaving, la tessitura.

a man sewing with a sewing machine

In rug making, you have to be careful to pull the right threads because there is a precise pattern that you must follow for the design to come out well. If you lose the position of these threads… you have to start all over again!

And that’s the end of our lesson on the Italian idiom Perdere il filo!

What next?

See all the other Italian idioms!

Now that you’ve seen what the meaning of the idiom Perdere il filo 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

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