How do you say SAD in Italian?

How exactly do you say sad in Italian?

In this lesson, we will take a look at the different words you can use to talk about being sad in Italian and you will even learn some interesting facts featuring this word. Read on to learn them all!


Let’s get started! Iniziamo!

Sad in Italian


Triste is how you translate sad in Italian. Let’s hear how this adjective is pronounced.

Its pronunciation is similar to trees-teh and it comes from the latin word tristis, “sad”. Make sure the final -e has a clean sound, because Italian vowel sounds are clean!


sad kid hitting the floor with a fist

Triste has only two forms because adjectives ending in -e in Italian remain unchanged for both genders, but must match the number (singular/plural) of the noun they describe.


If a man is sad, you would say triste because man, uomo, is a masculine noun in Italian.

Likewise, if you’re talking about a woman, donna, which is a feminine noun, you would say triste.

But triste changes to tristi for plural nouns of either gender.

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For example, you can say…

Laura è triste perché non potrà partecipare alla festa.
Laura is sad because she won’t be able to attend the party.

Oggi sono triste e non so nemmeno perché.
I’m sad today and I don’t even know why.

Giovanni ha un’espressione triste mentre legge la lettera.
Giovanni has a sad expression while reading the letter.

Gli studenti sono tristi perché non hanno passato l’esame.
The students are sad because they failed the exam.

a sad student walking home

Other translations for sad in Italian

There are a number of synonyms for sad in Italian that you can use instead of triste. The most common ones are…



Dejected, despondent

Miserable, dejected

For example, you can say…

Il ragazzo fa un sorriso mesto e sospira.
The boy gives a sad smile and sighs.

Perché sei così depresso ultimamente?
Why have you been so depressed lately?

Sono parecchio abbattuta. Mi hanno ancora bocciata all’esame.
I am quite dejected. I still flunked the exam.

depressed woman walking away

Tristo is a bit different from triste. It still means said, but it’s almost exclusively used in the expression Tristo Mietitore, which is the personification of Death.

From triste you get tristezza, sadness. This is one of the emotions in the movie Inside Out!

Questa foto mi suscita grande tristezza.
This picture makes me very sad.
(lit. This picture evokes great sadness in me.)

Expressions with sad in Italian

Sad is a very common word in Italian, so it’s not surprising that there are many expressions featuring triste. Let’s see a few of them:

  • essere triste (to be sad)
  • essere uno spettacolo triste (to be a sad sight)
  • avere una faccia triste (to have a sad expression)
  • avere un’aria triste (to have a sad expression)

For example, you can say:

Sono triste perché l’estate sta finendo.
I am sad because summer is ending.

Quel ragazzo ha un’aria molto triste.
That boy looks very sad.
(lit. He has a very sad air.)

Hai una faccia triste. È successo qualcosa?
You have a sad expression. Did something happen?
(lit. You have a sad face.)

woman eating with a sad face

There is another expression that features the verb vedere, to see, as vedere + [emotional state]. This can be used with triste and other emotions like happy, tired, etc.

It literally means “I see you + sad/happy/tired” and can be translated into English as “You look sad/happy/tired…”.

Ti vedo triste. Cos’è successo?
You look sad. What happened?

Ti vedo stanco. Da quante ore stai lavorando?
You look tired. How many hours have you been working?

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

What next?

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

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