How do you use the word senza in Italian? What does it mean? How do you pronounce it?
In this lesson, we will look at how to use this word, along with many audio recordings and example sentences. Read on to learn all you need to know!
Senza in Italian
What is senza?
Senza is both a preposition and a conjunction, translated into English as “without”.
Its pronunciation is close to sen-tsah and it comes from the Latin word absentia, “in absence of”. If you have trouble pronouncing Italian sounds, check out the Italian pronunciation guide.
Now, let’s see a couple of example sentences featuring senza 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 posso vivere senza televisione.
I can’t live without a TV.
Riesci a immaginare come sarebbe la nostra vita senza elettricità?
Can you imagine what our lives would be like without electricity?
La mia vita sarebbe completamente vuota senza di te.
My life would be completely empty without you.
È difficile svegliarsi senza una tazza di caffè.
It is difficult to wake up without a cup of coffee.
Non puoi entrare nell’edificio senza un permesso.
You can’t enter the building without a permit.
Non possiamo vivere senza aria.
We cannot live without air.
Now let’s see how to use senza in Italian.
Use of senza in Italian
Since senza means “without”, it’s the opposite of con, which means “with”.
Senza is often followed by an object, as we’ve seen in the examples above.
Fuori fa molto freddo. Senza cappotto ti prenderai il raffreddore.
It is very cold outside. You’ll catch a cold without a coat.
Non c’è fumo senza fuoco.
There is no smoke without fire.
It can also precede a verb in the infinitive mood.
Mattia uscì di casa senza prendere il portafoglio.
Mattia left the house without taking his wallet.
Lo studente se ne andò senza dire nulla.
The student left without saying anything.
Finally, when it precedes a pronoun, as in “without you/me/her”, senza must be accompanied by the preposition DI in Italian.
Siamo andati senza di lui perché non era pronto.
We went without him because he wasn’t ready.
Non posso vivere senza di te.
I can’t live without you.
Unlike English, senza in Italian is never followed by a verb in its gerund form!
Common expressions featuring senza in Italian
There are a number of idiomatic expressions featuring senza in Italian. For example, you could find…
- non c’è due senza tre (three times is a charm)
- non c’è rosa senza spine (every rose has its thorns)
- senz’altro! (of course!)
- essere senza parole (to be speechless)
And that’s the end of our lesson on how to use senza in Italian!
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