How exactly do you say sit down in Italian? What is more appropriate to ask depending on the relationship between you and the other person?
In this lesson, we will take a look at the different ways to say this sentence in Italian. Read on to learn them all!
Let’s get started! Iniziamo!
How do you say sit down in Italian?
Siediti is how you translate sit down in Italian when you are addressing only one person that you know well and are on familiar terms with, such as a friend or a relative. It’s used in informal situations.
Sit down! (singular, informal)
This common sentence in Italian is made up of just one element.
Imperative “you” form of sedersi, to sit down
Siediti sulla poltrona.
Sit down on the armchair.
Siediti, Federico. Sarai stanco dal lungo viaggio.
Sit down, Federico. You’ll be tired from the long journey.
It is a one-element sentence because siediti comes from the reflexive verb sedersi, which means to sit down. Literally, it could be translated as “to sit oneself” and it’s meant as a movement, not as a state. To sit (on something) is translated as sedere.
Il bambino è seduto sulla sedia.
The kid is sitting on the chair.
Il bambino si siede sulla sedia.
The kid sits down on the chair.
Siediti is the second-person singular conjugation of sedersi, to sit down, in the imperative mood. You will notice it has an irregular conjugation: it’s siediti, with an -i-, not
Imperative mood conjugation of sedersi
For example, you could say…
Che gli ospiti si siedano dove preferiscono.
Let the guests sit wherever they like.
Sediamoci un po’ sulla panchina, ragazzi.
Let’s sit on the bench for a while, guys.
Now, what do you have to say to tell a group of people to sit down in Italian? You will need to conjugate the imperative verb in the second-person plural. Let’s see what this form is in the next paragraph.
Sedetevi is how you translate sit down in Italian when you are addressing more than one person.
Sit down! (plural)
In Italian, unlike English, there are two kinds of “you”. There’s a singular “you” (tu) and then there’s a plural “you” (voi). If you are addressing a group, you must conjugate any verb or pronoun accordingly.
If you take a closer look at the conjugation table above, you will notice that the conjugation for the subject pronoun voi is sedetevi.
Sedetevi pure in sala d’attesa. Il dottore arriverà a breve.
Have a seat in the waiting room. The doctor will arrive shortly.
So how do you say sit down in Italian when you want to be polite? Read on to find out!
Polite: Si sieda!
If you are just visiting Italy and often meet new people, unless you both agree to use the informal pronoun tu you will have to stick to the polite pronoun Lei when talking to other adults and people you are not on familiar terms with. With children, it’s customary to use tu regardless of familiarity.
This is the equivalent of she in English. Basically, when speaking formally, Italians address each other with the subject “she”, lei.
What’s the imperative conjugation of the verb sedersi for the subject pronoun lei? Si sieda.
Aiuta Lingookies con un 👍!
That said, how do you formally ask someone to take a seat in Italian?
Sit down! Have a seat! (formal)
You can also add pure, which is an untranslatable particle that softens any request or command in Italian. Since you use si sieda in formal situations, you don’t really want to sound rude!
Si sieda pure in salotto, signora Bianchi. Arriverò a momenti.
Please take a seat in the living room, Mrs. Bianchi. I’ll be there in a moment.
And that’s the end of our lesson on how to say sit down in Italian in all its forms!
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