How do you say sit down in Italian?

How exactly do you say sit down in Italian? What’s 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 you can translate this sentence into Italian. Read on to learn them all!

Let’s start! Iniziamo!

how do you say sit down in italian - let's start - iniziamo - athlete woman running

How do you say sit down in Italian?

Singular: Siediti!

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 settings.

Sit down! (singular, informal)

black office chair

This common sentence in Italian is made 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, meaning 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.

smiling kid sitting on a yellow 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 sediti.

Imperative mood conjugation of sedersi

lui, leisi sieda
lorosi siedano

For example, you could say…

Che gli ospiti si siedano dove preferiscono.
Let guests sit wherever they like.

Sediamoci un po’ sulla panchina, ragazzi.
Let’s sit on the bench for a while, guys.

smiling woman sitting on a bench in front of a tree

Now, what do you have to say to say sit down in Italian to groups of people? You will need to conjugate the imperative verb in the second-person plural. Let’s see what this form is in the next paragraph.

Plural: Sedetevi!

Sedetevi is how you translate sit down in Italian when you are addressing more than one person.

Sit down! (plural)

Italian has two kinds of “you”, unlike English. There’s a singular “you” (tu) and then there’s a plural “you” (voi). If you are addressing a group, you will need to 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.

people sitting in a waiting room and a woman with a mask at the counter

Now, how do you say sit down in Italian when you want to be polite? Keep on reading to find out!

Polite: Si sieda!

If you are just visiting Italy and often meet new people, unless you both agree on using 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 kids, it’s customary to use tu, no matter the degree 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?

Si sieda!
Sit down! Have a seat! (formal)

You can also add pure, which is an untranslatable particle that softens any request or order in Italian. Since you use si sieda in formal settings, you don’t actually 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 it, now you know how to say sit down in Italian in all its forms!

What next?

➡️ Learn other common Italian questions!

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