How do you say SMALL in Italian?

How exactly do you say small in Italian?

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


Let’s get started! Iniziamo!

Small in Italian


Piccolo is how you translate small in Italian. Let’s hear how this adjective is pronounced.

Its pronunciation is similar to peek-koh-loh. Make sure the final -o has a clean sound, because Italian vowels are clean!


little kid having a tantrum

Like all other adjectives in Italian, piccolo must match the noun in both gender and number.


If a child is small, you will say piccolo because child, bambino, is a masculine noun in Italian.

Likewise, you will say piccola if you’re talking about a female child, bambina, which is a feminine noun.

Plural nouns behave in the same way: if you want to describe a group of small children (masculine plural), use piccoli. If you’re talking about some little girls (feminine plural), use piccole instead.

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Pages: 672

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For example, you could say…

Rispetto alla tua, la mia auto è piccola.
Compared to yours, my car is small.

Davanti a casa mia c’è un piccolo giardino.
There is a small garden in front of my house.

Il nostro mondo è solo una piccola parte dell’universo.
Our world is just a small part of the universe.

Avete delle taglie più piccole?
Do you have any smaller sizes?

man wearing orange clothes that are too large

Other translations for small in Italian

Piccolo is not the only translation for small. You can also use stretto.

Small, tight, narrow

You use stretto to talk about clothes that don’t fit (but use piccolo for asking for smaller sizes!)

Le mie scarpe sono troppo strette. Me ne servono di nuove.
My shoes are too small. I need new ones.

Mi serve una taglia più piccola di questo maglione.
I need a smaller size of this sweater.

Common expressions with piccolo in Italian

There are a number of idiomatic expressions featuring the word for small in Italian. Among these are:

  • il pesce grande mangia il pesce piccolo (big fish eat little fish)
  • com’è piccolo il mondo! (how small is the world!)
  • fare le ore piccole (to stay up late)
  • farsi piccolo piccolo (to make oneself as small as possible)

For example, you could say…

Ho fatto le ore piccole stanotte.
I was up late last night.

Francesco? Cosa ci fai qui? Com’è piccolo il mondo!
Francesco? What are you doing here? How small is the world!

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

What next?

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

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