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 a few expressions featuring this word. Read on to learn them all!
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Small in Italian
Piccolo is how you translate small into Italian. Let’s hear how this adjective is pronounced.
Its pronunciation is similar to peek-koh-loh. Make sure the final -o has a pure sound, as Italian vowel sounds are clean!
Like all other adjectives in Italian, piccolo needs to 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 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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For example, you could say…
Rispetto alla tua, la mia auto è piccola.
Compared with 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 only a small part of the universe.
Avete delle taglie più piccole?
Do you have any smaller sizes?
Other translations for small in Italian
Piccolo is not the only translation for small. You can also stretto.
Small, tight, narrow
You use stretto for talking about clothes that don’t fit (use piccolo for asking for smaller sizes though!)
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 for 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 small 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 it, now you know how to say small in Italian!
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