How do you translate the expression to be thirsty in Italian?
In this lesson, we’ll take a look at this very expression, also known as collocation, and we’ll even talk about what kinds of thirst there are in Italian and what words you can use to describe them.
Let’s get started! Iniziamo!
To be thirsty in Italian
First of all, let’s translate to be thirsty in Italian.
To be thirsty
To be thirsty in Italian – Let’s break this down!
Avere sete could literally be translated as to have thirst.
Marta ha sete.
Marta is thirsty.
Although you could literally translate to be thirsty as essere assetato, where assetato is an adjective, this expression is almost never used in everyday life.
To be thirsty
Ideally, you would say something like sono assetato!, I am thirsty!, to emphasize your condition: I AM thirsty (and I need water asap).
If you just want to say that you’re thirsty, stick to avere sete.
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Avere is a very common verb used in a wide variety of other Italian expressions. Here are a few:
To be hot
To be cold
Avere bisogno di
To be hungry
➡️ Read the lesson on how to say to be hungry in Italian!
For example, you could say:
Ho sempre molta fame dopo aver lavorato tutto il giorno.
I am always very hungry after working all day.
Non hai caldo con il cappotto? Ci sono 21 gradi!
Aren’t you warm in your coat? It’s 21 degrees!
Quell’uccellino sul ramo sta tremando. Deve avere freddo.
That little bird on the branch is shivering. It must be cold.
Ho bisogno di tre matite e sei quaderni a righe.
I need three pencils and six lined notebooks.
We said that the translation for to be thirsty in Italian is avere sete. Sete is a feminine noun (una/la sete). Because it’s uncountable, it has no plural form.
Non bevo nulla da stamattina. Ho la gola secca e una sete pazzesca.
I haven’t had anything to drink since this morning. My throat is dry and I’m so thirsty.
Stefano alleviò la sete con un grosso bicchiere di birra.
Stefano quenched his thirst with a big glass of beer.
There’s more than one kind of thirst in Italian. Here are some words that often go with sete.
Sete di potere
Lust/thirst for power
Morire di sete
To die of thirst
For example, you could say…
La sete è la sensazione di aver bisogno di bere qualcosa.
Thirst is the feeling of having to drink something.
È morta di sete durante la siccità.
She died of thirst during the drought.
Tu la chiami sete di potere e io la chiamo irresponsabilità.
You call it lust for power, and I call it irresponsibility.
To be thirsty in Italian – Examples
Sembra che il tuo cane abbia sete.
It looks like your dog is thirsty.
Ho sete. Dammi qualcosa di fresco da bere, per favore.
I’m thirsty. Give me something cold to drink, please.
Non mi ero reso conto di quanto fossi assetato.
I didn’t realize how thirsty I was.
Questi pretzel mi fanno venire sete.
These pretzels make me thirsty.
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