To be thirsty in Italian

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 will even talk about what kinds of thirst are there in Italian and what words you can use to describe them.

Let’s go! Iniziamo!

To be thirsty in Italian

First things first, let’s translate to be thirsty in Italian.

Avere sete
To be thirsty

very thirsty man - how do you say to be thirsty in italian

To be thirsty in Italian – Let’s break this up!

Avere sete could be literally translated as to have thirst.

To have


Marta ha sete.
Marta is thirsty.

Although you could literally translate to be thirsty as essere assetato, with assetato being an adjective, in everyday life this expression is almost never used.

Essere assetato
To be thirsty

Ideally you would say something like sono assetato!, I am thirsty!, to stress your condition: I AM thirsty (and I need water asap).

If you just need to get across that you’re thirsty, stick to avere sete.

thirsty woman wanting a glass of water

Avere is a verb of the second -ere group. Its indicativo presente conjugation is irregular and is as follows.

lui, leiha

Avere is a very common verb that is used in a wide variety of other Italian expressions. Here are some:

Avere caldo
To be hot

Avere freddo
To be cold

Avere bisogno di
To need

Avere fame
To be hungry

➡️ Read the lesson on how to say to be hungry in Italian!

hot kid fanning himself with his hand - how do you say to be thirsty 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 ruled notebooks.


We said that the translation for to be thirsty in Italian is avere sete. Sete is a feminine noun (una/la sete). Since it’s uncountable, it has no plural form.

Non bevo nulla da stamattina. Ho la gola secca e una sete pazzesca.
I haven’t drunk anything since this morning. My throat is dry and I’m so thirsty.

Stefano alleviò la sete con un grosso bicchiere di birra.
Stefano satisfied his thirst with a large glass of beer.

drought, dry and cracked earth

There’s more than one kind of thirst in Italian. Here are some words that often go with sete.

Sete inestinguibile
Unquenchable thirst

Sete di potere
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 needing 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 thirst for power, and I call it irresponsibility.

employee stealing money from a vault

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 cool 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 are making me thirsty.

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