How do you say UNTIL in Italian?

How exactly do you say until in Italian?

In this lesson, we will take a look at the different ways you can translate this word into Italian and others. Read on to learn them all.

Let’s start! Iniziamo!


How do you say until in Italian?

Finché

Finché is how you most commonly translate until in Italian. It can also translate as long as.

Finché
Until, as long as

First, let’s see a couple of examples with as long as, since it’s easier for you to learn./s

Non puoi spegnere il riscaldamento finché il sistema è in funzione.
You can’t turn the heat off as long as the system is operating.

Non dimenticherò mai la tua gentilezza finché vivrò.
I will never forget your kindness as long as I live.

Ti piace la minestra? Puoi mangiarne finché vuoi!
Do you like soup? You can eat as much as you like!

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Finché non

Finché non literally means “until not” and is a set expression to translate until in Italian. Don’t let that negative particle fool you: sentences featuring this expression are NOT negative.

Devi rimanere qui finché non torniamo.
You have to stay here until we come back.

Tieni gli occhi chiusi finché non ti dico di aprirli.
Keep your eyes closed until I tell you to open them.

Imagine there’s no negative non and translate the sentence into English. Until in Italian is used in the same way as until in English when it precedes a verb:

Devi rimanere quifinché nontorniamo.
You have to stay hereuntilwe come back.
Tieni gli occhi chiusifinché nonti dico di aprirli.
Keep your eyes closeduntilI tell you to open them.
woman with painful eyes

Here are some other examples:

Percorri questa strada finché non arrivi a un semaforo.
Go down this road until you get to a traffic light.

Non puoi mangiare il dessert finché non hai finito il tuo pasto.
You can’t have dessert until you finish your meal.

Aspettiamo qui finché Luca non torna.
Let’s wait here until Luca comes back.


Fino a

Fino a is used to translate until in Italian when it precedes anything but a verb. For example, you could say…

Spero che il tempo regga fino a domenica.
I hope the weather will hold until Sunday.

In Canada non è permesso bere fino a 20 anni.
In Canada, you’re not allowed to drink until you are 20.

Non è tornato fino alle nove.
He did not come back until nine o’clock.

Ballarono fino a mezzanotte inoltrata.
They danced until after midnight.

man and woman dancing

Do you remember one of our previous examples?

Devi rimanere qui finché non torniamo.
You have to stay here until we come back.

What if I tell you that you can use a noun here, ritorno? Try translating this sentence into Italian: “You have to stay here until our comeback.

Devi rimanere qui fino al nostro ritorno.
You have to stay here until we come back.
[our comeback]

Since ritorno is a noun, you have to use fino a here.


Finché or finché non?

Finché also introduces actions that will be valid for a limited time, translating “while”.

Bevi il tè finché è caldo.
Drink the tea while it’s hot.

Finché piove a dirotto, non possiamo uscire.
As long as it’s pouring rain, we can’t go out.

Devo fare il bucato finché c’è il sole.
I have to do the laundry while it’s still sunny.

clothes hanging out to dry

Make sure you don’t confuse this with finché non. If you mess up with these, you risk saying something you don’t really intend to! Consider these sentences again:

Devo fare il bucato finché c’è il sole.
I have to do the laundry while it’s still sunny.

Now consider this sentence:

Devo fare il bucato finché non c’è il sole.
I have to do the laundry while it’s not sunny.

Make sure you pick the correct translation! And that’s it, now you know how to say until in Italian!


What next?

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

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