What’s up in Italian

How exactly do you say what’s up in Italian?

In this lesson, we will take a deep look at how you can translate this sentence into Italian. Read on to find out!

Che…?
What…?

Let’s start! Iniziamo!

man working on a computer

How do you say what’s up in Italian?

Che succede?

Che succede? is how you most commonly translate what happened into Italian. You will also find the variant che è successo?.

Che succede?
What’s up?
Literally: What happens?

This common sentence in Italian is made of two elements.

Che
What

Succede
Happens

Che succede, ragazzi? – Stiamo dipingendo il cancello d’ingresso.
What’s up, guys? – We’re painting the front gate.

bug

Che succede, amico? is the Italian translation of Bugs Bunny’s famous catchphrase What’s up, Doc?.

Succede comes from succedere, to happen, which is a verb that belongs to the second -ere group. Be careful not to confuse che succede?, in the present tense, with cos’è successo, in the past tense.

Cosa succede? also translates “what happens?”, but it’s used to actually ask what’s happening. Che succede?, on the contrary, can also function as a greeting.

The meaning is very different!

Cos’è successo? – Il cane è scappato!
What happened? – The dog ran away!

Cosa succede, papà? – Non trovo le chiavi di casa!
What is happening, dad? – I can’t find my house keys!

man rummaging in his pockets after losing something

Successo has a double function in Italian.

It can be a masculine noun, il successo, meaning success.

La recita è stata un successo strepitoso.
The play was a resounding success.

And it is the past participle of the verb succedere, meaning to happen.

La corrente elettrica va spesso via. Ormai succede ogni giorno.
The electricity often goes out. It happens every day now.

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Come va?

Along with che succede?, come va? is another popular translation for what’s up in Italian.

Come va?
How’s it going?

Va is the third person singular conjugation of the verb andare, translating to go.

Italians use come va? mostly with friends and relatives. It’s neither formal nor informal, although you will seldom hear it in formal situations.

And that’s it, now you know how to say what’s up in Italian!


What next?

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