How exactly do you say where are you going in Italian? What’s more appropriate to say depending on the relationship between you and the other person?
In this lesson, we will take a look at the different ways you can translate this sentence into Italian. Read on to learn them all!
Let’s start! Iniziamo!
How do you say where are you going in Italian?
Singular: Dove stai andando?
Dove stai andando? is how you translate where are you going in Italian when you are addressing only one person you are on familiar terms with.
Dove stai andando?
Where are you going? (singular, familiar)
This common sentence in Italian is made of three elements.
Are you (literally, you stay)
Dove stai andando? – Sto andando al piano di sopra.
Where are you going? – I’m going upstairs.
Dove stai andando? – Al supermercato.
Where are you going? – To the supermarket.
The gerund tense in Italian uses the verb stare, to stay, while English uses to be. Stai is basically the second person singular present conjugation of stare (that’s a mouthful!).
Present tense conjugation for stare
For example, you could say…
Mia nonna sta russando sul divano.
My grandma is snoring on the sofa.
L’insegnante sta scrivendo sulla lavagna.
The teacher is writing on the blackboard.
We then have the gerund form of the verb andare, which is andando.
Andare, andando, andato
To go, going, gone
Usually, to create the gerund form of a verb you simply append the endings -ando/endo to the root form of the verb, also known as the stem.
What’s the stem of a verb?
Italian verbs in the infinitive end in -ARE, -ERE and -IRE.
Cut out this part and you will be left with the root verb.
tremare ➡️ trem-
piovere ➡️ piov-
cucire ➡️ cuc-
Italian verb endings for every tense are added to these root forms of the verb.
Verbs in -are will take -ando, and verbs in -ere and -ire will take -endo.
For example, tremare (to tremble) will become tremando (trembling), piovere (to rain) will become piovendo (raining).
Andare is an irregular verb but its gerund form is regular: and…ando.
This is why you’ll translate where are you going in Italian as dove stai andando?.
Now, what do you have to say to ask where are you going in Italian to groups of people? You will need to conjugate the verb stare in the second person plural. Let’s see what this form is in the next paragraph.
Plural: Dove state andando?
Dove state andando? is how you translate where are you going in Italian when you are addressing more than one person.
Dove state andando?
Where are you going? (plural)
Italian has two kinds of “you”, unlike English. There’s a singular “you” and then there’s a plural “you”. If you are addressing a group, you will need to conjugate the verb stare according to the latter pronoun, which is voi.
From the table in the previous paragraph, you can see that the conjugation you have to use is voi state.
Bambine, dove state andando? – Stiamo andando a giocare in giardino.
Girls, where are you going? – We are going to play in the garden.
Dove state andando? – Da nessuna parte!
Where are you going? – Nowhere!
Now, how do you say where are you going in Italian when you need to be formal? Keep on reading to find out!
Polite: Dove sta andando?
If you are just visiting Italy and often meet new people, unless you both agree on using the informal pronoun tu you will have to stick to the formal pronoun Lei when talking to other adults and people you are not on familiar terms with. With kids, it’s customary to use tu, no matter the degree of familiarity.
So, how do you formally ask where are you going in Italian?
Dove sta andando?
Where are you going? (formal)
Scusi, dove sta andando?
Excuse me, where are you going?
This question uses the third person singular conjugation. Basically, when speaking formally, Italians address each other with the subject “she”, lei.
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And that’s it, now you know how to say where are you going in Italian in all its forms!
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