How do you say WHILE in Italian?

How exactly do you say while in Italian?

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

Let’s start! Iniziamo!


How do you say while in Italian?

Mentre

Mentre is the most common way to translate while in Italian.

Mentre
While

For example, you could say…

Ascolti musica mentre studi?
Do you listen to music while you study?

Ascolto spesso la radio mentre faccio i compiti.
I often listen to the radio while I do homework.

kid listening to a radio

Title: Italian All-in-One For Dummies
Language: English / Italian
Publisher: For Dummies
Pages: 672

Learn to speak Italian like a native? Easy.
Italian All-in-One For Dummies appeals to those readers looking for a comprehensive, all-encompassing guide to mastering the Italian language. It contains content from all For Dummies Italian language instruction titles, including Italian For Dummies, Intermediate Italian For Dummies, Italian Verbs For Dummies, Italian Phrases For Dummies, Italian Grammar For Dummies, and Italian For Dummies Audio Set.


Finché

Finché is a less common translation for while in Italian.

Finché
While

For example, you could say…

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

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


How to use mentre and finché in Italian

Mentre introduces an action that takes place at the same time as another, just like the English conjunction “while”.

La mamma stira mentre il gatto dorme.
Mom is ironing while the cat is sleeping.

Mi sono sporcato i vestiti mentre mangiavo un gelato.
I got my clothes dirty while I was eating an ice cream.

Finché, however, works a bit differently. It introduces actions that are valid for a limited time.

Mangia la zuppa finché è calda.
Eat your soup while it’s warm.

Bevo la mia birra finché è fredda.
I drink my beer while it’s cold.

It’s worth noting that this translation for while in Italian can also mean “instead” and can be translated as whereas. In this case, it’s no longer describing an action that’s happening at the same time as another, but introducing a contrasting statement.

Le salamandre sono anfibi, mentre i gechi sono rettili.
Salamanders are amphibians, while geckos are reptiles.

Le patate crescono nel terreno, mentre le mele crescono sugli alberi.
Potatoes grow in the ground, whereas apples grow on trees.

And that’s the end of your lesson, now you know how to say while in Italian!


What next?

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

Aiuta Lingookies con un 👍!

❤️ If you liked this lesson on how do you say while in Italian, consider sharing it with your social media friends who are also studying Italian.