How To Give And Ask For Directions In Italian

We're coving the 10 most important things to know to get by in Italian. Last week, we looked at Italian greetings, at the common courtesies, and asking questions. This week, we started with things you will need, and we've covered numbers. Now we're going to talk about directions.

6. Directions

Direction words tell you where things are and where people go. They're not only cardinal directions (north, south, east, and west) but also prepositions. I've already written more detailed posts about regular prepositions and improper prepositions, if you want more detail. Today, I'm just covering basics.

nord : north

sud : south

est : east

ovest : west

a sinistra : left

a destra : right

dritto : straight (ahead)

fino a : up to (ending at)

dentro : inside

fuori : outside

su : up

sopra : above

giù : down

sotto : below

davanti : in front of

dietro : behind

accanto a : next to

vicino : near

lontano : far

qui : right here

qua : here

là : there

questo : this

quello : that

prima : before

dopo : after

poi : then

Putting it together

When you add these direction words to the numbers, you end up with the ability to give, or more likely receive, directions. You can say dritto due isolati e poi a destrastraight two blocks, and then to the right... and more importantly, you can pick those words out of an explanation when you ask dov'è la farmacia?

But these direction words are also useful when you hit the market for souvenirs. When you ask quanto costa quello? (how much does that cost) and the shopkeeper doesn't know which item you're talking about, you can guide him a destra, a destra, più a destra... okay... sopra... sì, quello!


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