Ways To Say Please In Italian

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Written By Jessica Knight

Founder of Linguatics. Passionate multilinguist.

Are you planning a trip to Italy and want to make sure you can politely ask for things? Look no further! In this article, we will explore various ways to say ‘please’ in Italian. Whether you are in a formal setting or having a casual conversation, we’ve got you covered.

From the more formal expressions like ‘Per favore’ to the informal ones like ‘Per cortesia,’ you will learn how to navigate different situations with ease. Need to add a touch of politeness? We’ll show you how to use ‘gentilmente’ to make your requests even more courteous.

And if you find yourself in a restaurant, we have some specific phrases that will come in handy. So, get ready to impress the locals and make your interactions in Italy a breeze.

Let’s dive in and discover the many ways to say ‘please’ in Italian!

Formal Expressions of ‘Please’

Formal expressions of ‘Please’ can be seen as a polite way to ask for something. When you want to show respect or address someone in a formal setting, it’s important to use the appropriate language.

In Italian, there are various phrases you can use to convey politeness. One common expression is ‘Per favore,’ which directly translates to ‘Please.’ This phrase is widely used in formal situations, such as when you’re asking for assistance or making a request.

Another formal expression is ‘Mi scusi,’ which means ‘Excuse me’ or ‘Pardon me.’ It’s often used when you need to interrupt or get someone’s attention in a respectful manner.

By using these formal expressions of ‘Please,’ you can demonstrate your politeness and show respect in Italian conversations.

Informal Expressions of ‘Please’

Casually asking for a favor in Italian can be achieved through the use of contractions. When speaking informally, Italians often use contracted forms of the word ‘please’ to make their requests sound more casual and friendly.

One common contraction is ‘per favore’, which becomes ‘fa’vore’ when spoken informally. For example, if you want to ask someone to pass you the salt, you can say ‘Mi passi il sale, fa’vore?’

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Another contraction is ‘per piacere’, which becomes ‘piacere’ in informal conversations. So, if you want to ask someone to close the door, you can say ‘Chiudi la porta, piacere?’

These contractions add a touch of informality and friendliness to your requests, making it easier to ask for favors in a casual manner.

Using ‘Per Favore’ in Different Contexts

Informally, Italians often contract the phrase ‘per favore’ to ‘fa’vore’, adding a sense of warmth and familiarity to their requests in various contexts.

This contraction is commonly used among friends, family members, and close acquaintances. For example, when asking a friend for a favor, you might say, ‘Mi passi la penna, fa’vore?’ which translates to ‘Could you pass me the pen, please?’

This shortened form of ‘per favore’ is also used in restaurants when ordering food or drinks. You might say to the waiter, ‘Un caffè, fa’vore,’ meaning ‘A coffee, please.’

It is important to note that this informal contraction is not appropriate in formal or professional settings, where it is best to use the full phrase ‘per favore’.

Adding Politeness with ‘Gentilmente’

To enhance the politeness of your request, you can use the contraction ‘genti’mente’ in various situations, adding a touch of elegance and grace to your words.

This term is derived from the adjective ‘gentile’ which means ‘kind’ or ‘gentle.’ By adding ‘mente’ to the end of the word, it becomes an adverb that conveys the idea of doing something in a kind or gentle manner.

For example, instead of simply saying ‘Mi dia un caffè, per favore’ (Give me a coffee, please), you can say ‘Mi dia genti’mente un caffè, per favore’ (Kindly give me a coffee, please).

This subtle addition enhances your request, showing respect and consideration towards the person you are addressing.

Remember, using ‘genti’mente’ is a small but powerful way to make your language more polite and refined.

Using ‘Per Cortesia’ in Formal Situations

Kindly employ the phrase ‘per cortesia’ when addressing individuals in formal settings. This expression is a polite way to say ‘please’ and is commonly used in professional environments or when speaking to someone of higher authority.

By using ‘per cortesia,’ you show respect and consideration towards the other person. It demonstrates your willingness to be polite and follow proper etiquette.

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For example, if you need assistance from a colleague or a supervisor, you can say, ‘Per cortesia, potresti aiutarmi con questo documento?’ (Please, could you help me with this document?).

Remember to use a respectful tone and maintain proper body language when using ‘per cortesia’ to ensure effective communication and create a positive impression.

Expressing Politeness with ‘Per Piacere’

Expressing politeness in Italian can be done by using the phrase ‘per piacere,’ which is a way to politely ask for something without sounding demanding. This expression is commonly used in various situations, such as when you want to request a favor or ask someone to do something for you. By using ‘per piacere,’ you’re showing respect and consideration towards the other person.

It is important to remember that politeness is highly valued in Italian culture, so using this phrase can help you create a positive impression. Additionally, it’s worth noting that the tone of voice and body language also play a role in conveying politeness. So, when using ‘per piacere,’ make sure to maintain a respectful and courteous demeanor to enhance the effectiveness of your request.

Using ‘Mi Scusi’ for Apologies and Requests

Now let’s move on to another way of expressing politeness in Italian. If you find yourself needing to apologize or make a request, a useful phrase to remember is ‘Mi Scusi’.

This phrase, which literally translates to ‘excuse me’, can be used in various situations to convey politeness and respect. Whether you accidentally bump into someone on the street or need to ask for directions, ‘Mi Scusi’ is a polite and effective way to get someone’s attention.

By using this phrase, you show that you are aware of the other person’s presence and are seeking their forgiveness or assistance. So, next time you find yourself in need of an apology or favor, remember to use ‘Mi Scusi’ to ensure your request is received with courtesy.

Adding Emphasis with ‘Per Favore, Per Favore’

To add extra emphasis when making a request in Italian, you can use the phrase "Per Favore, Per Favore". This phrase translates to "Please, please" in English and is a way to emphasize the urgency or importance of your request. By repeating "Per Favore", you are showing that you really need or want something.

For example, if you are asking someone to pass you the salt at the dinner table, you could say "Per Favore, Per Favore, passami il sale". This double repetition of "Per Favore" adds a sense of politeness and urgency to your request. It shows that you are being respectful and considerate of the other person’s time and effort.

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So next time you want to make sure your request is heard, remember to use "Per Favore, Per Favore".

Using ‘Per Favore’ in Restaurant Settings

Using ‘Per Favore’ can greatly enhance your dining experience in an Italian restaurant. When interacting with the staff, it’s important to be polite and respectful. By adding ‘Per Favore’ to your requests, you show your appreciation for their service and create a friendly atmosphere.

For example, when ordering, you can say ‘Un tavolo per favore’ (A table, please) or ‘Un bicchiere d’acqua per favore’ (A glass of water, please). Additionally, when asking for the menu or the bill, you can say ‘Il menu, per favore’ (The menu, please) or ‘Il conto, per favore’ (The bill, please).

These simple phrases not only demonstrate good manners but also make you feel more connected to the Italian culture and enhance your overall dining experience.

Common Phrases to Use in Everyday Conversations

Imagine yourself strolling through the charming streets of Italy, effortlessly engaging in conversations with locals using common phrases that seamlessly blend into your everyday interactions.

You’ll find that mastering a few key phrases can go a long way in making you feel like a local.

When greeting someone, a simple ‘Ciao’ or ‘Buongiorno’ will suffice.

If you need assistance, saying ‘Mi scusi’ (excuse me) or ‘Posso chiederti una cosa?’ (may I ask you something?) will help you get their attention.

To express gratitude, a heartfelt ‘Grazie’ or ‘Grazie mille’ (thank you very much) will do the trick.

And when saying goodbye, a friendly ‘Arrivederci’ or ‘A presto’ (see you soon) will leave a lasting impression.

By incorporating these common phrases into your everyday conversations, you’ll feel at ease navigating through the beautiful language of Italy.


In conclusion, being able to say ‘please’ in Italian is an essential skill for polite and effective communication. Whether you’re using formal expressions like ‘per favore’ or informal expressions like ‘per piacere,’ knowing how to use these phrases in different contexts will help you navigate various situations with confidence.

Adding additional words like ‘gentilmente’ or ‘per cortesia’ can enhance your politeness, while phrases like ‘mi scusi’ can be used for apologies and requests. So, remember to use these phrases in your everyday conversations to show respect and courtesy in Italian.