Word of the day: Subito

Subito (soo-bee-toh) means “soon, “now,” or “immediately.” It is used in a variety of very common expressions so learning how to use it can be very handy!

 

As always, it comes from the Latin subitus, an adjective similar to the verb subire, which we’d translate with something on the line of  “getting close to” or “coming close.” We began using it in Italian as early as the 15th century. 

 

One expression with subito  you may be familiar with — and  if you’re not, believe me, it’ll come useful next time you’re in Italy! — is torno subito, which means “I’ll be right back.” Why do I say it’s a useful phrase to know? Because that’s what you’ll find written on store windows and doors, if the shop assistant/owner had to leave the premises temporarily. Worry not: the time of a quick coffee and they’ll be back. 

 

Subito gives a  sense  of urgency to whatever you say: vieni subito qui! (“come here now!”) or devi venire subito a casa (“you must come back home now”) sound like an order to every Italian. 

 

If something  happens straight after another action, we said it happens subito dopo, which you’d translate  as “straight after,” “soon after.”

 

And then, there are those who have a real lust for life or plenty of ambition and  vogliono tutto subito (“they want everything, immediately”).

 

As you can see, our subito is a pretty useful little word. One to learn… subito!

Ho bisogno di aiuto, vieni subito a casa.

I need  your help, come back home now.

Prima ha parlato con me,  subito dopo con  mia moglie. 

He spoke with me first, and with my wife straight after. 

Sei troppo egoista,  non puoi avere tutto subito.

You’re too selfish, you can’t have everything immediately. 

 

Receive More Stories Like This In Your Inbox

SPONSORED

Recommended

Word of the Day: Rinascita

The word rinascita, or rebirth, has never sounded so beautiful. We pronounce it ree-nah-she-tah, and it has the same root and origin as Rinascimento...

Word of the Day: Orgoglio

This week’s word, orgoglio (ohr-goh-llio), is a very special one. To begin with, it doesn’t come from Latin, but from the old language of the Franks...

Expression of the Day: Non vedo l'ora

If you translate literally non vedo l’ora (noh-n vai-doh l’oh-rah), it doesn’t make much sense. What could “not being able to see the time” possibly...

Word of the Day: Fervore

I wonder how many people are familiar with the Italian word fervore ( fair-voh-reh), easily recognizable as the English “fervor.” Fervore comes from...

Word of the Day: Coraggio

If there is one thing people have been showing these days, that’d be coraggio (coh-rah-djoh). Its meaning is simple, because the Italian sounds and...

Weekly in Italian

Recent Issues