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In Italian, idioms (figures of speech) are called “espressioni idiomatiche”.

They can be tricky and hard to understand, because when you translate an idiom, you don’t get its real meaning, but only the meaning of the words it is made of. That is why, for those interested in understanding the Italian language and culture, it is helpful to learn somecommon Italian idioms.

Here are some examples:

  • Di punto in bianco: improvvisamente (suddenly)
  • A quattr’occhi: a tu per tu; privatamente (just between us; in private)
  • Per filo e per segno: dettagliatamente, nei minimi particolari (with lots of details)
  • Al volo: subito, all’istante, velocemente (right now, fast, quickly)
  • Stare sulle spine: in uno stato di preoccupazione (to be worried)
  • Su per giù: all’incirca (more or less)
  • Su due piedi: improvvisamente, immediatamente (suddenly, on the spot)
  • Alla buona: semplice, senza pretese (simple, not fancy)
  • A malapena: con difficoltà, a fatica (hardly, barely)
  • Di buon’ora: molto presto (very early)

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