How to say 'How wonderful!' in Italian and similar expressions

This is an Italian expression that I use pretty much every day.

I’ll show you how to build it and when to use it. I'll also give you some examples. When you have it in a context it’ll be much easier to understand and therefore use.

It’s the exclamation that uses the che followed by an adjective or noun. And it’s used to express a feeling and sentiment or to comment on something. It’s short and sweet and yet packed with flavour.

Che buono! How delicious! How yummy!

Use this when you are eating a wonderful dish.

 

Che bello!

Use this when you are looking at something beautiful.

Never use this one when you are tasting something. Bello is for our eyes only, buono is for your taste.



Another example:

Che brutto! How ugly! or

Again for your eyes only. For a painting you don’t like or a dress that you are not too keen on or an ugly handbag (of course this would have to be che brutta! because borsa bag is feminine), but let’s stick with the masculine singular for now. Che brutto!

 

Che schifo! How disgusting!

For instance, if you see vomit on the road or if you smell milk gone sour.

Che schifo is for visual, for taste and for smell.

 

Che puzza! Stinky! how smelly! it's a disgusting smell! So for instance you smell milk gone bad.

 If I smell something disgusting I can actually use both Che schifo! or Che puzza! 

If I taste something disgusting, I can only say che schifo. Che puzza is for smell only. How can we remember this? The skunk, the animal is called puzzola in Italian.

 

Let’s look at another 2 very common expressions.

Che barba! (how boring). This is for something is is taking too long. Literally, it means what a beard. So in a way it’s taking so long that I could grow a beard. Or when something is really exhausting you.

I would use this when kids are nagging and you can’t wait for them to go back to school, Che barba!



Che palle! Literally it means balls, but we commonly use this expression to indicate that something is annoying us.

For instance:

If we are asked to do something that we don’t want to - Che palle!

If we have just finished mopping the floor and someone walks in with muddy shoes - Che palle!

If you are give a repetitive task -Che palle!

 

Che palle and che barba are very similar. Che palle is my favourite, but possibly che barba is more formal, if you know what I mean.

 

Let’s look at the expressions we covered in this video:

Che buono

Che bello

Che brutto

Che schifo

Che puzza

Che barba

Che palle

 

You can play the game of using one of these a day for the next seven days.

Which one are you going to use today?

Elisabetta

Return to Blog