"I can't wait" in Italian is "Non vedo l'ora"

I cant wait in Italian 1

"I can’t wait" is possibly one of those things that students ask to learn in the first few hours of an Italian course. So, forget grammar and rules - I wanna know how to say this now. Because you just can’t wait to go to Italy, you can’t wait to visit Florence and, most certainly, you can’t wait to taste Italian food.

In Italian, we say non vedo l'ora, pronounced /non veh-doh loh-rah/

Let’s see what non vedo l’ora means and how it is constructed. It's a cool expression, I promise.

Non vedo - I can’t see ('vedo' from the first person of the verb 'vedere', to see)

l’ora - the hour, the time

The expression literally means I can’t see the hour, I can’t see the time.

Oookkkey, why? Where does this expression come from?

To get the idea behind this well cemented and certainly popular Italian expression (we say it at least once a day), think of becoming so entrenched with the idea of going to Italy that you are no longer in the present but focused only on the future. However with such a distant future, you might not be able to see that 'hour' because it's in the future. It speaks of impatience and strong desire that blinds.

Sounds almost dramatic and suitable for a theatre performance, doesn’t it?

Another possible explanation of this interesting expression is the fact that I just can’t see one hour between this moment and the moment I land in Italy, but rather I see million of hours! (sad face) Again stressing how impatient we are and how strong that desire is.

The exact origin of this expression and who created it is not clear cut, but you get the idea.  

You can certainly use non vedo l'ora (I can’t wait) as a stand alone expression. Provided we all know what you are referring to. The context will help us here.

However, if you need to be more specific and tell us what you are looking forward to, then you might need to add a little bit more. And this is how you do it:

Non vedo l’ora + di + infinitive mode of the verb

Non vedo l’ora DI ANDARE in Italia /non veh-doh loh-rah dee an-dah-reh een ee-tah-lee-ah/- I can’t wait to go to Italy

Use this when you are both the person desiring and the person doing the action of going to Italy (lucky you!)

However, if you wish for your child to get married and leave home, then the construction becomes:

Non vedo l’ora + che + subjunctive mode of the verb  

You are desiring but someone else is doing the action or at least you are hoping they do that action. We need to use the subjunctive instead of the infinitive because you are expressing a wish that someone else would do something.

Non vedo l’ora CHE MIA FIGLIA SI SPOSI - /non veh-doh loh-rah keh mee-ah fee-llee-ah see spoh-zee/ - I can’t wait for my daughter to get married

Non vedo l’ora - I can’t wait

Che mia figlia - for my daughter to

Si sposi - get married

 

Have a go!

Try and work out whether to use infinitive or subjunctive, then have a go at translating them into Italian. Don’t worry I have solutions for you at the end of this post.

I can’t wait to go in a gondola

I can’t wait for you to come to my place

I can’t wait to eat something

I can’t wait for my sister to get her licence

I can’t wait for the rain to stop

I can’t wait to come to your place

I can’t wait to lose weight

I can’t wait to taste the pasta

I can’t wait for Christmas to come

 

Solutions:

Non vedo l’ora di andare in gondola (infinitive) - I can’t wait to go in a gondola

Non vedo l’ora che tu venga a casa mia (subjunctive) - I can’t wait for you to come to my place

Non vedo l’ora di mangiare qualcosa (infinitive)- I can’t wait to eat something

Non vedo l’ora che mia sorella faccia la patente (subjunctive) - I can’t wait for my sister to get her licence

Non vedo l’ora che smetta di piovere (subjunctive) - I can’t wait for the rain to stop

Non vedo l’ora di venire a casa tua (infinitive) - I can’t wait to come to your place

Non vedo l’ora di dimagrire (infinitive) - I can’t wait to lose weight

Non vedo l’ora di assaggiare la pasta (infinitive)- I can’t wait to taste the pasta

Non vedo l’ora che arrivi Natale (subjunctive) - I can’t wait for Christmas to come.

 

Contact me if you are still feeling confused or just to share how much you love this expression! 

Elisabetta

 

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