What’s the difference between puoi and poi in Italian?

puoi and poi

One of the things learners of Italian will stumble across and possibly over are the two words puoi, which means you can and can you?, and the adverb poi, which means then, later.
It’s easy to mix them up because they look quite similar.

The secret is in the pronunciation.

Puoi has 4 letters, and that means ... that’s right 4 sounds. One sound per letter.


Here are a couple of example ready to use:

Puoi venire qui un momento?

Can you come here for a second?


Si`, puoi andare.

Yes, you can go.

Puoi is the second person of the verb potere (can).

Puoi aforismo

You can't solve a problem with the same kind of mind you used to create it

(Albert Einstein)



Here are a couple of examples with poi /p-oh-ee/, a word that means then.


Prima andiamo al ristorante e poi al cinema

First we go to the restaurant, then to the movies.


Prima o poi vado in Italia

Sooner or later I’m going to Italy


Experience is the harshest teacher. First it tests you, then it gives you the explanation.

(Oscar Wilde)

Persieri Riflessi


What’s super important and ALL you need to remember is to pronounce the “u” in puoi. That little 'u' pronounced as /oo/ is what makes the whole difference.

What other similar words are driving you crazy?




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