After pizza and pasta, che in Italian is the most frequently used word. But unlike pasta and pizza, che has many different uses and meanings.
Che in Italian can be a relative pronoun, an interrogative adjective and pronoun, an indefinite adjective and pronoun, a conjunction, an adverb and more. You can translate it as that, who , and can be used as interrogative adjective and pronoun.
Let’s go over each use of che in Italian:
Che as a relative pronoun
The most common use of che in italian is as a relative pronoun. And for those who don’t know grammar like the back of their hand, I will explain simply what is a relative pronoun.
What is a relative pronoun?
Relative pronouns link two sentences, with a common element, together. Relative pronouns also refer to the nouns already mentioned in the sentence. In English these are that, which, who, whom and whose.
I like the dog that does tricks.
Che as that
Che in italian is the most used relative pronoun.
La ragazza che mi piace si chiama Anna.
The girl that I like is called Anna.
Il ragazzo che mi piace si chiama Marco.
The boy that I like is called Marco.
Be careful: in Italian you can’t omit che like you do in English.
Take a look at the following example:
Il libro che sto leggendo è interessante.
The book I’m reading is interesting
Che as who
I already mentioned that relative pronouns connect two sentences. Che in italian can be both subject and object in the sentences.
Marco è un mio cugino che vive negli USA.
Marco is my cousin who lives in the USA.
In this sentence, che refers to the subject in the sentence which is Marco.
La ragazza che hai conosciuto ieri è mia sorella.
The girl who you met yesterday is my sister.
In this example, che refers to the object in the sentence which is la ragazza.
before moving on, if you want to learn more about Italian Grammar, here there are useful books I suggest you to read: