How do you say please in Italian?
Knowing how to say please in Italian is extremely helpful, because you will surely say it a lot when in Italy.
The most popular phrase to say please in Italian is per favore. The expression per favore is used to politely ask a favor and / or help. The exact spelling is the detached one, as the complete term would be per farmi un favore, which is abbreviated for convenience. Other expressions to say please in Italian are per piacere, per cortesia, cortesemente, gentilmente, ti prego. Some of these are often used with sarcasm.
So, what are you waiting for?
I listed here 10 common ways to say please in Italian for you.
Let’s dive in!
10 common ways to say please in Italian
Here below is a list of the common ways of saying please in Italian.
Let’s found out together each of them in detail:
1. Per favore
One of the most appreciated phrases to say please in Italian is per favore (literally meaning for favor or as a favor). It is generally employed to indicate something done as a favor to somebody. Furthermore, you are allowed to use it in any context, whether formal or informal.
Potresti dirmi che ore sono, per favore?
Could you please tell me what time it is?
Mi dai una mano con la tesi, per favore?
Can you help me with my dissertation, please?
Per favore can be also applied when you kindly invite someone to do something for you. In this case, you are called to use Imperativo.
Per favore, spegni quel cellulare e continua a studiare!
Please switch off your mobile phone and keep on studying!
Here are some dictionaries for you:
2. Per piacere
In second place, we have to mention per piacere. Considered as a close synonym of per favore, it means literally as a pleasure, a favor. Also in this case, the request is placed in a friendly manner.
Potresti aggiustare il tubo che perde in cucina, per piacere?
Could you fix the leaky pipe in the kitchen, please?
Fammi vedere quello che stai nascondendo, per piacere!
Please, let me see what you are hiding!
3. Per cortesia
Another expression meaning please in Italian is per cortesia. Compared to per favore and per piacere, this statement sounds more formal and even old-fashioned. Anyway, you are required to employ it when talking to strangers and on formal occasions, for example at a restaurant or a café when asking for the bill, in a shop when requesting to take a look at the product you would like to buy, and so on.
Posso avere qualche altro tovagliolo, per cortesia?
May I have some extra napkins, please?
Mi faccia vedere quella gonna a pois, per cortesia!
Let me see that polka-dot skirt, please!
4. Per carità
On the contrary, per carità has to be intended as a kind of “dramatic please”. In fact, it is used as an exclamation when identifying stressful circumstances or wanting to emphasize what is going on. In addition, the equivalent translation into English might be also for goodness sake.
Basta! Non voglio sentire altro per carità!
That’s enough! I don’t want to hear another word, please!
Per carità! Non voglio vederlo mai più!
I never want to see him again, please!
Remember that per carità can be also employed to say no in Italian.
Going on, we can find cortesemente, translated as kindly or courteously. This statement principally occurs in written communication and in very formal spoken situations, along with public signs and warnings. In case you want to appear more polite, you can combine cortesemente with phrases like si prega and La prego.
Cortesemente potrebbe venire qui un attimo?
Could you please come here for a moment?
La prego cortesemente di indossare la mascherina prima di entrare.
Please wear the mask before you come in!
Among the various expressions to say please in Italian, there is gentilmente, too. It literally translates in a polite way, politely, kindly and it means please in Italian. Unlike cortesemente, this term is less formal and more friendly, basically existing in both familiar or formal situations. In any case, it conveys the concept of a compelling need that must be accomplished.
Gentilmente potresti parcheggiare altrove? Qui è pericoloso.
Could you please park anywhere else? It’s dangerous here.
Gentilmente mi sa dire se qui vicino c’è un negozio di giocattoli?
Would you please tell me if there’s a toy store nearby?
7. Ti prego / La prego / Vi prego
To continue, these three expressions are valid alternatives to please in Italian. Actually, they are chiefly employed to beg someone to do something. Let’s start by saying that you need first to conjugate the verb pregare (to beg, pray, ask) properly before using them. After that, you have to check the Italian direct object pronouns in question.
As regards ti prego, you can use it with close friends, family members, or kids. Instead, vi prego is applied when addressing more than one person.
Finally, La prego, the polite version of ti prego, is required when talking to older people, strangers, or superiors like your boss or your teacher.
Mamma, ti prego, posso tornare più tardi stasera?
Mom, please, may I come back home later tonight?
Ragazzi, vi prego, smettetela di urlare e tornate al vostro posto!
Guys, please, stop yelling and go back to your seats!
Signore, La prego di allacciare la cintura di sicurezza.
Sir, please, fasten your seat belt!
As you may have noticed, in the example where La prego occurs, the direct object pronoun is usually capitalized.
Can you hear one of these phrases in the following song?
8. Si prega di / Siete pregati di
Let’s move on to other statements expressing please in Italian: si prega and siete pregati. Being the impersonal forms of the verb pregare, they are principally applied in case of very polite requests that don’t refer to specific individuals but rather the public in general. Since they appear on signs or noticeboards, they usually point out instructions, rules, or prohibitions.
Si prega di chiudere il cancello.
Please close the gate!
Siete pregati di igienizzare le mani una volta entrati nel negozio.
Please sanitize your hands once you enter the shop!
Similarly, prego can mean please in Italian. First of all, it is the most common way to reply to grazie (thank you). In other contexts, it becomes an equivalent of please, especially when making an invitation or letting someone do or take something.
Dott.ssa Brown, posso parlarle un attimo? – Prego, si accomodi.
Dr. Brown, may I speak to you for a moment? – Please, have a seat.
Matteo, siamo arrivati. Possiamo? – Prego, entrate.
Matteo, we just arrived. Shall we? – Please, come in.
Coming at the end of our list, you guys are probably wondering why I decided to mention grazie as one of the possible statements to say please in Italian. Well, you have to know that the term grazie has a double usage: in the first place, it is applied when showing gratitude towards somebody about something done for you; in the second place, it is employed when accepting an offer. To better understand, have a look at the following examples:
Ti ho portato alcune cose che potrebbero servirti. – Grazie!
I brought you some stuff you might need. – Thank you!
Vuoi un bicchiere di vino bianco? – Sì, grazie!
Would you like a glass of white wine? – Yes, please!
As you can notice, both examples have as answer grazie in Italian; on the contrary, the English equivalent of grazie occurs only in the first example, whereas it acquires the meaning of please in the second example. For this last reason, you need to reply with grazie and not with per favore!
Please as an exclamation
In conclusion, we can state that it’s quite common to bump into please used as an exclamation, especially when you want to express your feelings, your current mood, or highlight what is happening right now.
Ora andrò a dire a tutti quello che hai fatto. – Per cortesia!
Now I’m going to tell everyone what you have done. – Please, don’t!
Mi sa che non ci fanno entrare. – Ma per favore!
I think they won’t let us come in. – Oh, please!
As you can see, in the first example the answerer begs the other speaker not to reveal what he has done; instead, in the second example, the answerer shows himself skeptical about the fact they won’t come in.
Ready to start a conversation by using please in Italian? Hence, tell me per favore if you need me to explain anything else!
Enjoy this song with please in Italian: