Italian Language Blog

Just Good Friends Posted by on Dec 21, 2015 in Uncategorized

A reader recently commented on my blog Italian Sexual Euphemisms

“I would love to see a post about words to describe the less graphic interactions between men and women.  I’m particularly confused about how to say ‘girlfriend’, as distinguished from ‘friend who is a girl.’ Same with boyfriend. I’m sure there is a lot of subtlety, and you are masters of that!”

Well, here it is!

Just Good Friends

We call our friends amico, amici, amica or amiche depending on number and gender. Let’s have a look at this in a bit more detail, shall we?

amico = friend – masculine

oggi vado a La Spezia a trovare il mio amico Omar = today I’m going to La Spezia to see my friend Omar
come si chiama quellamico di Flavio che abita a Molinello? = what’s the name of that friend of Flavio who lives in Molinello?
ieri ho incontrato per caso un mio vecchio amico = yesterday, by chance, I bumped into an old friend of mine

amica = friend – feminine

ti voglio far conoscere una mia amica che abita a Roma = I want you to meet a friend of mine who lives in Rome
Anna è la migliore amica di Clara = Anna is Clara’s best friend

amici = friends  – masculine, also used for generic mixed masculine/feminine groups

veri amici

questi sono i miei amici Claudio e Sergio = these are my friends Claudio and Sergio
non ho molti amici qua in zona = I don’t have many friends in this area
la maggior parte dei miei amici abitano all’estero = most of my friends live abroad

amiche = friends – feminine

chi sono quelle due amiche di Anna? = who are those two (female) friends of Anna?
Maria Grazia e Alda sono amiche dall’infanzia = Maria Grazia and Alda have been friends since they were children

amico/amica del cuore = best friend

Serena è la mia amica del cuore = Serena is my best friend

More than just friends

We use several different terms for boyfriend and girlfriend, the most common being:

ragazzo = boyfriend

Il ragazzo di Maddalena si chiama Franco = Maddalena’s boyfriend is called Franco
ti presento Giorgio, il mio ragazzo = this is Giorgio, my boyfriend

ragazza = girlfriend

hai visto quanto è bella la ragazza di Franco? = have you seen how beautiful Franco’s girlfriend is?
Giorgio si è lasciato con la sua ragazza = Giorgio has split up with his girlfriend

then we have:

moroso = boyfriend

questo è il moroso di Maria = this is Maria’s boyfriend

morosa = girlfriend

questa è la morosa di Paolo = this is Paolo’s girlfriend

fidanzato = boyfriend

conosci il suo fidanzato? = do you know her boyfriend?

fidanzata = girlfriend

come si chiama la fidanzata di Giovanni? = what’s Giovanni’s girlfriend’s name

N.B. although fidanzato and fidanzata officially mean fiancé/fiancée they are commonly used to mean simply boyfriend/girlfriend
For a mature couple in a long term relationship but not married we use compagno/compagna = companion

Thanks go to Michael Stevens for requesting this blog.

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  1. Pam Cartwright:

    THAT is just the best picture & ‘comment’ EVER! si si si si!!!

    Grazie mille

  2. Michael Stevens:

    Grazie mille e Buon Natale!

  3. Rick:

    Grazie! Non ho sentito mai di moroso o morosa


    thank you

  5. Patricia Sandler:

    When I first visited Italy, I thought it was really strange that they were calling their girlfriends/boyfriends fidanzato/a. Now I know that my young cousins are not getting engaged formally. Also, the use of compagno/a is a great idea. It really sound strange saying ragazzo/a to a 50enne.

    I never heard il moroso, but it makes sense. These are the kind of words you notice when you read Italian romanzi.

    Grazie molto, Patricia

  6. Chippy:

    Grazie a Serena e Michael Stevens!

  7. JOSEPH:

    thank you

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