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Getting started with Italian 1
Getting started with Italian 1

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5 Key phrases

In an Italian bar, the person serving (il cameriere or la cameriera) – or the cassiere if you have to pay first – will ask you what you want in one of the following ways:

  • Desidera? What would you like? (literally: You want?)
  • Mi dica. How can I help? (literally: Tell me.)
  • E per Lei? (And) for you?

To say what you would like, use:

  • VorreiI would like …
  • (E) per me(And) for me

If you need to attract the waiter’s or barman’s attention, you say:

  • Scusi! Excuse me!

When the person serving adds up the order to check that they have got it right, they usually begin with:

  • Allora... So...

You might also hear customers say buongiorno (‘good morning’) or buonasera (‘good afternoon/evening’) before they place their order.