If you’re here, you’re probably looking for the meanings and the uses of the Italian word ADDIRITTURA… Well, get ready: because this will be a short but intense lesson!

The Italian word ADDIRITTURA: uses and meanings

First of all, you have to know that in the past the word ADDIRITTURA – that today is one word – was written in two words: A DIRITTURA, and it meant “directly”, “with nothing in between”.

For example:

Vediamoci a dirittura alla stazione (See you directly at the station).

However, ADDIRITTURA lost this meaning and it is nowadays written as one word. This clarification was needed because you might encounter the “old” spelling and meaning in some old books… So now you know and you won’t ask yourself: what does it mean?

However, coming back to nowadays, we have to say that tADDIRITTURA has two different meanings and uses, both related to the idea of exaggeration and extraordinary nature.

1) First of all, ADDIRITTURA has the meaning of “even”, “no less”. Therefore, with this meaning, it is especially used in sentences that highlight qualities and facts that seem to be exaggerated or extraordinary. In this case, it can be used before or after: nouns, verbs or adjectives.

For example:

– Allora, ti è piaciuto Avengers Endgame? (Did you like Avengers Endgame?)

– Un sacco! Mi ha emozionato tantissimo! Ero così eccitato che alla fine del film ho addirittura sollevato il martello di Thor! (A lot! I was very touched by it! At the end of the film I was so excited that I even raised Thor’s hammer!)

– Ma sei andato da solo al cinema? (Did you go to the cinema alone?)

– No, c’erano tutti i miei amici, i miei parenti e addirittura i miei genitori! (No, there were all my friends, my relatives and even my parents!)

*today’s nugget*

ESSERE CAMPATO/A IN ARIA: This expression refers to something that is airy-fairy.

For example:

È ancora un’idea campata in aria, ma in futuro ci piacerebbe aprire un canale per insegnare lo spagnolo e l’inglese! (Although it’s still aire-fairy, we would like to open a channel to teach English and Spanish in the future!)

2) In its second use, ADDIRITTURA goes alone and it is used as an answer to a statement to express wonder, marvel, surprise.

For example:

– Lo sai che oggi ho corso per 10 chilometri? (Do you know that today I run for 10 kilometers?)

– Addirittura! Come hai fatto? A me viene il fiatone dopo un paio di chilometri di camminata… (No less! How did you do? I get out of breath after a couple of kilometers of walking…)


When someone answers “Addirittura!” to you, they are not often expressing surprise for what you said! In fact, when we use ADDIRITTURA on its own as an answer, we sometimes do it ironically, as if we were making fun of the person who is telling something that is extraordinary for him/her, but that – actually – is not.

In this case, the word usually goes with gestures and facial expressions that express irony.

For example:

– Sai che oggi ho comprato un vestito ai saldi? Pensa che da 25 euro l’ho pagato solo 22,99! (Do you know that today I bought a dress on sale? Its original cost was 25 euros but I only paid it 22,99 euros!)

– Addirittura! Questo sì che è un’affare! (Even! This was really a big deal!)

Speaking of clothes, if you like the T-shirt Graziana was wearing in the video, you can buy it in our online shop: LearnAmo Collection!

Discover the meaning of another problematic Italian word: piuttosto!

Let’s see if you’ve mastered the contents of this class. Have a go at completing the exercises!

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