Stop saying BUON COMPLEANNO and BUON ANNIVERSARIO: learn all the best alternatives!

In this lesson we’re going to talk about a topic dear to all, in particular to Italians: greetings! Birthdays and anniversaries are indeed moments of great joy and that’s why today we’re teaching you how to stop being banal and to surprise your friends with some special greetings!

10 Alternative Sentences to Buon Compleanno and Buon Anniversario

When in Italy we want to wish something to someone, we think of simply using “buon” + the thing or the event. Buona giornata, buona serata, buon viaggio, buona visione, buon film, buona passeggiata, buon fine settimana, buon riposo and bla bla bla. Between these words, there are buon compleanno and buon anniversario. Of course that’s fine, but if you only know these you could sound…redundant!

You know, when a person is in the mood for celebrating, he or she doesn’t want to be told always the same phrases, something more original is definitely appreciated!

In this video, therefore, you’ll find out ten alternative sentences to “buon compleanno” and “buon anniversario” with which you’ll impress people and that will enrich your knowledge of Italian.

Alternative sentences to buon compleanno

Let’s start with suitable greetings for birthdays (even if some of them, as we shall see, are flexible and can be used for other events as well).

  • Auguri”. This word is just as simple as useful, since it can be used in plenty of contexts: from birthdays, and in this case you can find the “auguri di buon compleanno” version, to anniversaries and even for a graduation. In short, everytime you want to congratulate someone. It can also be enriched with the adjective in the form“tanti auguri”. Be careful though! With a sarcastic tone, “auguri” becomes a way to wish good luck to someone who put himself or herself in a risky or a complex situation. It’s a bit like saying “you got in trouble, I hope you’ll get out without much trouble”.
  • Cento di questi giorni”. This expression is used to wish the birthday boy many happy returns of the day, so, the wish is to live another 100 years. But it is used also in other circumstances, to wish that person to spend more and more days like that, so full of joy, serenity and affection.
  • Ti auguro il meglio nel giorno del tuo compleanno”. This greeting is simple, but meaningful: in fact you wish all the best to the birthday boy, what more could you want?
  • Buon giorno in cui sei venuto al mondo”. This ironic expression in which “compleanno” (birthday) is replaced by “giorno in cui sei venuto al mondo” (the day you came into the world) is somewhat special and it cannot be used in every case: the best is to use it for someone you have some intimacy with and with someone who’ll understand that’s a funny wish, otherwise the interlocutor could get a bit confused.
  • Buon diciottesimo”. In this case the word “compleanno is directly omitted, as it was an implication. Here we consider 18 for example, but this greeting can be used also with other birthdays that mark a milestone (30, 40, 50, and so forth…).

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Alternative phrases to buon anniversario

Let’s move to the “buon anniversario” alternatives

  • Congratulazioni”. This is used for the anniversary, since it represents the achievement of the couple. It can also be used for a birthday if the birthday boy turns, for example, 100, which represent an achievement, or with an ironic tone if this person went through a particularly tough year and being able to celebrate a birthday is considered a success.
  • Siete un esempio da imitare!” This sentence can be used to congratulate a stable couple and is a fully-fledged model to follow and a goal everyone would like to achieve.
  • Buone nozze d’argento/oro”. When we talk about wedding anniversaries, every year has its own name, given by the material that matches it: the first year corresponds to nozze di carta (“paper wedding”), the second to those of cotone (“cotton”), and so on to venticinquesimo (argento, “silver”), cinquantesimo (oro, “gold”), sessantesimo (diamante “diamond”). The materials represent the strenght and the stability of the couple that increases with time, suffice it to say that the centenario del matrimonio (100th anniversary) is called nozze di osso (“marriage of bones)! This name given to every anniversary is also linked to the kind of material which is used to present in this occasion.
  • Grazie per essere rimasto al mio fianco un altro anno”. This is what you can say to your partner to celebrate your anniversary so that you congratulate and also let him or her know that you’re grateful to have him or her by your side. There’s nothing more beautiful than feel that love is mutual and your presence is important for the other.
  • Sono passati degli anni e mi sembra di essere ancora in luna di miele”. This phrase is the perfect greeting for an anniversary with your partner, who will be so glad to know that you still feel the same way as the first day ever.

We hope these phrases are useful in your future occasions to celebrate with your loved ones without using the same old phrases! If, instead, you like an Italian person but don’t know how to impress them, watch the video about alternatives to “Sei bellissimo/a” in order to be more original when you try to seduce someone!

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