Stop saying DAVVERO in Italian: learn all its ALTERNATIVES and how to use them!

In this lesson, we will explain how to use the word “davvero” that you certainly have used or have heard countless times! Indeed, it is a very flexible word that can be easily adapted to many different situations and that can appear in affirmative sentences, exclamatory sentences, and questions. But don’t worry! In this lesson, we will teach you a lot of alternatives that will allow you to not always use the word “davvero”. Are you ready? Let’s get started!

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The word “DAVVERO” and its alternatives in Italian

“Davvero” is a widely used word whose meaning changes according to the context in which it appears. Now, let’s see in what type of sentence the term “davvero” appears and which alternatives it has.


  1. In affirmative sentences, the adverb “davvero” is often used to strengthen a concept or a specific word. For instance:

La sua voce è davvero irritante. Non la sopporto più. → His voice is really irritating. I can’t stand it anymore.


Oggi sono davvero stanca. Sono sveglia dalle 7. → Today I’m really tired. I’ve been awake since 7. 

In these cases, “davvero” can be substituted by  “veramente” [really], “seriamente” [seriously], “sul serio” [for real/seriously], “parecchio” [quite], “molto” [very] or in informal contexts, “un sacco” [a lot]. For example:

Alla fine mio padre ha veramente comprato una Ferrari. Pensavo scherzasse, invece faceva sul serio! → In the end, my father really bought a Ferrari. I thought he was joking, instead, he was for real!


Sono seriamente preoccupata per lui. Non l’ho mai visto così giù. → I am seriously worried about him. I have never seen him so upset


Giovanni è parecchio alto. Sarà un metro e 95 su per giù. → Giovanni is quite tall. He must be 1.95 more or less.


When “davvero” indicates that something is actually true, that we are not joking around, we can substitute it with “effettivamente” [actually] or “proprio” [really/truly/quite]. For instance:

Mi ha detto che mi avrebbe chiamata e alla fine l’ha fatto davvero. → He told me that he was going to call me and in the end, he really did.

In this case, to replace the word “davvero”, we have to reorganize the elements of the sentence in this way:

Mi ha detto che mi avrebbe chiamata ed effettivamente alla fine l’ha fatto. → He told me he was going to call me and in the end he actually did.


Mi ha detto che mi avrebbe chiamata e alla fine l’ha proprio fatto. → He told me he was going to call me and eventually he really did.



  1. In interrogative sentences, in other words, in questions, “davvero” is frequently used, and it indicates doubt or astonishment at what has been said. For example:

– Ieri ho vinto un milione di euro al Superenalotto! → Yesterday, I won a million euros in the Superenalotto lottery!
Davvero?! Che fortuna! → Really?! How lucky!


Davvero Marta e Giorgio si vogliono sposare? Sarebbe fantastico! → Do Marta and Giorgio really want to get married? It would be amazing!

In these cases, the most natural ways to replace “davvero” are once again “sul serio” [for real], “seriamente” [seriously] and “veramente” [really], or “ah sì?” [oh yes?/oh really?].

Another colloquial and widely used way, especially among young people, to substitute “davvero” in questions is “sei serio?/sei seria?” [are you serious?]. Let’s see some examples:

– La settimana scorsa mia zia ha incontrato George Clooney al supermercato. → Last week, my aunt met George Clooney at the supermarket.
Sei seria?! E cosa gli ha detto? Gli ha chiesto almeno un autografo? → Are you serious?! And what did she tell him? Did she at least ask him for an autograph?


– Sabato sera mi ha scritto il mio ex. Dice che vuole tornare insieme. → Saturday night, my ex texted me. He said he wants to get back together
– Ma seriamente? Pensa veramente che tu sia così stupida? → Seriously? Does he really think you are that stupid?


– Si dice che quel tizio abbia vinto due milioni di euro con un Gratta e Vinci. → Rumor has it that that guy won two million euros with a  Gratta e Vinci.
Ah sì? Buon per lui! → Oh really/oh yes? Good for him!



    1. Lastly, in exclamatory sentences, “davvero” is used often to answer a question that also includes the word “davvero” or one of its alternatives. Therefore, it is used to confirm that what was asked is actually true. Some examples are:

Davvero hai vinto una televisione con un concorso? → Did you really win a television in a contest?
– Sì, davvero! Sono stata super fortunata! → Yes, really! I was super lucky!


– Hai veramente parlato con mio padre di quella vacanza? → Did you actually talk to my father about that vacation?
– Sì, gli ho parlato davvero! Sono riuscito a convincerlo a regalarcela! → Yes, I actually did! I managed to convince him to pay for it.

Also in these cases, the ways to replace “davvero” are “veramente” [really], “seriamente” [seriously], and “sul serio” [for real].

It is also important to remember that in some cases the word “davvero” is used in exclamatory sentences simply to agree with what someone else has said, often in colloquial and informal contexts. Let’s see some examples:

– Hai sentito al TG la notizia del nuovo lockdown? Non ci voglio ancora credere. → Have you heard the news about the new lockdown? I don’t want to think about it.
– Davvero! Lascia stare! Spero sia solo un brutto sogno! → True!  Don’t even talk about it I hope it’s just a bad dream!


– Comunque, Giulia sta benissimo con i capelli scuri! → By the way, Giulia looks really good  with dark hair!
– Sì, davvero! Le donano proprio! → Yes, it’s true. It really suits her!

In these cases, you can replace “davvero” with “hai ragione!” [you’re right!] or “è proprio vero!” [it’s actually true!], or more simply, with “esatto!” [exactly!] or “infatti!” [indeed!].


Let’s see a complete dialogue in which we use both “davvero” and its most common alternatives.

A: Il mese prossimo parto per l’America! [Next month, I will leave for America!]
B: Davvero? Che bello! E come mai? [Really? How wonderful! How come?]
A: Beh, vado a fare la ragazza alla pari. Sono un sacco in ansia! [Well, I am going as an au-pair girl. I’m extremely anxious!]
B: È normale avere ansia! Sono sicura che sarà un’esperienza veramente bella. Conoscerai gente nuova e potrai fare pratica sul serio con l’inglese. [It’s normal to be anxious! I’m sure it will be a really good experience. You will meet new people and you will have a chance to seriously practice your English.]
A: Sì, esatto! Spero seriamente di imparare tante parole nuove. [Yes, exactly! I really hope to learn a lot of new words.]
B. Poi sono sicura che l’America ti piacerà proprio tanto! Ci sono stata anche io alla tua età! [And I’m sure you will really like America! I’ve been there when I was your age!]
A: Ah sì? E dove di preciso? [Oh really? Where exactly?]
B: Sono stata a Boston! Città veramente splendida! [I’ve been to Boston! A really beautiful city!]
A: Sei seria? Anche io vado a Boston! [Are you serious? I’m going to Boston too]

Here we are at the end of our lesson. We hope that it has been actually useful and that it has helped you for real.

But now, you better revise a little of Italian syntax; therefore, we suggest you don’t miss the extremely useful video in which we explain how the meaning can change if you modify the word order in a sentence.