Have you ever heard the verb “dire” (to say)? Yes, exactly, one of the most used verbs in Italian. So, i bet you’ve said it again and again so many that you are feeling sick. And all of us are sick of hearing it. In this lesson i will show you 100 alternatives for the verb DIRE that will be very useful to enrich your spoken and written Italian! I know, 100 alternatives sound like a drag… but don’t worry: I have no intention to bore you with a long and tedious list of words!
100 ways to say “dire” in Italian
We will look at all the alternatives to avoid using verb DIRE in Italian through a dialogue between Alberto and his mother. I hope you’ll like it.
“Stamattina a scuola è successo un casino”, esordì Alberto. “This morning school was a mess” Alberto started (esordì)
“Davvero? Cos’è successo”, chiese la mamma. “Really? What happened”, asked (chiese) his mom.
“Some of my classmates put chewing gum on the teacher’s chair, she lost it and called the principal…”, he explained (spiegò ).
“Are you crazy? What kind of dumb joke is this!”, she shouted (urlò ).
“Mom, getting mad is pointless, i did nothing!”, he reassured her (rassicurò).
“Oh really? i don’t know why, but i have the feeling you are involved as well!”, she insisted (insisté)
“Every time something happens you always think it’s my my fault!”, Alberto protested (protestò ).
“Of course, because in the end it always turns out i’m right!” his mother attacked him (aggredì).
“Ok, it is my fault. I made a bet with my classmates and convinced my friend to put the gum on the teacher’s chair. But i didn’t think it was gonna end like this!”, the young man cried (piagnucolò).
“Non voglio sentire scuse! Quello che hai fatto è imperdonabile!”, lei. “I don’t want to hear any excuse! What you did is unforgivable!”, she raged (si infuriò).
“You’re right mom. I’m sorry. It won’t happen again.” he whined (frignò).
“Listen well young man: if something like that happens again i’ll have to send you to boarding school. You clearly need someone to teach you some manners”, she hissed (sibilò), clearly enraged.
“To… b-boarding school?”, he stuttered (balbettò) while trembling.
“Sì, al collegio! Ora fila a letto senza cena!”, lei. “Yes, to boarding school! Now go to your room and forget about dinner!” she sreamed (gridò).
Alberto sat on the couch for a while, holding his head between his hands, angry and oppressed by guilt. He knew he had messed up.
-“Maybe, if i confessed, the teacher may give me a lighter punishment…”, he speculated (ipotizzò).
-“Yes, tomorrow, as soon as i get to school i’ll go to the teacher and confess everything. I’ll say i’m sorry and aske her to have mercy”, he decided (decise).
So, what do you think? have you how many ways to replace “dire” exist? however, those you have just read are only a few of the many. let’s look at all of them:
Starting off on the right foot
At the beginning, for example, we find the verb ESORDIRE (to begin), which is part of those alternatives to “dire” that you use to START A DIALOGUE. In the same group we can find:
COMINCIARE – INIZIARE – ATTACCARE – ESORDIRE
The parents’ favourite
After that we find the group of verbs used TO ASK QUESTIONS or TO GIVE ORDERS. Among those are:
CHIEDERE – DOMANDARE – PROPORRE – PREGARE – SCONGIURARE – IMPLORARE – SUPPLICARE – INSISTERE – INCALZARE – ESORTARE – INTERROGARE – INTERPELLARE
To learn more
Next, the third group of replacements for the verb “dire” is that of INFORMATIVE verbs, that are used to relay news and information:
ANNUNCIARE – AVVERTIRE – INFORMARE – AVVISARE – RACCONTARE – SPIEGARE – SUGGERIRE – CONSIGLIARE – DICHIARARE – PROCLAMARE – COMUNICARE – RIFERIRE – RIVELARE – CONFESSARE
Sometimes you need to let it out
The following group is comprised of the verbs that EXPRESS RAGE:
GRIDARE – URLARE – STRILLARE – IMPRECARE – INFURIARSI – INSULTARE – SGRIDARE – AGGREDIRE – SIBILARE – ZITTIRE – RIMPROVERARE – INVEIRE
When you disagree
One more group of important alternatives is that of the verbs of OBJECTION, those used to complain or to express disagreement with what has been said. they are:
OBIETTARE – PROTESTARE – SMENTIRE – CONTESTARE – CRITICARE – PUNTUALIZZARE – PRECISARE – SPECIFICARE – CHIARIRE.
Now it’s my turn
The following group is made up of the verbs of REPLY, those used to answer a question. Among them we should remember:
RISPONDERE – RIBATTERE – REPLICARE – ASSICURARE – ASSERIRE – AFFERMARE – ACCONSENTIRE – RIBADIRE – PROMETTERE – GARANTIRE – RASSICURARE
Many ways to talk
Right after we find the group of verbs that express a modulation of the voice, which could be it being lowered, trembling, stuttering and so on:
PIAGNUCOLARE – FRIGNARE – FARFUGLIARE – BALBETTARE – TARTAGLIARE – BIASCICARE – BLATERARE – BOFONCHIARE – BISBIGLIARE – SUSSURRARE – MORMORARE – SBUFFARE – BORBOTTARE
When you are in a good mood
Then we have those verbs that express JOY, that is, those used to convey that something is said enthusiastically or joyfully:
SCHERZARE – RIDERE – RIDACCHIARE – ESULTARE – ESCLAMARE – RALLEGRARSI – SORRIDERE
Let me think about it
Right before the end we have the verbs of thinking, which express what’s going on in our mind (what we usually don’t say out loud):
DEDURRE – CONSTATARE – IPOTIZZARE – COMPRENDERE – CAPIRE – OSSERVARE – RICORDARE – DECIDERE – SENTENZIARE
Moving towards the end
Finally, we have the group of alternatives comprised of verbs used TO CONTINUE or TO END A SPEECH:
CONTINUARE – PROSEGUIRE – AGGIUNGERE – INTERVENIRE – COMMENTARE – INTERROMPERE – CONCLUDERE – CORREGGERE – TERMINARE – FINIRE
As you’ve seen there are a lot of alternatives for the verb dire. If you ever happened to read a book in Italian with at least one dialogue, you have definitely noticed many of these verbs. My advice would be to practice a lot, and also to read a lot, because reading is the best way to learn and master a new language.
If you istead wish to reharse a bit of Italian grammar, don’t miss the video where I explain all the uses and meanings of the verbs FARE and RENDERE, that get confused way too often!
Or, if you prefer to learn more about the Italian culture, have a look at our lesson about the Italian political system: it is extremely useful to learn the structure and the separation of powers in the Italian State.
Let’s see if you’ve mastered the contents of this class. Have a go at completing the exercises!