What the word “ECCO” means and how to use it in Italian

In this lesson we are going to explain in detail when you must use the word “ECCO” and especially how to use it in the correct way! It is often misused by most of the foreign students learning Italian, but you just have to understand its role and its purpose: with this, it will be a piece of cake!

How and when to use “ecco” in Italian

1) The word “ECCO” can introduce the appearance of something or somebody.

Let’s see some examples:

A: Hey! What are you doing here?

B: I’m waiting for my mother and my father!

[The parents appear]

A: HERE are your parents!  —>  ECCO i tuoi genitori!

A: When does the train come?

[The train is coming, they see it]

B: Oh, HERE is the train!  —> Oh, ECCO il treno!

ECCO can be used also with the direct pronouns (mi, ti, lo, la, ci, vi, li, le), depending on which person or thing is appearing:

A: When are going to be here?

[B appears]

B: HERE I am!  —> ECCOMI!

A: Where’s your dog?

B: HERE IT is, it’s behind you!  —>  ECCOLO, è dietro di te!


2) Sometimes, the word “ECCO” is used to “fill” a sentence at its beginning, to take time and think about what to say.

A: Can you give me a ride to the airport later?

B: WELL… actually, I don’t think I can… my car has been stolen…      (WELL… —> ECCO…)

A: Really?!

3) Finally, ECCO is used in some Italian expressions, such as:

  • Ecco perché: means “that’s why”.

A: I’m so happy!

B: Why?

A: We’ve reached more than 100 k subscribers to our YouTube channel!

B: Aaaah, that’s why (=ecco perché)!

  • Ecco fatto: means “I’ve finished”, “I’ve done what I had to do”.

A: Can you turn off the air conditioner?

[B turns it off]

B: Done! (=Ecco fatto)!

  • Ecco cosa succede quando… : means “these are the consequences when…”

A: I’ve been fired!

B: That’s what happens when you don’t work well! (=Ecco cosa succede quando non si lavora bene!)

  • Ecco come… = means “this is how…”

A: I can’t turn on my phone!

[B turns it on]

B: This is how you do it! (=Ecco come si fa!)

So, what do you think? It is not so difficult, isn’t it?

If you want to revise the direct pronouns, have a look at our lesson about Italian DIRECT and INDIRECT pronouns.

Now, can we ask you a serious question? Do you know which is the standard accent in Italy? Are you sure that you are learning the correct one? Who speaks Standard Italian? What’s the neutral accent? How many dialects are there in Italy?

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

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