ESSERE AL VERDE or ESSERE IN ROSSO? – Learn Italian expressions!

Has “essere al verde” ever happened to you? Has your bank account ever been “in rosso”? Unfortunately, both these things happened to us… Well, you know how it is… there’s the crisis. Anyway, if you want to learn more about these two Italian expressions, don’t miss our video!


What do these Italian expressions mean? Let’s find it out together!

ESSERE AL VERDE means being broke


Il mio amico mi ha chiesto di prestargli 10 euro perché è al verde da quando ha perso il lavoro. (My friend asked me to lend him 10 euros because he has been broke since he lost his job)

But where does this expression come from?

Some people say that it could derive from the fact that in the past the lining of the wallets was usually green, so when wallets were open and empty you could see only the green of the lining.

Other people, instead, say that this expression originated in the gambling houses. When the player lost all his chips, he looked down and could only see the gambling table that was usually green, nothing else.

ESSERE IN ROSSO means being in the red

In other words, it means that someone has no money in his/her bank account!


Da quando ha perso il lavoro, il conto in banca del mio amico è in rosso. (Since he lost his job, my friend’s bank account has been in the red)

Is everything clear? Great! So, why don’t you watch all our other Italian lessons?

Do you prefer to study idiomatic expressions? Alright! Learn all Italian expressions!

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

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