A FIANCO, AL FIANCO or AFFIANCO? – Which one is correct?

In this new lesson we will answer a question that afflicts both foreigners and Italians …


Among these, which one is a synonym of “accanto” (next to)?

Although many people insist on always using the “affianco” form, truth is that all three possibilities are correct, but they have very different meanings.

The term “affianco” is the first person of the singular present of “affiancare” (to come up beside / to push side to side), that means “avvicinare” (get close to / move close to). For example:

Spesso affianco due letti singoli per creare un letto matrimoniale e dormire più comoda.

(I often push side to side two single beds to create a double bed and sleep more comfortably.)

While “a fianco a” means next to, beside something. For example:

Ho messo i quadri a fianco all’orologio.

(I put the paintings next to the clock.)

So what does it mean “al fianco“? This expression means offering help, being there for someone. For example:

Starò sempre al fianco del mio fidanzato, qualsiasi cosa succeda.

(I’ll always be on my boyfriend’s side, whatever happens.)

How romantic! And if you want to learn other expressions of love, check out our video-lesson on the Italian love vocabulary!

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