15 Italian EXPRESSIONS with the PREPOSITION “IN”

After the success of the previous video about expressions with the prepositions SU, A, and DI, in this video we will focus on the most common Italian expressions with the preposition IN.

15 Italian Expressions with the Preposition “IN”

1. In gamba [smart]

Being an ‘in gamba’ person means having excellent qualities and abilities, being very good at what you do and being able to successfully face situations. Or, it also means being super healthy (with this meaning, it is also used as a greeting).

Paolo è proprio un tipo in gamba: è diventato milionario a soli 25 anni! [Paolo is a very smart guy: he became a millionaire at 25!]

Ciao! In gamba eh! Ci vediamo presto! [Hey! Stay cool, eh! See you soon!]

Francesca è in gamba per la sua età: ho sentito che correrà una maratona questo fine settimana. [Francesca is very capable for her age: I heard she’s running a marathon this weekend.]

2. In tempo [in time]

It means “not late“, “not too late“, but perfectly within the time limits.

For example, arriving in time means arriving before the start of a certain activity or event; or finishing in time means finishing before the time runs out.

Nonostante siamo partiti tardi, siamo riusciti ad arrivare al cinema in tempo per l’inizio del film. [Despite leaving late, we managed to arrive at the cinema in time for the start of the movie.]

Sono ancora in tempo per iscrivermi a Italiano in Contesto? [Is it too late for me to enrol in “Italiano in Contesto?“]

3. In fretta [quickly]

It means quickly, rapidly.

Devi prepararti in fretta altrimenti rischi di perdere il treno. [You need to get ready quickly, otherwise you risk missing the train.]

Quando sono in ufficio, mangio sempre in fretta perché ci sono tante cose da fare. [When I’m in the office, I always eat quickly because there are so many things to do.]

4. In ricordo (di) [in memory (of)]

It means that something is done or said to honour the memory of someone, to remember that person and to show that they are still in our thoughts. It can also be expressed as “in memoria di”.

Hanno costruito un monumento in ricordo delle vittime. [They built a monument in memory of the victims.]

Canteremo questa canzone in ricordo del cantante che ci ha lasciato l’anno scorso. [We will sing this song in memory of the singer who passed away last year.]

5. In soccorso (di) [to the rescue]

It means “to the rescue“. In other words, “andare in soccorso di qualcuno” is like saying “going to help someone“.

I paramedici sono arrivati in soccorso dei feriti dell’incidente. [The paramedics came to help the people who were injured in the accident.]

6. In considerazione [take into account]

It is generally used with the verbs “prendere” (to take) and “tenere” (to keep). It simply means to consider, take into account, keep in mind.

Prima di fare una scelta, dobbiamo prendere in considerazione tutte le opzioni. [Before making a choice, we need to take all options into consideration.]

7. In piedi [standing]

It means “standing upright“: in other words, the opposite of sitting. It is mainly used with the verbs “essere” (to be), “stare” (to stand), and “rimanere” (to stay).

Not to be confused with “a piedi“, which is used to indicate movement, that is, when you walk somewhere, without any means of transport (“I walk to the office”).

Siamo rimasti in piedi per tutta la durata del concerto. [We stood up for the whole concert.]

8. In calce [at the bottom of the page]

It means “at the foot of the page“, so at the bottom of a page, in the lower part of a document. This expression is mainly used in formal and bureaucratic contexts.

Bisognerebbe aggiungere una firma in calce al documento. [You should add a signature at the bottom of the document.]

9. In attesa [on hold]

It means “on hold” or “pending“, expressing a state of pause or suspension while waiting for something or someone. For example: “when I call a call center, they always put me on hold”. Or, “I’m waiting for the streetcar.”

“Una donna in attesa” (a woman who’s expecting) on the other hand, could also be a pregnant woman.

Sono ancora in attesa di tue notizie. [I’m still waiting to hear from you.]

Lasciate questi posti liberi per le donne in attesa. [Please leave these seats empty for pregnant women.]

10. In breve [in a nut shell]

It means in a few words, without rambling or getting lost in chatter, briefly.

Non avevamo molto tempo, perciò mi ha raccontato la storia in breve. [We didn’t have much time so he gave me a brief summary of the story.]

11. In seguito [afterwards]

“In seguito” simply means “later” or “afterwards“.

Mangeremo la pizza e in seguito il dessert. [We’ll eat pizza and afterwards we’re having dessert.]

“In seguito a” means “as a result of”, “due to”.

È morto in seguito all’incidente con la sua moto. [He died as a result of the motorcycle accident.]

12. In ballo [at stake]

It means to be involved or implicated in something. You can “tirare in ballo qualcosa o qualcuno” (drag something or someone into this) which means involve them in a discussion or activity, or something can be “in ballo” (at stake) and so on.

C’è un grosso affare in ballo: non possiamo tirarci indietro ora. [There’s a big deal at stake: we can’t back out now.]

13. In silenzio [silently]

It means without speaking or making any noise.

In biblioteca bisogna stare in silenzio. [In the library, you have to be quiet.]

Non conosceva la risposta alla domanda, così è rimasta in silenzio. [She didn’t know the answer to the question, so she remained silent.]

14. In realtà [actually]

It’s an adverbial phrase that means “actually“, “in fact“, “to tell the truth” “to be honest“.

Si crede un grande chef ma in realtà non sa nemmeno preparare una buona carbonara. [He thinks he’s a great chef but actually he doesn’t even know how to make a good carbonara.]

15. In giro [around]

This expression can have different meanings depending on the verb that is being used.

“Andare” o “essere in giro” means wandering around a place, such as a city, either just to walk around or to run errands.

Sono stata in giro tutta la mattina perché avevo tantissime faccende da sbrigare. [I’ve been out and about all morning because I had a lot of errands to run.]

“Prendere in giro (qualcuno)” on the other hand, means to mock, offend, laugh at someone, not take them seriously.

I compagni a scuola lo prendevano in giro per il suo aspetto e lui ci stava molto male. [His schoolmates used to make fun of him for his appearance and it really hurt him.]

Now that you know all the expressions with the preposition “IN” have a look at the Italian expressions with colpo as well.

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