Italian Idiomatic Expressions with WATER!

Idiomatic expressions (known as “idioms”) are essential to speak fluently! Unfortunately though, grammar knowledge isn’t enough to use them: you need to learn them by heart! In this lesson we are going to show you some Italian idioms related to water: we are sure that you are going to enjoy it lot!

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Acqua in bocca! [mum’s the word – literal translation: water in mouth]

This expressions is used to tell another person that what we are saying must remain a secret, something that must not be revealed.

it makes after all… we can’t talk when we have water in our mouths, can we?

Let’s see some examples:

⁃ Stiamo organizzando una festa a sorpresa per Massimo, vuoi venire? [We are organizing a surprise party for Massimo, do you want to come?]

⁃ Certo! Dimmi quando e dove! Non vedo l’ora! [Sure! Let me know when and where! I am looking forward to it!]

⁃ Ti faccio sapere più tardi, ma mi raccomando: acqua in bocca! Deve essere una sorpresa! [I’ll let you know later, but please: mum’s the word! It must be a surprise!]


Fare un buco nell’acqua [to fail – literal translation: make a hole in water]

Can you make a whole in water? Of course not!

That’s why we use this idiom to talk about a failure, something we can’t accomplish!


Ma poi? Quel viaggio a Parigi? Lo avete fatto? [What then? What about the journey to Paris? Have you made it?]

⁃ Ma va! Non me ne parlare! Prima sembravano tutti interessati e poi nessuno si è deciso a prenotare! [Please… don’t even talk about it! They seemed to be interested but at the end no one booked!]

⁃ Insomma… avete fatto un buco nell’acqua! [So, you guys failed!]


Come bere un bicchiere d’acqua [a piece of cake – literal translation: like drinking a glass of water]

This expression is used to describe something extremely easy to do.

Come to think of it… It isn’t difficult to drink water, is it?


⁃ Sto preparando un esame di inglese, ma non sono sicura di riuscire a passarlo… [I am studying for an English exam, but I am not sure I can pass it]

⁃ Ma va… Sei bravissima! Per te sarà come bere un bicchiere d’acqua! [Come on… You are very good! It’s going to be a piece of cake for you!]


Essere come due gocce d’acqua [to be two peas in a pod – literal meaning: to be two drops of water]

Imagine two drops of water… Can you spot any difference? I don’t think so…

That’s why we use this expression to describe two things or two people that are very similar, almost identical.

Esempio di utilizzo:

⁃ Ho visto Maria e sua sorella… Sono gemelle? [I saw Maria and her sister… are they twins?]

⁃ Eh no… Maria è due anni più grande di sua sorella. [No… Maria is two years older than her sister]

⁃ Mamma mia… Sono due gocce d’acqua! [Oh my god… They are like two peas in a pod]


Perdersi in un bicchiere d’acqua [to make a mountain out of a molehill – literal translation: get lost in a glass of water]

It is an idiom usually referring to a person that makes too much of a minor issue.

Well, actually… Get lost in a glass is quite difficult considering its size… V


⁃ Mia cugina tedesca che studia l’italiano sta avendo delle difficoltà con il congiuntivo italiano… [My German cousin who studies Italian is having difficulties with the Italian subjunctive]

⁃ Ma no! Dille di non perdersi in un bicchiere d’acqua e di guardare i nostri video sul congiuntivo! Capirà tutto perfettamente!  [No! Tell her not to make a mountain out of a molehill and watch our videos on the subjunctive]

Did you enjoy this lesson? We have got many other fantastic grammar lessons!

But if you prefer learning idioms, have a look at all our lessons on the 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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