10 SUPER Formal Italian Phrases to sound more Intelligent!

In today’s article we are going to talk about 10 very formal expression that Italians often use to sound  more intelligent and educated and to put on airs. Let’s get it started!

The 10 most used Italian formal expressions

Let’s begin:

1) Appropriarsi indebitamente di qualcosa:

(misappropriating) it means stealing something, taking something without authorization or  permission. It can be both used seriously and jokingly.

Example: “Le mie amiche si appropriano spesso indebitamente della mia felpa che ho comprato dal negozio on-line LearnAmo Collection, dove ci sono tanti prodotti fantastici!” (My friends always misappropriate my sweatshirt bought by the e-shop LearnAmo Collection, where you can find amazing items).

2) Sottoporre all’attenzione di qualcuno: 

(to bring to the attention) this expression is referred to the act of showing something to someone, usually in order to get an opinion, a judgement or an evaluation.

Example: “Tutti i laureandi devono sottoporre all’ attenzione del proprio relatore la tesi di laurea” (All grad students must bring their degree thesis to their rapporteur)

3) Essere prerogativa di qualcuno:  

(to be the prerogative of someone) it is used to indicate the right or the privilege to do something.

Example: “lo scioglimento delle Camere è prerogativa del Capo dello Stato(The disbanding of Houses is prerogative of the Head of the State)


Indossare quello che desiderano è prerogativa di qualsiasi donna” (Wearing whatever they want is prerogative of every woman)

4) Essere in una situazione di stallo:

(to be at a standstill) a “situazione di stallo” (phase of stall) can be described as a deadlock, that doesn’t let any progression or regression.

Example: “Non possiamo né proseguire né tornare indietro, siamo in una situazione di stallo” (We can’t neither proceed nor come back, we’re are at a standstill)

5) fare le veci di qualcuno/qualcosa:

(deputize for) it means “prendere il posto di” (taking place), “agire come se fosse” (acting like…).

Example: “Angela, ogni tanto, fa le veci di Rocco, nei video” (Sometimes Angela replaces Rocco in the videos)

6) cadere in prescrizione:

(to be time-barred/expire) this expression derives from the legal language where the word  “prescrizione”, usually, indicates  the discharge of a claim or the possibility to punish the person charged for his alleged crimes. Because of the extreme slowness of the bureaucratic machine of the Italian State, this phenomenon iv quite common questo fenomeno è piuttosto comune nel “Bel Paese”.

Example: “In Italia, un reato cade in prescrizione, in genere, dopo 5 anni, in cui si è svolto un processo ” (In Italy, a crime is considered time-barred, usually after 5 years, when the trail takes place)

7) decidere all’ unanimità:

(to decide unanimously) it means that, when taking a decision, all the people involved agreed, there was a full compliance.

Example: “Tutta la classe ha deciso all’ unanimità di andare in gita in Belgio” (All students n the class decided unanimously to go on a school trip to Berlin)

8) essere sproporzionato/a:

(to be disproportionate/ overreact) in a figurative sense, it is used to indicate something that exceeds the limits, that is exaggerated, that iv not suitable for something or someone.

Example: “Dopo che è stata lasciata dal suo ragazzo, Stefania ha avuto una una reazione sproporzionata, ed è scappata in Tibet per un anno!” (After being dumped by her boyfriend, Stefania overreacted and ran off to Tibet where she remained for a year)

9) essere competenza di qualcuno:

(to be someone’s department) it is used to say that someone is not responsible, not obliged to do or say something.

Example: “Editare i video di LearnAmo, non è competenza di Angela ” (Editing Learnamo videos is not  Angela’s department)

10) fare ammenda per qualcosa:

(to make amends) this expression can be considered as an alternative for  “scusarsi per” (to apologize for), in fact it is used to apologize to someone for something, to try to right the wrongs.

Example: “Rocco, quando fa arrabbiare Graziana, cerca sempre di fare ammenda per i suoi errori” (When Rocco angers Graziana, he then tries to make amends for his mistakes)

By the way, fare ammenda is not the only expression used to apologize… if you want to learn them all, don’t miss the video about the alternatives to the word “sorry”! We assure it will be very useful!

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