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15 Ways to Say Good Afternoon in Italian

What Italian greeting do you use between noon and 5 p.m.? Read on to learn the most common ways to say good afternoon in Italian, covering both formal and informal expressions.

See how to say good afternoon, from the standard “Buon pomeriggio” to casual greetings like “Ciao!” and friendly inquiries such as “Come va?”

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Good Afternoon in Italian: Buon pomeriggio

Technically, buon pomeriggio is “good afternoon” in Italian, but people don’t use it all that much except on the news or other more formal situations. It’s also more commonly used in written communication.

The phrase is used more often when you’re leaving and you wish someone a good afternoon. You can also use it when greeting someone, but it’s less common this way.

For everyday conversations, especially with friends and in informal settings, you’ll find the greetings below to be more common and natural.

Formal Ways to Say Good Afternoon in Italian

When you’re greeting someone in a professional or otherwise formal environment, you can use these formal ways to say “good afternoon” in Italian.

Salve  — Hello

A versatile and polite greeting that can be used in both formal and informal settings. You can use it to greet someone or say goodbye to them.

Buon giorno  — Good day

While primarily used for “good morning,” it can also be used as a polite way to say “good afternoon” in some formal contexts. It’s also used both to say hello and goodbye.

Buona giornata  — Have a good day

Literally meaning “good day,” this can be used as a goodbye in the afternoon to wish someone a good rest of the day.

Buon pomeriggio a Lei  — Good afternoon to you

Adding “a Lei” makes it more formal, showing respect and politeness. It’s a formal way to reply to someone who greeted you.

Informal Ways to Say Good Afternoon in Italian

Say hi to your friends in the afternoon using these phrases.

Ciao!  — Hi!

This is one of the most versatile and widely used Italian greetings. You can use it with friends, family, or acquaintances in both casual and informal settings.

It’s equivalent to saying “hi” or “hello” in English and can be used in the afternoon or any other time of day.

Ciao Valeria, come stai? Io sono in un caffè con Lorenzo.

Hello, Valeria, how are you? I am in a café with Lorenzo.

Ehi!  — Hey!

This is a casual and friendly greeting that you can use with friends or people you know well. It’s a bit more relaxed than “Ciao.”

Ciao bella!  — Hi, beautiful!

This is a playful and affectionate way to greet someone, often used between friends or in a flirty context. It’s important to use it with people you’re close to, as it can be perceived as forward. Check out more uses of bello/bella here.

Che succede?  — What’s up?

This is an informal way to ask how someone is doing or what they’re up to. It’s suitable for casual conversations with friends.

Come va?  — How’s it going?

“Come va?” is a common way to inquire about someone’s well-being or current situation. It’s suitable for casual interactions with friends and acquaintances.

Come va oggi?

How is it going today?

Tutto bene?  — Everything good?

This is another way to ask about someone’s well-being in a casual manner. It’s often used in a friendly and caring context.

Ehilà!  — Hey there! (Casual)

This cheerful and informal greeting can be used with friends or in relaxed social settings.

Ciao amico / amica! — Hi, friend!

This is a straightforward way to greet someone informally when you want to convey friendliness and familiarity.

Guarda chi c’è!  — Look who’s here!

Use this one when you run into someone unexpectedly.

‘Giorno! — Morning!

This is a shortened version of “Buon giorno” and is used informally with friends or in casual situations.

‘ Giorno. / Oh, tesoro. Dai a papà la buona notizia.

‘Morning. / Oh, honey. Tell your father the good news.

As you can see, it’s important to consider the formality of a situation when saying “good afternoon” in Italian. To help understand how to use these formal and informal phrases, you could try searching for some of them on FluentU to see how they are used in context by native speakers.

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Responses to “Good Afternoon” in Italian

So, someone says “good afternoon” to you in Italian. Now what?

Don’t panic! Just use any of these appropriate responses to the greeting:

If your greeter follows up their good afternoon by asking how you’re doing, here are some ways to respond:

Common Italian Afternoon Vocabulary

To keep the conversation going, you can use these vocabulary words related to the afternoon and afternoon activities in Italian.

ItalianEnglish
Andare al cinema Go to the cinema
Fare un picnic Have a picnic
Fare un'escursione Go on a hike
Fare una gita in bicicletta Go biking
Fare una grigliata BBQ
Fare una partita Play a game
Fare una passeggiata Take a walk
Fare un giro in barca Take a boat ride
Fare una pennichella Take a nap
Fare uno spuntino Have a snack
Giocare all'aperto Play outdoors
Gustare un gelato Enjoy ice cream
Il balcone Balcony
Il caffè Coffee
Il formaggio Cheese
Frutta Fruit
Il giardino Garden
Il panino Sandwich
Il pomeriggio Afternoon
Riposare Rest
Il tiramisù Tiramisu
Il vino rosso Red wine
L'aria aperta Fresh air
L'insalata Salad
L'orario diurnoDaytime hours
La birra Beer
La giornata Daytime
La lettura Reading
La luce del sole Sunlight
La merenda Snack
La passeggiata Stroll
La pausa pranzo Lunch break
La terrazza Terrace
La tranquillità Tranquility
Le attività pomeridiane Afternoon Activities
Leggere un libro Read a book
Lo shopping Shopping
Passeggiare nel parco Walk in the park
Preparare un caffè Make coffee
Preparare un tè Make tea
Preparare la cena Prepare dinner

 

Use any of these greetings as the afternoon fades away… then move on to ways to say good night in Italian!

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