Italian Word Speed Dates: Ormai and Affatto

There is no shortage of tricky words to learn in Italian, and in this speed date, we’re back with two more, “ormai” and “affatto”, both which are sure to help your Italian sound more fluid and natural.


“Ormai” is defined as meaning:

— By now

— Already

— By then

— By the time

So how do you use it?

Instead of just giving separate examples, like usual, here’s a dialogue that will hopefully help you have a better understanding.

Giulia e Giorgia stanno chiacchierando mentre Giorgia sta guidando. – Giulia and Giorgia are chatting while Giorgia is driving.

Giorgia: Si è dimenticato che ieri era il mio compleanno. Ormai dovrebbe sapere la data! – He forgot that my birthday was yesterday. By now he should know the date!

Giulia: Speravo che ad un certo punto avresti trovato un ragazzo più gentile di lui. – I hoped that by now you would have found a nicer boyfriend than him.

Giorgia: Stiamo insieme da 3 anni, quindi…ormai sono abituata (a lui). – We’ve been together for three years, so…by now I’m used to him.

Giulia: Non darmi un pretesto. Sto ascoltando storie del tuo orribile ragazzo da mesi ormai. Cercatene un altro! – Don’t give me an excuse. I’ve been hearing about your horrible boyfriend for months already. Go find a new one!

Giorgia: Eh, sì, lo so. Ma…possiamo cambiare argomento? Penso che ci siamo perse. Ormai dovremmo essere da Sara.– Ehh, yeah, I know. But…can we change the topic? I think we’re lost. By now we should be at Sara’s.


“Affato” is defined as meaning:

— At all

— Nothing

Here are some examples of it being used in the negative sense, which is more common:

— Non è affatto una persona educata. – She’s not at all a well-mannered person.

— Non trovo affatto male Bologna, anzi, vorrei trasferirmi là. – I don’t find Bologna bad at all, in fact, I would like to move there.

— Non sei affatto come tua sorella. – You’re not at all like your sister

— Non mi piace affatto il cibo coreano. – I don’t like Korean food at all. (This is not true. I love Korean food.)

— Io? No, io non ho affatto paura! – Me? No, I’m not scared at all!

Italophile #1: Mi hai detto che TU avresti comprato le uova! – You told me that you would buy the eggs!

Italophile #2: No, non l’ho detto affatto! – No, I never said that!

— Leggere tutte queste leggi non è affatto divertente! – Reading all of these laws isn’t fun at all!

Italophile #1: Ti piace il cibo messicano? – Do you like Mexican food?

Italophile #2: Non mi piace affatto! – I don’t like it all!

Italophile #1: Ero sicuro che fossi tu ieri! – I was sure it was you yesterday!

Italophile #2: Affatto. Ero a Milano. – That’s impossible. I was in Milan.

Italophile #1: Adoro lavorare nei fine settimana, e tu? – I love working on weekends, and you?

Italophile #2: Affatto, per me è davvero scomodo. – Not at all, to me it’s really inconvenient.

You’ll often hear the phrase “niente affatto” to mean “not at all”.

A: Pensavo mi avresti accompagnato tu in macchina alla partita! – I thought you would have given me a ride to the match!

B: Nient’affatto! – Not at all!

E: Volevo che tu andassi a parlare con Silvia per chiarire la tua posizione. – I would like you to go to Silvia’s in order to clarify your position in the issue

F: Nient’affatto!!! – In your dreams!!!

While “affatto” can be used in the positive sense, it’s very rare and often a matter of regional Italian, so to be safe, just stick with the negative (and to be clear, that is probably the only time I would say something like that. In all other areas of life, stay positive ;]).

Italian words: ormai – affatto
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