The Italian word that is used to say Beautiful, Bello, is used for both people and inanimate objects. Differently from English, where a woman is beautiful but a man is handsome, Italian uses the same word.
Resources for further reading:
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Un uomo bello
A handsome man
Una donna bella
A beautiful woman
You will notice, however, that one letter differs. Why does bello become bella?
Every Italian noun has a gender, and it’s this gender that dictates which article and adjective variant you have to use. Uomo is a masculine noun, hence bello, and donna is a feminine noun, hence bella. You will notice that the articles change as well.
Here are a couple of synonyms that can be used for describing people:
These adjectives, unlike bello, do not change depending on the gender. If you want to describe the weather, you can say:
Il tempo è bello
The weather is nice
Il tempo è splendido
The weather is beautiful
Finally, if someone is very handsome/beautiful, you can say:
Un uomo bellissimo
A very handsome man
Una donna bellissima
A very handsome woman
Notice how the adjectives change!
The Italian equivalent for hey beautiful, ciao bella (notice that it is translated in its feminine variant, as the masculine variant is uncommon) can be perceived as rude when addressing a stranger, so don’t use it unless you are on really good terms with the person you are greeting.
That’s it for today’s lesson on using beautiful in Italian. I hope you enjoyed it, that you learned new expressions and bettered your pronunciation!
Here are a few recommended Italian lessons to try next!
Maria DiLorenzi: Rocket Italian
Reinforce your learning from this lesson with the Rocket Reinforcement activities!