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Being Miffed in Italian

In this week's segment of La Ladra, Eva is pretty miffed at her son. He lied to her and probably did worse. So when he promises to do something right, she doesn't say thank you, because she expects nothing less. She uses an expression that is very handy and easy to use because it's always in the third person and can stand alone.


Ti prometto che vado a scuola in bici. OK?

I promise I'll go to school by bike. OK?

Sarà meglio.

You had better.

Captions 54-55, La Ladra - Ep. 3 - L'oro dello squalo - Part 4

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To use this expression, we use the future tense. As we have already discussed in a previous lesson, the future doesn't always actually mean the future. In this particular case, it may be hard to pin down the correct tense, but the tone is clear. You better get in line. If you don't do as you've promised, you're going to be in big trouble.


Sarà is the third person singular of the verb essere (to be). For more about this verb and this tense, see these video lessons from Daniela.


As a stand-alone expression, sarà meglio (one/you had better) works in many situations, especially if you raise your eyebrows. But it can also be part of a more complicated sentence including the subjunctive.


È da solo? Buongiorno. No, in compagnia del mio telefonino.

Are you alone? Good morning. No, in the company of my cell phone.

Allora sarà meglio che Le parli prima che squilli.

So I had better talk to you before it rings.

It would be better for me to talk to you before it rings.

Captions 42-44, La Ladra - Ep. 1 - Le cose cambiano - Part 9

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An even shorter expression uses the verb essere (to be) in the third person singular future on its own, to mean, "that might very well be." You don't have to be miffed to use this expression, but you're probably somewhat skeptical.


Hai visto che non è come sembra, ma molto meglio?

Did you see that he is not like he seems, but much better?

Sarà, ma quella bionda che abbracciava nella Spider non sembrava un fornitore di tartufi.

That might very well be, but that blonde he was hugging in the Spider didn't look like a truffle dealer.

He might very well be, but that blonde he was hugging in the Spider didn't look like a truffle dealer.

Captions 41-43, La Ladra - Ep. 3 - L'oro dello squalo - Part 3

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As you go about your day, try experimenting with sarà meglio (you are the boss and you're not taking any flak) and sarà (you're listening but you are skeptical).

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