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Being Willing with Volentieri

Volentieri is what you can say when you are willing and happy to do something. You can use it by itself as a positive, enthusiastic response: Think of volentieri as having to do with volere (to want, to want to).


Someone asks you to dinner:

Vieni a cena domani sera?
Will you come to dinner tomorrow night?
I’d love to!


Someone asks a favor:


Ehi, Lei con quella cosa rossa addosso, potrebbe aiutarmi?

Hey, you with that red thing on, could you help me?

Volentieri. Le serve qualche informazione?

With pleasure. Do you need some information?

Captions 22-23, PsicoVip - Il treno

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Grammatically, volentieri is an adverb, so you can use it alongside a verb as well. In the following example, it modifies the verb venire (to come).


Mia figlia ci tiene tantissimo.

It's very important to my daughter.

No, no, vorrei, volentieri, ma non posso.

No, no, I'd like to, with pleasure, but I can't.

Caption 13, Stai lontana da me - Rai Cinema

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In the example below, volentieri is used with the verb fare (to do, to make).


La fotografia è un po' il mio primo amore.

Photography is pretty much my first love.

Per cui faccio sempre volentieri delle foto con dei grandi fotografi.

So I am always happy to have photos taken by great photographers.

Captions 20-21, That's Italy - Episode 1

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It’s also used in the negative.


Marcello la mattina non si alza molto volentieri.

Marcello doesn't like to get up in the morning very much.

Caption 21, Fellini Racconta - Un Autoritratto Ritrovato

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Attenzione! Volentieri sounds kind of like “volunteer,” and certainly, to be a volunteer you need to be willing, but volentieri is an adverb, and modifies a verb. Note the e in volentieri.

Volontario on the other hand, (note the o in volontario), is an adjective meaning “willing,” to describe a person. It's connected to the noun la volontà (the will, the willingness). In the following example it’s in the plural, to agree with tutti (everyone).


Ci ha trovato tutti entusiasti e volontari!

They have found everyone to be enthusiastic and willing!

Caption 26, Un medico in famiglia Stagione 1 EP1 - Casa nuova

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Another adjective meaning pretty much the same thing is volonteroso (enthusiastically willing). Word has it that volenteroso (enthusiastically willing) is more frequent than volonteroso, but means much the same thing.

Volontario is also a noun.


Be', veramente io so' [sono] un volontario.

Well, actually I am a volunteer.

Caption 27, Un medico in famiglia Stagione 1 EP1 - Casa nuova

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Since Italian has no one-word equivalent of “to volunteer,” here’s how they do it:

Offrirsi volontario (to volunteer, to offer oneself as a volunteer), and what they volunteer for is often volontariato (volunteer work).


Just for fun:

Mi sono offerto volontario all’asilo nido, perché lavoro volentieri con i bambini. Se una persona ha tempo ed è volenterosa, c’è una vasta scelta di lavoro di volontariato di tutti tipi. I volontari non vengono pagati in soldi, bensì in sorrisi e soddisfazioni.

I volunteered at the daycare center, because I like working with children. If a person has time, and is willing, there’s a vast choice of volunteer jobs of all kinds. Volunteers don’t get paid in money, but rather in smiles and satisfaction.



We hope you read our lessons volentieri! 


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