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Insomma: a Versatile Filler Word

A very popular idiomatic, one-word expression comes up several times in a recent Yabla video. The proprietor of a beach club in Marsala uses insomma as filler, to mean "in other words," "basically," "I mean," "you know," "in short," "all in all." Sometimes, as in the example, there is no ideal translation. Insomma is one of those words you have to hear many times in different contexts with different inflections, and soon enough, you'll be using it, too.


E questo è quello che possiamo offrire qua, insomma, a Marsala, a Via Torre Lupa.

And this is what we can offer here, in other words, in Marsala on Via Torre Lupa.

Caption 19, Sicilia - Marsala - Casa vacanze Torre Lupa

 Play Caption


We have already talked about insomma and its different meanings in two other lessons, so check them out. Making insomma part of sentences will come with time because it has so many connotations, but let's briefly talk about one more way to use insomma by itself as an exclamation. It's often preceded by ma (but) to express indignation, impatience, or exasperation. Your tone of voice tells it all.

Ma insommavuoi smettere di rompere?
Hey, would you stop bugging me?


Like many one-word expressions, insomma is made up of two words: the preposition in (in) and the noun somma (sum, total, summary). Its meaning has evolved over time.


When things don't go as well as expected and someone asks you: come'è andato (how did it go)?, you can say insomma to say "so-so, not great".


Do a Yabla search of insomma to see plenty of examples of this versatile filler word.


Get exasperated at your cat or dog and use insommaor ma insomma!

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