Sorry! Search is currently unavailable while the database is being updated, it will be back in 5 mins!

Follow Me!

The word for "to follow" in Italian is seguire. It's a transitive verb most of the time, but not all the time. In many cases, it works just like English. It's used for following instructions:


Quindi, ho cominciato a seguire le istruzioni

So, I started following the instructions

e, e nell'arco di un'oretta, ho montato la cassettiera.

and in just about an hour, I assembled the chest of drawers.

Captions 14-15, Marika spiega - Gli attrezzi

 Play Caption


1,2) What if 2 people are trying to put together this chest of drawers. How could the sentence change? (more than one possibility)



When Italians take a course in something, they "follow it."


Allora, innanzitutto, quando si ha la passione del doppiaggio

So, first of all, when one has a passion for dubbing,

o del... della narrazione, è importante seguire un corso:

or for... for narration, it's important to take a course:

Captions 10-11, Arianna e Marika - Il lavoro di doppiatrice

 Play Caption


Alternatively, they do a course with fare.


Certo, ho fatto il corso su internet.

Of course, I've taken the online course.

Vuol vedere l'attestato?

Would you like to see the certification?

Caption 59, Psicovip - Buon Natale Minivip Ep 26

 Play Caption


Seguire is used for following someone, literally.


Ciao. Oggi ti mostro alcune direzioni.

Hi. Today I'm going to show you some directions [prepositions of place and direction].


Follow me.

Captions 1-2, Marika spiega - Direzioni

 Play Caption


3) What if you are asking someone you don't know to follow you? 


This can also be figurative when following what someone is saying.

Mi segui?

Do you follow me?


4) What if you are asking someone you don't know if they follow what you are saying? 


You have seen the expression, "Follow us on facebook" which is a figurative way to say you check in on that person or organization, you see what they are up to. Fellini was talking about his audience, his fans, in the following clip.


Siamo sempre seguiti da una platea di romani così molto...

We're always followed by an audience of Romans, so very...

che ci segue con molto affetto e simpatia...

who follow us, with a lot of affection and warmth...

specialmente stasera,

especially this evening,

Captions 3-4, Fellini Racconta - Un Autoritratto Ritrovato

 Play Caption


But there is another way Italians use the verb seguire.

It's somewhat akin to the way fans follow a star, or a trend, but it's a little different. Because rather than "following the leader or the trend,"  it's the leader, teacher, therapist, or doctor who is checking in on you, treating you, in the case of a doctor or health worker. This way of using seguire is used a whole lot in teacher-pupil relationships, or doctor-patient relationships and the like, and has to do with following a pupil or patient's progress, or simply giving them support, or attention, treatment, or checking in to see how things are going. In some instances, we might say, seguire is "to give guidance on a continuing basis."


We have an example of this use in a new video this week.

It's part of the story about a couple who had to go through quarantine because of Covid-19.


È un metodo attraverso il quale

It's a method whereby

non congestionano i, gli ospedali,

they don't overcrowd the, the hospitals,

per i casi meno gravi,

for the less serious cases,

e ti seguono telefonicamente.

and they attend to you over the phone.

Captions 25-28, COVID-19 - 3) La quarantena

 Play Caption


When we use seguire this way, it basically means someone is there for you in a professional way. We all know what it feels like to have a teacher or doctor who seems like they don't really care about you. They don't seem invested. 

Non ti seguono.

They don't check in on you.


But it can also simply mean "to treat," as in giving a treatment. 


Sì, sì, ho parlato anche col professore che lo segue. -OK.

Yes, yes. I even spoke with the professor who is treating him. -OK.

Caption 43, Questione di Karma - Rai Cinema

 Play Caption


5) What if there is a team of doctors who treat the patient in question?


If you watch Yabla videos, you will see the verb seguire a lot, in all sorts of conjugations and nuances of meanng. Sometimes it's translated as "to follow," but not always.

Let us know if you a translation you don't understand, and we'll try to help out.

"Extra credit"

1) Quindi, abbiamo cominciato a seguire le istruzioni e, e nell'arco di un'oretta, abbiamo montato la cassettiera.

2) Quindi, hanno cominciato a seguire le istruzioni e, e nell'arco di un'oretta, hanno montato la cassettiera.

3) Salve. Oggi le mostro alcune direzioni. Mi segua.

4) Mi segue?​

5) Sì, sì, ho parlato anche coi professori che lo seguono. -OK.​



Everyday Negatives


Let’s look at turning positive sentences into negative ones in Italian. We might have to switch gears a bit because the word order for negatives is different from what we have in English. We have to think negative. The negative word, in this case non (not), generally comes before the verb, and that means it is frequently the first word in a sentence.


Let’s consider some simple negative expressions we use every day.




Problems: We all have problemi (problems), but sometimes we have to say "no problem." We certainly use it to mean "You're welcome" after someone says "Thank you." In English, it's so easy! But in Italian we say, "there's no problem." It's part of the expression. Non c'è problema is an important phrase to have ready for any situation. 


Sì, non c'è problema. -Grazie. -Prego.

Yes, no problem. -Thanks. -You're welcome.

Caption 24, Adriano - Pizzeria Pinocchio - Part 2

 Play Caption


Actually, there is another way to say this, more similar to English.


Nessun problema (no problem [at all]).


Or we can put both expressions together and say, with the wonderful double negative we can use in Italian:


Non c'è nessun problema (there's really no problem).


or even:


Non c'è nessunissimo problema. (There is absolutely no problem at all)!




Time: Nobody has any time anymore! So negative sentences about time can come in handy.

Non c’è tempo (there isn’t time).
Non ho tempo (I don’t have time).
Il tempo non ce l’ho (I don’t have time for that).
Non c’è più tempo da perdere (there’s no more time to waste).
Non ho avuto il tempo per farmi i capelli (I didn’t have time to get my hair done).

and a possible comment to that:

Non stanno male, però (your hair looks pretty good, though/it doesn't look bad,though).




Knowing stuff: There are plenty of things we know and understand but plenty we don’t know or understand! Let’s remember that whereas in English we just say "I don’t know," Italians usually add the object pronoun lo (it), so they are literally saying "I don't know it."

Non lo so (I don’t know).
Non so a che ora devo venire (I don’t know what time I should come).
Non ho capito! Puoi ripetere (I didn't get it. Can you repeat)?

Remember, Italians often put this phrase in the past tense even though they are saying "I don’t get it."




Forgetting stuff, or rather, not remembering things: The verb ricordare is often but not always in its reflexive form ricordarsi when it means "to remember" and in its regular form when it means "to remind." See these lessons.


Adesso non mi ricordo se era proprio a forma di carciofo.

Right now, I can't remember if it was exactly artichoke shaped.

Caption 24, Fellini Racconta - Un Autoritratto Ritrovato - Part 4

 Play Caption


And if you need an object pronoun instead of a noun, don't forget to change mi (to me) to me (me):


Adesso non me lo ricordo.
Right now, I can't remember [it].




Doing stuff, or rather, not doing stuff: We procrastinate.


Dovevo scrivere un articolo, ma non l'ho fatto (I was supposed to write an article but I didn't do it).
Non l’ho ancora fatto (I haven't done it yet).


Here we have the object pronoun lo (it) but it is partially buried in the contraction. So you have to listen carefully!




Speaking of listening, a great way to hone your listening skills is to use Scribe (in the games menu in the Yabla player). It will definitely help you start recognizing and hearing these short words and little but important details. And although some Italian you hear is rapid-fire (like Luca Manara, to name one example), most of the time, all the syllables are pronounced. You can slow down the speech to be able to hear better. Have you tried Scribe? What did you like? What didn't you like? Let us know!


As we learn to speak Italian with disinvoltura (nonchalance), it’s easy to forget to add these little words. Don’t worry, you will most likely be understood anyway! Foreigners spend years speaking Italian leaving out the little words, and they get by just fine. (It takes one to know one.)


If you get your word order wrong, people will understand anyway, but now you have a chance to get it right!