In today’s article, I want to explain another challenging Italian word, in particular, how to use Magari. This is one of those words that Italian learners need to learn, especially if their level is pretty high, and they want to better understand Italian conversations. As usual, I tried to make the explanation as simple as possible, and hopefully, you will find this article useful.
It’s a fact that Italian is a beautiful language, rich in words. And it is also true that sometimes the exact same words are used in various ways to give different meanings and nuances to sentences.
In this regard, I always enjoy listening to the comments of a student of mine, who is increasingly convinced that we Italians have fun with our language, and we “enjoy” watching all students despair while they try to learn it. But in the end … couldn’t we say this for all languages?
After having already told you about Proprio and Ormai, two words that drive Italian students crazy, I want to add another one: Magari.
As I have done in the past, I will try to replace the term Magari with synonyms to make it a little easier to understand and to use.
1. Magari as I would like
Magari can be replaced by I would like in two cases:
- In answers in which it takes an affirmative tone:
– Andiamo al cinema domani? Sì magari! – Do you want to go to the cinema tomorrow? Yes, I would like to!
- When you want to make a wish, and in this case, it is often followed by the subjunctive. Even the tone used is more dreamy and hopeful.
– Magari potessi fare il giro del mondo! – I wish I could travel around the world!
2. Magari as possibly/in case
- Magari ci mettiamo d’accordo nei prossimi giorni! – Possibly we can arrange something in the next few days!
- Se magari vieni in città avvertimi! – In case you come to town, let me know!
3. Magari as at the risk of
- Magari lavorerò giorno e notte ma finirò il progetto in tempo! – At the risk of working night and day I will deliver my project on time!
- Magari cambio il mio numero di telefono ma non voglio più avere a che fare con lui! – At risk of changing my phone number, I don’t want to have to deal with him anymore!
4. Magari as maybe
- Ti va di mangiare una pizza? Magari un’altra volta! – Do you want to eat pizza? Maybe another time!
- È in ritardo, magari ha sbagliato strada! – He is late, maybe he went the wrong way!
N.B. Remember, be extremely careful not to confuse Magari intended as I would like with Magari that means Maybe.
If someone offers you a coffee, it wouldn’t be nice of you to answer Magari and to go away, leaving this person alone because actually, you meant Maybe! If you really intend to respond with maybe or you want to decline an invitation gracefully, remember to always add something after the word Magari as in the following sentence:
- Magari la prossima volta, ora non posso. Devo proprio andare! – Maybe next time, I can’t now. I have to go!
In this way, the message will be clear, and there will be no misunderstandings of any kind.
Each language requires the use of words that, despite being easy to understand and use for native speakers, are real headaches for all people who study that particular language. Magari is one of these, as its use and meaning may vary depending on the context.
This means that it is necessary to thoroughly analyze the sentences containing this word, listening to them twice or rereading to be sure to fully understand them!
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