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Is there a formal and an informal greeting in Italian?

For learning: Italian
Base language: English
Category: Language

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    yes there is, but I guess it's pretty similar to the what you would use in English.

    the most informal greeting is 'ciao' (hi). if you are in some parts of Italy, you might hear someone say 'ue' , or 'uella', (the 'u-e' sound is pronunced as the 'we' in 'well'), often followed by a nod, and it means 'hey'. this is very very formal and sometimes considered rude if misused with someone you barely know. to an Italian it also might sound silly if used by a foreigner, but at least you'll know what an Italian means if he is using it with you in a friendly way!

    'buongiorno' (good morning / good day) is the most common formal greeting through the whole day, but you can also use it to actually wish a good morning to someone close to you. the latter usually happens when you are actually waking up (for example waking up and seeing your wife in bed beside you), or you've just waken up (for example, you wake up, go to the kitchen for your breakfast and see a member of your family already having her cup of tea, and you say 'buongiorno' maybe while still stretching and yawning).

    to make it more formal you can add "dottore", "ingegnere", etc... when needed. Italians love titles, and they are often abused in formal occasions to make the other person feel you are being submissive.

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