Use of figurati in italian language

What does FIGURATI mean in Italian?

Use of figurati in italian language

FIGURATI! A matter of nuances

1. Figurati as Don’t mention / You’re welcome

This is the simplest and most intuitive way to use “figurati.” It replaces the word “prego” and is an expression of relaxed courtesy that creates a friendly atmosphere in response to a thank you. It’s a touch of kindness that makes every interaction more pleasant, as in the following examples:

Grazie per essermi venuto a prendere!

Figurati.

Il tuo regalo mi piace molto. Grazie mille!
Figurati, è un piacere!

2. Figurati as No problem / Don’t worry

In this case, figurati is used to make someone feel better, a gentle way to reassure someone who fears they’ve caused inconvenience or discomfort.

Scusa se sono arrivata tardi. Ho perso il tram!

Figurati, sono appena arrivato!

Mi dispiace ma non posso venire alla tua mostra.

Figurati, sarà per un’altra volta.

3. Figurati as Absolutely not

Here, figurati is used to strongly deny something or as a firm response, an “absolutely not” said with a touch of grace.

Domani Marco mi restituirà il libro che gli ho prestato.

Figurati, Marco non mantiene mai le promesse!

Vuoi un altro bicchiere di vino?
Ma figurati, ho già bevuto troppo!

4. Figurati as Nah, I don’t think so

In this case, we use this word to express doubt, to highlight something we’re not sure about. It becomes a colloquial way to express skepticism. It’s the nuanced response that conveys a sense of disbelief or lack of conviction, adding a touch of humor to the conversation.

Sarà già arrivato Mario?

Figurati, sarà come al solito in ritardo.
Pensi che questa estate riusciremo ad andare in crociera?

Figurati. Penso proprio che quest’anno passeremo un’estate uguale a tutte le altre!

In this case, “figurati” can be replaced with figuriamoci!

5. Figurati as Imagine / Consider this

So far, we’ve mostly seen figurati used as a response to questions or statements, but these aren’t the only ways to use this discourse marker in conversation. In the role of Imagine or Consider this, figurati adds an element of surprise. Here, the word suggests an unexpected scenario, often with a hint of disbelief or wonder. It’s like opening a window to a reality that exceeds expectations, making the conversation livelier and more engaging.

Ieri ho parlato con zia Lucia e mi ha detto che ci verrà a trovare per Natale. Figurati che ha già comprato il biglietto dell’aero!
Non sono riuscita a disdire l’appuntamento. Figurati che ho provato a telefonare per un’ora.

In this case, “figurati” can be replaced with figuriamoci!

Conclusion

In all these nuances, FIGURATI emerges as a small gem of the Italian language, capable of enriching daily communication with its versatility and ability to adapt to a wide range of contexts.

Further examples of the use of FIGURATI in: Asking for directions in Italian.

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