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Syndication

If I had to choose a few words that I’m asked about all the time in Italian, ones like “proprio” and “magari” would surely be up there, but the one I hear about being difficult constantly is “mica”.

In fact, it’s such a difficult word that I was still fuzzy on how to use it as I wrote this lesson. I had to get lots of help from our lovely in-house native Italian editor, Carlotta.

Despite that, we’ve done our best to drill “mica” -- a word that’s used informally in everyday spoken conversation -- down to its simplest usages.

Buono studio!

Definitions:

  • Not at all/not one bit
  • Surely
  • Not even
  • Not in the least
  • By any chance

Overall, know that it's used in order to strengthen the negative meaning of a sentence.

POPULAR EXPRESSION #1: Mica Male

“Mica male” can best be translated as “not bad”, as in:

  • Questo gelato non è mica male! - This gelato is not bad at all! (in the sense of, “this gelato is quite good”.)
  • Mica male quella ragazza! - Look at that girl, not bad, right?
  • Mica male questo libro. - This book isn't bad at all.

POPULAR EXPRESSION #2: Mica tanto

“Mica tanto” can best be used to mean “not really” or “not much”.

A: Ti è piaciuto il film “Superman vs. Batman”? - Did you like the movie “Superman vs. Batman”?

B: Mica tanto! - Not really!

Mica costano poi (così) tanto/Non costano mica tanto, prendile! - They are not that expensive after all./ They are not that expensive, go and get them!

DEFINITION: Not at all/not one bit

  • Non sembri mica interessato/a. - You don’t seem interested at all.
  • Non è mica vero. - It’s not true at all!
  • Non ha mica capito. - He didn’t understand at all.

DEFINITION: By chance/happen to

  • Hai mica visto la mia borsa? - Have you by chance seen my purse?
  • Hai mica una penna? - Do you happen to have a pen?
  • Non sai mica dov’è? / Mica sai dov’è? - You don't happen to know where he is, do you?
  • Non sei mica la sorellina di Giulia?/Mica sei la sorellina di Giulia? - You wouldn’t happen to be Giulia’s little sister?

DEFINITION: Surely

  • Non glielo dico mica, stai tranquilla! - I’m surely not going to tell him, don’t worry!
  • Se lui è là, io mica vado alla festa. - If he is there, I am surely not going to the party.

DEFINITION: It’s not like...

  • Mica ci vuole un'ora per bere una tazza di caffè. - It's not like it takes an hour to drink a cup of coffee.
  • Mica sono scemo! - It’s not like I’m stupid.

Non sono mica nato/a ieri! - It’s not like I was born yesterday!

 

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Direct download: 205_Italian_Word_Speed_Date__Mica.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:00am PST