How to say ok in Italian: 9 easy ways

25th June 2024

How do you say ok in Italian? Learn the 9 most useful ways and avoid common mistakes that most learners make.


Listen to the episode

You know how some Italian words don't quite translate? 

OK is one of them. 

Italians say this word all the time, but the English meanings aren't always equivalent. In fact, one doesn't exist at all!

Unless you pay close attention, you risk saying OK in a way which sounds a little off.

In this lesson you’ll learn how to say ok in Italian the right way and avoid two common mistakes that most learners make. 

Let’s start with the easy stuff, ok? 

Ok is… Ok! (but with one important difference)

The first way to say ok in Italian is… ok

Just like in English, Italians use ok to express agreement or acceptance:

- Mangiamo una pizza?     - Shall we get a pizza?

- Ok! - Ok!

But there’s an interesting difference in how Italians use this word.

Imagine you’re in Milano and you suggest visiting the Castello Sforzesco. If your friend replies ok , in English you might assume that they’re not very keen.

Not so in Italian! You can use ok to show excitement as well:

- Andiamo a fare un aperitivo? - Shall we go for a drink?

- Ok! - Sure!

Just remember to say it with enthusiasm, and most of all with Italian pronunciation. I remember how insistent were my Italian friends on this: they said that my ok still sounded too English!

To say it with an Italian accent, remember to enunciate each letter: Oh-keh-ee!

Saying OK to agree to something

Now you know ok , here are 4 more simple ways to agree to something in Italian.

Va bene Ok  VAH- BEH-NEH
Certo Of course CHER- TOH
D’accordo Agreed DAH–COR–DOH

- Volete provare il piatto del giorno?         – Would you like to try the dish of the day?

- Certo – Of course

-Prendiamo un altro Spritz? –Shall we have another Spritz?

-Va bene –Ok

If you want to learn how to use them and discover more ways to agree to something, here’s how to say yes in Italian .

Tutto ok? Checking if someone’s ok

Your friend was a little too enthusiastic over aperitivo and drank too many Campari Spritzes. Now he looks a bit sleepy!

How do you check if he’s ok?

Tutto bene? – All ok?

It’s very similar to English, isn’t it?

Another version you might hear is: tutto ok?

So far so good, but watch out for the mistake many learners make:

* Sei ok? – Are you ok?

* Sì, sono ok – Yes, I’m ok

Italians don’t say “Are you ok?” or “I’m ok” as we do in English. Instead, they say:

Tutto bene!/ Tutto ok! – All ok!

Non è male. Saying Ok when something is mediocre

Your Italian friend seems better. Tutto bene , he says, so the evening can continue! 

You decided to have dinner in a pizzeria , and your friend asks: 

Com’è la pizza? –How is the pizza? 

You’ve just been to Naples, home of the famous cornicione (a thick and fluffy outer crust). so now you have to ‘settle’ for the one they make in Milan. 

How would you answer ‘it's okay’, as in “it’s fine but not great”? 

Be careful not to make the mistake many learners make. They usually translate literally and say:

* È va bene It’s okay

*È ok – It’s ok

But we don’t say it like that in Italian! To say that something is satisfactory but not especially good we say:

Non è male – It's not bad


Niente di speciale – Nothing special

Let’s see some more examples:

- Katie, com’è quel ristorante nuovo? – Katie, how’s that new restaurant?

- Niente di speciale – Nothing special

L’ultimo film di Sorrentino non è male – Sorrentino's latest film isn’t bad.

How to say ok in Italian: 9 easy ways: Review

Here’s a quick reference list of all the expressions you can use when you want to say OK: 

Va bene – Ok 

– Yes

Certo – Sure

D’accordo – Agreed 

Tutto bene?/Tutto ok? – All ok?

Non è male – It’s not bad

Niente di speciale – Nothing special

…and remember you can also say… OK!

Now you’re ready to accept all the invites from your Italian friends 😉.

K: Ciao a tutti e benvenuti! Hi everyone and welcome to “Learn Italian with Joy of Languages”. 

M: Before we get started, if you’re listening to this on your podcast app could you do us un favore and hit the subscribe or follow button? This way you’ll get notified when we release a new episode and you’ll help our podcast grow so that we can keep making free lessons like this. Grazie mille! 

K: As many of you probably know, Matteo is from Napoli , Naples, an Italian city very famous for a type of food, which is also one of Matteo's biggest passions…

M: La pizza napoletana 

K: As a Neapolitan he’s very demanding when it comes to pizza. Let’s listen to a typical conversation we might have when we get a pizza from a pizzeria…

M: That you choose!

K: How many ways of saying ‘ok’ can you hear?

K: Vuoi una birra?

M: Va bene

K: Tutto bene?

M: Mm… questa pizza è ancora un po’ cruda

K: No.. non è male

M: Mm.. niente di speciale. 

K: Mi dispiace, la prossima volta scegli tu la pizzeria.

M: Ok!   

K: Let’s break that down. I asked: 

M: Vuoi una birra? – Do you want a beer? 

Vuoi – You want 

Una – a 

Birra – beer 

K:   And Matteo said: 

M: Va bene – OK, literally: 

Va – It goes, it’s going 

Bene – well 

K: Even though the literal translation is “it’s going well”, we use it like “ok” in English. This is one of those expressions that is best learned as it is, without worrying too much about details. We use va bene when we accept offers and suggestions. 

M: Va bene (x 2)

If you want to know more about that be sure to listen to episode 115, How to Say YES in Italian

K: So, as you probably heard, the tone Matteo used to reply to my beer offer was not very enthusiastic, so I asked:

M: Tutto bene? – All ok? 

Tutto: All 

Bene: OK? 

K: It’s very similar to the English way. Another version you might hear is: tutto ok?

M: Tutto ok? – All ok?

K: Again, similar to English but can you hear any difference? The word “ok” is the same but the pronunciation is different. 

M: Ok

K: I remember when I was learning Italian my Italian friends found this funny: they said that my ok sounded too English!

M: Well, the same happens to me now that we’re in England: my OK sounds too Italian

K: Be sure to say it with an Italian accent. The OH, the KEH and the EE are really enunciated: okeeeeyyyy.

M: Ok (x2)

K: Then Matteo said: 

M: Mm… questa pizza è ancora un po’ cruda – This pizza is still a bit raw

Questa – this 

Pizza – pizza 

È – is 

ancora – still 

un po’ – a bit 

cruda – raw

K: As I was saying at the beginning, Matteo is very picky when it comes to pizzas. What was the problem, Matteo?

M: The problem was with the Cornicione , the outer crust. The Neapolitan pizza has “ cornicione alto ”, a thick outer crust and I love pizza with that, but in some pizzerias they don’t make it the right way. It often ends up being a bit undercooked and too chewy. 

K: Even though I’ve lived in Italy for several years my palate has not yet reached the demands of that of an Italian, Neapolitan for that matter, and I think the pizza is okay, so I said: 

M: No.. non è male – No, it’s not bad

No – No 

Non – not 

È – it is

Male – bad 

K: Sometimes we use “ok” in English to explain that something is mediocre. For example, the pizza’s ok. We can’t do this in Italian. This is a mistake that many learners make when they translate literally from English. In Italian they say “it’s not bad”. Non è male. 

M: Non è male (x2)

K: Then Matteo said: 

M: Mm.. niente di speciale. – Mm… nothing special 

Niente – nothing

Di – of 

Speciale – special 

K: This is another way to say “it’s okay”, as in “it’s fine but not great” in Italian. Niente di speciale , literally “nothing of special”

M: Niente di speciale (x2)

K:  You’re really disappointed with that pizza!Then I said: 

M: Mi dispiace – I’m sorry

Mi – to me 

Dispiace – it displeases

K: Here we have another example of how things often don’t translate word for word in Italian. In these cases it’s best to learn the phrase.  So, I’m sorry in Italian is:

M: Mi dispiace (x2)

K: I felt guilty because I chose the pizzeria where we got the pizza, so I suggested: 

M: la prossima volta – next time 

La – the 

Prossima – next 

Volta – time

M: scegli tu la pizzeria – you choose the pizzeria 

scegli – you choose

tu – you 

la – the 

pizzeria –pizzeria 

K: The word scegli (x2) already means “you choose”. What’s that little tu doing at the end? Scegli tu . It’s not obligatory, but it emphasises the fact that I’m talking about you. A bit like saying “YOU choose” in English. Scegli TU

M: Good idea. 

K: To agree to my suggestion Matteo said

M: Ok!  

K: With a perfect Italian accent!Here’s another interesting thing: in English when we say “ok” other people might assume that we’re not very keen. Not so in Italian: we can also use it to express excitement. Just remember to say it with enthusiasm. 

M: OK! Shall we review today’s lesson? 

K: We heard 5 ways to say “ok”.  By the way, do you remember how to pronounce it in Italian?

M: Ok (x2)

K: What do we say when we accept suggestions or offers? Literally “it’s going well”. 

M: Va bene (x2)

K: And if we want to check if everything’s ok, “all ok”?

M: Tutto bene ? (x2)

K: or

M: Tutto ok?(x2)

K: Finally, how do we say in Italian that something’s ok, as in “it’s not bad”?

M: Non è male (x2)

K: Or nothing special, literally “nothing of special”?

M: Niente di speciale (x2)

K:  Let’s listen to the whole conversation again. 

K: Vuoi una birra?

M: Va bene

K: Tutto bene?

M: Mm… questa pizza è ancora un po’ cruda

K: No.. non è male

M: Mm.. niente di speciale. 

K: Mi dispiace, la prossima volta scegli tu la pizzeria.

M: Ok!   

K: If you want to learn how to avoid another common mistake that many learners make and see everything from today’s episode written down, you can head over to our website by clicking on the link in the description.

M: Or you can go to and search for 145. See you next time.

K - Or as we say in Italian.

Alla prossima!

Time to check your understanding and remember everything you just learned! Below you’ll find a mini-quiz and some vocabulary cards to help it all go in.


How much did you learn? Find out in the quiz!

Click here to take the quiz for this episode: How to say ok in Italian


Certo = Of course

D’accordo = Agreed

Va bene = Ok 

Tutto ok?/Tutto bene? = All ok?

Non è male = It’s not bad

Niente di speciale = Nothing special

Flashcards: How to say ok in Italian

Not sure how it works? Click here to watch the tutorial

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