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Different Italian translations of "that"

Did you know there are different ways to say "that" in Italian?



*One is with quello/quella/quelli/quelle when you are pointing something out, as in "this" and "that." It can be an adjective or a pronoun.

E quindi cade una quantità d'acqua superiore a quella che può essere sopportata da un determinato luogo,

And therefore a quantity of water falls that is superior to that which a given place can absorb,

Captions 46-47, Marika spiega Il clima e i suoi eventi - Part 3

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*Then we have the conjunction che, which can be translated as "that," "which," or "who." 

Ali, ti ho già detto che non voglio parlarne.

Ali, I already told you that I don't want to talk about it.

Caption 62, JAMS EP 6 - Part 5

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*But there is also ciò and we use it when we say something like, "That which is born from flesh is flesh, and that which is born from the Spirit is spirit" (from the Bible). In English, using "that" this way might be kind of outdated, and in Italian, it may not be used as much as quello, but it is used in certain contexts.


These days, we don't use the outdated "that which" very much. We often replace it with "what."


Questo oceano rappresenta la distanza tra ciò che dici e ciò che fai.

This ocean represents the distance between what you say and what you do.

Captions 35-36, Marika spiega Espressioni legate al mare e al mondo nautico - Part 4

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And in the case of the common expression tutto ciò, we just translate it as "everything." 

Silicio, ferro, manganese, sono alcuni degli elementi che rendono saporito e pregiato tutto ciò che cresce su questo nero territorio.

Silicon, iron, manganese are some of the elements that make flavorful and valuable everything that grows in this black territory.

Captions 24-26, Pomodori Vulcanici Pomodori del Vesuvio - Part 3

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In fact, in an interview with Pierpaolo Pasolini, recently posted on Yabla, he uses ciò repeatedly, so it jumped out from the page and we wanted to share it with you.  

Appena apre bocca, contesta qualcosa al conformismo, a, a ciò che è ufficiale, a ciò che è statale, a ciò che è nazionale, a ciò che, insomma, va bene per tutti.

As soon as he opens his mouth, he challenges something of conformism, to, to what is official, to what is governmental, to what is national, to what, in short, is fine with everyone.

Captions 3-6, La super storia Via Pasolini - Part 4

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Ciò is often used in the compound conjunction perciò (for that reason, because of that, so, thus).

Perciò quando i soggetti sono diversi, questo potrebbe portare un po' di confusione.

So when the subjects are different, this could bring about a bit of confusion.

Captions 25-26, Corso di italiano con Daniela 3) Proposizioni subordinate finali - Part 2

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If you would like us to dive deeper into using one or more of these ways of saying "that," let us know by writing to



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