All learners of Italian will at some point ask the question, “What does prego in Italian mean?”. This is a very good question as prego is used extensively in the Italian language and has various uses.
Since there is no direct English translation, let’s take a look at the situations in which you would use the word prego in Italian.
When to say prego in Italian:
1) You are welcome.
Telling someone they are welcome is the most common use of “prego”. An example is if someone says Grazie (Thank you), you would reply with Prego (You’re welcome). In this instance, it could also mean “It’s a pleasure”.
2) How can I help you?
“Prego” is used a lot in the service industry and in places such as shops or restaurants. For example, you might hear Prego, desidera? (What would you like?) or Prego, come posso aiutarla? (How can I help you?).
3) Please enter. / Please take a seat.
“Prego” can be used when welcoming another person into your home, restaurant, hotel or shop. For example, Prego, entri pure (Please, come in), or even Prego, si accomodi (Please, take a seat).
4) I beg you!
Ti prego can be seen as a strong form of the word “please”. For instance, one would say Puoi aiutarmi? Dai, ti prego! (Could you help me? Please, I beg you!).
If you still have some doubts regarding the use of prego in Italian, watch the video made by our Italian teachers (English subtitles available):
As you can see, prego is a very versatile word and it is very important to know how to use it.
Now that you have learned about the meaning of prego in Italian, you should be able to include it in your daily conversation practice.
And remember that if you want to improve your Italian level with a native and qualified Italian tutor, our school offers one-to-one Italian lessons in London and Italian lessons via Skype. Contact us and we will be very happy to give you more information about our Italian lessons.