There are four main ways to translate the Italian adverb presto into English: early and soon, which are the most common translations, and quick and easy. Let’s take a look at each translation now!

IPA: /ˈprɛs.to/

Presto = Early

One of the most common translations of presto is early. The opposite of the adverb tardi (late), it may also translate as ahead of schedule. Below are a few verbs that are often paired with presto when the meaning is early.

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alzarsi presto = to get up earlysvegliarsi presto = to wake up earlyarrivare presto = to arrive earlypartire presto = to leave early

Mi alzo presto al mattino.

I get up early in the morning.


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Presto = Soon

When presto occurs in the following expressions, the meaning is soon rather than early.

il più presto (possible) = as soon as possiblepresto o tardi = sooner or laterben presto = very soontornare presto = to come back soon

It also appears in the greetings A presto! (See you soon!), Ci vediamo presto! (We’ll see each other soon!), Ci sentiamo presto! (We’ll talk soon!) and Guarisci presto! (Get well soon!)

Sarò presto papà!

I’ll soon be a dad!


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Some possible synonyms include fra poco, a breve or entro breve tempo. To say as soon as possible, you can also use the word prima (earlier): il prima possibile.

Presto = Quick

When Presto! is used on its own as an exclamation, it means Quick! It also assumes this meaning when paired with the verb fare (to do).

Faccio presto! = I’ll be quick!Faccio il più presto possibile! = I’ll be as quick as possible!

Presto, chiama un’ambulanza!

Quick, call an ambulance!


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Possible alternatives are veloce (quick) or in fretta (quick / quickly):

Veloce, chiama un’ambulanza! = Quick, call an ambulance!Faccio in fretta! = I’ll be quick!

Presto = Easy

Presto translates as easy when it appears in the idiomatic phrase Si fa presto a… which means It’s easy to…

Si fa presto a criticare. = It’s easy to criticise.Si fa presto a dire / fare… = It’s easy to say / do…

Si fa presto a fareamicizia con le persone quando si condivide la stessa passione.

It’s easy to make friends with people when you share the same passion.

See more: Why Are Lines Of Latitude Also Called Parallels? ? Latitude And Longitude


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Did you know that…?The English expression Presto! (or Hey presto!), which magicians exclaim when announcing the successful completion of a magic trick, comes from the Italian presto.


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