Italian Vowels

Pronouncing Italian Vowel Letters

Pitigliano, Italy
Gary Yeowell/Stone/Getty Images

Italian vowels (

le vocali
a
i
u
e
o

The approximate English equivalents are as follows:

a is like a in the English word ah!

Italian / English
casa  house
antipasto  appetizer
ama  loves
banana  banana
sala  hall
Papa  Pope
fama  fame
pasta  pasta; dough; pastry

e is sometimes like e in the English word they (without the final i glide).

Italian / English
e  and
beve  drinks
me  me
fede  faith
vede  sees
mele  apples
sete  thirst
pepe  pepper

e is sometimes like e in the word met. This is the open e.

Italian / English
è  is
lento  slow
bene  well
festa  party; holiday
sedia  chair
presto  soon
vento  wind
  tea

i is like i in machine.

Italian / English
libri  books
bimbi  children
vini  wines
violini  violins
tini  vats
pini  pines

o is sometimes like o in the English word oh!.

Italian / English
o  or
dono  gift
nome  name
solo  alone
posto  place
tondo  round
volo  flight
mondo  world

o is sometimes like o in or. This is the open o.

Italian / English
moda  fashion
toga  toga
no  no
oro  gold
posta  mail
brodo  broth
cosa  thing
trono  throne
rosa  rose
olio  oil

u is like u in rule.

Italian / English
luna  moon
fungo  mushroom
uno  one
lungo  long
fuga  fugue
mulo  mule
uso  use
tubo  tube