4 Ways to Use the Verb "Rimanere" in Italian

Learn how to use the verb "rimanere" in Italian

Elevated view of San Gimignano
Elevated view of San Gimignano. Shaun Egan / Getty Images

“Rimanere” is one of those tricky verbs in Italian that doesn’t always mean what it says it means and can't be directly translated from English into Italian.

You might have learned that “rimanere” can mean:

  • To stay
  • To remain

And while it’s not often taught in class, “rimanere” can also be defined as:

  • To be left over
  • To become
  • To be

The main reason it can get confusing is because the last two definitions, "to become" and "to be", are often thought of as being expressed through the verbs "diventare" and "essere", respectively.

What's more, you might be wondering about the differences between the verb "stare - to stay" and "rimanere". 

With the examples below, I hope you'll be able to discern when to use "rimanere", "diventare", "stare" and "essere".

You can learn how to conjugate "rimanere" by clicking here.

So what are the ways that Italians use the verb “rimanere” in everyday conversation?

1.) Emotional State of Being

In this category, you’ll find that “rimanere” is used to talk about the emotional result after having experienced something, so the way you felt after you saw the Duomo in Florence for the first time or the first time you saw the love of your life.

  • Sono rimasto/a male. - I was hurt.
  • Quando ho scoperto l’inganno ci sono rimasto malissimo! - When I discovered the trick, I was really upset!
  • Dopo aver saputo i risultati dell’esame, Marco è rimasto deluso. - After finding out his exam results, Marco was disappointed.
  •  Sono rimasto/a senza fiato! (per la sua bellezza). - I was blown away (by her beauty).

2.) Situation

This category deals primarily with a situation or a circumstance that someone is experiencing, like being out of work or not having any friends.

  • Sono rimasto/a senza lavoro. - I was out of work.
  • Allora, sono rimasto/a senza soldi. - So, I’m left with no money.

    3.) Pregnancy

    While this category technically qualifies as being a situation, it deserved its own category for how unique it is.

    It’s not very often that English speakers would think to use the verb “rimanere” to talk about pregnancy, but it’s one of the interesting nuances of the Italian language and reminds us that we can’t rely on translating directly from English into Italian.

    • Sono rimasta incinta. - I became pregnant.

    While "became" is the technical translation, you can think of it more colloquially as, "I got pregnant". 

    • Non mi sono accorta di essere rimasta incinta fino a quarto mese! - I wasn’t aware I was pregnant until the fourth month!
    • E così….l’ho fatto, sono rimasta incinta! - So...I did it, I’m pregnant!

    4.) Physical location

    This final category is the one that makes the most sense to English speakers who are learning Italian. You can use “rimanere” to talk about being in a physical location, like at home or in a certain city.

    • Devi rimanere qua! - You must stay here! (informal)
    • Anna? Rimane a casa stasera. - Anna? She’s staying home tonight.
    • Rimani ad Orvieto per tutta l’estate? - Are you staying in Orvieto for the whole summer? (informal)
    • Per colpa di mio fratello mi tocca rimanere a casa oggi pomeriggio. - It's my brother’s fault that I have to stay home the whole afternoon.

      In this category, the verb "stare - to stay" can be used interchangeably with the verb "rimanere" in all of the examples above.

      I know that all of these definitions and ways to use one verb can get confusing pretty fast, so if you're not 100% clear on how to use "rimanere" yet, don't worry! Learning the nuances of verbs takes time and practice, so treat this as an overview and look out for "rimanere" as you continue your studies. The more examples you gain and the more you use the verb, the more you'll understand it.