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Buone Feste! – How to Wish a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

It is the day before Christmas Eve today, so what better day to learn how to wish a Merry Christmas to your Italian friends?




 “Merry/Happy” is “Buon/buono – buoni/buona – buone“. The ending changes according to the word that follows. Let’s see how this works:

If the masculine word starts with a consonant or vowel and, as a consequence, has the article il and l’ , then it is buon, so we will have:

  • Buon Natale – Merry Christmas
  • Buon Anno – Happy New Year

If instead the word is feminine and starting with a consonant, then it is buona (as in Buona Pasqua, Happy Easter or sometimes we say Buona Befana, Happy 6th of January), and its plural will be Buone, as in:

  • Buone Feste – Happy Christmas celebrations (a phrase you use when you see someone before Christmas and you know you will see him again in January).

Buono will be for words starting with s+consonant / z / gn / ps / x / y, or simply words with the article lo, as in buono studio (enjoy your study time).

If you are looking for an elegant way to close an email or letter or message to your Italian friend and want to surprise him/her by using a more complex phrase, then you can use one among these one:

  • Tanti auguri di Buon Natale – I wish you a Merry Christmas;
  • Tantissimi auguri di Buon Natale – a bit warmer than the above;
  • Buon Natale e Felice Anno Nuovo – Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year
  • Auguri a te e famiglia – Best wishes to you and your family, a standard phrase that is not warm or personalised but a correct way to close messages.

Well, now you are ready to write to your Italian friends a start practicing with these phrases! 🙂


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