Pure is a very common Italian word that can have different meanings according to the context. So, let’s see all the meanings of the word pure and how to use it properly.
The first thing to mention is that this word is pronounced with an accent on the first syllable – pu’-re – and not on the last syllable – pu – re’. This is very important because purè has only one meaning in Italian and it’s smashed potatoes.
Now, let’s see when and how to use the word pure in Italian.
1. Pure can be an adverb. When it has this function, it acquires the meaning of also, too or as well.
a. Ho lavorato duramente per questa promozione, e pure tu!
a. I’ve worked very hard for this promotion and also have you/so did you!
b. Marco è in vacanza e pure Anita.
b. Marco is on vacation and Anita as well.
Sometimes information can be implied:
c. Le poste erano chiuse pure martedì!
c. The post office was closed also on Monday!
In this example we’re implying that the post office was closed also on Monday.
2. As an adverb pure can also mean “even” and it’s used when you want to say that something is surprising – in a positive or in a negative sense, according to the context. It’s especially used in questions and exclamations.
a. Mi ha tradito e dovrei pure pagarle gli alimenti?!
a. She cheated on me and I should even pay her alimony?!
b. Pure il martedì le poste sono chiuse?
b. The post office is closed even on Tuesdays?
3. Pure can be used to reinforce a concessive clause, a clause that expresses an idea that suggests the opposite of the main part of the sentence.
a. Ammettiamo pure che lui abbia ragione, e adesso che si fa?
a. Let’s say he’s right, and now what?
b. Diciamo pure che ti credo, cosa ti aspetti da me?
b. Let’s say I believe you, what do you expect from me?
4. Pure can be used in informal Italian as a synonym of “even if”
a. Pure se non mangio carne, ieri ho mangiato una cotoletta al ristorante.
a. Even if I don’t eat meat, yesterday I ate a cutlet at the restaurant.
b. Pure se non so il cinese, capisco cosa sta dicendo.
b. Even if I don’t speak Chinese, I can understand what he’s saying.
c. Lo comprerei anche se dovessi chiedere un prestito per averlo.
c. I would buy it even if I had to ask for a loan to have it.
5. Pure can also be used with no meaning at all just to add more emphasis to what you’re saying.
a. Potevate pure avvisare prima di presentarvi a casa mia in quel modo!
a. You could call me before showing up at my house like that!
b. Dovremo pure dirle la verità prima o poi!
b. We have to tell her the truth sooner or later!
6. Pure can be used to encourage people to do something. In this case, it’s used right after an imperative.
a. Prego, si accomodi pure!
a. Please, have a sit!
b. Dimmi pure quello che pensi, non farti problemi.
b. Tell me what you think without problems.
I hope this helps you understand how to use the word pure in Italian, if not, chiedete pure – don’t hesitate to ask.
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