The Italian words meglio and migliore sometimes create some confusion in some Italian learners because they don’t know which one to choose when they want to make a sentence.
So, today I’ve decided to explain the difference between meglio and migliore in Italian and how to use them.
Ready? Let’s start.
Meglio is the comparative of the word bene and it generally means better.
In Italian meglio is an adverb so it modifies a verb. As such, it’s always used after a verb. This is the first important thing to remember when you don’t know which one to use between meglio and migliore.
Daniele nuota meglio di Luigi
Daniele swims better than Luigi
Lucia stava male ieri ma oggi sta meglio
Lucia was unwell yesterday but today she is better
Se non l’avete ancora trovato, cercate meglio
If you haven’t found it yet, search better
Migliore is the comparative of the word buono and it generally means better. If we add a definite article before migliore, it becomes a relative superlative meaning the best.
Migliore is used as an adjective in Italian and as such it modifies a noun..
Anche se aveva le migliori intenzioni, ha sbagliato a farlo
Even if he had the best intentions, he was wrong to do that
Dovrebbe fare scelte migliori
He should make better choices
Questo vino è migliore di quell’altro
This wine is better than the other one
Paolo è il nostro miglior giocatore
Paolo is our best player
Migliore can also be used as a noun in expressions like “è il migliore, sei il migliore – he’s the best; you’re the best.”
As we’ve seen, meglio is used as an adverb while migliore is used as an adjective. However, in spoken Italian you can hear sentences like:
Paolo è meglio di suo fratello a cucinare
Paolo is better than his brother at cooking
Questo vino sembra/pare meglio di quell’altro
This wine seems better than the other one
In both these examples meglio is used as an adjective, not as an adverb.
So, is it possible to use meglio as an adjective instead of migliore?
Well, migliore is the super correct choice. However, in spoken Italian you’re allowed to use meglio as an adjective when you use it as a comparative with verbs such as essere, sembrare, and parere – look at the two examples above.
If this article helped you understand the difference between meglio and migliore, don’t forget to share it!
Original image by shilmar