The uses of the Italian verb scherzare

The uses of the Italian verb scherzareMa che scherzi? Davvero non conosci la parola scherzare? That’s a pity because the Italian verb scherzare has many uses in Italian, and it’s one of the words Italians use pretty often.

So, today I’m going to teach you the uses of the Italian verb scherzare.

1. To play cheerfully

The first meaning of the Italian verb scherzare is to play cheerfully.

Ex: I bambini scherzavano nel prato con il cane
The children played with the dog in the lawn

2. To be kidding

If you said something to someone just for fun and you didn’t really mean what you said, or what you said wasn’t true, you may mention that you were just kidding. To do so, you use the Italian verb scherzare.

Ex: Sto scherzando, non te la prendere!
I’m kidding, don’t be mad at me!

The same goes if you want to ask someone if s/he’s joking – and it applies also to rethoric questions.

+ Cosa? L’ha sposato? Ma scherzi?
+ What? She married him? Are you kidding?

3. It’s f* serious

Another use of the Italian verb scherzare is to say that something that happened or was said is very serious.


a. Quello che è successo è una cosa seria, c’è poco da scherzare
What happened is serious, it’s no laughing matter

b. Chiudi la porta e chiama la polizia, non sto scherzando
Lock the door and call the police, I’m not jocking

4. You’ve got the same qualities/flaws

Another use of the Italian verb scherzare is to point out that someone has the exact same qualities or flaws as someone else. It’s important to notice that when scherzare is used in this way, it always requires non before it.

Ex: Renato è bravo con i computer ma anche tu non scherzi!
Renato is good with computers but you’re not bad yourself!

5. To say something fun

The last meaning of the verb scherzare is to say something fun.

Ex: Abbiamo scherzato tutta la sera al bar
We laughed all the evening in the bar


Do you know some other uses of the Italian verb scherzare you’d like to share with us?


Original image by SarahRichterArt

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