Tipo is one of those Italian words that can carry different meanings. And it’s also a very useful word too, since it’s widely used both in standard Italian and in informal Italian.
Are you ready to learn all the ways in which you can use the Italian word tipo? Then, let’s start!
How to use Tipo
1. The Italian word tipo can refer to a group of things that share similar characteristics or qualities and are part of a larger group. For example, Jeeps renegade are part of a small group of cars that share the same characteristics but they’re also part of a larger, more general, group, the group of cars.
a. Questo è un nuovo tipo di jeans
This is a new type of jeans
b. Quale tipo di pane preferisci?
What type of bread do you prefer?
2. The second meaning of the Italian word tipo refers to people. It indicates a person that represent the typical example of a certain category of people. When tipo is used with this meaning, it often comes with the expression “il classico” – the classic.
c. Luca/Maria è proprio il classico tipo sportivo.
Luca/Maria is just the classic sporty type
d. Davide è il classico tipo del playboy
Davide is the classic playboy type
When tipo carries this meaning, it can usually be removed from the sentence: Luca è proprio il classico sportivo; Maria è proprio la classica sportiva; Davide è il classico playboy.
3. Tipo is also used to refer to a set of somatic traits that distinguish a specific group of people.
e. Giada è un tipo mediterraneo
Giada is a Mediterranean type
f. Paolo è un tipo nordico
Paolo is a Nordic type
4. In Italian, tipo is also used to indicate a generic person, or a person that you don’t know.
g. Ieri è passato un tipo a cercarti in ufficio
A guy came by the office yesterday looking for you
h. Davide è un tipo simpatico
Davide is a nice guy
i. Alice è una tipa allegra
Alice is a cheerful girl
5. In informal Italian tipo is used as a synonym of “for example”.
l. Se tu tipo pieghi questo foglio così e poi ancora così, dovrebbe uscirti una rana.
If you kind of fold this paper like this and then again like this, you should get a frog.
m. Tipo, se tu vieni in Italia, ti accorgi subito che gli italiani usano molto la parola “tipo”.
For example, if you come to Italy, you immediately realize that Italians use the word “tipo” a lot.
6. Tipo in informal Italian can also be used as a synonym of “I think; more or less” and “really”.
n. Guarda che è successo tipo una volta
Look, it happened like once
o. Alla festa c’erano tipo 3000 persone
There were, like, 3,000 people at the party
p. La festa è stata, tipo, spettacolare
The party was, really spectacular
q. Il safari è stato una figata. I leoni erano, tipo, incredibili, per non parlare delle tigri!
The safari was a blast. The lions were really amazing, not to mention the tigers!
7. Finally, the Italian word tipo is used in many fixed expressions such as:
- Essere proprio un bel tipo! = this expression is generally used in reference to someone that has some physical or moral peculiarity that surprises us in a good or bad way. I think it can be translated in English as “a piece of work”.
- Che tipo! = This Italian expression is used when you see an eccentric or weird person and you feel like to express your opinion about him, not with him, of course, but with one of your friends.
- E’ un tipo = This expression is used in reference to someone that despite not being attractive, manages to interest you.
- E’ il mio tipo; Non è il mio tipo = this Italian expression is used in reference to someone that you think meets your tastes or doesn’t meet your tastes.
- E’ un bel tipetto/tipino = This expression is generally used to indicate that someone has a strong temperament. It’s used with a positive connotation, meaning that you kind of admire the person’s character.
- E’ un tipaccio = This Italian expression is used in reference to someone that you consider a bad, disreputable person.
Finally, be careful where you place the word “tipo” because in some cases, it can change the meaning of a sentence. If you put it after a noun, it can mean “typical”, while if you place it in front of a noun, it can mean “a type of”.
Un tipo di famiglia
It’s a type of family
Una famiglia tipo
It’s a typical family
If you found this article useful don’t forget to share it or to like our Facebook page!
Original image by VinzentWeinbeer