Ho il nipote più dolce del mondo.
I have the sweetest nephew in the world.
Here is your one stop shop to learn all about how to say nephew, or nipote, in Italian, how to pronounce it and examples of how to use it. Find out about related words, like nephews (nipoti), youngest nephew (nipote più piccolo), and little nephew (nipotino), a term of endearment. I’ll also explain how to use possessives correctly with family member names. Since the words nipote and nipoti (nephew and nephews) have many other meanings too, I’ll teach you some handy tricks for telling them all apart.
Table of Contents
NEPHEW IN ITALIAN – NIPOTE
Nipote means nephew in Italian. Un nipote is a nephew, while il nipote means the nephew.
The pronunciation of un nipote and il nipote is: oon nee-POH-teh, eel nee-POH-teh
Listen to how to pronounce nipote here:
Il nipote e il figlio di Stefano sono migliori amici.
Stefano’s nephew and son are best friends.
The word nipote has many meanings in Italian in addition to nephew. It also means niece, granddaughter, grandson, and grandchild as well. Mamma mia, how to know what’s what? Stay tuned for tips on how to tell all these nipotes apart.
NEPHEWS IN ITALIAN
Nipoti means nephews in Italian. Nipoti is the plural of nipote.
The pronunciation of nipoti is: nee-POH-tee
Listen to how to pronounce nipoti here:
La zia di Tommaso ha otto altri nipoti.
Tommaso’s aunt has eight other nephews.
Nipoti doesn’t just mean nephews: it also means nieces, granddaughters, grandsons and grandchildren. Keep reading for tips on keeping them all straight!
NIPOTINO – A TERM OF ENDEARMENT
Nipotino, or little nephew, is a term of endearment, and an especially affectionate way to say nephew in Italian.
The pronunciation of nipotino is: nee-poh-TEE-noh
Listen to how to pronounce nipotino here:
È appena nato il nipotino della mia migliore amica!
My best friend’s little nephew was just born!
MY NEPHEW: ITALIAN POSSESSIVES
To say my nephew, use mio nipote. Usually possessives in Italian also require the direct article (the). For example: il mio amico means my (male) friend. However, family members are a big exception.
Do not use the direct article with the SINGULAR, unaltered nouns of most family members. If there is an adjective before or after the family member, use the article. Also, use the article with the possessive loro.
|mio nipote is my nephew|
tuo nipote is your nephew (informal you)
suo nipote is his/her/your nephew (formal you)
|nostro nipote is our nephew|
vostro nipote your nephew (plural you)
Il loro nipote is their nephew
Il mio nipote più piccolo is my youngest nephew
Il mio nipotino is my little nephew
WHAT DO ITALIAN BOYS CALL THEIR AUNT? UNCLE?
Italians call their aunts zia. Read all about How to Say Aunt in Italian.
Italians call their uncles zio. Here’s more about How to Say Uncle in Italian
Zii is the word for aunts and uncles in Italian.
You may want to read more about Relatives in Italian.
NIECE IN ITALIAN
As mentioned earlier, nipote also means niece in Italian.
Una nipote means a niece, and la nipote means the niece.
WHICH NIPOTE IS IT?
If nipote is the same exact word for niece and nephew, how is it possible to tell who is being talked about?
The key is in the article that precedes nipote. If the article is masculine (un or il), nipote means nephew. If the article is feminine (una or la), nipote means nephew.
Or, you can use possessive pronouns to help you figure out the gender: mio nipote is my nephew, and mia nipote is my nephew.
Ho una nipote e un nipote.
I have a niece and a nephew.
Mio nipote abita con mia sorella, e mia nipote abita a Torino.
My nephew lives with my sister, and my niece lives in Turin.
Nipote also means grandson and granddaughter. Use the article or possessive pronoun that precedes nipote to narrow down the person’s gender . . . .but then you must rely on context to figure out if it’s a nephew v. grandson, or a nephew v granddaughter! And don’t worry, sometimes it’s impossible to know for sure.
Paolo ha sessant’anni. È appena nata sua prima nipote.
Paolo is sixty years old. His first granddaughter was just born.
Taddeo ha venticinque anni. Ha un nipote. T
addeo is twenty-five years old. He has a nephew.
NIECES AND NEPHEWS
As we noted before, nipoti means nephews in Italian. But it also means nieces. And to make things more confusing, nipoti also means nieces and nephews!
The trick is to make sure you pay attention to the article and/or possessive pronoun in front of nipoti. Le nipoti are the nieces, and le mie nipoti are my nieces.
I nipoti are the nephews or nieces and nephews and i miei nipoti are my nephews or my nieces and nephews. Because of how Italian word genders work, the plural masculine nipoti can be used for a mixed group of nieces and nephews. This is true even if there are 100 nephews and 2 nephews: just one man trumps a feminine group and turns the noun masculine.
If you want to avoid any mixup, and specify that you’re talking about a group of all nephews, say i nipoti maschi.
Le mie nipoti sono alte come mia sorella, mentre i miei nipoti maschi sono bassi come il loro babbo.
My nieces are tall like my sister, while my nephews are short like their dad.
NIECES, NEPHEWS, GRANDDAUGHTERS AND GRANDSONS IN ITALIAN
Nipoti also means granddaughters and/or grandsons. Use the article or possessive pronoun that precedes nipoti to narrow down the person’s gender . . . . but then you must rely on context to figure out if it’s nephews v. grandsons, or nieces v granddaughters! Fear not, if you just can’t figure it out, it may be impossible to tell.
Sono fortunata di essere la zia di cinque splendidi nipoti maschi!
I’m lucky to be the aunt of five wonderful nephews!