How to Say “Vivere” – A Guide to Saying “To Live” in Italian

If you’re learning Italian or planning a trip to Italy, it’s essential to know how to say common words and phrases in the language. One such word is “vivere,” which means “to live” in English. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore the formal and informal ways to say “vivere” in Italian, providing you with valuable tips and examples along the way. So, let’s dive in!

Formal Ways to Say “Vivere”

Formal language is typically used in professional settings, with older people, or when addressing someone with a higher social status. Here are a few formal ways to express the concept of “vivere” in Italian:

  1. Vivere – The standard and most common form of the verb “to live” in Italian. It is used in formal situations and is conjugated as follows:

    Io vivo, tu vivi, egli/ella vive, noi viviamo, voi vivete, essi/esse vivono

    Example: “Vivo a Roma” (I live in Rome)

  2. Risiedere – A more formal way to express “to live” and specifically refers to residing in a place or dwelling. It is commonly used in official documents or legal contexts.

    Io risiedo, tu risiedi, egli/ella risiede, noi risiediamo, voi risiedete, essi/esse risiedono

    Example: “Risiedo in un appartamento” (I reside in an apartment)

  3. Dimorare – This formal verb conveys the idea of dwelling or residing. It is synonymous with “vivere” but is less commonly used in everyday conversation.

    Io dimoro, tu dimori, egli/ella dimora, noi dimoriamo, voi dimorate, essi/esse dimorano

    Example: “Dimoriamo in questa città da molto tempo” (We have been living in this city for a long time)

Informal Ways to Say “Vivere”

Informal language is used among friends, family, and in casual conversations. Here are some commonly used informal ways to express “vivere” in Italian:

  1. Abitare – This is the most commonly used informal verb, which means “to live” or “to reside.” It is widely used in everyday conversations.

    Io abito, tu abiti, egli/ella abita, noi abitiamo, voi abitate, essi/esse abitano

    Example: “Abito a Milano” (I live in Milan)

  2. Stare – Although “stare” primarily means “to stay,” it is also used informally to convey the idea of “living” in a particular place.

    Io sto, tu stai, egli/ella sta, noi stiamo, voi state, essi/esse stanno

    Example: “Sto a Firenze” (I live in Florence)

  3. Residere – In informal contexts, “residere” can also be used to express “to live” but it is less common compared to “abitare” and “stare.”

    Io risiedo, tu risiedi, egli/ella risiede, noi risiediamo, voi risiedete, essi/esse risiedono

    Example: “Risiedo in un quartiere tranquillo” (I live in a quiet neighborhood)

Examples of “Vivere” in Different Contexts

To better understand how to use “vivere” in various situations, here are some examples of its usage:

  • Formal:
    • “Vivo in una casa grande e spaziosa” (I live in a large and spacious house)
    • “Risiedo nella città di Milano” (I reside in the city of Milan)
    • “Dimoriamo in un castello antico” (We live in an ancient castle)
  • Informal:
    • “Abito in un piccolo paese di campagna” (I live in a small countryside town)
    • “Sto da mia nonna ogni estate” (I live at my grandmother’s every summer)
    • “Risiedo in un appartamento con i miei amici” (I live in an apartment with my friends)

Regional Variations of “Vivere”

While there are no significant regional variations in how to say “vivere” in Italian, certain dialects and local expressions may exist in specific regions of Italy. It’s worth noting that the examples provided in this guide represent the standard Italian language, known as “Italiano Standard,” which is spoken and understood throughout the country.


Being able to express the concept of “to live” in Italian is essential for effective communication. In this guide, we explored the formal and informal ways to say “vivere” while providing you with useful tips and examples along the way. Remember that formal language is generally used in professional or official situations, whereas informal language is more suitable in casual conversations among friends and family. With this knowledge, you can confidently use the appropriate form of “vivere” depending on the context and relationship with the person you’re speaking to. Happy learning and living in Italian!

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