Choosing what Italian word to use, when you want "to Leave"

Leaving is not as straight-forward as it first appears.
In English, we use the same word but assign it multiple meanings.
In Italian, there is a different word (or phrase) for each meaning.

So when would you use the following Italian verbs/ phrases?
Andare via, lasciare, partire, uscire ?

  • Andare via- literally, to go away. It means the opposite of "to stay" (Stare or Restare) or "to remain" (rimanere), so if you are physically in one spot and you go away from that place, then you use "andare via".
    Dobbiamo andare via dalla festa ora.-- We have to leave the party now.
    (Technically, the opposite of the verb Andare (without "via") is Venire.)

  • Lasciare- To leave behind, either on purpose or by forgetting; it can either be an object or a person. If you leave your wallet at home, or if you leave your family to go to school (or "break up" with a boyfriend/girlfiend) then you use "lasciare".
    Lascio le mie chiavi sulla scrivania.- I leave my keys on the desk (on purpose).
    Ho lasciato le mie chiavi in macchina.- I left my keys in the car (by accident).
    Lei lascia il suo fidanzato.- She leaves (breaks up with) her boyfriend.

  • Partire- To go a long way away; to depart from a place. If you are going on a trip or a vacation, or leaving on a plane, then use "partire".
    It is basically the opposite of arrive (Arrivare).
    Parti in treno.- You leave by train.

  • Uscire- To exit. To leave a place that you have entered. It is the opposite of enter (entrare)-- if you leave a room, or your house, or a movie theatre, then use "uscire".
    Escono di casa.- They leave home.
    Also: To go out; to go somewhere.
    It is very important to know this for conversations, in Italian.
    Vuoi uscire questo fine di settimana?- Do you want to go out this weekend?

Note that for many idiomatic expressions with Uscire, there are sometimes prepositions following it that you will have to memorize.

Uscire di casa, uscire da un edificio, uscire dall'ufficio, etc.

And, when conjugating, USCIRE is an irregular -IRE verb:

Io esco (pronounce with a "hard" C)
Tu esci (all the rest, except LORO, pronounce with a "soft" C)
Lui/ lei/ Lei esce
Noi usciamo
Voi uscite
Loro escono (pronounce with a "hard" C)

March 15, 2016


Thanks MABBY, I recommend adding Andarsene to that list, because it can be used in a more general way, as in English

Devo andarmene, ciao = I've got to run, bye

  • me ne vado
  • te ne vai
  • se ne va
  • ce ne andiamo
  • ve ne andate
  • se ne vanno
March 15, 2016

Man, it's hard to wrap my head around all the ways ne and ci can be used

March 15, 2016

Tell me about it, I'm hoping I'll begin to understand it after my vocabulary hits 5,000 words

Take this for example, vattene, would you ever guess that's a form of andare!

March 15, 2016

Vattene! = Te ne vai !? = which means "Tu vai via da qui (ne = from here)

Basically: get out of here!

March 18, 2016

Yes, it's "dalla festa"; We also say "in macchina", not "nella macchina", which sounds redundant. The rest looks good :)

March 15, 2016

Done. Thanks.

March 16, 2016

Dobbiamo andare via la festa ora

Shouldn't that be "della festa"? I don't remember ever seeing "andare" as a transitive verb.

Edit: not it shouldn't, it should be dalla. Thanks melagolden!


March 15, 2016

actually it is "dalla festa".

March 15, 2016

Oops, of course. Thanks for the correction :).

March 16, 2016

I'll make an edit.

March 15, 2016

"Lascia mi!" Is leave me alone right?

March 16, 2016

It is hard to define whatever it can mean, unless you have some context around...

"Lasciami fare": let me do it, let me work.

"Lasciami solo": leave me alone.

"Lasciami!" on its on, can also mean "stop holding me!" (used in case someone is holding you physically, against your will...).

"Lasciare qualcuno" (literally: to leave someone) also means to make the decision of breaking up with a partner/lover, so "Lasciami!" can also stand for: "[if you don't trust me or you don't love me any longer, then] break up with me!".

March 16, 2016

Wow, I just learned a lot. And to think I almost didn't ask the question! Thanks

March 16, 2016


March 17, 2016

Grazie per questo.

March 18, 2016

I can say that andare it is the best option because it is generic and always works. Uscire is best if you mean that you are leaving the building or going out at night or during the day for some things to do.

If I am at my friend's place and I have to go somewhere else, I would just say "ti saluto, che ora sono le 6 e devo andare (via)", it is not necessary to specify that you are going away.

Do not associate lasciare with leave, it does not work the same way, only in some cases, as explained in the post above.

March 18, 2016

I'm new to Italian. but I like this language.

December 14, 2018
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