Since our young son started crawling last week, I can’t count how many times I’ve had to call out the phrase Vieni qui! (Come here!), especially when I see him cheekily inching his way towards the staircase!
Vieni, in addition to being the second-person singular present of venire (to come), is the second-person singular imperative, which is the form we see in this phrase.
Qui is one of two ways of translating the adverb here in Italian, with the other being qua. (Find out the difference between qui and qua in our dedicated article!)
If you want to be more polite, you can add the word for please, which is per favore, at the beginning or end.
Vieni qui per favore. Ho qualcosa da dirti.
Come here please. I have something to tell you.
Another way of being polite is to use the third-person formal form venga qui. You would use this form to show respect or courtesy toward, for example, a customer in your shop or an elderly person you don’t know very well.
Finally, we have the second-person plural form venite qui which is meant for use towards groups of two or more people.
Whereas in English, the response to this command would generally be I’m coming! or I’m on my way!, you’d generally use one of the following in Italian:
- Arrivo! (lit: I arrive!)
- Sto arrivando! (lit: I am arriving!)
- Ora / adesso vengo! = (lit: Now I come!)
- Vengo subito! = (lit: I come right away!)