If you’ve been learning Italian for a while now, you may already be familiar with the classic greeting Buonasera! which is how you say Good evening! in a formal context.
Buonasera signore. Come sta?
Good evening sir. How are you?
If you want to explicitly wish someone a good evening however, it is necessary to use a slight variation on this expression which is Buona serata! (Have a nice evening! or Have a good evening!)
Whereas buonasera may be used to greet someone or say goodbye, buona serata is only used when parting ways with another person.
Ci sentiamo domani. Buona serata!
We’ll talk tomorrow. Have a nice evening!
A common response to this is Buona serata anche a te! (lit: A nice evening to you too!) or more simply, Anche a te! (You too!)
Buona serata, Giulio! – Anche a te!
Have a nice evening, Giulio! – You too!
To add additional emphasis, you can place the clause Le / Vi auguro… (I wish you) in front to create the following phrases.
- (Io) ti auguro una buona serata! (I wish you a nice evening! – informal)
- (Io) Le auguro una buona serata! (I wish you a nice evening! – formal)
- (Io) vi auguro una buona serata! (I wish you a nice evening! – plural)
You may also hear the phrase Ti / Le / Vi auguro di passare una buona serata! which literally means I hope that you spend a good evening!
Earlier in the day, it is more common to hear Buona giornata! (Have a good day!)