If you’ve been learning Italian for a while now, you may already be familiar with the classic greeting Buongiorno! which is how you say Good day! / Good morning! / Hello! in a formal context.
Buongiorno. Come sta?
Good morning! How are you?
If you want to explicitly wish someone a good day however, it is necessary to use a slight variation on this expression which is Buona giornata! (Have a nice day! or Have a good day!)
Whereas buongiorno may be used when greeting or saying goodbye to someone, buona giornata is only used when parting ways with another person or saying goodbye on the telephone.*
Ci sentiamo domani. Buona giornata!
We’ll talk tomorrow. Goodbye!
A common response to this is Buona giornata anche a te! (lit: A nice day to you too!) or more simply, Anche a te! (You too!)
Buona giornata, Silvio! – Anche a te!
Have a nice day, Silvio! – You too!
To add extra emphasis, you can add the clause Le/Vi auguro… (I wish you) in front of the greeting to make the following phrases.
- (Io) ti auguro una buona giornata! (I wish you a nice day! – informal)
- (Io) Le auguro una buona giornata! (I wish you a nice day! – formal)
- (Io) vi auguro una buona giornata! (I wish you a nice day! – plural)
You may also encounter the phrase Ti / Le / Vi auguro di passare una buona giornata! which literally means I wish that you spend a good day! Passare means to spend and is preferred to the verb avere (to have).
Buona giornata tends to be said in the morning, or the early afternoon at the very latest. In the afternoon hours, it is more common to hear Buon pomeriggio! (Have a good afternoon!) whereas Buona serata! (Have a good evening / good night!) is used in the evening and at night.
Another common greeting is Buon weekend! / Buon fine settimana! (Have a good weekend!) which is normally said on the Friday before the start of the weekend.
Ciao ragazzi, buon weekend! Ci vediamo la prossima settimana!
Bye guys, have a good weekend! See you next week!