Last year we taught you how to say the traditional holiday greeting Buon Natale! (Merry Christmas!), so this year we’re going with something a bit different!
The Italian for Christmas is here! is Natale è arrivato! which literally translates as Christmas has arrived!
It is made up of the following components:
- Natale >> The word for Christmas in Italian.
- è >> The third person singular of the verb essere (to be).
- arrivato >> The past participle of the verb arrivare (to arrive). Because it describes a movement, it takes essere (to be) instead of avere (to have) as its auxiliary verb. The ending -o agrees with the masculine noun Natale.
Natale è arrivato!
Christmas is here!
You can use the definite article il in front of Natale (lit. “the Christmas”) and it is also acceptable to invert the subject (Natale) and the verb (arrivare) without changing the meaning of the sentence.
È arrivato il Natale!
Christmas is here!
You may be wondering why we haven’t chosen Natale è qui as the best translation given that qui means here.
The reason is that in Italian, the expression è qui (is here) generally denotes the physical presence of something rather than the arrival of something. It is also used when you find something that was lost or that you’d been searching for. For example:
- Babbo Natale è qui. = Santa Claus is here. >> Santa Claus is physically present in this location. The speaker may have been searching for Santa, or someone may have asked the speaker Dov’è Babbo Natale? (Where is Santa Claus?)
When Italians talk about the arrival of something from another place, they tend to prefer the verb arrivare. For example:
- Babbo Natale è arrivato. = Santa Claus is here. >> After travelling from another location, he has just arrived home / at a child’s house / at a party, etc. Once again, you can invert the word order by saying È arrivato Babbo Natale.
All this being said, the phrase Natale è qui is not incorrect, and you will hear people use it. It is also the title of a song by Italian singer-songwriter Amedeo Minghi.
Why not check out some of our other Christmas articles?
🧙♀️ La Befana: The Italian Christmas Witch 🧙♀️