Italian Word of the Day: A prescindere da (regardless / apart from)

Today we have an expression that, if used correctly, can go a long way in helping you sound like a fluent Italian speaker!

A prescindere da is used to indicate something you purposely do not take into account, leave out of consideration, or put to one side.

/a pre·scìn·de·re da/
cover image with the expression “a prescindere” and its translation written on a notepad next to a cup of cofee

The expression comes from the verb prescindere which means to exclude. This verb derives from the Latin praescindere, a combination of pra- (pre-) and scindere (to cut / to separate). Note that outside of the set of expressions we’re about to see, it isn’t used very often in Italian.

Sometimes, a prescindere da takes on a similar function to the English expressions regardless, all the same, no matter or irrespective.

A prescindere dal voto che hai ottenuto, il tuo impegno è stato esemplare.

Regardless of the grade you got, your dedication has been exemplary.

In other cases, the more appropriate translation is aside (from) or apart from as in the following examples:

A prescindere dallo stress e dalla fatica, il mio lavoro continua a piacermi.

All the stress and pressure aside, I still enjoy my job.

A prescindere dal fatto che non me lo posso permettere, questo abito non mi sta per niente bene.

Apart from the fact that I can’t afford it, this suit doesn’t fit me at all.

young fitness woman runner running on road
A prescindere dal risultato, sono contenta di aver partecipato. = The result aside, I’m happy to have participated.

An alternative variation on this expression, whose meaning is identical, is prescindendo da, where prescindendo is the gerund form of prescindere. For example:

Prescindendo da come andranno a finire le cose, possiamo dire di aver fatto del nostro meglio.

Regardless of how things end, we can say that we did our best.

In colloquial speech, you may notice that speakers often use a prescindere without ever specifying what is being left out of consideration. In this case, the expression tends to appear on its own at the end of a statement without the preposition da. Note that in formal Italian, this usage is considered improper and should be avoided.

Hanno criticato la mia decisione, ma continuerò a prescindere (da ciò che pensano).

They criticised my decision, but I will continue regardless (of what they think).

Another colloquialism is a prescindere che which is the abbreviation of the more formal and accepted a prescindere dal fatto che (regardless of the fact that).

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