Italian Word of the Day: Così (like that / like that / so / in this manner)

Così is one of those amazingly versatile words in the Italian language with various meanings based on the context it’s used in. It serves not only as an adverb but also as a conjunction and an adjective, making it quite challenging to summarise in a single article. Nonetheless, let’s give it a shot!

Before we begin, it is important to note that così is written with an accented ì, meaning that emphasis is placed on the final syllable rather than the first. You can listen to the correct pronunciation below.

/co·sì/ – [koˈsi]
italian word cosi

Così: The Adverb

Così is commonly used as an adverb, covering the following meanings. Regardless of the translation you opt for, this version of così always indicates the manner in which something is done.

  • like this / that
  • this is / that is how
  • as follows
  • that
  • in this / that way
  • in this / that manner
  • this is / that is what

Let’s look at a few example sentences to see how it is used in context.

Two small angry sisters outdoors in sunny summer nature, screaming and arguing.
Dai, non fare così! = Come on, don’t do that! (Literally “don’t act that way”)

Così can also be placed after an adjective or adverb in order to make reference to the size or dimension of something.

Likewise, it can add emphasis, much like the words extremely or very much. In this case, the best translation is usually so or so much.

Finally così, as an adverb, can mean so as in the same thing or likewise.

Così: The Conjunction

There are a couple of patterns you are bound to come across in which così is used as a conjunction:

  • così…che = so…that
  • così…da = so…as / enough

Newlyweds are greeted with festive confetti. Joyful bride and groom celebrating their wedding day w.
Ti amo così come sei. = I love you just as you are.

You can also expect to hear the conjunction così used to mean so, with the meaning therefore, or well then when placed at the beginning of a sentence after e (and).

What’s more, così is a conjunction when it means that way or so that. This is easily one of the most common uses for così in everyday spoken Italian.

Before we move on to adjectives, let’s take a brief moment to look at così come, which in most cases, equates to as well as or (just) like/as in English.

Così: The Adjective

Last but not least, we come to così as an adjective. When it modifies a noun, it almost always translates to such or like that as in the following examples:

I'm so excited and shocked!
Un momento così non potrei mai dimenticarmelo. = I could never forget a moment like this.

Before we conclude this article, let’s take a quick look at some set expressions featuring così that you will come across in everyday Italian.

  • Basta così! = That’s enough!
  • E così via. = And so on.
  • Così (e) così. = So so.
  • Meglio di così! = What more could you ask for!
  • Per così dire = So to say
  • È così. = That’s right. / That’s how it is.
  • Così facendo = by doing so / this
  • Così fosse! = If only that were the case!
  • Così sia! = So be it!
  • Così pare. = So it seems.
  • Va bene così. = It’s ok / fine (like that).
  • Così come stanno le cose = As things stand
Businessman flirting with young woman sitting with cocktail at the bar
Come stai oggi? – Così così. = How are you today? – So so.

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