Italian Word of the Day: Domanda (question / request)

When learning a new language, it is always important to ask questions, even if we feel self-conscious or embarrassed! The Italian word for question is domanda, which is derived from the verb domandare (to ask / inquire / request).

/do·màn·da/ – [doˈmanda]
italian word of the day domanda

Domanda is a feminine noun, so it takes the following definite and indefinite articles:

  • la domanda = the question
  • le domande = the questions
  • una domanda = a question
  • delle domande = (some) questions

Three verbs you will often see in the company of domanda are fare (to do / to make), avere (to have) and rivolgere (to address / to direct). In this particular context, though, fare takes on the meaning of “to ask”.

  • fare una domanda = to ask a question
  • avere una domanda = to have a question
  • rivolgere una domanda = to pose a question

Ho una domanda da farti.

I have a question for you.

Mature English language teacher sitting at table with his students asking them questions during lesson
Posso farti una domanda? = Can I ask you a question?

A common response to a question you don’t have the answer to is Bella domanda! (Good question!).

Secondo te, le scuole riapriranno domani visto che questa bufera di neve sta passando? – Bella domanda!

In your opinion, will the schools re-open tomorrow since this snowstorm is coming to an end? – Good question!

When dealing with a written document addressed to an office, organisation, or authority, the word domanda takes on a completely different meaning. Depending on the context, it can be translated as request, application and sometimes claim.

  • una domanda per un visto = a visa request / application
  • una domanda per un mutuo = a mortgage application
  • una domanda di lavoro = a job application
  • una domanda di trasferimento = a transfer request
  • una domanda di pensione = a pension claim

Some verbs you might see used with domanda in this context include accogliere (to grant), respingere (to dismiss), presentare (to submit), and of course, fare (to make / do but in this case, to apply).

Ieri ho presentato una domanda di lavoro presso il consolato italiano.

Yesterday I submitted a job application to the Italian consulate.

A domanda di matrimonio, on the other hand, is a marriage proposal, while a domanda di divorzio is a divorce petition.

Handsome man proposing to his girlfriend marriage during festive dinner, in kitchen sitting at the table drinking a glass of red wine.
Una domanda di matrimonio semplice = A simple marriage proposal

In economic terms, domanda always translates as demand. For example, market demand is domanda di mercato whereas supply and demand translates as domanda e offerta.

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