Italian Word of the Day: Insieme (together)

One of two ways to translate the word together in Italian is insieme, which comes from the vulgar Latin insemel. The other is assieme, and while they are almost completely interchangeable, insieme is the term you will hear more often.

/inˈsjɛme/

Note: If you have trouble remembering this word, I find it helps to think of the English term ensemble with which it shares the same origin.

Below are a few verbs that commonly appear with insieme:

  • stare insieme = to be / stay together, to be in a relationship
  • mettere insieme = to put together
  • mettersi insieme = to get together, to become a couple
  • uscire insieme = to go out together
  • vivere insieme = to live together

Stiamo insieme da 10 anni.

We’ve been together for 10 years.


Group of happy people toasting together
Brindiamo tutti insieme! = Let’s make a toast together!

When insieme is followed by the prepositions a or con, both of which mean with in this context, the meaning is closer to along with or in the company of.

Andiamo in vacanza insieme a Gianluca e suo fratello.

We’re going on vacation along with Gianluca and his brother.


Insieme can also mean at the same time or simultaneously.

Se parlate tutti insieme, non capisco niente.

If you all speak at the same time, I don’t understand anything.


When used as a noun, insieme (masculine) can refer to the union of individual yet related parts, with possible English translations including whole, all, overall or group depending on the context. For example:

  • l’insieme degli attori = the whole cast
  • l’insieme dei cittadini = all the citizens
  • un insieme di persone = a group of people
  • effetto d’insieme = overall effect
  • visione d’insieme = overall concept / point of view
Diverse sports person running on racetrack
Ci alleniamo sempre insieme. = We always train together.

In mathematical terms, insieme means set and this is one of the only cases where you wouldn’t use the synonym assieme.

In the language of fashion, it refers to a combination of several pieces of clothing, made of the same fabric, which form a complete outfit.

The expression nell’insieme is how you would say overall, on the whole or by and large.

Nell’insieme è stata una bella giornata.

On the whole, it was a nice day.


Finally, the expression non sapere mettere insieme due parole literally translates as to not know how to put two words together. It means that a person is not capable of expressing a thought. The English equivalent is to not be able to string two sentences together.


Insieme: 1992 – Toto Cutugno

Insieme: 1992 was the winning song at the Eurovision Song Contest 1990, performed in Italian by Toto Cutugno for Italy. It was the country’s second victory in the contest.

Insieme, unite, unite, Europe

Con te, così lontano e diverso
Con te, amico che credevo perso
Io e te, sotto lo stesso sogno
Insieme, unite, unite, Europe

E per te, donna senza frontiere
Per te, sotto le stesse bandiere
Io e te, sotto lo stesso cielo
Insieme, unite, unite, Europe

Sempre più liberi noi
Non è più un sogno e non sei più da solo
Sempre più in alto noi
Dammi una mano che prendiamo il volo
L’Europa non è lontana
C’è una canzone italiana, per voi
Insieme, unite, unite, Europe

Per noi, nel cielo mille violini
Per noi, amori senza confini
Io e te, sotto gli stessi ideali
Insieme, unite, unite, Europe

Sempre più liberi noi
Non è più un sogno e noi non siamo più soli
Sempre più uniti noi
Dammi una mano e vedrai che voli

L’Europa non è lontana
C’è una canzone italiana per voi
Insieme, unite, unite, Europe

Sempre più liberi noi (Sempre più liberi)
Le nostre stelle una bandiera sola
Sempre più forti noi (Sempre più forti)
Dammi una mano e vedrai si vola
L’Europa non è lontana
C’è una canzone italiana, per voi
Insieme, unite, unite, Europe

L’Europa non è lontana
C’è una canzone italiana per voi
Insieme, unite, unite
Europe

Together, unite, unite, Europe

With you, so far and different
With you, friend I thought was lost
You and me, under the same dream
Together, unite, unite, Europe

And for you, woman without borders
For you, under the same flags
You and me, under the same sky
Together, unite, unite, Europe

We are ever more free
It is no longer a dream and you are no longer alone
Higher and higher we are
Give me a hand as we take flight

Europe is not far off
There is an Italian song for you
Together, unite, unite, Europe

For us, a thousand violins in the sky
For us, love without borders
You and me, under the same ideals
Together, unite, unite, Europe

We are ever more free
It is no longer a dream and we are no longer alone
We are increasingly united
Give me a hand and you will see that you fly
Europe is not far off
There is an Italian song for you
Together, unite, unite, Europe

We are ever more free (Ever more free)
Our stars are one flag
We are stronger and stronger (Stronger and stronger)
Give me a hand and you’ll see we fly
Europe is not far off
There is an Italian song for you
Together, unite, unite, Europe

Europe is not far off
There is an Italian song for you
Together, unite, unite
Europe

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