Italian Word of the Day: Mese (month)

Humans have devised various ways to divide time, encompassing the tiniest increments of seconds and minutes to the vast expanse of years, decades, and centuries. Tucked right in the middle lies the unassuming month, known as mese in Italian, serving as the fundamental unit for dividing our calendar year.

/mé·se/ – [ˈmese]
italian word of the day mese

Mese is a masculine noun in Italian whose plural form is mesi. You can see the definite and indefinite articles it takes below:

  • il mese = the month
  • i mesi = the months
  • un mese = a month
  • dei mesi = (some) months

Each year is divided into twelve months, none of which are written with a capital letter in Italian. The same rule applies to the days of the week.

close up of a page of a calendar
Un nuovo mese = A new month

Mese appears in a number of frequently used time expressions. Here are a few of the most common you will encounter during your time in Italy.

  • il mese prossimo / il mese scorso = next month / last month
  • questo mese = this month
  • da mesi = for months
  • al mese = per / a month
  • a metà mese = halfway through the month
  • fra/tra un mese = in a month’s time
  • all’inizio / alla fine del mese = at the beginning / the end of the month
  • entro fine mese = by the end of the month

Non sento Davide da mesi. Spero che stia bene.

I haven’t heard from Davide in months. I hope he’s ok.

Ci vediamo una volta al mese.

We see each other once a month.

 Woman tourist talking to male receptionist administrator of small resort hotel near front desk
Rimarrà in questo albergo per un mese. = She’ll stay in this hotel for a month.

As in English, you can use mese to refer to the number of months a woman has been pregnant. You can add di gravidanza (lit. of pregnancy) to be more precise but it’s not mandatory, as the context is enough for it to be understood.

Lucia è al settimo mese (di gravidanza).

Lucia is seven months pregnant.

By extension, mese can also refer to one’s monthly salary, or the amount one pays for a service or rent.

Il padrone di casa vuole due mesi anticipati.

The landlord wants two months (of rent) in advance.

Some etymologically related terms include mensile (monthly), mensilità (monthly payment / instalment), and mensilmente (monthly / every month).

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