Italian Word of the Day: Perfino (even)

The adverb perfino in Italian is made up of the prefix per and the preposition fino (up to, as far as). It is used much in the same way as the adverb even in English, in that it emphasises something surprising or extreme.

/per·fì·no/

Important: Perfino has an alternative form, persino, but don’t worry, they are completely interchangeable.


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Mio figlio ha vissuto ovunque. Ha perfino trascorso un anno in Antartide!

My son has lived all over the place. He even spent a year in the Antarctic!


Perfino can also appear in comparative phrases to add emphasis. For example:

Non lo credevo possibile, ma c’è gente che di calcio ne sa perfino meno di me!

I didn’t think it was possible, but there are people who know even less about soccer than me!


In either of these phrases, it is possible to substitute perfino with similar adverbs like addirittura (even) or anche (also). Note however that addirittura has a slightly stronger connotation whereas anche is weaker.

Mio figlio ha vissuto ovunque.
Ha addirittura trascorso un anno in Antartide.
Ha anche trascorso un anno in Antartide.


Non lo credevo possibile ma c’è gente che di calcio ne sa addirittura meno di me!
Non lo credevo possibile ma c’è gente che di calcio ne sa anche meno di me!


Cheerful male singer performing at nightclub during music festival
Quel cantante è così famoso che perfino mio nonno lo conosce. – That singer is so famous that even my grandfather knows him.

Another possible translation is just. In this case, you could also say solo / anche solo / anche soltanto (even only) in Italian.

Mi viene la pelle d’oca perfino a pensarci.
Mi viene la pelle d’oca anche solo a pensarci.

I get goosebumps just thinking about it.


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