Use of the adjectives “Bello” and “Buono” in the Italian language

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The use of bello (beautiful) and buono (good) Italian adjectives often creates confusion for those who study the Italian language.

First of all, because they have very similar meanings and secondly because in front of nouns they behave like articoli.

Adjectives in the Italian language: bello

Bello is an adjective that describes the aesthetic aspect, the form.

Lei è una bella donna – She is a beautiful woman. (= looks, looks attractive)

Che bel panorama! – What a lovely view! (= attractive, pleasing to harmony)

Bello is often used to intensify a concept.

Non mi ha detto un bel niente! – He didn’t tell me anything! (= nothing at all)

È stata una bella attesa! – It was a nice wait! (= very long)

La madre gli diede una bella sberla. – The mother gave him a nice slap. (= strong)

Bello can also be used in an ironic sense:

Bel servizio gli hai reso! – Good service, you’ve made it! (= bad service)

Bell’amico sei! – Dear friend, you are! (= bad friend)

The use of bello before and after nouns

If the adjective beautiful precedes the noun, it has the forms of the articolo determinativo.

Bel film – bei film, bel panorama – bei panorami; / Nice film – good films, beautiful scenery – good views;

Bello studente – begli studenti, bello scenario – begli scenari; / Beautiful student – beautiful students, beautiful scenery – beautiful scenarios;

Bell’uomo – begli uomini, bell’albero, begli alberi; / Handsome man – handsome men, beautiful trees, beautiful trees;

Bella donna – belle donne, bell’amica – belle amiche. / Beautiful woman – beautiful women, beautiful friend – beautiful friends.

If the adjective beautiful is found after the noun, it is regular.

Che bel panorama! – Il panorama è bello. / I panorami sono belli. / What a lovely view! – The view is beautiful. / The views are beautiful.

È un bell’albero. – L’albero è bello. / Gli alberi sono belli. / It’s a beautiful tree. – The tree is beautiful. / The trees are beautiful.

Adjectives in Italian: Buono

Buono – is an adjective of positive judgment regarding the aspect of content, of quality.

For example, a person of good character and/or spirit Italians describe him: “E’ un uomo buono” – “He is a good man.”

Instead, an aesthetically attractive person characterizes her “bella”: Lei è una bella donna – She is a handsome woman. The same is true, for example, for a film or a pizza.

È un buon film – It’s a good movie. (= treated a specific topic well)

È una buona pizza. – It’s a good pizza. (= it’s tasty)

The word “Buono” is also used to make good wishes: Buon viaggio! – Happy travel!

Buona vacanza – Happy Holiday!

Buon proseguimento! – Good continuation (of the evening, of the celebration)!

The adjective buono can also be used to intensify (usually with numerals):

C’è da aspettare dieci minuti buoni/un buon dieci minuti. – There are a good ten minutes to wait for a good ten minutes. (= abundant)

The use of the adjective buono before and after the nouns

If the adjective buono precedes the noun, in the singular it takes the forms of the articolo indeterminativo, and in the plural, it remains regular.

Buon uomo – buoni uomini / Good man – good men

Buono yogurt – buoni yogurt/ Good yogurt – good yoghurts

Buona donna – buone donne / Good woman – good women

Buon’amica – buone amiche / Good friend – good friends

If the adjective good is found after the noun, it remains regular.

È un’amica buona. È un uomo buono./ She is a good friend. He is a good man.