Italian Language Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for students, teachers, and linguists wanting to discuss the finer points of the Italian language. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I believe it is NOT “Buon lavoro” because an Italian person online expressed that this was to wish someone a good day at work.

So - what do teachers say to students to let them know they've done something well?

share|improve this question
"this was to wish someone a good day at work." Not only that. For example a teacher could give an assignment to his students and say Buon lavoro to wish them a good work on the assignment. The term lavoro (work) is quite broad in that context. Any kind of activity could be included, not just the job. – Bakuriu Jul 12 '14 at 10:40
My Italian teacher has always said "Bravo"/"Brava". – Bill Jul 13 '14 at 11:53

Ben Fatto:

is a useful expression used to indicate that you are satisfied with a job/ task which have been done well.

share|improve this answer
Yes. Lower-case f though. – Mauro Vanetti Dec 16 '14 at 14:55

Bravo or Brava means "Good job!". In English, it's often used as an exclamation in the theatre, but it doesn't have to be an exclamation, nor is it restricted to the theatre context.

share|improve this answer

Teachers say 'Ottimo!' or 'Eccellente!' or 'Ottimo lavoro!' or 'Lavoro eccellente!', but they also say 'Buon lavoro!' when a job is a 'Good job!'

share|improve this answer
"Ottimo lavoro" is spot on, while I never heard "buon lavoro" as a compliment (it's used as a wish, instead). – Matteo Italia Jul 12 '14 at 23:00

A common Italian expression is "Ben Fatto," or "well done." Here, the emphasis is on the adjectival modifier, "ben."

Other expressions are "Bravo," "eccellente," or "ottimo," which are also adjectives.

"Buon lavoro" is used, but is less common, because it would put the emphasis on "job," rather than "well" or "good."

share|improve this answer
"Buon lavoro" si usa però non come forma di apprezzamento, ma di incoraggiamento per un lavoro che si deve ancora svolgere, augurando che venga ben svolto. – martina Jul 14 '14 at 7:18

Just to add to the other excellent answers: a simple translation as

Bel lavoro!

is also very common. So, good becomes beautiful/nice in the translation.

On the other hand, "buon lavoro!" is used as an encouragement to someone who has to perform a task and you want to with her success.

share|improve this answer

Bravo/Brava doesn't mean "Good job", it's more stating a personal opinion about a person who did a good job, so "brava/bravo, because of the way the job was completed".

The best way to translate "good job" in Italian is, imho, ben fatto: it sounds like "properly done", so stating something related to the way the task was completed.

share|improve this answer

The equivalent for "Good Job" is Bravo or Brava, depending on who you're talking to. And you could simply emphasise the same by making that Bravissimo or Bravissima.

Then there are many other words, Ottimo (Excellent), Ben fatto (You did well) and a few others. Easiest to use is Bravo.

share|improve this answer

I think that the closest Italian translation of "Good job!" is "hai fatto un buon/ottimo lavoro"

share|improve this answer

I think that the best is "Ottimo lavoro!"... I always use this (I'm italian)...

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.