What is the difference between "io sto bene" & "io sono bene" (or maybe just "sono bene")? And should a beginner like me start with saying "sono" for "I am" in my sentences, i.e., when making up my own rather than using standard pre-written sentences?

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    Welcome on ItalianSE! Io sono bene is simply not correct.
    – abarisone
    Sep 30, 2019 at 11:11
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    “should a beginner like me start with saying Sono for I am in my sentences”: I am confused: if you wanto to say “I am” in Italian, of course you say Sono. What do you mean?
    – DaG
    Sep 30, 2019 at 11:42
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    Hank, I got the impression that you are trying to translate word-by-word from English sentences like "I am good". If that's what you're trying to do, that doesn't work at all and you'll end up mostly with incorrect or meaningless sentences.
    – Denis Nardin
    Sep 30, 2019 at 17:42
  • @Hank: The problem is that, to say "I am", in some situations you have to say "sono" (for instance, "sono inglese", "sono alto" or "sono Maria"), but in other ones you must use "sto" (for instance, "sto bene").
    – Charo
    Sep 30, 2019 at 17:56
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    If you want to literally translate "I am good " (verb + adjective), you would say "Io sono buono" (buono= good adjective, bene = good adverb), but for the translation of "How are you?" "I am fine" this doesn't work (Note also that the question it's "Come stai?" and not "Come sei?")
    – laika
    Oct 1, 2019 at 7:23

1 Answer 1


The form “io sono bene” is simply ungrammatical, because bene is an adverb that cannot be used as a predicate.

To the contrary, stare is an intransitive verb, that can be accompanied by an adverb.

  • Yes, I can confirm that, the second sentence is just wrong.
    – Fabio
    Jul 8, 2022 at 13:27

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