I have heard the following sentence in a TV series:

Tanto è uguale.

Context: A grandmother is telling her grandson how things will be different after his soon-to-be wedding. The grandson does not care about this wedding and then he says the sentence above. Its translation in the English subtitles is "all the same".

Does "tanto" mean something here (e.g., an implicit comparison between the present and the near future) or is the sentence a fixed expression?

Is there any difference in meaning or usualness between the sentence above and "Non c'è differenza"?

  • 1
    When you say «The English translation is "all the same"», do you mean some “official” translation of that TV series? (subtitles, dubbing...)
    – DaG
    Commented Oct 16, 2019 at 5:37
  • @DaG Yes, it is in the English subtitles. I have made it clear in the original question. Commented Oct 16, 2019 at 9:39
  • Thanks for clarifying, Alan.
    – DaG
    Commented Oct 16, 2019 at 10:12

1 Answer 1


In the sentence tanto is used as an adverb and it used as a fixed expression, to express a meaning of inevitability, of impossibility to change a situation.

This is the meaning reported here

d. In frasi di tono conclusivo, esprime spesso sfiducia riguardo alla possibilità di modificare una situazione in atto, o rassegnata accettazione dell’inevitabile

The sentence can be translated as

Eventually, it is all the same.

Another translation could be

Whatever, it is all the same.

Or a more verbose

No matter what, it is all the same.

As @DaG pointed out on his comment,

“it makes no difference” or “it can't be helped” can be good translations, too. In Italian, I'd translate them respectively:

"Non fa alcuna differenza" and "Non ci si può far niente".

  • 3
    English is not my first language, but I'm not sure I'd translate tanto as “eventually”, which means basically “in the end” (and would correspond in Italian to something like alla fin fine and the like). Out of curiosity, Ragazzini dictionary simply translates Tanto è lo stesso as “it makes no difference” or “it can't be helped”.
    – DaG
    Commented Oct 16, 2019 at 8:20
  • 1
    @DaG I think that eventually (or in the end) conveys the idea of inevitability. A more verbose translation could be: No matter what, it is all the same. I like "it can't be helped" :) Commented Oct 16, 2019 at 10:24

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