Quando si usa ora e quando adesso? Sembra che le due parole abbiano lo stesso significato. Ci sono differenze?

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  • Does it matter if "now" is being used as a noun and not as an adverb? When would you like to go? "Now is good." Google Translate usually uses adesso but used ora in the above example; it only lists adesso as an adverb, but ora also as a noun.
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1 Answer 1


Nowadays, they are mostly synonyms; for instance, the Treccani dictionary defines adesso as

Sinon[imo] più com[une] e fam[iliare] di ora, spec[ialmente] nell’Italia settentr[ionale].

(A more common and familiar synonym of ora, especially in Northern Italy.)

However, nineteenth century writer and lexicographer Niccolò Tommaseo, who had a very sensitive ear for shades of meaning, gave these differences (§2920, s.v. “Quando”):

Adesso accenna relazione più diretta al passato | Dante: «O gente, in cui fervore acuto adesso Ricompie forse negligenza e indugio Da voi per tiepidezza in ben far messo» |. Ora accenna il momento presente, o i momenti prossimi al presente, guardati in sé; adesso accenna il presente in paragone del tempo passato. Prima usava l'ipocrisia della fede; adesso quella del dubbio.
Ora indica anche un punto più breve.
Per rincalzo, dicono in Toscana: ora adesso; come dire: ora stesso.

(Summarising, Tommaseo feels that adesso was used especially when contrasting or comparing the present to the past, while ora while speaking just of the present. And ora would also refer to a shorter range of time.)

  • Grazie mille. To make things more complicated. What about ormai in this context? According to my knowledge ormai may be used interchangeably with ora and adesso, right?
    – freefall
    Apr 26, 2016 at 17:49
  • 1
    @freefall: Have a look at this question and its answers.
    – Charo
    Apr 26, 2016 at 18:44

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