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Is it adding "tanto" twice the correct way to emphasise the "so much" in this sentence? i.e, so so much:

Ti voglio tanto tanto bene.

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Yes, but to me it sounds rather childish.

I would say: "Ti voglio tantissimo bene". Tantissimo is the superlative form of the adjective (in Italian we say superlativo assoluto). The superlatives are usually formed by eliminating the suffix, in this case -o, and adding -issimo/-issima/-issimi/-issime. As you can see, this is still an adjective and must be inflected according to the word it is referred to. "Bene" is gender masculine so the -o at the end of "tantissimo" should be used.

You can also say: "Ti voglio davvero bene" o "Ti voglio un sacco di bene" (informal).

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    I wouldn't define it childish, I'd call it very informal, only suitable for an intimate exchange between lovers or very good friends. – DaG Sep 3 '16 at 11:46
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    Actually, bene in volere bene is a fixed use of the noun bene. So we may have the doubt whether tanto is here an adverb (as in amare tanto) or an adjective that agrees with bene. I am inclined towards the latter, thinking, say, about avere tanta fame. In this case, however, bene is masculine, not neuter. – DaG Sep 3 '16 at 12:02
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As pointed out, "tanto tanto bene" could be used both in a childish context (for example, mum-child) or intimate, though in this case it sounds a little old-fashioned to my ears. I'd add that in a teen conversation "ti voglio TROPPO bene" could be used - I personally hate it, but it's rather commonplace, especially when texting.

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During my primary school, I was taught that “superlativo assoluto” can be made in several ways

  • with the adjectival suffix -issimo: ti voglio tantissimo bene;
  • with tanto, molto, estremamente or similar adverb: not for this case, obviously; for instance la casa è molto alta;
  • with reduplication: ti voglio tanto tanto bene.

The sentence ti voglio tanto tanto bene sounds rather intimate (child/parent, lovers), but reduplication can be seen also in other contexts:

Era il segnale: Renzo lo sentì, fece coraggio a Lucia, con una stretta di braccio; e tutt'e due, in punta di piedi, vennero avanti, rasentando il muro, zitti zitti; arrivarono all'uscio, lo spinsero adagino adagino; cheti e chinati, entraron nell'andito, dov'erano i due fratelli ad aspettarli. Renzo accostò di nuovo l'uscio pian piano; e tutt'e quattro su per le scale, non facendo rumore neppur per uno.

From “I promessi sposi”, chapter VIII: the night of the deceits.

A superlative zittissimo of zitto would be cumbersome, but zitto zitto conveys the idea of somebody who is silent at the highest possible degree.

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  • May you add to your answer that this excerpt comes from I promessi sposi by Manzoni? – Charo Apr 14 at 11:05
  • @Charo Isn't it obvious? 😉 – egreg Apr 14 at 12:03

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