I have translated day into Italian. There are three translations there: "giorno", "dì" and "giornata".

I am studying the difference between them.

Hypothesis: "giorno" and "dì" mean the same, the latter is more formal. They both mean an interval of 24 hours. "Giornata" means the time interval when the sun is above the horizon.

Another question: is the difference between "giorno" and "giornata" the same as between "notte" and "nottata"?

Am I right? What is the difference?

  • 3
    If your Italian is on a par to investigate the differences among near-synonyms, have you checked in an Italian monolingual dictionary (giorno, , giornata)?
    – DaG
    Commented Oct 27, 2016 at 19:27
  • Well, my Italian is not that good..
    – cornejo
    Commented Oct 27, 2016 at 20:05

1 Answer 1


is an archaic form, coming from the latin dies,ei and distantly related to the English day. It is essentially used in the same way as giorno but it is far rarer. It is sometimes used in opposition with notte, night.

Giorno and giornata are essentially synonyms, with slight differences of usage. Giornata is often used when referring to the length of time corresponding to a single day (e.g. Sembra che questa giornata non finisca mai, It feels like this day will never end; È tutta la giornata che lavoro, I've been working all day) or when speaking about weather or other special characteristics of the day (È una bella giornata, it's a beautiful day; Che giornataccia che ho avuto, What a horrible day I've had).

Giorno is a more generic term, the default so to speak. It is often the one used when speaking about multiple days, or to specify durations (Le vacanze dureranno dieci giorni, the holidays will last for ten days) or dates (Verrà un giorno... A day will come).

There are many more subtleties, but this should cover the most common usages. For more information consult a good monolingual dictionary.

  • @egreg I think that your edit improves the answer so I won't revert it (thanks!), but I wanted to point out that I did mean synonymous (the adjective) and not synonyms (the noun), so it is not just a matter of spelling (that admittedly was wrong).
    – Denis Nardin
    Commented Oct 28, 2016 at 12:16

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

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