I was checking the translation of the verb "argue" and discuss and noticed that the verb: "discutere" is in common between both of the words. but since the verb "argue" has a stronger sense, I felt there should be another expression for that, used in conversation.

Also I would appreciate it if someone could help me to know the different synonims for these words like : rissa, polemica, disputa, litigio, controversia, discussione contestazione, bega, contrasto

because I am having difficulty to know where to use which one

  • 3
    If you Italian is sufficient, I'd begin by looking up those words in good single-language Italian dictionary, and then come back with whatever doubts remain, since it would be a longish job to explain the mutual similarities and differences among a dozen words. If you Italian is not sufficient, then probably you have higher priorities than tackling all the quasi-synonims of litigio (unless you are about to open an Argument clinic in Italy).
    – DaG
    Feb 7 '17 at 14:29
  • Lol , I think I would avoid it, mostly my main question was the exact word for argue, and then if someone would like or had any time could tell the other ones Feb 7 '17 at 19:51

According to the OED, argue is rarely discutere: it's more argomentare or persuadere. It can also be used in the sense of discutere, but only if the discussion is heated, more litigare than discutere.

The main meaning of discutere is to discuss, to debate: the people discussing are on an equal basis; arguing is more “one way”. It can also be litigare, see the entry in the Treccani dictionary, but only in restricted situations: “non ho voglia di discutere” (I don't want to argue), intending that the discussion would be quite heated.

For the word list, here are some possible meanings.

  • rissa: quarrel, commonly with use of hands and fists

  • polemica: controversy, debate; mostly at a distance, for example with a series of writings

  • disputa, controversia: controversy, debate, dispute

  • litigio: quarrel

  • discussione: debate; also quarrel, see above

  • contestazione: contestation, challenge; also protest

  • bega: wrangle; also trouble

  • contrasto: contrast, clash, conflict; also quarrel, disagreement


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