I am the lyricist for a song that is in English but contains a few Italian phrases. I would like to ask about all those phrases, but for now I will start with just one. May I use the phrase "Mia dolce" to mean "my sweet one, my dear, etc."? Or does "dolce" exist only as an adjective and not as an implied noun?

If you suggest an alternative please note that the rhythm of the words is crucial. The music is on three beats, the first strong and the other two not as strong (i.e., the song is in 3/4 time and the phrase is one measure of three quarter notes).

  • 1
    Welcome to Italian.SE!
    – Charo
    Commented Aug 31, 2018 at 7:07

4 Answers 4


If you have a look to Treccani dictionary (in Italian) here and here, you will see that the diferent uses of "dolce" as a noun (it says "sostantivato" or "s.") are masculine (i.e., it's "il dolce" and not "la dolce") and have different meanings that the one you are looking for. Point 3.d. of this dictionary entry has the sense that you need

Caro, amato (poet. o in espressioni d’affetto): la sua d. sposa; mio d. amico; il d. nido familiare.

In this case, "dolce" is an adjective so it needs to be accompanied with a noun as in the examples above.

  • Got it, thanks! I will use cara instead of dolce. Would this be an acceptable song lyric: Cara ti amo, la mia cara, ti amo! Commented Aug 31, 2018 at 19:44
  • What sounds strange here is the article "la": if you are addressing someone you would say her "mia cara" and not "la mia cara".
    – Charo
    Commented Aug 31, 2018 at 20:09

Actually, I can think of at least one Italian song that uses "dolce" without a following noun: it is "Giovanna dice" by Diaframma.

perché ne soffri adesso, o dolce,
tutto quello che è stato è stato
il crimine che ho commesso
sapessi quanto l'ho pagato

Yes, normally you're supposed to use "dolce" exclusively as an adjective, but if you were to write in a song "mia dolce, ti amo", the actual meaning would be completely understandable.


As native, I have never heard "mia dolce" without a following noun. "Mia cara" would be more appropriate

  • 3
    Welcome! Rather than “personal knowledge”, answers should be based on “objective data”. Can you better support your claim?
    – egreg
    Commented Aug 31, 2018 at 9:10
  • I think you have two accounts on Italian.SE. If you want to merge them, "Help Center" explains what you have to do: "visit the contact form and select ‘I need to merge user profiles’."
    – Charo
    Commented Aug 31, 2018 at 9:33

Yes, it has the same meaning also in Italian.
"Mia Dolce", "Mia Cara" is the equivalent of "My Sweet", "My Dear".

  • 3
    Welcome to Italian.SE. I think your answer may improve if you expand it a little bit. Could you please do it?
    – Charo
    Commented Aug 31, 2018 at 7:10

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