Buono and Bello
Read this page, then try this practice.
Buono (good) and bello (beautiful, great) are two of the most common adjectives for expressing positive qualities of nouns, variably meaning good, great, lovely, and beautiful. Grammatically, they are also strange adjectives. When they appear after the noun, their forms are regular (i.e. the same as those of all other adjectives ending in -o). For example:
- Questa torta è veramente buona.
- Ieri sera ho visto un film molto bello.
- Dove hai trovato gli stivali così belli?
However, when buono and bello appear right before the noun, their forms are more variable, depending not only on the gender and number of the noun they modify but also on the letter which the noun begins with. Study the forms below, and then read on about usage.
|buon||un buon libro
un buon amico
|Use with all masculine singular nouns except those beginning with -z, -gn, ps or -s + consonant.|
|buono||un buono stadio
un buono zoo
|Use with masculine singular nouns beginning with -z, -gn, ps or -s + consonant.||Plural|
|Use with all masculine plural nouns.|
|buona||una buona lezione
una buona torta
|Use with all feminine singular nouns except those beginning with a vowel.|
|buon’||una buon’ amica
una buon’ opera
|Use with feminine singular nouns that begin with a vowel.||Plural|
|Use with all feminine plural nouns.|
✽ The plural forms of buono when it comes before a noun are the same as those used when it follows a noun, e.g: le buone arance, i buoni spaghetti
✽ The singular forms of buono follow a pattern identical to that of the indefinite articles (un, uno, una, etc.)
|bel||il bel libro||Use with all masculine singular nouns except those beginning with -z, -gn, ps, -s + consonant, or a vowel.|
|bello||il bello stadio
il bello zoo
|Use with masculine singular nouns beginning with -z, -gn, ps, or -s + consonant.|
|Use with masculine singular nouns beginning with a vowel.|
|bei||i bei libri||Use with plural masculine nouns except those beginning with -z, -gn, ps, -s + consonant, or a vowel.|
|begli||i begli sport
i begli ombrelli
|Use with masculine plural nouns beginning with -z, -gn, ps, -s + consonant, or a vowel.|
|bella||la bella ragazza||Use with all feminine singular nouns except those beginning with a vowel.|
|bell’||la bell’amica, bell’Italia||Use with feminine singular nouns beginning with a vowel.|
|belle||le belle amiche, le belle case||Use with all feminine plural nouns.|
✽ The forms of bello follow a pattern identical to that of the definite articles (il, lo, la, etc.)
It’s all good: Usage
Buono and bello are very common but are rarely interchangeable. Here are some guidelines distinguishing their uses, as well as the use of two other words meaning good, bravo and bene.
- Buono is used to refer to the quality of a person, place, thing, or abstract concept. It can be used in reference to a tasty meal, positive conditions or situations, a good idea, strong reasoning, valuable experience, etc. When used to describe people, it suggests the moral quality of their character rather than their talents or abilities to do certain things. Buono is also used to wish someone a good day, weekend, trip, vacation, etc.
Buon divertimento! Have a good time! Buon weekend! Have a good weekend! Buon appetito! Enjoy your meal! Buon viaggio! Have a good trip! Buon lavoro! Good job! Che buona pizza! What good pizza! È una buon’ idea It’s a good idea.
- Bello is used to refer to either an aesthetic quality of a person, place or thing (a beautiful house, coast, child, etc.) or a very positive experience or a very successful product. In this second sense, it is more like the English words nice or great.
Ho visto un bel film. I saw a great film. Che bel vestito! What a lovely dress! Facciamo una bella chiacchierata. Let’s have a nice chat. Oggi fa bel tempo. The weather is nice (lovely). Ho voglia di fare una bella passeggiata. I feel like taking a nice walk.
- Bravo is used to refer to the aptitudes, capabilities, talents and performance of people.
Sara è brava a lingue. Sara is good at languages. Mi piace cantare ma non sono bravo. I like to sing but I’m not good at it. Ragazzi, come siete bravi! Kids, you are so good!
- Bene is an adverb, so it is used to describe the activities that people do well or actions that go well.
In questi giorno non dormo bene. These days I’m not sleeping well. Elena scrive molto bene. Elena writes really well. Non ti senti bene? You don’t feel well? Per me questo piano va bene. This plan works well for me.