Italian Language/use of "conoscere"


Dear Lauren,

Can you please help me to understand the meaning of the verb “conoscere” in the following sentence:

“Gianluca!  Vieni a salutare Teodora, ed a conoscere sua nipote.”

In the past, I have only experienced “conoscere” to mean “to know”.  But, saying
“Gianluca! Come to greet Teodora and to know her granddaughter” doesn’t sound correct to me.  It seems to me that saying - “Gianluca! Come to greet Teodora and to meet her granddaughter” sounds more correct.  This leads me to ask if “conoscere” is not only used to say “to know” but is also used to say “to meet”.

Can you please tell me if this is so -  does “conoscere” also mean “to meet”?

‘If “yes”, would you please also tell me if the following translations are correct:

“Conosco Rich.”  =  I know Rich.
“Ho conosciuto Rich.”  =  I have met Rich.

Thank you very much.



Hi Rich,

Thanks for your question.

Yes, 'conoscere' does also mean 'to meet' in the sense of getting to know a person for the first time. Therefore, your translation of 'Gianluca! Come greet Teodora and meet her granddaughter” is correct.

Also, you will also use 'conoscere' if you are asking somebody if they know somebody else. So again, it would be correct to ask, 'Conosci Rich?' and to answer like in your example, 'Conosco Rich.'

Consequently, after the event has occurred, you can then go on to say, 'Ho conosciuto Rich' as you have also stated.

In fact, when Italians meet each other for the first time and say 'piacere', this is actually short for 'piacere di conoscerLa/conoscerti

Hope this helps,
Kind regards,

Italian Language

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Lauren O' Hagan


Although not my mother tongue, I have spoken Italian fluently for more than 12 years so I am very confident to answer any questions about the Italian language. I am also competent in Roman Dialect if there are any questions relating to this.


MA Applied Linguistics First Class Honours in Modern Language Studies (Linguistics, Italian, Spanish) Received the top grade in the whole of UK for GCSE Italian, receiving a letter of congratulations from the Italian Consulate Completed my two-year A Level in 1 year with a grade A country. Carried out many translation jobs for a wide range of clients and topics including self-help, literature and exam papers. For personal reference, I have also translated Federico Moccia's Tre Metri Sopra Il Cielo and 2 of Francesco Totti's book.

El Pensador, University of Bristol

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