Italian Language/uce of "con calma"


Dear Maria,

Would you please verify if “con calma” is a locuzione avverbiale that is composed of the preposition “con” and the feminine noun “calma” and also if “con calma” is equivalent to the English adverb “slowly”.

Would you also please tell me if there is any difference in meaning between “con calma” and “lentamente”.  Can “con calma” and “lentamente” be used interchangeably?

I was also wondering about the gender of an adjective that is used as part of a locuzione avverbiale.  Is this adjective always masculine?  Or, can this adjective be either gender?  

(The reason I ask about the gender of the adjective used in a locuzione avverbiale is because of “con calma”   At first, I thought that  “calma” in this locuzione was a feminine adjective and not a noun.  This got me wondering about the gender of an adjective that is used as part of a locuzione avverbiale)

Thank you very much for your patience with my many questions.



Dear Rich,

actually “con calma” is not a “locuzione avverbiale”, but a “complemento di modo”  composed of the preposition “con” and the feminine noun “calma” just to indicate the manner of an action.
Such a "complemento di modo" is  usually expressed with the preposition CON + a noun or a noun with an adjective, as in “con calma”/ “con grande calma”, “con gioia”/”con grande gioia”, “con attenzione”/”con molta attenzione”,  etc.
For example:
-“Dobbiamo agire con calma” (we have to act calmly)
-“Ci penseremo con molta/grande  calma” (we'll examine the matter  very calmly)
-“Prenditela con calma!”(Take your time!)

As for  “con calma” as an  equivalent to the English adverb “slowly”, I have to tell you that “slowly” corresponds to  the Italian adverbs of manner “lentamente”,”adagio”, "piano" rather than “con calma”, though we must consider the context.

For example, we can say “Fai con calma con quel vaso” or “Fai adagio con quel vaso”/"Fai piano con quel vaso!"  ( Be careful with that vase) just to tell someone that he must be careful with that vase, but we could not say “Fai lentamente con quel vaso, as the adverb “lentamente” would sound absolutely strange in that context.

In short, “con calma” and “lentamente”/”adagio”/"piano"  cannot  be always used interchangeably, but it depends on the sentence.

With regard to the gender of any  adjective, please note that in Italian it can be either gender, according to the gender of the noun it refers to, provided that “con calma” is not a “locuzione avverbiale”, as I've already said.

Hope all is clear now.
Best regards,
P.S. If I can  take the liberty of  giving  you a suggestion, I'd want you  to  write me in Italian so that you can test your working knowledge of Italian. I think that it would be a good exercise, since languages are learnt above all with a lot of practice.
In Italian in fact there is  maxim  that reads :” Altro è la pratica, altro la grammatica” just to say that grammar is important, but more important is to put into practice what we have learnt.

Maybe you could begin by writing only few sentences in Italian and the rest in English, so that you can become familiar with Italian.

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Italian is my mother tongue and I'll be glad to answer any questions concerning Italian Language.


Over 25 years teaching experience.

I received my Classics (summa cum laude) from Genova University (Italy).

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