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Are "anche" and "pure" interchangeable?

From my latest video...

Anche means “also”, “as well”, and pure…, too!

You see, both in Italian and in English we have more than one word to express this idea of “in addition to that”.

And some of these words have other meanings, too!


So, let’s go in order and see all the differences and similarities.


Anche can be translated with ‘also”, “too” and “as well”.

If you are learning English through this channel, know that “as well” and “too” always go after the word they refer to, if not at the very end of the sentence. “Too” is also always preceded by a comma.


“I can drive shift, too”.

“I can drive shift as well”.

“I can also drive shift.”


However, in all three cases, you wouldn’t know if the speaker means “I can drive both shift and automatic”, or “He can drive shift, and so can I.”


In Italian, we don’t have the latter (so can I, so will you, so should he, so do we, etc.), but the position of anche in the sentence will leave no room for ambiguity.


In the case of “I can also drive shift”, “So anche guidare col cambio manuale” is the one that means “So guidare col cambio automatico e anche col cambio manuale.


“Anche io so guidare col cambio manuale” implies:

“Tu sai guidare col cambio manuale? Anch’io!”


When “also” is followed by a comma, it has a slightly different use and it can never be translated with anche.

“Also, he’s married.”


The way to say that in Italian is with in più, which means “moreover”, “furthermore”, or with e poi, which means “and then.”


“In più è sposato.” “È poi è sposato.”


Keep in mind that when “too” is followed by an adjective or an adverb, it doesn’t mean “also”, but “excessively.”


“He is too slow and speaks too softly.”


And when “as well” doesn’t mean “also”, it means literally “equally well”.


“I can speak Italian as well as you!”


While we don’t have expressions such as “so can I”, “so do we”, etc. in Italian, for once, it’s a lot simpler. We just say anch’io, anche tu, anche lui, etc.

“Noi parliamo 3 lingue” “Anche noi.”

“Dovrei andare a letto, e anche voi (or “e voi anche”).”

“Sei del Toro? Anche mia sorella!”


When anche doesn’t mean “also”, it means “even”. Italians don’t perceive a difference between the two meanings, as they are both taken to mean “on top of that”, “in addition to that”.


So, a sentence like: “Luigi ha anche fatto il letto”,


without a context, could mean “Luigi also made his bed”


or “Luigi even made his bed.”


By the way, if I say “Anche Luigi ha fatto il letto” what does that mean?


What we’ve learned about anche is true of neanche, which is its negative form. So, given the context, be prepared to translate it as “neither” or “not even”.


“Non ho fame.” “Neanch’io.”

“Non mi ha neanche salutato.”


Neanche, neppure, and nemmeno are totally synonymous.


So what’s the deal with pure?


Pure, while meaning “also” and “even” just like anche, is used most readily in the South of Italy, or in stronger, more colloquial expressions.


“Ha mangiato tutti gli spaghetti e ha fatto pure la scarpetta!” (If you don’t know what fare la scarpetta means, I made a video about it.)


“Lui è pigro, ma pure tu…. (non scherzi)”


Finally, when pure doesn’t mean “also/even”, it is used with a meaning of “go ahead and…” Se hai fame, serviti pure! (If you’re hungry, go ahead and serve yourself!)

“Posso?” “Sì, fai pure!” (May I? Sure, go ahead)



A lot more can be said about all these new words we’ve learned today. Let me know in the comments if I missed something, if you have better examples, funny stories, or if you need further clarification. And if you haven’t “liked” and “subscribed” yet, please do!


I’ll see you very soon

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