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Italian expressions related to "Mani" (hands)

Level B2


Ciao a tutti!


In this post I will talk about some idiomatic expressions that refer to figurative meanings. Studying these forms helps to enrich your language knowledge, making it more expressive and close to italian way of speaking.


Today we see some expressions that use the word “Mano”/ “Mani” (hand or hands):


dare una mano

It is a different, conversational way of saying to help someone in a friendly context. Using this expression has a more inviting meaning than simply using the word “aiutare” (to help).


Ex: qualcuno può darmi una mano ad organizzare la festa? (Can anyone help me to organize the party?).


avere le mani bucate

This expression is used when you want to say that a person spends a lot of money, it is not a compliment, but not even an insult, so it can be used without worrying too much. The expression indicates figuratively that the hands have holes from which the money falls, that is why it assume the meaning of spending money wastefully, without thinking too much about their importance and value.


Luisa ha speso tutti i soldi in un solo giorno, ha le mani bucate. (Luisa has spent all the money in one day, she spends money like water).


parlare con il cuore in mano

Among all the expressions listed here, this is the sweetest, because it has to do with the heart and feelings. In fact, “parlare con il cuore in mano”means to speak to someone expressing sincere feelings.


Ti voglio parlare con il cuore in mano, perchè ti voglio bene. (I want to talk to you from my hearth because I love you.)


essere alla mano

The meaning behind this expression is a little difficult to understand, but you can easily found it in many daily conversations both written and spoken. When someone want to say that someone is a simple, easygoing person, we use this expression.


Ho conosciuta la nuova ragazza di Luca. Sembra essere una persona alla mano e molto simpatica.

(I have met Luca's new girlfriend. She seems to be an easygoing and very nice person.)


avere le mani in pasta

This expression recalls the image of kneading dough to make a cake or bread using the hands. Just like the hands and fingers are in the dough, this expression is used when we want to say that someone is involved in a project. Sometimes it can also be used with a negative meaning, for example to say that someone is involved in some dirty business.


La polizia ha scoperto che i ladri avevano le mani in pasta nel traffico di euro falsi.

(Police discovered that thieves were involved in the trafficking of counterfeit euros)


a mano a mano

This expression has many other adverbial locutions with the same meaning and also composed by the repetition of the first element, such as: “a poco a poco" or piano piano". The english translation is "gradually", in fact this expression indicates a slow and gradual process.


Mano a mano che la temperatura scende l’aria diventa più fredda.

(As the temperature drops, the air is gradually becoming cold and colder.)


essere in buone mani

When someone wants to express at the same time a state of tranquility and trust towards a person it is often used “essere in buone mani”:


Marco è un dottore bravissimo. Siete in buone mani!

(Marco is a very good doctor. You are in good hands!)


As you can see the English translation has the almost exact meaning of the Italian expression.


I live you some exercises so you can practice and fix these expressions in your mind.

A presto!

Esercizio completa le frasi con il modo di dire corretto. 1. Marco è dovuto andare a lavoro un'ora prima e ha dovuto lasciare sua figlia alla vicina di casa. Per fortuna è ___________________ .

2. Ieri sera alla festa di compleanno di Luisa ho chiacchierato con Daniele e mi è sembrato davvero un tipo _______________ .

3. Durante la riunione ho scoperto che il Signor Bianchi ha _______________ anche nel progetto del prossimo mese.

4. _______________ che Fido cresce, diventa sempre più un cane disciplinato.

5. Bambini potete _______________ a mettere in ordine i vostri giocattoli, per favore?

6. Giovanna è stata molto gentile con te: ti ha parlato _____________________________ . 7. Marco: Quest'anno ho già comprato tutti i regali di Natale, sono stato molto veloce! Luisa: è vero, ma a me sembra anche che hai__________________ . Ne hai fatti troppi!



Solutions:


1)in buone mani 2)alla mano 3)le mani in pasta 4)mano a mano 5)darmi una mano

6)con il cuore in mano 7)le mani bucate.

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