Talking about time

We use the following structure to talk about something that started in the past and is ongoing:

  • E’ da/Sono + amount of time + che + present tense verb

Sono due anni che lavoro all’Hotel Baldoria.

I've been working at Hotel Baldoria for two years.

È da un’ora che ti aspetto.

I have been waiting for you for an hour.

  • Da + date, point in time or period of time

Studio italiano da 3 mesi.

I have been studying Italian for three months.

Sono bloccata nel traffico dalle 10 di questa mattina.

I've been stuck in traffic since 10 this morning.

If we want to talk about when something happened in the past that has already finished, we use: amount of time + fa.

Ho conosciuto Antonio 6 mesi fa.

I met Antonio 6 months ago.

Cinque minuti fa ti ha chiamato Laura.

Laura called you five minutes ago.

To talk about how long is left until something happens in the future, we use: tra/fra + amont of time.

Compio 30 anni tra sei mesi.

I turn 30 in six months.

La riunione inizia fra cinque minuti.

The meeting starts in five minutes.

Note: the structure è da + amount of time (singular) + che can also be used without the word da. This is especially common on speech in northern Italy.

È (da) un anno che aspetto un suo messaggio.

I've been waiting for a message from him for a year.

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