Pretendere: Demystifying the Italian Verb that Means Business


Benvenuti! Welcome to the magical world of the Italian language, where each verb reveals a unique shade of expression. Today, we embark on a linguistic journey to explore the versatile and multifaceted verb “Pretendere.” With this witty guide in hand, you’ll learn how to master the art of using “Pretendere” effectively in your Italian conversations. So, let’s dive in headfirst and unlock the secrets of this expressive verb!

Unveiling the Essence of “Pretendere”:

At its core, “Pretendere” translates to “to demand” or “to expect” in English. However, this powerful verb goes beyond mere demands and expectations, encompassing elements of assertion and even entitlement. Let’s explore the various nuances of “Pretendere” below, highlighting its different usage scenarios.

Asserting Expectations:

“Pretendere” is commonly used to express expectations or requirements, emphasizing the speaker’s firm belief in what they deserve or demand. Consider these examples:

  • Pretendo un servizio di qualità in questo ristorante. (I expect a quality service in this restaurant.)
  • Marco pretende rispetto da tutti. (Marco demands respect from everyone.)
  • Pretendiamo che tu rispetti le regole. (We expect you to follow the rules.)

Affirming Rights and Entitlement:

In certain contexts, “Pretendere” takes on a assertive tone, conveying a sense of entitlement or the assertion of one’s rights. Here’s how it can be used:

  • Pretendo il rispetto per i miei diritti. (I assert my right to respect.)
  • Non posso permettermi un giorno di riposo? Pretendo un po’ di tranquillità! (Can’t I have a day off? I demand some peace and quiet!)
  • Pretendere il riconoscimento per il proprio lavoro è legittimo. (Asserting recognition for one’s work is legitimate.)

Demanding Effort or Attention:

“Pretendere” can also express the requirement of effort or attention from someone, urging them to commit themselves fully. Let’s glimpse into these occurrences:

  • Il capo pretende massima concentrazione nel lavoro. (The boss demands maximum concentration in work.)
  • Pretendo che tu ti impegni al massimo. (I expect you to give your best effort.)
  • La competizione richiede che si pretenda molto da se stessi. (Competition demands pushing oneself to the limits.)


As we conclude our exploration of the Italian verb “Pretendere,” it’s clear that this seemingly simple verb unveils a vast array of nuances. Whether expressing expectations, asserting rights, or demanding effort, “Pretendere” empowers you to communicate with clarity, conviction, and even a touch of authority in your Italian conversations.

Harness the power of “Pretendere” to make your spoken and written Italian shine. Remember to use the appropriate context and tone to portray your expectations confidently and effectively. Grazie for embracing the journey of mastering another Italian essential! Arrivederci e pretendete il meglio! (Goodbye and demand the best!)