A caval donato non si guarda in bocca!

No idea about what “A caval donato non si guarda in bocca” means in Italian?

It is not as difficult as you might think!

You should definitely learn this lovely Italian idiomatic expression: Italians use it a lot, so it happens to hear it often.

When do we use it?

Normally we use it to say that we should always be grateful if we receive a gift.

It would be very rude complaining about its value or trying to finding a fault.

In English there is a very similar idiom, “don’t look a gift horse in the mouth”.

Its meaning is exactly the same, which makes things much easier!

Where does this idiom come from?

In the past, before buying a horse it was common to evaluate its age checking its teeth.

Obviously a young horse normally has better teeth compared to an elder one.

However, if the horse comes as a gift, it would be really ungrateful checking its teeth!

Here you have some useful examples!

Italian English

– La maglia che Patrizia mi ha regalato non mi piace per niente.

– A caval donato non si guarda in bocca!

– I don’t like the jumper Patrizia gave me as a gift at all.

– Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth!

Ieri sera ho invitato qualche amico a cena: Laura ha portato una torta terribile del supermercato, ma si sa, a caval donato non si guarda in bocca. Yesterday I invited some friends for dinner: Laura brought a horrible cake from the supermarket, but you know, don’t look a gift horse in the mouth!


Would you be able to use it?

It would be nice to know if this idiom exists in other languages as well!

Do you want to discover more Italian idiomatic expressions?

Follow this link and check our online resources.



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