The Italian idiom “avere il pollice verde” is a good one!

In Italian we commonly use “avere il pollice verde” when we refer to a very specific situation, so it’s useful to learn how to use this expression.

Do you like gardening? Are you good at that? Well, this is exactly what we are talking about when we say this idiom in Italian: we use it referring to the ability of growing and taking care of plants and flowers in general.

So if you are very good at gardening and you have amazing plants and flowers “hai il pollice verde”, whilst if you are not good at that and your plants get ill quickly “non hai il pollice verde”! When you talk about someone’s gardening skills, this expression is always good, regardless of their good or bad attitude towards plants and flowers.

The English equivalent is “to have a green thumb”, which perfectly corresponds to the Italian expression.

Let’s have a look!

Italian English
Mia madre ha delle piante meravigliose, ha davvero il pollice verde! My mum has wonderful plants, she’s got a green thumb indeed!
Franca non ha mai avuto il pollice verde: il suo giardino è un disastro! Franca has never had a green thumb: her garden is a disaster!
I miei amici hanno un terrazzo pieno di fiori bellissimi, hanno il pollice verde! My friends have a terrace full of beautiful flowers, they have a green thumb!


It’s really easy! Do you know anyone who has a green thumb? Tell us more about this and do some practice! Also, it would be very nice to know if this idiom exists in other languages: what about yours?

Don’t forget to learn more Italian idiomatic expressions following this link and having a look at our online resources.


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