“Ride bene chi ride ultimo” is an Italian idiom that everyone should know!

The nice idiomatic expression “ride bene chi ride ultimo” is often used by Italians, can you guess the meaning?

As usual, idioms are very intriguing for the hidden meaning that we need to discover and translating is not the best way to understand them: if you have heard this idiom in a specific conversation, you might have understood it from the context or for the similarity with the correspondent idiom in your own language.

It refers to the fact that only the person who wins at the end or when is really crucial is the real winner, no matter how good or bad was before: so if someone successfully handles a situation at the end can have the last laugh. The implied meaning is that it’s better not to cry victory too soon!

In English we can say “he who laughs last, laughs loudest”, which expresses exactly the same idea!

Let’s have a look at some examples!

Italian English
La squadra avversaria ha vinto la partita, ma non era la finale: ride bene chi ride ultimo! The opponent team won the match, but it was not the final: he who laughs last, laughs loudest!
Il mio collega pensava di ricevere la promozione, ma alla fine il capo ha promosso me! Ride bene chi ride ultimo! My colleague thought he would get a promotion, but at the end the boss promoted me! He who laughs last, laughs loudest!
La selezione è stata dura e c’era un candidato che pensava di essere favorito per le sue competenze, ma alla fine l’azienda ha assunto Lavinia: ride bene chi ride ultimo! The selection process was tough and one candidate thought he was favourite because of his skills, but at the end the company hired Lavinia: he who laughs last, laughs loudest!


And now try to use this idiomatic expression and write examples based on your personal experience: if you refer it to something that you know or that you have done in the past it’s definitely easier!

Ready to practise?


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