La vita è bella (what does it mean?)

La vita è bella.

It means Life is beautiful.

This is also the title of a great Italian movie by Roberto Benigni.

If you haven't seen it already, you should! It's amazing.

If you've seen it, you should see it again to practice your Italian.

Let's look at the words in this phrase one by one.

La is a definite article, like 'the' in English but it's the feminine form.

We will get to this later in the course so don't bother with this for now, just think of it as the female form of 'the'.

Vita = life

But we can’t say just ‘vita’ - we always need an article in front of the noun.

In English we say Life is beautiful but in Italian we use definite article (so, the life) because it is specific, it is the life we live (not just any life).

Otherwise we would have to say one life, which isn’t what we mean.

È = is

The accent that you see on top of è is really important, you should always put it when you want to say is because otherwise e without the accent means and.

Bella = beautiful (feminine form)