Learning Italian, Phrase by Simple Phrase
September 25, 2017
va = it goes, 3rd person singular present tense for andare, to go.
bene = well/good/okay/fine
It goes well is another possible response to Come va? or Come stai? The meaning translates almost exactly into it's okay, or it's good. As a result, when I first met one of my friends, D., he kept asking me "It's okay?" when really he meant to ask how I was. For several months, I was pretty confused, and a little concerned that he was so concerned! I only really solved this question several years later, when I found out about this expression in his home region of Sicily.
Va bene is useful as another response, however. Since it does mean it's okay, one can politely turn something down using this phrase, just as it would be used in English. If someone offers something, it is acceptable to say, Va bene, grazie. It's okay, thanks.