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Last year’s Italian entry to the Eurovision Song Contest was the brilliant song L’Essenziale by Marco Mengoni, which unlike British entries, was actually all over the radio before and after the event. In the chorus, he seems to sing the phrase “…che appartengono anche a te.” This is in fact what the online lyrics pages seem to suggest he says. However, listening carefully, he seems to be saying “che appartengono nonche’ a te.” Vaguely knowing that “nonche” might be an actual word, I looked it up, and, indeed, found it.

Nonche’ is one of the words in the family of “ché” postfixed words (perché, purché, cosiché, etc) which isn’t actually used in spoken language all that often. It means “as well as”, which seems to suggest that it’s just another way of saying “anche.” They do sound very similar, after all. However, there is a difference between nonché and anche (and it’s not the accent on the e!).

Nonché can be used as a more sophisticated way of saying “ed anche,” or simply “e.” For instance “E’ una persona intelligente nonche’ gentile e simpatica.” In English, we might use the “Not only…but…” construction. So, in this case, we have “She is not only an intelligent person but kind and pleasant.” (Simpatico merits it’s own post–for another day!)

However, don’t confuse it with “non che,” which is used at the start of a sentence to mean something like “It’s not that,”, or “It’s not as if.” For instance, “Non che volevo andare” meaning “It’s not as if I wanted to go.”

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