So you think that you're pretty good at this, do you?
Sometimes, the problem with Duolingo’s layout is that the units are too self-contained.
Once you know what unit you’re working in, then you automatically start to apply the rules that you’ve learned.
Not that that’s a bad thing; it’s just that when you get into conversations, any and all verb tenses are in play, and you don’t have the comfort of knowing what tense to stay in.
So I propose a small test. This will benefit the users who have done most or all of their tree, already, because there are some more advanced units being covered.
However, you can also take the test to see just how much more that you have to learn on Duo!
Here are 15 English sentences. Translate them into Italian.
Write your answers down on a sheet of paper, and then check them with the answers provided below.
In bocca al lupo!!
1) I eat an apple.
2) I ate an apple.
3) I have eaten an apple.
4) I had eaten an apple.
5) I used to eat an apple. (as in , “I used to eat an apple before I went to sleep”)
6) I am eating an apple.
7) I will eat an apple.
8) I would have eaten an apple.
9) I was eating an apple.
10) I want to eat an apple.
11) Don’t eat that apple!
12) You think that I eat an apple.
13) You think that I have eaten an apple.
14) You thought that I eat an apple.
15) You thought that I have eaten an apple.
How did you do? Was that a humbling experience?
Here are (what I believe to be) the correct answers. I will make edits, as the comments point out mistakes.
If you missed any answers, I’m also including the Duolingo unit that you may want to go back and study/ redo.
- 1) I eat an apple.
Mangio una mela. (or Io mangio una mela.) Basics 1
- 2) I ate an apple.
Mangiai una mela. Past
(see note in #3, below) I think that most of us would accept “Ho mangiato una mela.”, here, though.
- 3) I have eaten an apple.
Ho mangiato una mela. Pres. Per.
In English, “I ate” and “I have eaten” are pretty much the same thing.
But, in Italian, the words “ho mangiato” are literally “(I) have eaten”. “Ate” implies the more remote past.
- 4) I had eaten an apple.
Avevo mangiato una mela. Past Per.
- 5) I used to eat an apple. (as in , “I used to eat an apple before I went to sleep”)
Mangiavo una mela. Past Imp.
- 6) I am eating an apple.
Sto mangiando una mela. Gerund
- 7) I will eat an apple.
Mangerò una mela. Future
- 8) I would have eaten an apple.
Avrei mangiato una mela. V. Cond.
- 9) I was eating an apple.
Stavo mangiando una mela. Past Imp. and Gerund
- 10) I want to eat an apple.
Voglio mangiare una mela. Infinit. 1; the infinitive is the 2nd verb, in this sentence, of course.
- 11) Don’t eat that apple!
Non mangiare quella mela! Imperative
With negative imperative, use the infinitive.
"Eat that apple!" would be: "Mangia quella mela!"
- 12) You think that I eat an apple.
Pensi che io mangi una mela. Subj. Pres
- 13) You think that I have eaten an apple.
Pensi che io abbia mangiato una mela. Subj. Per
- 14) You thought that I ate an apple.
Pensavi che io mangiassi una mela. Subj. Imp.
- 15) You thought that I had eaten an apple.
Pensavi che io avessi mangiato una mela. Subj. Per.
Technically, Subjunctive Past Perfect...
I think you've got a typo for the future in #7 - you have mangiò instead of mangerò!
Also #8 - that should be "would eat," in English, not "would have eaten," no? I went for avrei mangiato instead.
Anyway, my imperfect is a Spanified mess right now, so no comment on how terribly I did!
The fourteen sentence is not right, none in italian says "pensavi che io mangi una mela" or "pensavi che io mangiai una mela", you should rather say "pensavi che io avessi mangiato una mela".
This was a very interesting post, thanks Mabby. However, I think (and I stand ready to be corrected) that: No. 7 Should be mangerò for I will eat, No.8 Mangerei una mela = I would eat an apple so I would have eaten an apple = avrei mangiato una mela. No.11 don't eat that apple = Non mangiare quella mela (you use the infinitive for negative imperatives), No.14 You thought that I ate an apple Pensavi che io mangiassi una mela. As I said before I will wait to be corrected with interest!
Keep up the good work though because your posts are always interesting and informative, especially those which tell us different ways to remember things. Best wishes.
V. Cond and Subj are the only ones I don't know since haven't done them yet...
However it just blew my mind that I ate and I have eaten are the same thing in Italian. For some reason I have always thought that 'have eaten' should be mangiavo. I have never fully understood when to use imperfect, but have I really misunderstood it that badly? I've read so much about when to use it and had it explained to me so many time by various Italian friends but now I have no idea what's going on... So many times I've heard a version of the example as told in this blog http://real-english.blogspot.co.uk/2011/04/ate-vs-have-eaten.html, with the explanation of that being the difference between mangiato/mangiavo (or whatever verb). wtf is going on!
Generally imperfect actions are those that have occurred repetitively or over time. The tense is not exactly matched into English, when we are expressing the same thing we might use words like "I was", "I used to", or various other phrasings.
Fun exercise. Thank you for posting. This same exercise would be great with an -er and -ir verb.
I'd suggest #9 could also be "Mangiavo una mela." per essemio, "mangiavo una mela quando è venuto Gianni".