1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Italian
  4. >
  5. "Possono conoscere mio padre."

"Possono conoscere mio padre."

Translation:They can meet my father.

December 18, 2013



I answered "They may know my father." which was also shown as correct. How do we know when "conoscere" means "to know" (an existing state) versus "to meet" (a current or future action)?

March 23, 2014


When you look at the sentence, do you see the word Possono= They can. In English, implying that we can do something or we can do something implies the future and current, correct?

<pre> Same in Italian, except that follow up verbs or adjectives are a big hint that we are using Future or current. Just like in English! </pre>
April 29, 2015


Yes, I agree that context of the sentence or nearby sentences will be the best way to tell the difference. In this case, WordReference and other examples in Duolingo have used Potere to mean "may" or "is likely". So it is difficult to tell from a single short sentence. Thanks for the reply!

April 29, 2015


No problem!

April 29, 2015


Why not: "They might know my father." ?

March 1, 2014


Now accepted, which is logical - one literal english translation is 'they may know my father' which most native english speakers would express as 'might'.

August 10, 2019


Because possono means they can and not they might

March 12, 2015


Wouldn't incontrare be a better choice in this sentence?

May 16, 2015


"Conoscere" implies that the purpose of people meeting is to get to know. "Incontrare" simply means that people find themselves in the same place, usually unexpectedly (even though it can also be used for planned situations).

February 10, 2016


Good explanation! Grazie!

August 17, 2018



May 22, 2019


I second this question!

June 7, 2015


"They can get to know my father" was marked incorrect.

August 20, 2017


Why not "il mio padre"?

December 18, 2013


Just to add on a bit, you omit the definite article for 'singular and unmodified' family members. For example, you would include the definite article for 'my younger brother' because it is modified (Lui è il mio fratellino'). However, if you're just saying 'my brother' you omit the definite article ('Lui è mio fratello').

As a rule of thumb, always include the definite article for family members in the plural (Loro sono i miei fratelli.). Hope this helps!

January 26, 2014


The definite article is dropped from the possessive pronoun for most close family members. Unfortunately I don't recall where the boundaries of "close" are!

January 8, 2014


I'd place it between "mio nonno" and "il mio bisnonno" ;)

February 10, 2016


They possibly know my father?

January 26, 2015


'they can know my dad' It was actually marked correct. That's not even a sentence..

January 23, 2019


mfenix132, same question here... ;-)

April 5, 2014
Learn Italian in just 5 minutes a day. For free.