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  5. "Ho saputo del tuo matrimonio…

"Ho saputo del tuo matrimonio."

Translation:I have found out about your wedding.

January 17, 2013



Wait, nobody discusses about the sentence? Come on, looks like we have a fight, speak now or never


Things might become clearer if you consider both sapere and conoscere. Both translate into English 'to know', but sapere is to know facts, data, information, while conoscere is to know (be acquainted with) people, places, objects, etc.

So far so good. But the English past tense 'I knew' is a continuous state, which demands the imperfetto. This leaves the passato prossimo tense (completed action in the recent past) with no obvious function. However, being logical, Italian applies it to the action of acquiring the knowledge.

So, the most literally accurate translation is 'first knew', 'came to know' or 'got to know' according to context. But in English it would be more common to say 'I found out [about]' = ho saputo [di] and 'I met' = ho conosciuto. Simple really.


malcolm...great explanation. Not just simple and starightforward, but logical too. Thanks!


Thank you for your kindness. Perhaps we should note for completeness that sapere or conoscere may not be the right choices when translating from English, unless the context is 'first getting to know'. Commonly, found out = scoperto, appreso o trovato; heard = sentito o appreso; learned = imparato o appreso; met = incontrato o fatto la conoscenza di. Note how generically useful apprendere is.


This makes some sense to me since I speak Spanish. But Spanish actively uses the preterite, the imperfect and the present perfect, and this finite concept of knowing which translates as to find out, learn about or meet is only applicable to the preterite. Normally in Italian the passado prossimo can be translated to or from either the English simple past or the present perfect. So my question here is If I wanted to say I have known which definitely would imply that I still know, I would use the imperfect for these verbs?


That's an interesting question. I think you would just use the present tense.


Grazie, I really like this explanation. I read it a couple of weeks ago and really took the English translation "I found out [about]" to heart. So, later, in the same lesson, I get this sentence to translate into Italian: I found out why the motorcycle was not working. So, I translated that as "Ho saputo perché la motocicletta non funzionava." But, no, it wasn't correct. They wanted "Ho capito perchè . . ."

In the instant sentence, I get more of the "found out ABOUT" that my motocicletta sentence didn't have.

Is that the reason the motorcycle sentence wanted "capire" instead of "sapere"? To use sapere, do you need to be finding out ABOUT something? Thanks for your help.


Are you sure that it used capire? That is to understand, so that's different. Conoscere is the other verb generally translated as to know. Sapere is used for the knowledge of facts. It is also used before some infinitives to mean to know how to. Conoscere is used for people, objects, works of art. One source I read said that sapere is for what we figure out with our minds, while conoscere is for what we figure out with our senses. Conoscere can also mean something like to be familiar with.


This is the sentence for reference:


To my understanding, "ho saputo" is a passive discovery. You heard or learned the information from an outside source. "I heard why the motorcycle wasn't working" would be my impression of that sentence if you use "ho saputo".

"Ho capito" is more active. You found out the information by investigating it for yourself. I would translate the motorcycle sentence as "I figured out..." rather than "I discovered", which is a more standard definition that you can find in most English-Italian dictionaries.

These are just my wishy-washy impressions, so I'm interested to hear if anyone understands the difference more clearly or has some good sources about the differences.


Thank you so much! This explains the difference perfectly. Mille grazie!! :)


Yes, I am quite sure. That’s why I asked. :)


Ho=I have, saputo=known, del tuo=about your, matrimonio=wedding.

Edit: Ho saputo (passato prossimo)* = I knew / I found out

I have known ~ I have found out about your wedding


I knew about your wedding is better, I believe...


That would be "sapevo del tuo matrimonio".


I recklessly tried that, despite there being no drop down option, and I was marked correct!


"Ho saputo" = "I have found out / heard / learned"


but my "learned" was not accepted


'I learned of your wedding' is approved.


See the first thread above. Duo often rejects alternatives if they are taught with a different primary meaning (to learn = imparare).


Yes, I was expecting a little intrigue as well.


Why not "I learned of your wedding" especially since "sapere" is translated as "to learn" in other examples.


"Sapere" is to know about something. "I learned" would be "Ho imparato"


DaveVelo1: Not in this context. 'imparare' is to learn a skill, whereas 'sapere' is to learn about something in the sense of hearing about it, becoming aware of it.


The trouble is, nowhere in the references do "learn" or "discover" appear in relation to sapere. The closest is Wordreference, with "hear (colloquial)". Apprendere, imparare e scoprire do the job better.


Though as Roman2095 pointed out in his Reverso citatation that even the infinitive of sapere can sometimes be translated as "hear about" or "find out," the key to understanding the meaning here is the verb tense. In Italian (as in Spanish, but unlike English) there is a clear difference in the meaning of sapere in the imperfect (sapevo) and in the passato prossimo (ho saputo). The first simply means that I knew something in the past. The second, however, means that I didn't know it previously, but came to know it (=heard, found out, learned of). Yes, there are examples at Word Reference under both the WR and Collins tabs. The Italian gloss for this meaning there is "venire a conoscenza" under the WR tab. Under Collins, look under 1a. The matter is spelled a little more explicitly at: https://blogs.transparent.com/italian/passato-prossimo-e-imperfetto/. They give the examples: 1 Non sapevo che eri malato. I didn't know you were sick. 2 Solo ieri ho saputo che eri malato. I only found out yesterday that you were sick. And if you think to "learn of" is confined to school, then when one learns of another's treachery, they must have learned about it in the school of hard knocks.


Reverso Context has a few of them, so it seems that sapere di has a pretty loose range of translations into English according to the context:


I agree with Germanlehrerlsu that "learned of..." might be a better translation as "found out about...." can have connotations of either defeating attempts to hide something, or accidentally hearing about something you were not supposed to hear about.


word reference has an american bias.


My dictionary says that it can mean either marriage or wedding. I guess you have to rely on the context.


I used "I learned" and it marked it wrong, why?


to learn is imparare. Sapere is to know, as with wisdom, to know completely. Conoscere is to know, as to know of, or have met, somebody.


"Ho saputo" is "I learned/heard/found out".


Because of the context, i think. Sapere means either know, learn, or be able to. Of course in this sentence find out is used, but that's because none of the english translations above are appropriate in this example.


"I learned of your wedding" isn't appropriate? It's absolutely standard English and a very common way of saying that one's "found out" something.


I think 'learned' is fine. I also like the translation 'discovered'.


Agreed and still marked wrong. I've reported it. Jan 11 2015


It accepted "I learned of your marriage."


Best use: yelled at your amico/amica.


Oh absolutely...! ;-) Isn'this a wonderful prompt for a comedy/drama sigh


when learning a new word, it might be a good idea if it was in the drop down list!


Any particular reason why the hovering hint for "saputo" is "canned"?


occasionally i find DL has it comically wrong in the hover box


i have the meaning of saputo (sapere) as 'to know, to be able to.'. To find out as in finding out about something I have the word scoprire, would this be a better word to use in this case?


As far as i know, this is a tricky issue with sapere -- passato prossimo or imperfetto. With imperfetto, it means "i knew about it", while with pp, it refers to a particular moment after which you knew it -- i.e., you figured it out/learned/heard about. Learned should be nevertheless ok...


scoprire is discover. could be a good verb for the sentence. coprire is cover, scoprire is uncover. Also remember the root meaning of sapere is 'wisdom'


"Find out" isn't the same as "to know"


I agree completely - it should be accepted.


matrimonio = marriage, not wedding?


It means both. Or, at least, on DL it means both.


So doesn't it mean both in Italy?


How about I knew of your wedding


Exactly. I think that is the most direct and plain translation. That's what I put, and it was correct.


I was wondering if that would be accepted, thanks.


That would be "sapevo del tuo matrimonio".


So it can really be "i have found out" and" i knew about..", really? these are two different things for me:/


I agree. One is a simple fact "knew". The other, "found out" refers to some sort of antecedent. Perhaps in Italian there isn't much of a distinction, perhaps the distinction is contextual, or perhaps this is just a poor translation from DL.


It doesn't mean both and they are two different things, you are correct. "Sapevo" is "I knew" and "ho saputo" is "I heard/learned/found out".


Now I know that when you use passato prossimo it means "I found out" :) When you want to say - I knew about it you have to say " Sapevo" :) Saluti!


i'm lost ...... is there any difference between Past simple and Present perfect in italian ? From what i've seen Passato prossimo can be both


King...Yes, here present perfect is required because 'hearing/learning' about something presumably is a 1 time action, over and done with. Simple past is used for habitual actions in the past or for past conditions/situations that exist over a period of time.


The passato prossimo is technically referred to as the present perfect tense, but when translating it into English it is usually the simple past. They are the same tense, so technically you can translate an Italian passato prossimo sentence as either, but the simple past is preferred and usually closer to the Italian meaning.


Sempre ho sbagliato quando ho detto: "ho sapevo"?


'ho sapevo' is incorrect. you need the past participle 'saputo' with an auxiliary verb. 'Sapevo' is the simple past.


Allora posso dire "sapevo" oppure "ho saputo" :) Grazie mille


Davvero! Grazie - non l'ho sapevo. Sbagliando s'impara!


What's the difference between 'knew the wedding' and 'knew of the wedding'? DL rejects the former.


To be honest, "knew the wedding" doesn't make sense. Wedding would be a direct object which it isn't. One knows OF something, that's why "del" is needed.


How about the following: "Ho scoperto circa il matrimonio".


Circa is an adverb meaning about, yes, but used like "approximately". That wouldn't really work here - I discovered approximately the wedding/marriage. About used as a preposition is needed. Hence, "del" - I knew about the wedding/marriage.


Why is "ho" used here? Doesn't the -uto part of "saputo" cover the "I have" part?


No. Saputo is the past participle of the verb sapere. Ho is the auxiliary verb that means 'have.' You can't use saputo alone without it.


sounds as it you have been keeping some quite important things from me about your personal life ...... ?


Could "I knew" or "I have known about your wedding" work here, too?


Maggie: I believe so, but not being a native I'd leave that up to someone more knowledgeable.


"I have learned of your wedding." was accepted 25.05.2017.


I knew about your wedding was marked right.


tony, I agree w/ you that it sould be accepted. Out of context I don't know how anyone could say that 'sapere' here don't mean to 'know' vs to 'find out'.


"I knew about your marriage" was marked as correct!


That's not the meaning of the Italian, though, for future reference.


Said Drake to Josh on twitter


Why cant past tense?


There are a few exceptions when tenses differ between the languages, but as a general rule Duo wants you to copy the tense used. Since this is present perfect in Spanish, the English present perfect is required.


Now all Italian reminds me much more of soap opera again


It was told all the time on earlier exercises " I heard about your wedding " but NOW Duo wants it different...This is exactly what I don't like about this course.

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