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.
Ho=I have, saputo=known, del tuo=about your, matrimonio=wedding.
I have known ~ I have found out about your wedding
See the first thread above. Duo often rejects alternatives if they are taught with a different primary meaning (to learn = imparare).
I recklessly tried that, despite there being no drop down option, and I was marked correct!
Why not "I learned of your wedding" especially since "sapere" is translated as "to learn" in other examples.
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.
My dictionary says that it can mean either marriage or wedding. I guess you have to rely on the context.
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.
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.
when learning a new word, it might be a good idea if it was in the drop down list!
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'
Exactly. I think that is the most direct and plain translation. That's what I put, and it was correct.
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.
'ho sapevo' is incorrect. you need the past participle 'saputo' with an auxiliary verb. 'Sapevo' is the simple past.
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.
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 ...... ?
Maggie: I believe so, but not being a native I'd leave that up to someone more knowledgeable.
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'.