"Ho saputo del tuo matrimonio."

Translation:I have found out about your wedding.

January 17, 2013

This discussion is locked.


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.


How would we say in Italian: "I knew about your wedding."?


Sapevo del tuo matrimonio.

See previous comments like this one: https://forum.duolingo.com/comment/136355?comment_id=23801498


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. :)


This is a good explanation, thank you, but I have a follow up question. At first, I thought the translation of this in English would be "I have known about your wedding." So how would you say that in Italian because I can't think of any replacements, or does it also translate to that.


In both Italian and French, the form resembling our present perfect is used for both the present perfect and the simple past. Spanish and Portuguese use their present perfect and simple past pretty much like we do, although they also have the imperfect which English doesn't have.


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.


Yes, I was expecting a little intrigue as well.


I know. It sounds like a restraining order may be involved.


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).


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.


Best use: yelled at your amico/amica.


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


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


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.


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".


matrimonio = marriage, not wedding?


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

  • 1797

So doesn't it mean both in Italy?


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.


I love the undertone in the sentence as both "I've found out about your wedding" and "I've heard about your wedding" are accepted answers but deliver a completely different meaning.

I've heard would someone say who you don't know that well, like "Oh, Suzie, we haven't seen each other for at least two years. I've heard about your wedding, I hope it was really nice!", or just "Oh, Suzie, I've heard about your wedding!" meanwhile "Richard, we need the talk. I've found out about your wedding." sounds like so much stress that it makes me both not wanting to hear what's going on while also wanting to listen to the spectacle with my whole drama loving heart. And even in short, "Richard, I've found out about your wedding." is still pretty concerning.


You do have to be careful about making the assumption that this sentence is the best option to express both those English sentences, however. Subtle nuances are something that Duo isn't set up to teach. So just because Duo feels they can't reject a translation doesn't mean that it's really appropriate. Having "refreshed" a couple of languages I spoke pretty well on Duo has made me very aware of these limits on Duo's ability. Unfortunately, Italian is not a language I have much non Duo experience in, so I can neither confirm nor deny the appropriateness of this sentence in translation for the differences you perceive. But I am suggesting that if it's ever important, you take time to investigate further.


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!


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.


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".


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.


??????? This is very incorrect sentence in English


People equate awkward or strange with incorrect, but there is nothing incorrect about this sentence. It's certainly not normal to phrase it in the present perfect. But the present perfect is used to discuss something that happened in the past, most commonly at a vague, unspecified point, that is relevant to the present. This qualifies. I would probably more likely say I have learned of your wedding/marriage or I have found out some things about your wedding, but this sentence isn't wrong, just weird. That being said, since the passato prossimo can be translated either as present perfect or the simple past, I don't know why they wouldn't choose the simple past hear. That doesn't sound strange at all.


i agree with the many suggestions/remarks! also that DL just wants us to learn "stupid"/or unlogic words and sentences just to extend our knowledge of words.... and further as a general comment i would say that there is a difference between a wedding and a marriage(in many languages)! a wedding takes place at a certain moment and only lasts a day (or as in some countries lasts many days) and a marriage is something that (hopefully) lasts for ever..... so i think the idea behind the italian sentence is that someone has heard of somebody's marriage...not of the wedding! that could mean the speaker feels more or less left out! whilst when he says i heard of your marriage then he means he has been informed one way or other about the other having got married some time ago....


They really should provide more accurate translations so one can get familiar with sentence structure. "I have learned of your wedding" would be more accurate a translation.


Actually that's not necessarily true. Italian, like French (and actually German to a great extent) use the form that we would assume was the present perfect, the pasatto prossimo in Italian, for both the simple past and the present perfect. The passato remoto is essentially only a literary tense, although people do use it to talk about the distant past. The imperfetto (imperfect) is a past tense that exists in romance languages that we don't have. But it's essentially a past continuous or repetitive tense that has a few different ways to be translated. When you see a sentence in this tense you essentially judge for yourself in translating whether to use the the simple past or the present perfect. This sentence is a little more complicated than some, however. Since knowing someone or something is a continuous thing, the normally expected past tense of sapere uses the imperfect for knew. But saying I learned and I have learned both use ho suputo.


Up until mow it has been marriage, now suddenly its wedding. Hiw are to know when to change. As there is nothing in context to say it.


I know about your marriage?


First of all this is essentially either simple past or present perfect, both past tenses. You used the present. But if you meant I knew about you marriage, that would require the imperfect. Knowing something is a continuous state and the imperfect is a continuous past tense. The preterite or perfect meaning focuses on sapere as a single, discreet act, which essentially is learning or learning about something or finding out about it. Sapere is one of several stative verbs where the "expected" past tense meaning uses the imperfect.


I wrote " i have found out about you marriage" - duo showed two options wedding and marriage - but it was marked wrong.


I wrote " i have found out about you marriage" - duo showed two options wedding and marriage - but it was marked wrong.


My problem is I heard de, not del. I listened again.


It's a problem that will go away with time. First you will probably learn to hear it anyway, but you will also hear it because you know it has to be there. Sapere is followed by de if you are talking about what you know, and you know that Italian requires both the article and the possessive adjective. So eventually you'll understand Ho saputo del tuo matrimonio regardless of whether your ears caught it all or not.


Why is I found out about two weddings wrong


That would be Ho saputo di due matrimoni. Tuo is the masculine possessive pronoun for tu meaning your. Due is two in Italian, and, of course, that also requires weddings in the plural.

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