1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Italian
  4. >
  5. "Ho paura che lui non guardi …

"Ho paura che lui non guardi bene."

Translation:I am afraid that he does not look closely.

January 15, 2014



Never having heard of "guardare bene" meaning "to look closely" (how can one guess these things?), I put "he does not look well" - which is NOT now accepted.


...and a year or so on I'm still making that same mistake!


Seems to really be wrong, but an explanation is missing. At least the hint could be changed to bene=closely


Yes! Otherwise it is a trick statement.

  • 1299

Grrrrrh! It's still not accepted (October 8, 2017).


Nor on 11 January, 2019


DL's english translation is very poor. No native speaker would say "he does not look closely". It would sound much better as, "he is not looking closely" or "he is not looking carefully".


I call COWFLOP here!!!! There's NOTHING that remotely refers to " closely" here!!!!


Where's the word "closely" in the Italian?


"Guardare bene" means "to look closely / carefully".


It would be great if Duo had a section on idiomatic phrases.


It does; it's one of the optional units that you can find in the Lingot Store. Sure would have been nice if the people who downvoted your comment had taken the time to be constructive and mention that since I'm sure that you're not the only one who missed it. I guess that doesn't make them feel big like anonymously criticising through a downvote does though.


Yes, there is a section on idioms in the lingot store. Unfortunately, it does not address most of the idiomatic phrases we encounter in these practice lessons.


yeah, but still doesn't feature this example, unfortunately


There used to be a unit called "Proverbs and Idioms" but it doesn't exist anymore. After Duo updated the program to get "crowns" in 2018.


Just NO. It is a BAD unit they just translate English phrases to Italian. Nothing special.


Why doesn't DL admit that "well" fits this case too? You can watch closely in order to watch well, but the point is watching well! If you want to be creative you could translate "look/watch better" because "guardare" should imply "vedere apposta, con intenzione" = "to look willingly, intentionally", but this is not a masterpiece to be debated. They want to learn Italian, not to get useless & bad items to fill head! May DL let anybody reach to think by himself that in order to watch well it is usually useful to get nearer if possibile!


i am not agree. In italiano closely significa : attentamente- da vicino.


So how would one say "he doesn't look well" (as in 'he doesn't look like he is in good health') in italian?


"Non sembra stare bene", or more usually "Non sembra che stia bene".

Note that "stare bene" means also being nice/polite, for instance "non sta bene" putting one's finger in the nose in public.


non sembra di essere bene. Io penso.


"I'm afraid that he may not watch carefully" rejected. DL seems awfully inconsistent about when "may" must or must not be used in translating the present subjunctive. Can someone please explain when it's appropriate and when it isn't?


I find this question very appropriate!


"Look good" vs "look well"! Very tricky sentence! Does "guardare buono" mean anything in Italian? Or can "guardare" only being used in the sense of actively looking at something and not in the sense of appearing to be something?


Everything means something in every human/animal/vegetal/world language, but I advice to think GUARDARE as WATCH, while SEMBRARE fits for LOOK LIKE/AS.


Why 'guardi' instead of 'guarda'? Imperative rather than simple present?


Guardi is subjunctive here, not imperative. Simple present should not be used with "aver paura" (to be afraid) in the main sentence. Subjunctive is needed when expressing fear, uncertainty, doubt etc.


Don't understand this


I don't blame you; subjunctive tense is mind bending especially for English speakers, where the form is largely dead.

I find it useful to refer to verb tables such as this one: http://italian.about.com/library/verb/blverb_guardare.htm. You can see that it's divided into groups like "Indicative" (the verb forms that indicate that something has definitely happened), "Subjunctive" (which is the form that you use when something is (amongst other things) a doubt or a wish, and Imperative (which is the form used when giving an order or instruction).

What BatInTheRain is saying is that in this case the verb isn't imperative; it isn't giving an instruction. Nor is it Indicative; it isn't saying that the he DEFINITELY has not looked closely. It is instead saying that the person BELIEVES (or fears that) he has not looked closely. Therefore you can't use the indicative form of the verb (guarda, in the table that I pointed you to above) but rather the subjunctive form (which you'll find under the heading Subjunctive, then Presente, in the table that I pointed to above. That is, "guardi" is used rather than "guarda".

Unfortunately this is the kind of thing that will only come naturally with practice. A LOT of practice. While it's important to understand the grammar, it's impossible to think in terms of grammatical rules when you're trying to construct a sentence.


Thank you for the good explanation.


Best answer in doing a year of duo lingo. Thanks!


My GUESS is: 'non guardi' - he may look, 'non guarda' - he doesn't look.


how about in English


That's my question too.


Funny. Google translate says, "I'm afraid he does not look good." Google needs some help, maybe?


I understand why this sentence can't end in "he doesn't look well" because that suggests that he appears to be ill. What I don't understand is why this sentence can't end in "he doesn't watch well." This is not exactly synonymous with "he doesn't watch closely," but it seems to allow for other flaws in watching besides "not closely." This translation isn't standard English, but it seems to me to capture more fully the meaning of the Italian. What's up?


"I'm afraid that he doesn't take a good look." is the best translation here.


I was upset for the other suggested good answer: 'I'am afraid that he doesn't look well.' Could you please erase that? 'look well' means something else.


From Linguee it does appear that guardare bene can either mean "to look closely" or "to look good".


As Italian native I can say that "Guardare bene" can only mean "to look closely / carefully". In some circumstances it could mean "to pay attention", but not in this case anyway. It just doesn't mean "to look good" or "to look well", with the meaning of having a good appearance. So I am not sure that the English translation "he doesn't look well" is correct, because that would have a quite different meaning in English, at least with no context given.


Thanks! So linguee has a couple of bad translations in it. (Not a big surprise.)

In this sentence, I think "I'm afraid he does not pay attention" would make a lot of sense. I imagine a teacher talking to the parents of a student. "He does not look well" is therefore entirely wrong.


I think that the point that I get out of this is that English uses "look" in both an active and a passive sense and the two are quite different in meaning, whereas "guardare" is only used in the active sense of "looking at". You could find the occasional translation of "guarda bene" to mean "look well" but that would only be in a context where it means to look closely.

<h1>Imagine a fellow looking at a person watching a binocular from the wrong side!</h1>

"Closely" is not always "well".


Thanks, it is still very confusing.


The whole topic is quite inconsistent. Some other sentences insist on using English subjunctive, but here ''I am afraid that he not look (or watch) closely" is not accepted.


"Does not look properly" should be acceptable, I think.


Why not : I am afraid he doesn't look well


Can you translate this as '' I am afraid that he does not see well''?


❤❤❤ do you say to see well in Italian? I used these words to translate and it was not accepted, but guardare is not to look/to see?


Tricky. ...but, sigh, useful.


and how would you say "he does not pay attention"? Seems like it means the same thing.


This should be that he does not look well. Or put that Bene is also 'closely' as that's not listed in the options of possible meanings


24th August 2020 and bene still means closely in this one off instance. Why?


What are they trying to say - look closely, carefully or look well - It would be great if Duo Lingo can tell us what this actually means - HELP


bene = closely?..

  • 1084

How do you get to the Lingot store?


"I am afraid he that he is not looking carefully" should be accepted.


it shouldn't, because you're using 'he' twice ;)

Learn Italian in just 5 minutes a day. For free.