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  5. "Sei come un pesce fuori dall…

"Sei come un pesce fuori dall'acqua."

Translation:You are like a fish out of water.

January 27, 2014



Would "you're out of your element'' be a good translation? I think it's kind of close as water is one of the elements. It was rejected, but I have a feeling it might be ok (unless I mixed it with my native language ;) ). So do you, English native speakers, use that?


In English, we use the same expression 'like a fish out of water' but to use 'out of one's element' is also natural. Both mean you don't feel comfortable or where you belong. Eg. 'My new job makes me feel like a fish out of water.'


you can even say that in Italian: "fuori dal proprio elemento". It works exactly as in English.


Thanks, I'm glad to know about that one.


"you're out of your element" and "you're like a fish out of water" mean the same thing for sure, but I think the statement "you're out of your element" is slightly more harsh a way of saying it.


because using a simile is less harsh than saying it directly


Ironically, in America, this is so. Here, being direct is frowned upon and considered rude, unfortunately. Using simile is, for some reason considered gentler.


You're out of your element, Donny!... I mean Tony!


We use like a fish out of water. I am Australian.


We do use the phrase, "You're out of your element" but the phrase indicated in the question would translate to, You're like a fish out of water. Both phrases do indicate the same thought though.


"You're out of your element" is an idiomatic expression in English, that means the same thing as "fish out of water". According to Wordreference, "essere spaesato" or the idiom "fuori del proprio elemento" translations of "you're out of your element". "Fish out of water" can be used as well, but since both expressions have their own idioms in English and Italian, that is probably why Duo did not accept your answer.


more often used in the literary way "un pesce fuor d'acqua"


This is the first one of these that I was able to get right away. Not feeling so stupid this time.


It should allow for the simile as well as the metaphor.


In italiano si dice "fuor d'acqua" ...


Even if I will be the 1000th to say this, the correct phrase is SEI UN PESCE FUOR D'ACQUA.


In Portuguese: "Você é como um peixe fora da água"


I actually don't bother translating each individual word, I just look at the words i don't know, in this case "fuori dall" and I can guess the idiom from there!


What's the difference between dell' and dall' ?


dell' = della = of the

dall' = dalla = from the

I come from Italy

( Vengo dall'Italia )

Towns and museums of Italy

( Le città e i musei dell'Italia )


What about the song Fratelli D'Italia?


You can say both "dell'Italia" and "d'Italia".

When Mameli wrote the anthem (about 1850) "d'Italia" was more used, today dell'Italia is more frequent.

If you put in google "dell'Italia" and "d'Italia" you can see and compare the context.

For instance, when a recent strike blocked Italy's highways, all newspapers unanimously wrote: Il blocco dell'Italia continua (Italy's blockage continues).

Nowadays the problem is often skipped using the adjective whenever possible. For instance, while in the 19th century you could easily read "I docenti d'Italia" (The teachers of Italy), nowadays you read "I docenti italiani". Anyway, the first is correct also.

The same goes with the idiom of this thread.

Sei come un pesce fuori dall'acqua.

You could have written:

Sei come un pesce fuor d'acqua.

Both indeed are correct.


So what is the connection between fuori dall' and fuor d'?


surely it should be "like a fish on dry land"? "out of water" sounds like very awkward tranlationese...


This reminds me of the book Fish in a Tree.


Interesting, in Dutch we have a saying 'Als een vis in het water', which means 'like a fish IN the water'... Either the Italians turned it around, or we did. :)


does it mean that one's efforts are hopeless?


it means you're not in your environment your among people you don't know and don't feel good about it, or you're doing things you are not used to do, you feel strange / foreigner in that situation or place.


not in your environment, please notice that my english was wrong :) Just edited ....


Why is both "fuori" and "dall'" needed?


They stand for "out" (fuori) and "of" (da), also in english you can't say " like a fish out the water" you need "of", the same in Italian: "go out" = "vai fuori", "I rest out of the room" = "resto fuori dalla (da+la) stanza"


OK I understand that "come" means like, but in English the idiom is "you're a fish out of water." I wrote that in my translation and it was wrong. Yes, I missed a word, but I thought that we had some license with idiomatic expressions...


In Italian the same: you can omit "come": you can say "sei un pesce fuor d'acqua" and it's ok, even more incisive


Simile vs Metaphor... it's just a matter of figures of speech ;)


Don't you, native English speakers, use also 'It is not my cup of tea' instead of this expression? If not, plese, tell what the difference is


It's not my cup of tea indicates that it is something that others like, but you don't: John loves to get up early for a long bike ride, but that's not my cup of tea. Fish out of water is more that you feel uncomfortable: I felt like a fish out of water when I realized that everyone else in my new school buys their clothes at very expensive stores.


Finally one that makes sense!


I used 'as' instead of 'like'. Why is that wrong?


'You are a fish out of water' is surely a valid English translation


even in italian you can say "Sei un pesce fuor d'acqua" (without *come") but it is a little different sentence.


Hold the mouse over "dell" causes the hint to appear repeatedly, as well as the audio continuously restarting. The voice says the word after the mouse is moved away.


I've never said the "You are" part of this expression in english. Its always been "Like a fish out of water", which seem to literally mean, " come un pesce fuori dall'acqua."


um tell me why "you are a fish out of water" doesn't work!? wth???


I wrote "you're a fish out of water" and got it wrong :/, said i needed the article "a"...?


I wrote "You're a fish out of water" which is how I'd say it and was marked wrong because "You are missing the article 'a' here." Huh?? Maybe it would have been better to include 'like' or 'as' in order to make it a proper simile like it is in the Italian, but I've always said it as a metaphor. Regardless, you wouldn't say "You're a fish out of A water." That's just bad English. Water is mass noun, so it's never singular. Anybody else have this problem?


Actually, you were just missing "like". You had to put it in your translation, since italian sentence has "come".
That's what the (buggy) software was probably trying to tell you :)


Yeah, ok. I guess that makes sense. I was just so annoyed to be marked wrong when I knew I was technically right. lol!


Idioms cannot be discussed. But ' out of one's element' makes more sense than 'a fish out of water' especially because when a fish is 'out of water' it's obviously dead while this idiom means that 'you feel uncomfortable'.


I'm confused about the difference between come and dalle' . Thus is my first post ever so be gently with me , one at a time.


come is an adverb, it can introduce terms for comparison or mean "the same as". es: "forte come un leone"="as strong as a lion" , "sei una brava persona, come me"="you are a good fellow like me".
dalle is preposizione articolata (i.e. preposition+article) "da"+"le" (or the correct article according to the following noun). da is the preposition that usually indicates the origin of something (from, since, etc). es. "vengo da Milano"="I come from Milan" , "ti amo dal primo istante"="I love you from the first moment".
"out of" = "fuori da"

both "come" and "da" can have some other meanings, but I don't know what very confuses you. If you have other question, ask!

PS: idioms are not the best thing for learning grammar: they usually follow their own rules.


I omitted "a" as " You are like fish out of water." Isn't this acceptable because " You are like a fish out of water" is just an idiom? I'm not a native English speaker.


Okay so even with the help from the word translations you won't be able to figure this sentence out.


You are a fish out of water. No as a fish out of water....Ma!


Best known as "Sei un pesce fuor d'acqua". It means the same but it's easier


As a Brazilian Portuguese native speaker I'd say: "Como um peixe fora d'água", rather similar.


However I speak Spanish fluently, I don't know a correspondent idiom, but a word-for-word translation would be: "como un pez fuera del agua"


I dont quite understand the "dall'acqua" part. :/ what is "dall"?


fuori dall' = out of the

The proposition "da" is often taught as "by" or "from," but it's used in a lot of phrases and with a variety of different verbs. It is easiest to memorize as part of a phrase (like "fuori da") instead of the exact translation, in my experience.


I wonder if these idioms would make any sense to an italian.


To me they do hahaha


In English take out the "like." "You are a fish out of water" should be acceptable.


Exact same proverb exists in Turkish


In Holland we say like a fish IN water


I have no problem with the translation but why is is every sentence twice in this lesson?


why wont it accept " you are a fish out of water"


I am from Turkey and we have exact same expression in here. It means "You are so shocked so now you don't what to do" in our language.


Doesn't Duo know more idioms than this?


There was no OUT in the offered words, and it is impossible to add any words not mentioned in the offered words, which I tried to add


I was just wondering what the del conected to l'acqua is all about? Dell'acqua


Umm Im not sure what exactly dall' means.


da + la = dalla (dall' before a vowel) da + il = dal da + lo = dallo (dall' before a vowel) da + i = dai da + gli = dagli da + le = dalle

In this case da means from. Sometimes it means other things, like by or to.


It's a preposition+article. Preposizione articolata (f.) in Italian. They exist in other languages too (here are few examples with French: de+le=du, and German: in+dem=im). Italian simply has much more articulated prepositions.


Im not sure what dall' means.


Is it just me or I just wasted 1000gems for just a few idioms?

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