1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Italian
  4. >
  5. "Possiamo scegliere un altro …

"Possiamo scegliere un altro sapone?"

Translation:Can we choose another soap?

January 31, 2014

27 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/darkpeak

I can't imagine ever wanting to say this!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/U3ager

I wrote: May we choose another soap? Is there another way t say this in Italian?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ZuMako8_Momo

What do you mean? Do you mean the difference between "may" and "can?" I do not believe Italian distinguishes between the two. «selezionare» is a synonym for «scegliere», though


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/U3ager

Yes, that's exactly what I meant, but Duolingo marked me wrong for using "may" in this context, so I presumed there might be a difference. Thanks for the alternative verb, though.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Susanna35

I usually use "can" regardless, because I have been marked wrong before for using "may" even though it was the better grammatical English. If I remember correctly, I reported one instance of it that was eventually changed. But it seems they will only change the exercise that you report.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ZuMako8_Momo

Yes, you should report each instance. It makes it, I suppose, much easier, than searching the database for each exercise.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ZuMako8_Momo

@eclipsesolaire, just like "can" in colloquial English can be ambiguously used to mean both "to be able to" and "to be permitted to"/"may," so too can «potere» be just as equally ambiguous


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/eclipsesolaire

'can' is are we capable of choosing another soap , 'may' is are we allowed to choose another soap ( ie do we have permission), so it depends on meaning.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ZuMako8_Momo

Ah, yes I would just report that. E di niente! :)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MeroeOMER

I have used "may" many times and been marked correct. December 2019.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Nonna602151

I also had this marked wrong, although it is technically the correct amswer. "May" is used for permission. "Can" refers to ability, and is only acceptable colloquially.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/CiaoSharon

Why is "select" incorrect ?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ZuMako8_Momo

It is probably not in the database yet. Report it. :)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Silvia485058

English is my second language, but isn't soap an uncountable noun? Shouldn't it be another kind of soap? OR Is Duolingo teaching what people say infirmally in a situation like that?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RadoGachkov

can we choose a different soap??????????

it sounds absolutely correct!!!!!!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/gibbett

You are correct. Even though 'another' is the literal translation, 'different' is even more appropriate as far as meaning. The speaker isn't asking to select a soap again in addition to the one they already selected. That makes no sense. They mean a soap different from the one in focus.

In cases where there are ambiguous translations the closest to the actual meaning should count. When we speak we are attempting to convey information. Calling the translation closer to the intended meaning 'incorrect' is missing the entire point of communication.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jae633849

Maybe the people have been offered their choice among a basket of beautiful handmade soaps. They desperately want more than one of them--they're just that beautiful--but they finally manage to pick one. But then their desire overcomes them, and the ask the giver if maybe he or she might be willing to part with just ONE more of those magnificent soaps. Could happen! ;)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Chris187792

I wrote 'May we choose another soap' which is, in English, a perfectly acceptable translation of possere. Indeed, it's a more accurate translation because we are asking permission to choose, whereas to say 'can we' asks the question whether it's actually possible to choose!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Chris187792

I meant to say potere!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Diane540044

As has been said by others before me, "may" is appropriate english usage in the context of the sentence. "can" is actually incorrect as many a teacher will tell you, as it means "are we capable", and may indicates asking permission to choose.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Berto29441

WHY "MAY" INSTEAD OF CAN IS WRONG?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jason792306

Just don't drop it.........unless you want to, of course...


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KGdcprXt

'' may we choose a different soap ?'' is more polite and more correct grammatically than ''can we choose another soap?'' this should be accepted and I have reported it


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jae633849

Cosa ha che non va quello che già hai?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Danae248410

Utterly useless if they can't recognise the difference between 'can' =able.and 'may' = to be allowed.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ChristineH636916

'May 'is better in English


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/spacer5

"May" is a better translation here than "can," since the question suggests the need for permission-- a distinction that Italian does not make, apparently.

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