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  5. "Aspettiamo da circa sessant'…

"Aspettiamo da circa sessant'anni."

Translation:We have been waiting for around sixty years.

February 23, 2013



Anyone attempting to take a bus in Rome will find this phrase useful.


Especially with the 170.


Count your blessings. Count your change.


I wrote "We wait for about 60 years" they wanted "waited" What part of "Aspettiamo da circa sessant'anni" makes Aspettiamo past tense? I've converted these to past tense before where it seems appropriate and have been told I was wrong.


You can tell it from the use of "da" = from/since instead of "per" = for.

If you wait since sixty years then your waiting began a long time ago. You have been waiting for sixty years, - and you are probably still waiting.

We wait, since, about, sixty years. ~
We have been waiting for sixty years.


that really good, thanks for that a lot


Where it is the past tense...but continues into the present as does this ...the present tense is used


In some languages (Italian being one of them) this is how you express this thought. The best way to translate is “We have been waiting...”

Every language is different.


German4me22, if a condition started in the past and continued to the present then it is denoted by present tense verb is helpful to know, thank you. Yet I note that the converse is not implied; i.e., if the present tense is used, it is not necessarily the case that the condition (waiting) began in the past and continued to the present. It may never have been sustained in the past.

The exercise uses the present tense ("aspettiamo") and it seems that DL assumes (incorrectly?) that "aspettiamo" must be translated into past tense. Does this assumption not entail a logic violation?


See the explanation of formica below.


Is that a counter top material or an ant?


Is it more correct to say "We wait for about sixty years" as the sentence is given in the present tense. I understood (if ever I really understood much Italian!) that "We have been waiting....." would be "Abbiamo aspettando....."

  • 2670

No, "abbiamo aspettando" is wrong; that would be "stiamo aspettando", but even then that's "we're waiting", not that different from "aspettiamo". The closest literal translation for present perfect continuous would be switching the continuous form with a modal: "Siamo stati ad aspettare per circa sessant'anni".

P.S: If you say "we wait for about sixty years" the waiting starts now; you need to use a past in English if the waiting began sixty years ago, as in the given sentence.


"We wait for about sixty years" does not mean the waiting starts now. Simple present in English is used for things that are generally true, repeated actions and unchanging situations. So, "we wait for about sixty years" is not something we are doing now or at any particular time, but rather it's likely to be a repeated action. "How long do you usually wait for the bus?" "We wait for about sixty years".


But "We are waiting for sixty years" is present perfect continuous but is marked wrong.


No. It's present continuous. Present perfect continuous would be, "we have been waiting...."


It's actually the present indicative form, no?


I'm not a grammarian, but as I understand it, it's simple present in the indicative (as opposed to the subjunctive) mood. As the subjunctive mood isn't very commonly used in English, indicative mood is normally assumed unless otherwise stated.


Thank you, signore Formica. I have read this many times in the past eighteen months, but it is just now making good sense to me. Because they certainly do not intend to convey that, as you say, the waiting starts now. Instead, they're saying that they have already been waiting for about sixty years. I hope they don't have to wait much longer. :)


Would "abbiamo aspettato" not be a better translation of "we had waited" than "aspettiamo"?


Abbiamo is a different meaning of the word "have". It refers to possession, not to indicate the imperfect tense


I don't follow Kironi68's point but doesn't abbiamo aspettato = we have waited & avevamo aspettato = we had waited?


It is still a little confusing, but your contribution helps enormously.


Maybe I'm not far enough in my studies but I was also confused by the verb tense. What indicates that this should be past tense? thanks!


I think the explanations in this post are not completely clear, but I'm guessing that the main point is the "da" in the italian phrase. Since the "da" points that the time waited began 60 years ago, it means that "we have been waiting", considering that "we wait for" would determine that the waiting period would be starting now. Is that right?


This seems like an accurate assessment based on all I read above, though why the engineers of Italian grammar would not have chosen to you a past tense form of the verb to express the thing having been done for sixty years past is frustrating and puzzling.


yup, having read through all the others and even understood a few, I agree with YOU!


Well , each language is different. We have to learn them as they are, we cannot mold them into our languages, no matter how shockin (to us) the rules are. Btw for this sentence my mother tongue uses present tense as well, like Italian.


why is "roughly" no option for "circa" ?


why "almost" is not a correct translation for "circa"?


'quasi' = almost


Because almeno is almost. It's a more specific word, same in English around and almost do not mean the same thing.


almeno = at least


Of all the practice sentences in Italian, it is this one that continues to baffle me...now matter how many times I read f.formia's explanation!


This is one of a (fairly small) number of sentences that I will just do repeatedly until I can get it right and move on, and then forget it. If the entire tense hangs on the use of 'da', then since I have never found any clarification as to when to use any of the various ways to prefix a word, there's no point my trying to make sense of it.


Aspettiamo is "we wait" but the translation is "we have been waiting" which should be "stiamo aspettando" When I conjugate aspettare, I find that the subjunctive is also aspettiamo as well as the imperative. What then does "aspettiamo" mean in the above sentence?


"We have waited for around sixty years" must be also accepted!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


why " aspettiamo da circa sessanta anni" is not correct?? I thought both forms, with an apostrophe and without are correct. I am getting really confused :(


We are waiting = we have been waiting? Please.


And 'we waited'


Wouldn't it be 'Stiamo aspettando?


about and around in English have the same meaning


I've come across this construction before, where DL uses a "presente indicative" conjugation to translate into what appears to me to be a conjugation in "passato prossimo." It stops me in my tracks every time and becomes another one of those things I just have to remember about Italian. No clear translation to English here. A me va bene! Adora l'italiano. :)


"We wait for about sixty years." I know this doesn't sound great in English, and it's totally literal, but isn't it a CORRECT translation?


Sounds like he is saying "dal" in the fast version


How is it in the past tense ?


what kind of translation is this "We are waiting = we have been waiting" Seriosly ???


There's no reason this shouldn't be translated as the present tense, like we wait for sixty years before..... or even the future understood as in we will wait for sixty years ....before... Aspettiamo is not the past tense


I think ". . da circa sessant'anni." means ". . from about sixty years" and that is indicating that you ". . have been waiting for about sixty years" rather than that you will start waiting now . . for about sixty years.


italian present tense is often used to convey the idea that something that began in the past is continuing into the present. the very sense of this sentence. "lavoro qui da tre anni", "sono malato da tre giorni."


I said almost 60 years. around and almost means the same in English


not necessarily if it's 65 years and you are counting from year one it is not ALMOST as you have already passed 60 in this number, but it is still AROUND 60 I hope this clears the problem up


Why is it not "we wait for almost sixty years"


Because “almost” and “around” have completely different meanings. Read my comment from a month ago.


"Aspettiamo da circa sessant'anni."

Aspettiamo da = We wait from
circa sessant'anni = about sixty years.

We wait from about sixty years ~
We wait since about sixty years ~
We have been waiting for about sixty years (and we are still waiting).


The voice only says: "Asprttiamo da circa sesssanta". But the written answer is: "Asprttiamo da circa sesssanta anni"


The voice conveys: "Asprttiamo da circa sesssanta". But the written answer is: "Asprttiamo da circa sesssanta anni". Then the system considers a mistake for you.


If you play it slowly he says sessanta anni not sessant'anni


In the previous exercise I wrote cinquant' anni and got marked wrong for not typing cinquanta anni, now dl wants me to use sessant' anni. Can anyone help with whether this is a problem or is it just that you don't drop the 'a' in cinquanta but you do I sessanta when followed with anni?

  • 2670

Both cinquanta anni and cinquant'anni are fine, the latter being more common; I'm inclined to think that your mistake is putting a space after the apostrophe. It's an orthographic mistake, not a grammar one, but the word cinquant' probably doesn't exist in DL's database (and rightly so).


some exercises before I got marked wrong for writing quaranta anni, dl said only quarant'anni would be right... https://www.duolingo.com/comment/915056


I have seen "da circa" and "per" meaning for "for [years]". Could you say per circa?


so annoying why in some Q they accept to type numbers and in this one not and took my last heart!!!


Since Duolingo says it is wrong, how do you say "we wait for around sixty years"?

  • 2670

"Aspettiamo per circa sessant'anni".


This should be present tense if duolingo is consistent. We wait for around sixty years. Also, I think 'roughly' should be an acceptable translation for 'circa',


I have complained about this before. Why is the answer in the past tense when the verb aspettare is in the simple present? I have to write what I think is incorrect just to get to the next level.


Because English uses the imperfect continuous to express this idea and Italian uses the present.

Think of the "have" in "we have been waiting" as "present tense".


'have been waiting' is not imperfect continuous. It's called present perfect progressive (continuous in older books). In other words, an action that started in the past with an effect in the present times.


See the explanation of Formica above.


Jules Rimet still gleaming...


19 Sep 2018 - It should not be "we waited", as this indicates that the action is finished and "aspettiamo" is not past tense. "We wait/we have been waiting" should both be accepted, as it shows the waiting is ongoing. Reported.


Surely it can be we wait or we are waiting but not have been waiting. That is plain wrong.


where is the p'p'been


Why is "We have waited..." wrong? The emphasis is more on the fact than on the duration (as is the case with "we have been waiting..."), but still refers to a period of time starting in the past lasting till now. Please help.


"We have waited" implies that the waiting is over (We have waited for sixty years and now the time has come). "We have been waiting" implies that the waiting is still going. (We have been waiting for sixty years, why are we still waiting.)


Is there no past perfect tense in Italian?


I think you might mean "present perfect" here. Yes they have that in Italian and past perfect too , but those are not quite right in this case.


I am syrugglingvto reconcile the difference between 'We have waited...' vs 'we have been waiting...'


We've have been waiting for about sixty years was marked wrong. Not sure why,


"We've have" doesn't make sense.


DL is so inconsistent! You never know whether they are looking for a literal translation or an idiomatic one!!!!


Oh, this is an interesting sentence. I understand that the present indicative can be used in slightly different ways in Italian than english, but here is my question: Could an equivalent sentence be "Siamo stati aspettando da circa sessant'anni"? I'm just asking for my own curiousity to learn. If so, which is a more common way to say it? Thanks

  • 2670

"Siamo stati aspettando" is not a tense in Italian :) Colloquially in an informal register you could say "siamo stati ad aspettare per circa sessant'anni".


Seriously Duo...it's very confusing for your learners when you translate this sentence the way you have here. 'Have been waiting' is the English present perfect progressive tense and describes an action that began in the past, continues in the present, and may continue into the future. I don't think there is an exact equivalent tense in Italian, and so Italians are more likely to use the present tense or even the imperfetto. I understand that Italian native speakers do use the present tense colloqially for many other tenses, but this is a learners site...aspettiamo means 'we wait'. We have been waiting six years for you to read this discussion and sort this out.


I'm not a native speaker of Italian, but I am of Portuguese. Even thought we have an exact equivalent to the English present perfect progressive tense, we also use the present tense to replicate the same action (that you described). The key is the use of a preposition (desde in Portuguese, and, I believe, da in Italian). In other words, the present tense + "da" preposition replicates the equivalent to the present perfect progressive tense in English. I understand that this is what Duo is trying to teach us.


Haha...hmm...that's a great help, thanks very much. A little explanation goes a long way! I'm sure you're right as Spanish and Portuguese are so similar to Italian. I've never encountered this construction in Italian before ...and that's after 5 years and 25 levels on Duo, as well as 6 months in Italy doing language courses. Really great to have it explained so well...thanks again!


I went for: we wait SINCE... isn't that the same thing? Might be my english letting me down though.


No sorry, that won't work. You can use SINCE with a time ( we have been waiting since 5 o'clock ) but not with seconds, minutes, days, weeks, months or years.


We are waiting around sixty years should be acceptable. We contract sentences in English just as they do in Italian.


'We wait here for round sixty years" is the correct translation. Change the tense of the verb. So much has been written by others about this in this forum and Duolingo has done nothing about this. Does no one at duolingo read this forum. Having to write here is frustrating a waste of time. Before I agree to remove the advertisements Duolingo needs to look at what users say here.


For the Cubs to win the world series! Oh yea that would be about cent'anni


...for some chicken. These seventy men look hungry.


good lord where do they get these sentences from


[in correct English, we would say 'where do they get these sentences' No need to add 'from']


Wow. Whatever it is, I hope it's worth the wait.

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