Thank you, marziotta. I really struggled with this one, just sensing that there was more than just one "missing part" in the way of prepositions and/or units. I was wondering if he was "going on 40 (years)", or...."going at 40 (dying)" ...or "going at (the $ rate of) 40"..???...and all "on the hour, at the top of the hour, per hour, by the hour, or then or now"...???...and I could hardly wait to type in my educated guess, and get to the discussion comments, which I knew would be numerous, and riotously funny and sarcastic....and the DuoLinguals have NEVER let me down!!!!♥
I reckon you must be right, because indeed they have it exactly like that at the reverse language pair (EN➜IT): Lui va a quaranta all'ora .
It's a funny thing though, that preposition: Present in English when there's none in Italian, present here in the Italian phrase but not in the expected translation. So, we have:
- (IT➜EN) Lui va quaranta all'ora ➜ He goes
atforty per hour
- (EN➜IT) He goes forty an hour ➜ Lui va
In the US, we don't. Most likely, we'd say "he goes 40," "he's going 40," or "he's doing 40" (btw, all of these can be used with or w/o a unit of speed, & the first one is the least likely to be heard out of the three) - I don't think anyone here would say "he goes at 40," although you might hear the "at" version as something like "he's moving at a rate of 40mph" (that'd be in a physics class though, not in everyday life… & the unit of measurement would be present almost always, in contrast to your example).
Of course, Brits speak much better (more proper) english than we do here in the states (for the most part! haha)
btw Gordon G, what part of the UK are you in? I'm in southern CA, we talk funny compared with the rest of the english speaking world; although I've been around my country enough to be almost certain that the above is pretty much how we say this everywhere here. & I have to agree with you, the translation is indeed rubbish - in the US, I'd say the only time you can get away with saying "# x/hr" where the "x" is left unsaid (as in the translation given here as "correct"), is when you're talking about hourly pay: say, "he earns 40 an hour," or "he's making 40 an hour," or just "he makes 40 an hour," etc - it would certainly NEVER be used in a context such as this one (apparently, a dude driving in a car - or maybe it's just superman running?)
I agree with what you say about DL's translation. I live in London, pretty much in the centre. There are so many English speakers in the world and I would be very reluctant to say that any one is better, particularly as we UK English are a small minority, though I do find some Americanisms grate occasionally, still love cowboy films though :) Southern CA, that's California? We spent a happy 2 weeks house swap in Sonoma county, but I guess that's a long way North.
>>There are so many English speakers in the world and I would be very reluctant to say that any one is better, particularly as we UK English are a small minority,
agree totally gordon - the Brits don't own English any more - it was so successful it became a common currency and escaped them. The way of the world/life - not complaining. And it's always been a very flexible language anyway. The moment anyone starts saying that someone speaks "perfect" (meaning "refined") English, French, Italian or whatever my hackles rise. Fluency is what folks should aim for - and something worth saying.
Thank you Silkwarrior. I appreciate your view that no one owns English anymore. Sometimes I feel guilty because I am American and so I feel that I have to apologize to the Brits for using "their" language. Some of them are a bit stuffy about it and complain on DL because they use some "Amreican English" phrases. Thank you for your generous comment.
English uses per to express the idea of ratio, i.e. "... in a ..." or "for each". Percent / per cent (%) would actually be translated as "in a hundred", "for every one hundred".
Italian does so using the preposition a + article (al, alla, all' etc).
all'anno = in a year or
algiorno = in a day or
allasettimana = in a week or
all'ora = in an hour or
If you need more help, please don't hesitate to ask.
As translated, this would never be said in American English. There's nothing intuitive about the response "He goes at forty per hour." Comprehensible responses would be "He drives forty miles per hour," "He charges forty dollars per hour" ... An object is needed here, and one which matches the verb.
Disagree. I have spoken English (exclusively) for my entire life, and I've never heard someone say "forty an hour." The problem here is that it has some measurements, but not all. You're either "going forty" or "going forty miles [per/an] hour." When I saw the answer, I said "whaaa???????????"
well I'm tempted to use that old Brit/English phrase "you should get out more". Where are you from? You weren't perhaps also told that you shouldn't use the word "got" as well were you? Or that you have to religiously distinguish between "who" and "whom"? I suppose we'll just have to disagree on this.
I'm from Boston, but I've been to the UK a number of times. :P I know what a pram is, I've heard crisps used instead of potato chips, but I've never heard someone say "forty an hour." Perhaps being in a scientific field, though, it offends me because we get "IN WHAT UNITS" drilled into our heads in school!
>>Perhaps being in a scientific field, though, it offends me because we get "IN WHAT UNITS" drilled into our heads in school!
aha - good answer and explains it I think. I'm from more of an arts/history background - with me in discussions its probably more "define your terms" :) all the best.
I live in New Zealand, which contains (I'm sure) the most lazy English-speakers in the world, but "forty an hour" is used very very rarely. If one is too lazy to say the complete unit, we would almost always shorten to "forty Ks" or "forty K". I always thought this was typical of metric countries, but apparently it's just us lol
That's because it is indeed wrong :) There is no
u in forty. According to grammatist.com, "
fourty is a surprisingly common misspelling that appears most often in the spelling of compound numbers". The correct spellings are:
- 4 - four, 4th - fourth; 14 - fourteen, 14th - fourteenth.
- 40 - forty, 40 - fortieth.