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  5. "Stiamo insieme da trent'anni…

"Stiamo insieme da trent'anni."

Translation:We've been together for thirty years.

March 12, 2014



that is past tense! we haven't learned that yet!


This is a special usage of the present tense in Italian. The key is to notice 'da' in the sentence + a present tense verb. These are translated as: ...have been (verb)...since (or for) (time expression. According to my reference grammar (De Rome) this is a common usage in Italian, so you have to learn to recognize it. Da quanto tempo sei qui? Sono qui da un mese. How long have you been here? I have been here for a month.


thanks so much for this fine explanation, johnrush


Great explanation, thank you, johnrush


"Stiamo" is present, but in this particular case you need to translate it in English with the past, because it's a duration form.




Well, by practicing Duo so it doesn't gobsmack you in a conversatiin some time.


True - but how should we know whether DL is in a Literal mood - or not!


I was aware of that but simply don't trust DL translations, they don't always use correct English tenses, so I keep to the literal translation and hope. This time it was marked wrong


Yes, it's not okay to use this example - it's very special!


If the action is STILL continuing from the past ......English is past tense but Italian is present tense.

I've lived in Italy for 2 years = Vivo in Italia da 2 anni........the present tense is used...... but if the action is not continuing to the present......the past tense is used.

I lived in Italy for 2 years = Ho vissuto in Italia per 2 anni.......note that 'da' has now been replaced by 'per' to mean 'for'


And, technically, it's not in the past tense in English. The "have" in the English sentence is in present tense. The use of "had" in the English sentence would make it past. (The English sentence does include "perfect" aspect.) But, most importantly, as others have pointed it out, the verb's tense/aspect in the English sentence may not match the verb tense/aspect in Italian when describing the same event.


Can't hear "stiamo", even when I play "slow speed". Just siamo. (Stiamo is we stay).


Is gay really your second name?!


Why doesn't siamo work?


Pronouncing - "trent'anni" - 20 times cant get it, though me a good pronouncer!


Same here. Over and over and over again. ❤❤❤❤ this.


Tell me DL, that this is not a fair expectation, at least?


we have stayed together for 30 years... should be right?


I tried "we stay together for 30 years", and it was rejected...


"We stayed..." also rejected. Incorrectly??


Fernando 'We are together for thirty years:' is a corruption of the English language. When you refer to the past and include the present, you must use the present perfect tense. If you say, 'we are together for thirty years', you are no doubt translating directly from Italian, French, Spanish, or Greek,but you are not speaking English correctly.


Side note: German has this same construction.


To summarise some of the very helpful comments here and answer some of the questions:

  1. Duolingo works by trial and error. You don't get 'taught' anything. You find out by guessing and making mistakes. One of the responses here suggests that psychologists agree that the frustration you feel on this type of 'mistake' actually aids your learning. It hurts but you have learnt something. Get over it.

  2. This sentence is an example of big difference between English and Italian. It may be the first time you have met it. Italians use the present tense a lot more than the English. It is explained using more technical terms by others here but basically, if it started in the past and is still happening we use the "present perfect" ie We have been together for ..... However the Italians use the present tense hence Stiamo (present 'we' form of Stare.) This may come up again when you are learning the future tense. If I were to say that I will go on holiday this year, it hasn't started yet and is happening in the future so that is future for the English but the Italians would say vado in vacanza quest'anno. I go on holiday. They only use future tense for things that will happen quite a long way off or for emphasis. (correct me if I'm wrong native speakers)

There now, you made a mistake, got angry with duolingo and you've learnt something, maybe two things. Have nice day.

Oh, and that word Stare as opposed to Essere? Well I'm still working that one out. My best attempt is that essere = to be, whilst stare = to BE. Not quite remain or stay but more than just being.


English also uses the present for some future events that haven't started. "I am vacationing in July." "Next August, I am staying with my parents."


Has anyone else had any problems with "click the microphone and say" on this sentence? I have had this one about 5 times now and cannot get this one right. I don't have the problem with other sentences. I don't always get it marked correct the first go, but usually the second time round, I have corrected whatever it was I was mispronouncing. But not having much luck with this one.


yes, I've had a similar problem. I was wondering if it had something to do with the "contraction" of the Xnta+anni = Xnt'anni.


Just got it again and got it wrong. I think you may be onto something. I think I'm concentrating to get the double consonant in "anni" right and perhaps pausing between trent' and anni instead of running them in. Hope this comes up again so I can see if that is my problem. Thanks for your reply :)


I've had that problem a few times. After getting frustrated, I get out of the program and start over and guess what, after saying the same words, it accepts my response!


To clear things up..."stiamo" (verb stare) as opposed to "siamo" (verb essere), is the present tense meaning "we stay." So to translate, it is very easy..."we stay together for ("da") thirty years." Hope this helps.


Egads! I left the word "for" out of my translation because you can do that in English, but my answer was marked wrong. I think it should be accepted and will report it.


The funny thing is "We are together for thirty years" is a perfectly fine thing to say in English and is, of course, the one time Duolingo ignores its usual literal-translation banality


I agree with SharonBez. I tried it as a more exact translation but it is not really correct English. I've read the other posts and understand now.


for some reason, duo just says this is wrong however often I say it correctly. So I can never get past this point! Frustrating.


I am saying this correctly but the computer is not taking my answer.


Get out of the program and start again. It will work fine from there on....


I pronounced it correctly 5 or 6 times.... really annoying


now repeated correctly about 30 times and it's the last question; I can't go on without losing the whole set.


This seems the present tense to me, not past


Oh, so uneasy when english is not your first language! :(


But the good point is that thanks to Duo you are improving in both languages!


Well done for persevering! Just to let you know, "uneasy" doesn't mean "difficult"; it refers to a feeling of being emotionally uncomfortable, e.g. nervous. For example "I feel uneasy when I'm with Tom". :)


"... and it don't seem a day to long...."


too much?

...when luck was out, when luck was in...


I am SO glad I'm not the only one humming .... though I think it was 40 years ... :) :)


12/25/2020 - This is still not accepting proper pronunciation (I had a native Italian speaker say it as well). In order to move past this you have to press "can't speak now".


Stiamo? Is that a typo?


It is apparently the first person plural of "stare", not "essere": http://italian.about.com/library/verb/blverb_stare.htm


I also was marked down for omitting ' for'. Acceptable surely?


What is the difference between da and dal?


Caio, Kazzzo

da + il - dal

Sei caduto dal cielo? Did you fall from the sky?



I was counted wrong for answering we have instead of we've. Perhaps the owl does not know they are the same thing??


I dont believe I have come across 'Stiamo' before- hmmm.


See Marialramendy's post five up above mine.....


I have correctly pronounced this sentence seven times


There is a bug. I have repeated the phrase about twenty times and every time Duo says it is wrong. I even recorded Duo's version and played it back and it too was marked wrong by Duo....


Why not "we stay together for 30 years"?


This is deliberately difficult and you know it


Stiamo it is the first plural person of the verb stare. Why it is being translated as a past tense? I believe the reply should be we are together for/since the last 30 years.


She definiteley says dal not da


very helpful!! grazie mille.


Can't one use: "Siamo stati insieme per quaranta anni"?


Siamo stati until I am blue in the face. Sveglati e ritorni a dormire.


Stiamo stati....please.


DL I cannot get passed this exercise. No matter how i pronounce TRENT'ANNI , the program fails to recognise. The same is happening when I play the audio of the sentence instead: TRENT'ANNI is not recognised. Frustrating, fortunately this never happens, only here...


Grrr.. it takes me like 30 tries before my answer is accepted.. all other speaking questions are fine.. it happens everytime with this one and i end up cancelling the whole lesson :(


Hey, at least it accepted your reply! It would not accept my pronunciation of trent'anni no matter how many times I said it. My wife grew up with Sicilian grandmothers and they would not take her pronunciation EITHER. Hey Duolingo, translate this: fanculo tutto!!!


I figured out a hack that seems to get me credit for this response!! I get the thing to prompt me for the pronunciation, and then I say RENT. At that point the TRENT' portion of trent'anni lights up in blue. I then say the whole phrase to get all of the other words in the sentence to light up in blue. Then I submit, and the system gives me credit for the response. What a cluster ❤❤❤❤.


I totally agree. Fanculo tutti!


Lol... So frustrating eh.


I speak,he does not accept


why do i not good say?


Sehogy nem fogadja el!Még ha a saját hangját kapcsolom be,akkor se!


H e does not accept my sentence,when he himself says,too!!!

  • 905

I found it impossible to pronounce correctly the part "trent'anni" of this sentence. There might be some trouble with the system.


❤❤❤❤ that language recognition for "trent'anni" ...


Every time I push click on it "Stop recording" pops up and it says incorrect. I have repeated this around 10 times, there is something faulty. Please check


there is some technical glitch


i agree.. i end up wanting to yell the answer.. then go veryyy slowww.. its so hard for the answer to register.


thank you I eventually gave up and closed.


this never picks up my speech .. i have to say it like 30 times.. everytime.. i dread it :(


there is a glitch here. it is never correct


Mistake in listening


Is is just me have a really hard time trying to get my pronounciation accepted.. trent'anni.. apparently very very hard to say..


He does not accept my pronunciation of trent'anni, No idea why. It is every time like this follow the voice but with no avail. I tend to think there is something wrong with the original recording. Advice?


I am saying this correctly but the computer is not taking my answer. i will lose the whole lesson because of this.


The exact same thing happend to me the other day.


It was the same for me, Allen, and for a few others too reading the posts in this thread.


The audio refuses to recognise my voice when I say "trent'anni" no matter how often I say it. I get every other spoken exercise right, and being stubborn decided to keep going till DUO understands the perfectly normally pronounced "Trent'anni" Thirty or so tries later I gave up after reporting 6 0r 7 times. You win Duo!!!!!!


There is a problem with the recording. When asked to repeat the phrase, Duo does not recognised the final part "trent'anni". I even recorded Duo to play it back and still it does not recognise or register. This is not the first time that Duo does not recognise these words. I remember a similar occurence in a previous lesson. I had flagged it then and again now.


I've had that problem too.. very annoying when it was the only "mistake", meaning I could not "move on" to be credited with two perfect lessons.


Da meens since. So why not : we are together since thirty years.


Because that's not the way we say it in English. You cannot translate literally word for word and expect to always be right. "Since" is a specific point in time in English, not a continuous period of time ( at least in this context).


Thanks. But we ;-) are together for forty years now.


It might be the recording on my computer that failed to register the pronunciation. I tried umpteen times.


I have had several problems with the computer not registering part of a spoken exercise. Yesterday I repeated some very simple words about 10 times, each time being counted as wrong. It was the last exercise in the lesson, but in the end I had to abandon the whole lesson. Very frustrating.


I have said trent'anni 10 times and it hasn't accepted it. My accent is clearly too strong. This is the only time I have had trouble in well over 400 days of speaking Italian


I had exactly the same experience yet I never have a problem with any of the other speaking exercises. There is clearly something wrong with this exercise in this unit. I had to abandon the lesson as Duo refused to accept trent'anni. I hope you reported it each of the ten times you failed.


I didn't report this every time, Sue. I reported it just a couple of times but should have reported it more. I was very close to abandoning the exercise but Duolingo managed to identify the phrase at the very last attempt. Frustrating.


Duo CAN NOT RECOGNISE "trent'anni" even if I record the voice and play it back to Duo.... There is definitely something wrong with the recognition of the "trent'anni" by Duo.




It will not accept my answer. I've even recorded the Duolingo phrase and played it back but it still won't accept it.


no matter how I pronounce it, I keep getting told that my pronunciation of "trent'anni" is incorrect. Even when I record the voice and play it back as my own it still insists the pronunciation is incorrect. Problem on the program.


i have tried several times to say trent'anni, and each time i receive a negative red. I know I am pronouncing it correctly. I believe there is an error in your program. Please correct it.


I had the same problem. I even recorded the recorded pronunciation and played it back and still got it wrong. Very frustrating.


I've had the same problem with this pronunciation. Try rolling that first 'r', it may help!


I have said this sentence at least 15 times and it will not accept my "trent'anni". I saying with a French accent. Have tried to report it but no success. I am just stuck on trent'anni. Can't get past this one. Anyone else?


I have had the same problem and been very frustrated not being able to finish the lesson. I have reported it again and again...in the end just have to quit that lesson and avoid it in future , if I can remember which one it is. It is clearly a technical glitch.

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