"Paghiamo la scatola di biscotti."
Translation:We pay for the box of cookies.
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In this case, "Pay the box of cookies" doesn't make English sense, so it's easy to see Pagare clearly carrying the meaning "to pay for". But what if Cookies was something else, like "laborers" - What does the sentence mean in this case: -"Paghiamo i operai" Does that mean "we pay for the laborers" or "we pay the laborers"?
Maybe a subtle point, but I'm interested because I have felt awkward using pagare sometimes (when the direct english translation sound right).
"Paghiamo gli operai" means "we pay the workers [for the work they have done]".
Pagare is a unfriendly verb. For instance: "gli pago l'affitto". Is that "he is the land lord and he collects the rent" or "he can't pay the rent so I pay it for him"?. Only the context can tell :-)
I could make yout the opposite question... is it mandatory to use "for" in English in this case?
In Italian I think you could use "per", but it wouldn't sound very natural...
"Pago per la scatola di biscotti" sounds like "I pay to have the box of cookies"
"Pago la scatola di biscotti" = "I pay for the box of cookies"
Prepositions, they are always so difficult in every language! ;)
There is one case where the use of "per" comes handy, though. It's when you have a double object. Ex.: if I buy a car from Mario, I will need to pay for it. That would be: "pago Mario" and "pago la macchina". But if you combine the 2 then it's a mess: "*pago Mario la macchina". The solution is the insertion of "per": "Pago Mario per la macchina" :-)
thanks. I suppose it comes down to the sense of pagare. I believe that it can mean "to pay" and also "to pay for", depending on the context. In English, we can say "I pay the bill" but not "I pay for the bill". Also, we can say "I pay for the cookies", but not "I pay the cookies".
I guess Duo wants me to come to learn the distinction in the words. Thank you for your feedback. I'm in the US, and here we could also say "I am buying the biscuits, you buy the coffee beans and the milk"--and it would mean the same thing. But I do understand there are two different words they are teaching--so I will be more careful in the future. Thank you again.
funny this one. In England one can have a packet of biscuits or a tin of biscuits. DL is American yet in the USA a scatola di carne is a tin of meat. So WHY is on Earth is a tin of biscuits certified wrong? Alternative answer yes, but not WRONG