Translation:At this moment he is understanding Italian soccer.
This is not a gerund form but the present continuous tense. -ing endings of verbs in English are used to make continuous/progressive tenses and gerund. Different usage rules are observed and applied. Not all verbs (so-called stative) have a progressive form, one of which is "to understand". One always says "Do/Did you understand xxxxx?" not "Are/Were you understanding xxxx?".
If anyone wants to understand Italian football I can recommend "Calcio" by John Foot. Very interesting, funny at times, finally somewhat downbeat - recommended to anyone interested in Italian society, culture and history even if you have next to no interest in football. Which I haven't.
Comon misunderstanding! Soccer is not originally an American word. Football is the generic term and includes many different codes. In England the two main types are Association Football and Rugby Football. In the last century these were colloquially referred to as Soccer and Rugger, although those terms are now obsolete.
Because of anti-American prejudice. The Brits are literally changing their "own" language to sound more French/European because of their intense and irrational hatred for America and all things they perceive as "American" (most of which are actually British in origin, for obvious reasons). And then they claim to want no part of the greater EU. A very odd people!
It stands for a French mistranslation of the English word "football", of which American gridiron football, Gaelic football, Australian rules football, British rugby, soccer, and many other games are types. The Japanese use the word correctly, however. And I'm sure some others still do too.
Because that's not really what is being said. There are other words used for "figuring out". This tense only implies an ongoing present action. Maybe he's in a classroom being taught about the Italian soccer leagues, important players, and so forth. Maybe he never followed it before, but now he's hanging out with a new friend who's educating him on the topic. Without context, we don't know. I do, however, think that a verb that means something more like "learning (about)" might work better in this sentence, since "is understanding..." is pretty informal/unusual English. Though, like I said, I'm sure there are certain contexts where it'd be correct.
Agreed. And unlike other stative verbs like 'love' (people now actually say 'I'm loving this', I've never heard 'understand' used like this before. I'm going to mark the English sentence wrong. https://www.perfect-english-grammar.com/stative-verbs.html
People do, in fact, say it in the same sort of way as "I'm loving this."
"Thank you, professor, for the extra explanation; I'm really understanding this topic much better now." Though, "getting" is probably more typical.
What we need to be asking is whether this sort of meaning is what the Italian has, or if it's something more similar to literally learning at this exact moment.
'at the moment' (al momento) means 'presently and until further notice' (at the moment the policy is to...) 'at this moment' (a questo momento) means 'right now'. this, of course, is the source of the awkwardness of this sentence which is in present progressive tense and the qualifier doesn't match that.
Like 'know' and 'believe', 'understand' is a non-continuous verb in English (called state or stative verbs by some). DL got this right in another question / thread in which 'sta credendo' was translated as 'believe'. I just posted a comment in another thread about 'hear' and 'see', which are likewise not usually used in the progressive, except when hallucinating. For a number of other English non-continuous verbs, see https://www.englishclub.com/grammar/verbs-m_vmwct_1.htm
This is all in the process of changing though. It's down to a matter of how formal/casual Duo wants its English to be. The younger generations, especially, have no qualms about using all of these verbs in their continuous tenses.
PS, that link you posted seems to be a site designed for ESL learners. As is often the case with ESL lessons, the language is over-simplified so as not to confuse foreign beginners. In reality, all of their listed verbs can and do get used in the progressive tense quite often. "I'm hearing loud noises outside my window at night," for example, is a perfectly acceptable English sentence. "I'm feeling sick right now." And so on...
I think that many people who give a comment on this or other sentences forget that Duolingo ist trying to teach us, in this case, the Gerundium and is "constructing" sentences so they "fit" for the respective lessons. Therefore we cannot expect that the formulation always meets the expectation of each and everyone here. Just take a step back and remember this is all for free !!!!!
Very true. My only concern is whether or not the Italian means what the English translation suggests. "I'm understanding..." as it is used in English may not exactly be what the Italian sentence is implying. We use these progressive tenses much more often than other languages do. For the Romance languages, this tense generally suggests that the action is literally occurring at this precise moment, whereas it doesn't have this meaning in English.
Does the Italian mean someone is learning about or being taught about soccer right at this very moment? If so, would "imparare" be a more natural verb choice? In English if we say, "I'm understanding..." it's generally much more of a gradual process of better comprehension over a period of time. (E.G., "I'm understanding soccer a lot better now than I did a month ago.") I don't think this is what the Italian can mean, can it?
This is technically incorrect English, since 'understand' is a 'state/stative' verb which is not generally used in progressive/continuous tenses. However, we're learning Italian and it's important for us to understand the literal translation even though we would not use in it English.
'understand' is a 'state/stative' verb which is not generally used in progressive/continuous tenses
This is normally true, but there are exceptions. For example, we do say "we're having a party", and that makes far more sense than "we have a party", because a party is a short-lived experience, not something we will own indefinitely. In contemporary English (and McDonalds is perhaps responsible for popularizing this one) we can also say "I'm loving this party", and what that conveys is that right now, I'm enjoying the party.
So this seems to be an exception to the "stative verbs in the simple present" rule: we use the progressive aspect with stative verbs if we really do want to emphasize that this is happening right now.
In this instance, that is what the Italian conveys. The course creators probably chose to use the progressive aspect in English to try to get that across - i'm not just saying i understand Italian football, i'm saying that right now i'm in the process of understanding it.
It's a little weird, kind of an esoteric usage, but if the point is to be a translation of the Italian, it makes a degree of sense.
learning is an ongoing activity. this seems to be an epiphany (in questo momento) no 'imparare', 'istruirsi', 'apprendere', 'acquisire', etc,
if you said "in questo momento ha iniziato/cominciato a imparare..." that would work, but then 'capere' might be a better choice than 'imparare'.
In English we do not use modal verbs in the present perfect. "Yes, I am understanding" = no better way to say "I am from a foreign land, and I speak broken English." Once again, this speaks to the idiocy of translating everything into English instead of the language we're trying to learn.
Utter nonsense. English speakers have been saying and (have been) understanding--see what I did there?--these types of constructions for as long as Modern English has been around. However the ESL teachers may dumb down the language's complexities for you non-natives, it has no bearing on how the language is actually used in reality. Don't pretend to be an expert on things you're not, or else you're the one displaying your own idiocy.
surprisingly this discussion helped me appreciate one the nuances of Italian time maybe "in questo momento io sto capendo che cosa italiani pensano di tempo" meaning right now I have a continuous understanding of the Italian concept of time. It didn't start right now and it may go away later, but within the context of the current moment, I have a feeling of understanding it. Just like "he" is understanding calcio italiano. Understands would imply something that couldn't be taken away "is understanding" implies something different, it feels continuous, but only in the context of this moment. So, while it may be more idiomatic in English to say "understands" when one does, one loses some subtlety. Moreover, understands implies completion, where as "is understanding" suggests something that is happening but is not complete yet, so there are facets that are understood, but the complete understanding still may take more time....
It is indeed unusual because "to understand" is a stative verb. More usual translations are suggested in other previous comments.
I'm English by birth and have traced some English ancestors back to 1316 - the year, not the time!- the sentence may just be pass as English 'At this moment, he understands Italian soccer', implying a third person can see into the mind of the person watching soccer. The whole thing makes much better sense as 'At that moment, he understood Italian soccer', switching the the whole lot into the perfect tense. In my daytime job as a teacher (now retired) I would have spent a lot of time with the child or young person who had written the first sentence trying to make the meaning clear. The second sentence would have been acceptable.
Incidentally, I'm pretty sure I read somewhere that there's an Italian word which specifically means, passing the ball around at the back and not even trying to go forward or go anywhere (because you want to keep the score as it is?) .. but I can't remember what the word is now (or even if I remembered this correctly). Do you know if there is such a word, or did I imagine this?
I understand that we are learning to use gerunds here so some sentences will be a bit forced. My question is, is this sentence as nonsensical in Italian as it is in English? i.e would an Italian say this? Also, I am concerned that sentences like this might confuse non native English speakers and lead them to believe that this is reasonable English.
1) basically, any verb ending in "-ing" in English.
2) I'm not going to explain this in much detail, but you use a determiner with a T added (sta, sto, stanno, stiamo, etc.) followed by a verb ending "-ando" or "-endo". You'll pick it up fairly quickly.
3) no idea, but I tend not to read them anyway. Try accessing the site from a different device.
4) I would say that's just a random coincidence.
One thing to add to what TheFinkie said. Although in English, the term gerund is generally applied to verbs ending in -ing only when they are used as nouns, not, for example, as verbs in the progressive (=continuous) tense. In Italian, however, I believe the term gerundio is applied to all verbs of the -ando / -endo form.
"Soccer" is the English term. The Brits changed their usage to "football" at some point within the last 50 years or so to appease the continental Europeans' mistranslation of the game's name. All other English-speaking nations still call the game "soccer." "Football" is another sport everywhere except in parts of Britain. This has nothing to do with "the US."
Native UK English - this would never be spoken. "at that moment he understood Italian football' or 'NOW he understands It football' maybe 'Finally, he understands Italian football' depending on context. This DL is a a straight translation, but not an English native speaker sentence.
Hmm, I'm going to take the chance and proclaim the English sentence potentially wrong! Here's my reasoning: "to understand" is a non-action verb which makes it wrong to use it in a continuous tense. Some verbs can be used as both "an action verb" and as a "non-action verb", for instance "to have" - you would never use its non-action meaning (the one expressing ownership, belonging) in a continuous tense, like "I'm having a car." as "having a car" is not considered an action. However the action meaning can be used in a continuous tense, for instance "I'm having dinner right now.", as "having dinner" is considered an action (in this case "having" means "eating"). I just don't see how "to understand" could be considered an action-verb.
the translation is not English. Before i scan down the comments, i can see 163 instances of people finding this translation worthy of comment. My contention with it is that the progressive tense is indicating that he suddenly understands Italian football, which can be perplexing (remember when Channel 4 ran the Gazzetta Football Italia about the time Paul Gazza Gascoigne joined Lazio from Spurs?). Football is a far more (or was then) strategic game in Italy than in Britain, where the emphasis was always on physicality, so watching it on telly could be for the uninitiated, boring- until suddenly you get it, and it becomes fascinating. At that moment, you understand Italian football, and you are hooked. You are not understanding at that moment, you understand. Hence i reported this, 30/07/2020.
"In this moment" is grammatical in American English, though its meaning differs from "at this moment".
"At this moment" is used to remark on a something that could be asked about over a wide range of times, to stress that you are only remarking on the state at a specific time. For example: "At this moment, the item is out of stock" leaves open the possibility that it could come back into stock soon.
"In this moment" is a more literary construction, usually used for cognitive or emotional states. It describes states that manifest instantaneously and which dominate the subjective experience. For example, "in this moment, he was afraid" describes a sudden manifestation of fear, such that every other thought, fact, or feeling becomes irrelevant.
Ok, that I can easily believe. Thanks for clarifying. I would definitely understand (and take to be a British-ism) “I will presently be learning Italian” as referring to the near future. My point is “presently” on either side of the pond really refers to being at or near the present time, even if we in the states would usually say “soon” when using it with the future.
The present progressive tense with "understand" is grammatically incorrect. Stative verbs are not used in progressive tenses. Understanding, on the other hand, is the gerund form of the verb "to understand" and is used as a subject of a sentence. The sentence in the exercise here is written in the present progressive/continuous form.....totally wrong here.
Please could the Duolingo moderator do something about the awful translation of this sentence, So far there have been 105 comments surely this merits a drastic change in the translation and to remove the word soccer and replace it with the word football. After all we are using true English not American English,
It shouldn't be. They need to stop catering to the uppity, snobbish, lying, bigoted Brits. The American dialect is more true to traditional English, as is the word "soccer" itself. This is an American website for an American company/app that was partially funded by US tax dollars. They use the American-invented internet and American-manufactured smartphones to access this product. And there are four times as many native speakers of American English than native speakers of all other English dialects everywhere else in the world combined! Brits are so insecure. I wish Duo'd delete all their whiny anti-American comments so that we could all discuss things that are actually helpful and relevant about the languages we're learning.
i don't think english speaking people whether British or colonial are anti american. it's simply that duolingo should recognise there are other valid ways of saying things. surely duolingo with all its tecchy expertise can accept other forms ,or my beef recognise synonyms.
is completely contradictoryThe bar is not high, but this is possibly just about the worst piece of English I have seen from DL. The use of the gerund suggests a continuation however short. The introductory phrase is completely contradictory suggesting an instantaneous revelation. Incidentally the game is football, not soccer, at least for English speakers who don't live in USA.
barterelli: Soccer in the US is the sport most other countries refer to as football as you say. We god damn Americans call it soccer, because I believe that's what World Cup Matches are called as well. And if we called it football, well it'd confuse it with what else, football. World Cup matches take place in soccer if I'm not mistaken, not football. Football is what's played in the US and Canada, professionally as on most college campuses. It has very little relationship to soccer, except for those former soccer players who've made the transition to football where they've earned positions as punt specialists. Soccer's become increasingly popular in the states because it's essentially (in theory at least) a non-contact sport, at a time here when the fear of concussions in football is so much in the news; it's relatively inexpensive when it comes to equipment; it can be played by both boys and girls of all ages, and it's terrific aerobic exercise mainly because it encourages participants to run up and down a field for hours on end, back and forth, occasionally kicking a soccer ball -- or is it called where you are the football ball ? -- until finally one team scores a goal for a thrilling and dramatic 1-0 win.