"The professor had wanted to know why we had not done the exercises."

Translation:Il professore voleva sapere perché non avevamo fatto gli esercizi.

March 20, 2013

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Hi Chris - my explanation is that the Past Perfect tense signifies events that happened before Imperfect tense events. In this case, " we had not done the exercise" takes place before "the professor had wanted to know." I don't know if you agree, but "The professor (eliminating had) wanted to know why we had not done the exercises" is a more likely english sentence and illustrates better the difference between imperfect and past perfect. (As always, my explanations are long-winded and might not make any sense)


Thank you for relieving my distress and coming to my aid so quickly! Nice explanation and now all perfectly understandable :)


I agree that that is a (much) better English sentence, however it is not what was given, and therefore the fact that it does not accept "aveva voluto" should be considered a bug.


I agree with this. We have to give many answers that sound a bit strange in English but we do so because we are practising a particular tense or construction.In this case the given sentence was all past perfect.


Arghh! I just don't get this! Help! Why is it not all in the same Past Perfect tense about which we are supposed to be learning here? Why not "La professoressa aveva voluto sapere perchè non avevamo fatto gil esercizi?"


I think the better English translation of "La professoressa voleva sapere perché non avevamo fatto gli esercizi." is "The professor wanted to know why we had not done the exercises."

In both the Italian and the English, the pluperfect (or past perfect) is used only in the second clause; the first clause is a simple imperfect + infinitive: She wanted to know/voleva sapere.


Is this the same as trapassato prossimo? One of the confusing things is that different resources use different words for the same thing. Ex. direct/indirect pronouns, accusative/dative pronouns, clitic pronouns all seem to be the same thing.

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