"Do not ask what they think, ask what they do!"

Translation:Non chiedete cosa pensano, chiedete cosa fanno!

March 31, 2013

42 Comments
This discussion is locked.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Graziosa

Why does the first "ask" have to be plural and the second singular? Can't they both be either?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/f.formica

Yes, it can be both plural or singular: however, be careful that the negated imperative second person singular uses the infinitive, so the two options are:

  • Non chiedete cosa pensano, chiedete cosa fanno!
  • Non chiedere cosa pensano, chiedi cosa fanno!

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/marliner

This is a ridiculous question to ask a beginning learner, particularly in this format. That concept has not been introduced, there would be no possible way to know that answer - and indeed I only learned of this rule from your comment.

Thanks for your explanation.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/magofa

I'm not sure I understand why we need non chiedere and not non chiedi here. Is that a rule?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/f.formica

Yes, the tu conjugation in negative imperative always uses the infinitive: see http://italian.about.com/library/weekly/aa011900b.htm


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/magofa

Thank you for the link!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Orikon

The article is great, thank you. Though for some reason Duo accepted "non domandi cosa pensano". Is it a mistake and I shall report it?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/erdnaoluap

I wrote (chiedi/chiedi) and the system displayed to me the first you wrote above and this one as possible:

Non chiedete cosa pensano, chiedi cosa fanno!

Do I have three options then?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/f.formica

Honestly this third option is pretty awkward, as the first part of the sentence addresses multiple people and the second part addresses a single person. I think it's fine from a purely grammatical viewpoint though.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/erdnaoluap

Va bene, capisco "il perché" di questo.

Poi la terza possibilità potrebbe essere (chiedere/chiedete).

Grazie!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/OcampoEd

Can't it be both "chiedi", as if you were telling this sentence to a single person?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/cliv

No. The negated imperative for a single person uses the infinitive. See comments by f.formica
https://www.thoughtco.com/the-imperative-mood-in-italian-4072739


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Laura964337

WHERE does it say this is 2nd person plural? I wrote non chiedi and was told it had to be voi not tu


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/f.formica

"Non chiedi" is not imperative.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Laura964337

Thank you for your response. So... "Per favore chiedi....." is imperative, but not in the negative? For the negative I should only use the infinitive? "non chiedere....."


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/f.formica

Yes; you can read other posts above, or https://www.thoughtco.com/the-imperative-mood-in-italian-4072739. The imperative mood is a bit of a patchwork, and the negative one for "tu" forms with the infinitive.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KathyDent

How did this find its way into revision of 'objects'? They haven't even introduced that verb before, never mind the extremely obscure construction! I have no comprehension of why 'non domandi' was rejected.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/anna684111

How on earth are we supposed to know that the negated imperative second person singular uses the infinitive? It's NOT a good way of teaching as it's only due to f.formica's comment (thank you) that we know this. I am a teacher - don't approve!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MelissaM1212

Isn't this the imperative?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/f.formica

Yes, it is; these sentences come up in other units as well, when relevant.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Kyhesse

why is it wrong to write : "non chiedete cosa loro pensano, chiedete cosa loro fanno" ?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/inky1

my answer ¨Non chiedere che cosa pensano, chiedono che cosa fanno!¨ the sentence is indicated with ¨they¨ so I used the loro form "chiedono" which was indicated as a wrong answer instead this example is shown using the voi form "chiedete". which is the ¨you¨ form why?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/f.formica

In English the subject can be omitted only if it's an imperative, so both "ask" and "don't ask" refer to "you"; "chiedono cosa fanno" would be "they ask what they do".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/erdnaoluap

But how do we know that this "you" the "ask" is refering to is the "you" of the 2nd p.plural(voi) instead of the 2nd p.singular "you"(tu)?

I am thinking that, in Italian, when you give a command/advice to a single person you use the form "ere" because it is impossible to do the same with "-i". Am I right or just losing my mind studying too much?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/f.formica

In English you really have no way to know if you're addressing one person or more with "you"; although technically you're always using a plural (the singular would be thou/thee). In Italian it's immediately evident from the conjugation.

The form in -re is only used in negative imperative, as it's taken from the infinitive; it's not like it couldn't be in -i, using the same form is what French does for instance, but for historical reasons some parts of the imperative conjugation are "borrowed".

So for instance, for a singular "you", you have:

  • Chiedi! (positive imperative, informal - same as the 2nd person present)
  • Non chiedere! (negative imperative, informal - same as the infinitive)
  • Chieda! (positive imperative, formal - same as the 3rd person subjunctive)
  • Non chieda! (negative imperative, formal - same as the 3rd person subjunctive)

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/erdnaoluap

Thank you again sir. I'll work on this. A più tardi!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/bonbayel

Imperatives are only in 2nd person singular (chiedi/non chiedere) or plural (chiedete), or first person plural (chiediamo="let's ask…") You don't ask a "they" to do something.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/EnchantedApril

I wrote "Non chiedete cosa loro pensano, chiedete cosa fanno." Why is "loro" wrong?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/katarina.k7

Why not: "Non chiedere ciò che pensano, chiedi ciò che fanno!" ?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jengoesup

The hover over hints told me it should be the imperative, "chiedere", followed by "chiedete" the second time around; is this correct?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Babboryan

Grr i'm cross i got it wrong


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/iamvered

"Non domandi quello che pensano, domandi quello que fanno."

Why is this wrong?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Diana127141

Spiacente, error in posting answer!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Zsuzsa653663

Why 'chiedi' is not good? 'You' can be singular, too!!!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Moni532

Anyhow this question it was not shown before. I just had to guess how it would be and then I guessed wrong cause if the negative asking for the infinitive...


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MissGrace504

I wrote this exactly as in the answer and it says I'm wrong


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Dianne465361

I put 'non chiedere cosa pensano, chiede cosa fanno' why is that wrong?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Nathan595186

Can someone explain this in simple terms?

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