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  5. "Il riscaldamento va e viene."

"Il riscaldamento va e viene."

Translation:The heating comes and goes.

March 31, 2013



not sure what this means. Please explain.

  • 2547

It means the heating's not working in a stable way, sometimes it does and sometimes it doesn't, randomly.


I see you're learning spanish too. I'm native spanish, and I can tell you that you'll find this same phrase in Spanish too... it means "va y viene", I mean, it's works randomly: sometimes it works fine, sometimes it doesn't work, sometimes it works poorly... it isn't stable :)


Wow we have a similar phrase in greek too which is used the same way . Πάει και έρχεται (pai ke erhete)


It's extra confusing because in English we would be more likely to say that it comes and goes, as opposed to goes and comes.


Quite right. The translation here could make learners think that va = comes & viene = goes when it's the other way around. Va is from the verb andare (to go) & viene from venire (to come). Irregular verbs are tricky enough without confusing beginner students!!


Try to think of it this way... it's gotta go before it comes back.


To understand that, I take into account what is the point of reference. "Comes and goes" if it comes is because it was gone. If a dive is supposed to be on constantly then you would notice the problem because it "goes and comes".

The opposite is applicable: if the device is supposed to be off most of the time and you just turn it on to used at specific moment then you would notice that it does not work at all or that it "comes and goes".

The heating in my appartment have dual aspects. Let's say I have the heating on the whole day during winter and then the Super of the building starts turning service on and off during the day. From this point of view I would day that heating "goes and comes". That is because it was supposed to be on in the first place then I noticed the problem when it stared "going and coming".

Now let's say it's the end of the summer / beginning of the winter. The heating (the service provided by the landlord) is suppoed to be off. But during the week the Super of the building has been turning on and off the heating. Then I would say "the heating has been coming and going the whole week".

Same thing when one says "back and forth", "in and out", etc.


It doesn't have anything to do with any specific order or whether something is usually on or off. "Come and go" is an English idiom. That’s just how we say it. :)


They're fixed phrases. I agree the Romance language versions make more sense than English in this case, but you can't use that as a reason to swap the order in English because it will still sound strange.


Swapping the normal order like this keeps one on one's toes though; true?


I had an apartment like that once. Sometimes the heat was working, sometimes not.


This is what observe and understand. Similar to Spanish

Irse e Venire -Go (away) and come (back)- refers to the suspension and reactivation of certain services like electricity (often called "corrente" or "luce") and water. You might hear "la corrente si va ogni giorno alle otto e viene alle undici" Everyday the light goes (away) at 8:00 and comes (back) or returns at 11:00. This is, everyday the electric service is suspended at 8:00 and reactivated at 11:00. "La luce va e viene ogni giorno a la stessa ora, da cinco a sette dalla mattina".

Ire e venire (go and come) refers to the functioning of something. "Il ricalentamento va e viene" (the heating -referring to the heating system- goes and comes). That is, it stops working and then starts working again.


What about: "The heating is on and off"?


Your phrase does mean the same as the given answer, but I'm not sure that it's an accurate translation.


I think "The heating goes on and off" would be better.


That describes properly working heating though. Comes and goes suggests something different: that it is irratic.


Yeah that's what I wrote...


So somebody should call the most famous Italian plumbers that we all know very well ;-)


I think in French we say "va et vient" ; just like in Italian and in Spanish. But unlike English, which prefers "comes and goes". It sounds better !


Though harder to make certain jokes (that I probably shouldn't specify on a PG site)


"Va e viene" which is "comes and goes". Is there a grammatical reason for the word order?

  • 2406

No, just long tradition. It sounds weird to say "goes and comes". It's what's called a set phrase.


I don't know of any reason why English has the words in that order no. Euphony is the usual reason (it sounds better in that language)


why not ´goes on and off´? Isn´t ithat a more appropriate way when you refer to machines?


'Goes on and off' in English means it is able to turn on and off. 'Comes and goes' in English means it randomly turns on and off, implying a malfunctioning machine


Yes but the heating can mean the procedure of heating as well. And hence the heating can go and come again.


Might be good to be able to "un-report" something! I caught onto this one a bit too late.


Why is comes and goes no option?


It is an option, if put in correctly.


Il riscaldamento è una cosa instabile.


how about telling intermittent? cause va and viene are for walking by steps


Similarly in French, va et viene


Hi guys can you help about this words am always mistake with it. I have road( the heating goes and come ) I have got it wrong now I don't know which is which.

  • 2406

Literally word-for-word, the Italian says "The heating goes and comes." But in English, we say "The heating comes and goes". Translation is not about one-to-one word replacement. It needs to fit the target language.


last time it was ticked as correct and the dictionary says central heating!


Southern European problems ;-)


Good to know the phrase)


Why not 'central heating?

  • 2406

Because that's a very specific sub-type that's not implied in the original.


Same mine...haha You're funny Duo.


Considering the lengthy discussion this has caused, perhaps this sentence should be moved to the idioms lesson. Can we all just agree that idioms are the way they are through tradition and traditions are regional and cultural. Romance languages do it one way, English the other. (I don't know if it extends to other Germanic languages. Any German speakers?) It's not unusual for English to be opposite of everyone else. Look at how the English insisted on driving on the left side of the road for no other reason than the French use the right. LOL Although, it also has something to do with one's sword arm.

  • 2406

No. Just being framed a little differently or having a different grammatical construction is not enough to make it an idiom.

The idioms section is about the kind of idiom that is completely opaque and cannot be understood at all on the surface.


Judging by the number of posts saying it didn't make sense and it should be "on and off" suggests many highly intelligent people would differ. When this many people are confused, I usually stop blaming the people. The heating, whether it's "comes and goes" or "goes and comes", suggests on face value that your heater it getting up and leaving the house, only to return when it's finished its errands. I see your point that there are many idioms that are much more baffling. But, I guess it's a matter of degrees. How "opaque" does it have to be to qualify? Is "translucent" good enough? ;-)

  • 2406

The complaints come from a solidly English-language sense that the words "on" and "off" need to come in a certain sequence. I don't think I've seen anyone say they don't understand what it means, just that they don't understand why it's said slightly differently.

An idiom would be more along the lines of "Non vedo l'ora". Literally, it says "I cannot see the hour". Can you guess from this that it's used to mean "I can't wait"?


Yes indeed. And when will (some) people realise that they shouldn't be trying to stamp the authority of their own language on the one they are learning.


Why can't i say "The heating is coming and going"?


I wondered that too - as that's also what I wrote. In some languages 'It goes' and 'it is going' is the same tense. Maybe this is not the case in Italian. Can a moderator please clarify this?

  • 2406

In this case, it's a matter of that's not how the expression works. Just because you can use the simple present or the present progressive in general doesn't mean they mean the same thing and isn't always appropriate in all contexts.

The expression "the heat comes and goes" is always in the present simple. It means "sometimes the heating works right and sometimes it doesn't".

"The heat is coming and going" sounds off to me as a native speaker of Midwestern American English. It's not something that can be happening right now. It's the general overall state of how the heating functions.


@Rostellan I'm not a moderator, but I might be able to help. Translation is as much an art as a skill. It would behoove you to give up on always finding a direct translation. Especially, with sayings and idioms.
"It goes" is plain, basic, vanilla, present tense. The funny thing is, we English speakers don't speak in present tense as often as one might think. We often use the gerund, as in, "It is going." It would sound strange to an English speaker to say, "Ok, I go now." We would use the gerund, "I am going."
However, speaking in present tense isn't strange in romance languages, such as Italian. If we were to write the sentence above as a gerund, it would read: "Il riscaldamento sta andando e venendo."

But "comes and goes" or "goes and comes" sounds better to me, especially being a turn of phrase.


In my opinion it shoul read 'it goes off and on' because it would rightly signify the heater's epileptic function.


i wrote - The heating goes on and off- the answer is marked as wrong?

  • 2406

As explained elsewhere, "goes on and off" is how it's supposed to work.

"Comes and goes" means sometimes it functions the way it should and sometimes it doesn't.


thanks for your explanation, it makes sense


Why not "il calore va e viene" ?

  • 2406

In English we can use "heat" to represent the heating system, but it's not a good idea to assume it works the same way in Italian.


in English we normally would say comes and goes rather than goes and comes. Would that be marked wrong?

  • 2406

"Comes and goes" is the appropriate translation and should be marked right.


In English we usually would say 'comes and goes'.


We usually say comes and goes in America


Handy phrase in students accommodation in the middle of Rome in winter, I suppose?


In English one would always say "comes and goes" not "goes and comes".

  • 2406

Yes, the English is "comes and goes" and the Italian is "va e viene".


should be: The heating goes and comes as "va" means "goes" Am I right???

  • 2406

Translation is not about just swapping out each word as you get to it. Different languages say things differently. In English, we say "it comes and goes".


For the purpose of the exercise and getting it right, "goes and comes" is correct and word for word like Rae says. But translation is an art more than a science. I'm pretty sure most English speakers say "comes and goes". At least my NE American matches my British wife in this respect.


I write "the heating is going and coming it

  • 2406

This is a case where the idiom differs between Italian and English, and so we need to reverse things to render it naturally in English. And in English, we say "The heating comes and goes". It means that it's not working the way it should; it's kind of broken. Sometimes it works okay and sometimes it doesn't. And this kind of thing sounds rather odd in the continuous aspect. It makes it sound like the on-again-off-again is all happening right now in this very moment rather than being a general description of how it works.


As a native British Englishman, I can confirm that we would not say it this way, as we talk about something "coming and going", not "going and coming".

  • 2406

Yes, and the official English translation is "The heating comes and goes."


But that's not how they say it in Italian. Different language, different framework.


I think, this is the complaint of a woman around the age of 50!


The words are not in that order. It says "goes and comes."

  • 2406

Yes, but in this case we want to translate it according to how we actually say it. In English, we say it comes and goes.


I put 'the heating goes on and off'. Seems good to me. 'comes and goes' ?? who uses this in english.

  • 2406

Plenty of people say "comes and goes". Like me.

And "goes on and off" does not mean the same thing as "comes and goes". The former refers to it cycling on and off normally. The latter refers to when something goes wrong and sometimes it functions as it should and sometimes it doesn't.


I think this sentence refers to the discomforts women of a certain age suffer from.


Maybe picky but shouldn't it be goes and comes; i know thats not the correct English phrasing but it would be a more direct translation

  • 2406

That's not how translation works. Sometimes things don't translate directly.


Surely I can say " central heating"

  • 2406

Surely not. That is more specific than the prompt calls for.


"comes and goes" or "viene e va" is a more correct usage.


Idioms are different given the language. In Spanish and Italian the saying "Black and white" in literal translation is "white and black." Part of learning a language is knowing how to indirectly translate the idioms.


"Comes and goes" is definitely the preferred form in English. I would expect from this example that the Italian equivalent of "goes and comes" is more natural in Italian.

These things develop in part because of how it sounds to say two or three words in a phrase. This has to do with cadence (the rhythm of the phrase) as well as sounds that get stuck together in a certain order, and which word sounds best as the final word in the phrase. (The other day I was trying to put together three words in a set ("a, b, and c") and considering which order they should go in, and it did seem that the sound of the final one mattered a lot more than the other two.) And since you can't expect both words to sound the same in Italian as in English, you can't expect the phrasing to be identical.


For Italian and Spanish speakers " va e viene" " va y viene" it is the way we speak.


I agree, but does Duolingo accept "comes and goes"?


it does, I just tried it


the heating is on and off should be accepted,we cannot translate literally every sentence from italian to english


Heating is meant to go on and off. Comes and goes suggests it's not working properly.


it's called a change of seasons.


I initially thought the same but looking at the comments, my view has changed.


Almost exactly what I thought at the beginning.

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