1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Italian
  4. >
  5. "Mi hanno presa."

"Mi hanno presa."

Translation:They caught me.

April 8, 2013



Is the person who is captured a woman?

Asked in another way: Does "presa" agree with the object of the sentence because the auxiliary avere is used and there is a "mi". Further it is not presO but "presa" referring to a female?


Is it like this:

In passato prossimo, when the auxiliary verb essere is used as helper, the past participle agrees with gender and number of the object. Singular = o/a, plural = i/e. Essere is also conjugated to match gender and number

In general, when the auxiliary verb avere is used, the past participle is the same no matter the objects gender and/or number. Only avere is conjugated to match gender and number.
However, when a direct or indirect pronoun precedes the conjugated avere, the past participle also has to match gender and number. But is that the gender and number of the subject or the pronoun?

  • 2705

More or less, but it's a little more complicated than that. When the auxiliary is avere and there is a 3rd person direct object clitic or (usually) "ne" the participle must match its gender and number (and not the subject's as with essere); if there is any other direct object clitic such concordance is optional; for any other clitic there is no concordance. The case of "ne" is a little special as there are some rare cases where the concordance is not used.


Thank you. Slowly, slowly I am getting the rule when the participle agrees with the subject and when with the object.


'gotten' sounds terrible in British English! I would say 'they got me'.


Agreed Cowpat - "gotten" is not used in British English nowadays though it did exist in the Middle Ages! i understand it may be used in American English ? Anyone commment - is that why it is here?


"Gotten" is not only "used" (per omigo) or "acceptable" (per Soglio) - it's the standard past participle of "get" in US English. According to the site I checked (http://grammarist.com/usage/got-gotten/) it fell out of favor in British English by the 18th century - still a long time ago, but not quite so far back as the Middle Ages! (The grammarist also said that this is a usage that Brits particularly hate - though it's not clear why, since it was originally part of British English!)


The -en participle ending was once standard in England but was already dying out during the 17th century. The printing press and early dictionaries, culminating in Samuel Johnson's somewhat quirky dictionary in 1755, helped to seal its fate.

However, the Pilgrim Fathers had sailed in 1620, taking 'gotten' with them to the promised land, along with many other words and forms which continued to be used there, whilst English in England moved on.

Although the English place 'gotten' as somewhere between quaint and cringeworthy, we happily use 'forgotten', 'bitten' and 'written', and many other remnants, without a second thought.


And I was having visions of Noah bring word-pairs onto the ark....


Margaret_S: Or into his DICTIONARY!


This is a wonderful explanation of English usage! And I have a new great English word, 'cringeworthy'! I hope you are a writer, your prose is delightful. Have an ingot.


How very kind of you! I'm not a writer, I'm afraid, though I admit to being a closet etymologist. Don't tell anyone.


wonderfully clear and charmingly expressed. thank you - and please accept a lingot.


Huh! In Australia, we use 'gotten' regularly without a second thought.


Hi 3-pipit - Good to hear the US angle on this. I would want to stand by assertion on gotten existing in the Middle Ages though, this being roughly taken to be around 1000-1543 so contemporary with Middle English . Ah, I see, I did rather give the impression that I thought it had died out then too - didn't mean to imply that. Thanks for the correction. http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/english/gotten I see that David Crystal, the prolific writer on languages generally and varieties of English in particular, considers it to be "probably the most distinctive of all the AmE/BrE grammatical differences" Interesting! http://www-personal.umich.edu/~jlawler/aue/gotten.html


That is interesting! One of the unexpected (to me!) benefits of duo is all the discussion of all the different variants of English. Thanks for your reply!


Australian English speaker. We were strictly taught in high school English lessons to never use the words "got" or "get" when there were other words that could be used instead. This was in the 50s and 60s.


I am a bit older (almost an official 'senior') but I remember learning that gotten was only used after an auxiliary verb, never alone. Have/has gotten


cdemaughan: Absolutely correct. have/has/had/will have/would have/could have/should have...gotten.


On another post I gave references from: MIT, U of Michigan, Oxford and Cambridge Dictionaries. And of course Soglio has given M-W. So, yes "gotten" is the US version of the past participle of "get" . Not, to be confused with the expression: "I've got plenty of money" meaning "I have" in both US and GB.


But surely not that terrible. For example "ill-gotten gains" both flows and sounds much better to the ear than "ill-got gains".


yes but that's a set phrase (presumably from the middle ages), it would never be used in everyday language as a past participle, at least in British English


I have noticed that due to the globalisation of English in the internet etc many British teenagers (my own sons included) now routinely use "gotten". I rejoice that US influence is helping the English to rediscover our linguistic roots.


Somebody should call Liam Neeson


"they took me" was accepted


So was "They have taken me."


Luckily I have a very special set of skills


Now that's funny!


Since the person saying "they caught me" is female - PLEASE can Duo use a female speaker for these occasions???? It would make SO much more sense, there are dozens of similar examples when just changing the speaker's voice would make it all so clear.


I'm confused on this one. I marked "They have gotten me" and "They got me" as correct translations and got marked wrong. This comment page lists "They have gotten me" as correct, but the lesson itself said the correct translation is "They got me." I am reporting this but can someone tell me whether both are right or not?


Now DL accepted "They have taken me" and "They have gotten me."


Not only that, but I was given "They've gotten me" and "They have gotten me" as options, and "They've gotten me" was marked wrong!


They have gotten me is very bad english- it should be they have taken me, which was accepted.


Lynnich: Depends on context like so much: "They have [they've] gotten me in trouble" cannot be replaced by "They have [they've] taken me in trouble." Got it? (only joking).


yes m'am I gotcha, I would say something different now as that comment was made 10 months ago- I have moved on!


Con il coltello nello stivale. Oof!


They have grabbed me.... No? So why is it grabbed for the boy and the box of candy?


Surely they got me is an acceptable way of saying this? I am British. I do not say they have gotten me!


I think "to take" is the easiest translation for "Prendere". I use that


"They've captured me" wasn't accepted, only "They captured me". Hello?? I reported


so 'capture' is the first thing suggested for the word 'presa', yet it's wrong...

<< Be careful not to confuse "caught" and "captured"! >>


  • 2705

The first thing I thought when reading the sentence was someone being taken for a job, breaking the good news to her friends; but if it were an Indiana Jones movie, I could totally see it as meaning "I've been captured!", though perhaps a little more formal than "they got me".


You used presa, the noun, not prendere, the verb. Although the conjugation in passato prossimo says hanno preso, it changes to hanno presa when the direct object is female (mi). complex sentence.


I'm surprised nobody had a problem with the pronunciation of presa! She pronounced it as pressa.


I believe we have all given up on pronumciation here.


I have a lot of problems with the pronunciations, especially when she is asking a question. There is no inflection in her voice to indicate a question.




I hear perfectly "preza"...I think they fixed it.


It's the same with "cosa." She says "cossa." This particular sentence was weird enough again and I questioned my understanding.


Why does it take avere rather than essere, when it's reflexive?

  • 2705

It's not; the subject is "they".


This is not reflexive.


This is a perfect phrase to find in a funny fortune cookie when in Italy!!


Would "They have arrested me" be acceptable?


I think it would be, "mi hanno arrestato"



What about "They had me caught"?


If "They had me caught" is the same as "They had caught me", then probably we should use the passato remoto in Italian:

  • Mi presero = They had caught me

Otherwise I am not sure how to make such emphasis in Italian.


"They have me caught" is unacceptable?


Yes, the word order is incorrect. It should read: They have caught me.


You're welcome. Seeing that you're studying German, you may have been thrown off by German word order in which in a sentence like this, the past participle would be put at the end of the sentence, and not after the conjugated verb form.


They have me stuck


Gotten??? That went out when we stopped saying we have growen potatoes in England. It says taken, where we still use the -en ending, in the hints but won't accept it. What does gotten mean for gawd's sake? I have gotten a bad cold? How has someone gotten me?


SteveKillick: YES, gotten is correct as a past participle. Someone has gotten sick, not someone has got sick. The latter sounds as though one's not had a day's worth of education in his life. To use 'got' as a past participle is like using any other simple past tense form such as 'ate,' 'did,' etc. which sadly you'll hear a lot: I shouldn't have did that, I shouldn't have ate it, etc. So to answer your question about 'what does 'gotten' mean for gawd's sake, it means I for one have gotten sick and tired of users like yourself who claim sole authority over how English should be spoke(n). It may have be(en) the king's English once upon a time, but your king was beat(en) back in the day and you for one should move on. To say you've got(ten) me upset by your arrogance is an understatement.


con i mani rossi!


Why is "They have me prisoner" considered wrong?


ruddickv: "They (have) caught me" emphasizes the act of catching, whereas "They have me prisoner" emphasizes the state of being caught. It's possible someone else caught you before transferring you to "them".


Agreement of past participle with direct object (other than la, lo, le and li) is optional, correct?


Alien abduction


Why is "They have caught me" unacceptable


Exactly the sort of thing we'll write later and get dinged for.


So now it says They caught me, is this like taken or they caught me doing a bad thing? Two different meanings, so what is the Italian meaning? is all I want to know.


Why doesn't the form 'presa' show up in the verb conjugation? Only preso and prese


Why is this not 'they have caught me'?


Woman's voice required!!


Shouldn't it be 'they have caught me' not just the perfect tense 'they caught me'? I'm confused!


i thought all reflex verbs use essere? Aiutaemi?


"prendere" is not a reflexive one "me" means "me", (not "myself")


I meant "mi"(Italian) means "me"(English)


I really hope this refers to hide and seek :-D


As this is passato prossimo, shouldn't the answer be 'they have caught me'? If so, DL often mixes the two tenses up. That's confusing.

Learn Italian in just 5 minutes a day. For free.