"Non ce la fai da solo?"

Translation:You cannot do it on your own?

April 19, 2013

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I am an native speaker [but unfotunately not a teacher], so I'm not sure whether my explanation will be accurate. 1) Farcela is simply a pronominal verb; pronominal verbs are formed by a verb + one or more pronouns (personal pronouns, or monosillable / disillable that cannot be used alone). 2) Therefore, this kind of verbs have to be always linked (and conjugated) with the verb. And most times (if not all times) they change the meaning of the verb alone ("fare" in this case). 3) The translation: "Non LE fai da solo" wouldn't be accepted, because the meaning is totaly different,
Non LE fai = you do not do THEM (LE = pronoun) Non CE LA fai = you are not able to do something, and better still "YOU DON'T MANAGE TO DO something"; I mean: the double pronouns "CE LA" add a "surplus value" to the verb alone (fare) so that the sense sort of changes to "manage" / "be able to" That's why in English you have to translate "YOU CANNOT" and not simply "you do not do ..."

Hope I have helped with some of the questions, esp to GregH and mbisson (and others). Bye


So "ce" makes it so emphatic as to change "don't" to "can't"? It sounds like that's what you're saying. That's difficult, but I'll try to remember that -- thanks for the explanation!


It does. I think it works like a sort phrasal verb that changes the meaning of "simple" verbs. Although in the infinitive form it is one with the verb, but in other forms it can be separated.. Another example: avere (= to have) vs averCela con qualcuno ... = (to be angry with sb) At the moment I don't remember others


I was confused by avercela = to be angry, but then I remembered a similar construction in English: "I have had it with you/it/them!" where the verb "to have" is used that way.


Thanks for the super helpful explanation. Much appreciated!


Thanks, i was wondering where the "ce" came from. So it's because it's a pronominal verb. But Duolingo should have put a lesson about pronominal verbs before.


How about "is there nothing for you to do alone?"


Can I use non puoi instead?


Fantastic explanation!! Grazie!


Thank you very much for this explanation!! What i was thinking, please correct me if I am wrong: Could it be that "ce" (also ci, etc) personalizes the verb? So, "Non ce la fai" = "You do not do it yourself", and "ci vediamo"=" we see ourselves" or rather "we see one another" ?


If you add the particle 'ci' to the end of an infinitive OR before other forms of a verb, this 'ci' will change the meaning of that verb. The new verbs that you have made this way will follow regular conjugation patterns (you can conjugate them like any other verb). (Note that 'ci' changes its form to 'ce' when you place it in front of another particle, such as 'la' ('ci + la' become 'ce la'), as in the example above "Non ce la fai da solo?".)

So, for example: 'Io vedo' means I see; but (io) ci vedo means I can see, I am able to see. ( tu ci vedi (you can see), lui/lei ci vede...

Other verbs that can take the particle 'ci' (which would change their meaning) are:

Sentire = hear, but 'sentirci' means 'to be able to hear' OR 'can hear'; Ex. "Più forte! Non ci sento. (Louder! I can’t hear.)

So, sometimes (as in the two verbs above and our example sentence "Non ce la fai da solo?") 'ci' means 'can/able to/manage'. However, with other verbs, 'ci' can take completely different role and can mean something completely different, as in the following examples:

Pensare = think, but 'pensarci' = to think ABOUT IT; Ex. "Ci penso." (I’m thinking about it.)

Volere = want, but 'volerci' = to take or to need; Here, 'ci' changes the meaning of the verb 'volere' completely, as you can see); Ex. "Ci vuol pazienza." (It takes patience.)

There are other examples of how 'ci' can change the meaning of some other verbs (which you will learn when you come across them), but I hope this will help clarify the elusive particle 'ci' at least a bit. =))


Thank you so much for putting such an effort to make us understand. I don't see light yet, but it is certainly a lot less dimmer.


Thank you so much! It is starting to sink in...


Really great explanations. It really helps me to understand how these particles(?)(I'm not a linguist) are used as modifiers to the verbs.


Muy buena explicación!!!


I am totally confused by this sentence. All of it, but mostly "ce", for which the hint gives "us", "there", and "flying bridge (plural)", of all things.


According to the comments to other exercises in this section, "ce" is sometimes used merely to emphasise the verb and has no independent meaning of its own. This appears to be the case here too.


Yeah, I met the "flying bridge" hint a while ago too! You say it was plural? So there are many flying bridges out there for us to avoid! But I totally agree. No-one can make a flying bridge by themselves surely??? Maybe someone who could explain to us the meaning of "ce" here could be so brilliant that he could make a flying bridge? Isn't a flying bridge one of those oxymoron things that can't possibly exist? Moreover what are the aerodynamics of a flying bridge and how can we fly them successfully?


A lingot & a 'thank you', simply for the entertainment factor of your comment & for alleviating my momentary grammatical doldrums! Indeed, 'non ce la fai da solo'...


I think that I will now forever remember how to say 'flying bridge' in Italian :). Thanks for the humour! One needs it occasionally when trying to crack a new language. All the best.


Hehe lol.. I'm not fluent in italian nor english so I'll try to give you guys the best answer possible.. "Ce" here in this sentence is referring to "us". The reason is "ce" and not "ci" is because there's a direct pronoun which is "la", therefore it's a "double prounoun" sentence. Indirect pronouns always goes before direct pronouns. Now, when the indirect pronoun (mi, ti, gli, le, si, ci, vi, loro) is preceded by the direct pronoun (lo, la, li, le, ne), then they change to "me, te, glielo, se, ce, ve". Ex. Lui me lo dà (he gives it to me), Lui glielo dà (He gives it to him/her), Lei ne l'ha detto (She said it to us), Ce ne vogliono due (You need two of them.. and so forth.. I'm a native spanish speaker, and this double pronouns conversions things happens in spanish as well so that's why i understand them hehe, hope i helped and careful with those flying bridges lol


I appreciate your effort to try to explain it, but there is no "us" in the correct translation of this sentence, so what you're saying about "ce" in this sentence referring to "us" doesn't make sense.


Dear wes_wallie7 I'm afraid BlancheDB is right, "ce" is not referring to US here, as I tried to explain in another message in the present discussion two days ago. If I can suggest a sort of synonym in Italian it would be: "non CI riesci da solo " (farcela = riuscirci). CI has the same meaning as CE, as you correctly explained but both are referred to IT, instead. You don't succeed in IT, you cannot do IT.


the literal translation is "you do not do it on your own"; the suggested translation "you cannot do it" has a different meaning.


Why is this not merely "You do not do it on your own?" Wouldn't cannot be "puoi"?


This got me too. There does not seem to be any indication that we should favor "cannot" over "do not" but the other way around seems indicated


"You can't do it yourself" was wrong. Why?


still doesn't make sense to me


The ce is really ci but the spelling changes when there is another clitic after it.

The ci in this case is the "locative" one, not the one that means "us."

So, literally, it seems to mean "You cannot do it here alone?" (Or "there" or some other place already established in the conversation.)

As others mentioned, Italians often put in a "redundant" ci. I think they're optional, so Non le fai da solo should mean the same thing.

Feedback from a native speaker would be welcome, of course. :-)


Unfortunately, this is one of the case you can't take the "ci"/"ce" out; doing this way, the sentence assume a completely different meaning. "Farcela" is kind of expression that should be conjugated keeping all the clitics. Here you can find other examples:



Why isn't "You're not doing it alone" correct. Where does the idea of ability/can/cannot come in?


A bit difficult to explain what you ask; ... but just suppose it works like a phrasal verb: "fare" with those two added particles CE and LA changes completely (somehow illogically) its meaning from "TO DO" into SUCCEED, MANAGE, WORK IT OUT, COME THROUGH etc. So, I don't think I succeeded in explaining WHY, but perhaps I did it in explainig WHERE (or how)


I appreciate the explanation. I still don't understand it, except to have understood that "Ce/ci" can be very problematic, meaning the answer to DL's original question is "no, purtroppo, non posso!" -- I cannot do it on my own.


mmmmh I don't care about the answer at all, as the question is out of context. All the same you could answer: no, purtroppo non ce la faccio. Take it as is it ...


Grazie tanto! I think it's starting to make sense.


Would the "ce" be "it"? Or "la" be "it"??......pleasee help! I sooo confused with this


As far as I understand, 'non' + 'ce' = 'can't/can not' whereas 'non' alone translates as 'don't'. 'La' = it. Hope that helps! x


Would'nt an Italian person say "non lo puoi fare da solo?" Or don't they go the easy way?


I answered "can't you do it yourself?" and was counted wrong for not using the "by". Another example of DUo's translators correcting my English - incorrectly.


someone should tell these that "cannot" is the same with "can't"


A very "tricky" example because you cannot (non ce la fai) translate it directly to english. It has to be learned by heart. I guess you can manage very well in Italy without this sentence....!


Any clue as to why is this translation wrong? "Why don't you do it alone?"


Why not "Can't you do it yourself?"


Sorry, I though "lo" is "it"?


Simple question from me: Why the ? mark?....or is it just me.... simple? Can you do it on your own? Yes, that I understand but: "Non ce la fai da solo?" = "You cannot do it on your own?..... Io me ne vado.... aarrrgghh! / :


Auf Deutsch: Du schaffst es nicht allein?


kkulonja: yes, that'd work.


I think "Can you not do it yourself?" should be accepted.


Why the English sentence is not correctly formulated as an interrogation? Does any native English speaking please explain.


As English is not my language, I wonder if the native English formulate questions this way.


Sometimes we do use the statement form to express a question, but then it's usually to express surprise rather than actually to ask for information.


This explanation is a big help. Thank you.


Why not "Aren't you doing it alone?" ?


Why DL rejected my translation of the above which was : "Can't you do it alone?" In any case the English above is wrongly expressed. If it were a statement it would be correct, but not as a question. Right???


andval...I agree w/ you. The way you worded it as a question is absolutely correct. If the question were phrased in the form of a statement the effect would be to express some kind of subtle undertone, perhaps shock, surprise, sarcasm, etc. all impossible to know without a context, but phrasing it as a statement is not incorrect.


I said You cannot do it yourself and it was wrong but if I'd said "by yourself" it would have been correct?


You cannot do it yourself should be correct


I had the same question. Thanks for the clarification, though I wish Dualoingo had provided it.


How is it that one tiny word, can have so much power. The context needed for 'ce' seems incredible.


I keep putting the answer exactly as it is given: You cannot do it on your own? I am told I'm incorrect and the 'correct' answer comes back as I have written.
I can't move on because this keeps happening over and over


Some useful discussion here:


Used to announce that you need a time-out: non ce la faccio (più), which means 'I can't take it (any more)!'

'Can you manage?' – "ce la fai?"

Farcela, of which 'ce la fai' is just one possible conjugation "means 'to be able to' or 'to manage to', based on fare ('to do') with the additions ce ('there') and la ('it') – which in this case, as far as anyone can tell, are only there to make it sound nice..."


I don't get clitics! But I will keep trying...


I presume this is an idiom. Otherwise why do you translate it "can" when not using possare?


For questions, there should be a subject-verb inversion in English


Which word in this sentence appoints 'can'? I cannot find any


Is the translation "can't you do it yourself?" different to the accepted answer?


I'm just frustrated because I have been practicing these lessons for months now and this only comes up when you try to do the purple thing... these examples should pop up during a normal practice too!


Ci, ce, ne...all of them shold be in tips...you did not explain nothing about them. This lesson is completly wrong.


What????? Auxiliary verb usage goes at the begining, as an English Teacher i am totally sure about it.


Can someone please tell me what ce's function is here? What does this specific word translate to in English?

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