1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Italian
  4. >
  5. "Erano passati sei secoli."

"Erano passati sei secoli."

Translation:Six centuries had passed.

June 20, 2014



Why is this not:

"Sei secoli erano passati"?


"sei secoli erano passati" and "erano passati sei secoli" are both correct, but the secon one is more frequent. It's not a rule, but usually when the sentence has just subject and verb, and you want to focus on the subject, this came after the verb: the last word in a sentence usually is the most significant.

Other examples: "l'ho fatto io" and "io l'ho fatto" both translate "I did it" but the first one answer the question "who did it?" because it focus on the subject, the second one instead is "neutral"


I thought that the most important aspect of a sentence would go first instead of last. Is this a general rule for all languages or Italian in particular?


Why is it erano passati rather than aveva passato ?


Verbs of motion or state of being (passare, andare, partire, venire, entrare, tornare, arrivare, stare, salire, scendere, vivere, rimanere, cadere, morire, nascere, diventare) all use essere.


is "there had passed six centuries" incorrect english or a bad translation? Or should it also be correct?


I don't know about bad translation but it is rather an odd syntax for english. Six centuries ago would be more common to say in english


How can you know its not "they had passed centuries".


Then it becomes a transitive verb (because they are doing something with the centuries), so that would be "Avevano passato sei secoli".


If we find something six hundred years old, and we want to say "wow, they had passed six centuries", how we say it in Italian?


I heard tre not sei


In the previous question, avere was used with passato rather than essere? (passed under the table I recollect). What is the rule in this case for using avere v essere with 'to pass'?


My understanding is that "passare" can be transitive as well as intransitive: https://en.m.wiktionary.org/wiki/passare When used transitively, as in your example, it is conjugated with "avere": I ragazzi hanno passato la prova. (The children passed the test.) When used intransitively, it is conjugated with "essere": Quanto tempo รจ passato? (How much time has passed?) The difference is that the intransitive verb takes no direct object. This is a good explanation: https://blogs.transparent.com/italian/transitive-and-intransitive-verbs/


Just wondering if this could also be 'sei secoli erani passati'.

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