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  5. "Mio nipote guardava gli anim…

"Mio nipote guardava gli animali nello zoo."

Translation:My nephew was watching the animals in the zoo.

April 25, 2013



I'm confused as to why 'nephew' and 'grandson' are the same word. Is there a way to make a distinction? I became an aunt when I was 11 years old. I want to be sure it's clear this chap is my nephew. ;)


You can know only from the context. But usually it's easy!


Thanks for the quick reply. How is it easy? Do you mean contextually? Is there not another word?


No, in Italian it doesn't exist another word. It's easy to understand from the context.


How can it be easy? In a conversation with minimal context one would always be wondering. For example: what did you do yesterday? “I watched a movie with my Nipote.” I am both an uncle and a grandfather. Without further explanation… Not context...with whom I watched the movie is in doubt.


Very often when talking with friends or family in Italy and there is doubt and there is enough interest to dig deeper someone will say "figlio di mia figlia" or "figlia di mia sorella/cognata".


That's only a possibility, not the every day life. If you have the doubt, you ask. If you can't, you stay with the doubt. But you usually don't have to.

No problem if you don't trust me, but that's how Italian works and we don't have any problem with it. Really


"animals" in this phrase would have been "degli animali" An indeterminate number. "Gli animali" must be the animals. (What animals? Those in the zoo >> the animals in the zoo.)


Why could I not say "My nephew watched...."


That use of 'would' is not conditional, it is passive.

As for 'used to...' I also am trying to learn the difference and the best I ca explain is that here 'used to' is not correct because there is nothing in the sentence to suggest that my nephew no longer watches the animals. I'd love to hear more comments on that.


I was simply given the Italian sentence, and ask to speak it. Therefore, the translation for guardava could be 'used to watch' or 'was watching'. Without further context, I do not think we can tell.


"my nephew was looking the animals in the zoo" is this wrong?


Yes. In English you can't "look something": you have to look AT something. So he was "looking at the animals...."


I'm confused about something I've seen in a few exercises now: shouldn't 'lui guardava' be 'he watched' and 'lui stava guardando' be 'he was watching'? In quite a few exercises Duo seems to be mixing gerund with past imperfect and I don't really understand why, anyone that can explain?


Probably best to read the tips on this point for the Duo explanation. But "he watched" can mean that he used to watch or would watch over a period in the past with an indeterminate beginning and end. In this case the Italian would use the imperfetto. Because English has no imperfect tense, we can use the same words as the simple past and let the context sort it out (e.g. we watched it every week) , or use expressions such as "would watch" or "used to watch". The gerund form is referring only to "was watching" at the specified time.


can't I say "animals" and not "the animals"?


Yeah you can say "i love animals" but you can't say "i love animals in the zoo". Of course you can say "i love animals", in the zoo :)


"The animals" would be more common. Because there are specific animals in a zoo. They are zoo animals and not just animals that happened to wonder into the zoo that day.

If you were looking at animals in a park, then you'd leave out the word "the," because those are just random animals that happen to be in the park.


Depends. Were I grew up there are a couple of parks with small animal enclosures for public viewing as well as London Zoo and a farm so the "the" is/was/can be used but depends on location/situation I suppose.


nipote: granddaughter, grandson, nephew and niece. DL did not accept granddaughter, I reported it.


Granddaughter is wrong because the possesive "mio" implies that this "nipote" is a male. "Mia nipote" can be either "my niece" or "my granddaughter".


you are so right!! Sorry!


Can i say grandkid?


Is there a difference between watching and looking in Italian?


How would one say "my nephew used to guard the animals in the zoo"?


"Mio nipote sorvegliava gli animali allo zoo".


Why am I suddenly being told my pronunciation isn't acceptable? This has happened so many times today. No explanation as to what is wrong so how can i improve? It has hardly ever happened before.


Why used to watching is not correct


In English, you can was "was watching" or "used to watch" but you can't combine them.


Shouldn't "guardava" be translated as watch and look?


"My nephew was watching the zoo animals." was not accepted. Should it be?


Nipote can mean grandson too


Why was “My nephew was looking AFTER the animals in the zoo“ marked as being wrong?


Because that would mean "mio nipote si occupava degli animali nello zoo". That's a completely different meaning.


Hi, I have a question regarding this point. I am always confused with this sentence. The nephew was looking after the animals or was he watching the animals like a visitor? Guardare can have both meanings, no?


Hi, "guardare" can have the meaning of "to look after", but it is colloquial, the better form is "badare/prendersi cura". Anyway in this case the meaning of "guardare" is definitely "to watch".


stronzo duolingo nipote can be nephew or grandson , impara il tuo vocabolario


Your sentence is very rude. I suggest you don't say Italian "bad word" when you don't know the shadows of the meaning and if the context allow it.


One of the offered answers cannot be correct: "My nephew would watch the animals in the zoo." As that is Condizionale. Also I do not understand why my answer "My nephew used to watch animals in the zoo." wasn't accepted?

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