1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Italian
  4. >
  5. "Perché mi stai tenendo la ma…

"Perché mi stai tenendo la mano?"

Translation:Why are you holding my hand?

July 17, 2014

88 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Angeluzfun

Perche ti voglio bene...


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JamesMth777

Per impedirti di usare il coltello nello stivale!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ajdjr73

you do? Ohhhhhhhh babyyyy! ;-)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Lynnich

why isn't it la mia mano?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/thenoblesunfish

In Italian (and Spanish), one doesn't usually use the possessive with body parts. This might seem odd, but we sometimes do it in English as well, often as parts of figurative expressions . For example You're a pain in the neck, He's got football on the brain, I took it on the chin, or some other less polite expressions.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/dieprinzessin

I guess you could say so if you take 'mi' out and if you want to say (maybe in a kid's game) why you always hold my hand take some one else's instead. But if you are on starting a love story, you better use the sentence as here, asking 'why are you doing that 'hand holding activity' to me?'.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/TomFootb

perché ti amavo, ti amo e ti amero! :P


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ste-n-Dee

(Btw, "amavo". Also, "amerò". But I like the sentiment.)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/TomFootb

haha, in general i'm too lazy to write the accents. :P but the amavo is a stupid mistake so edited :'( I should exercise even more...


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Germanlehrerlsu

Floris_B: Gotta hand it to you - that about covers it.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Dalingo8

I guess "amero" is abbreviation of "Americano", right..


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/silkwarrior

"Why are you taking my hand"

valid?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mmseiple

"Tenere" refers to the act of holding someone's hand. You would use the word "prendere" for the act of taking or grabbing someone's hand.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/toutousmile

'take one's hand' has a different meaning - usually in marriage ceremony or vow


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ste-n-Dee

Not so. When I am crossing a street with my young child, I will tell him to "take my hand", but I'm not telling him to marry me.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/silkwarrior

toutou - you are addressing a question of English usage there, not whether my translation is valid. And although the English usage you quote is real, it's not the only one - there is a more general one.

Most famously in this.Not a marriage proposal.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Z91n5Vskjg


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/baggiemews

It was a nice treat to be taken to this site. Thank you


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/darkpeak

Thanks, Silkwarrior, a nice travel back in time!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PJ180
  • 1978

Lovely, silkwarrior; thank you!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SeanaGraham

Thanks for the song. I agree. Take my hand is not that uncommon an expression.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/kyburg

Thank you, silkwarrior.... an ol' favourite of mine.... and, ach, so valid!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Dick403354

That was a nice break from learning Italian, thank you.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/razvan_urbena

Cue The Beatles as background song


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/EstelleTweedie

Thanks for sharing that :)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/EstelleTweedie

Could it be "Why are you holding out your hand to me"?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Prol3psis

I know this comment was made quite some time ago, but it's a good question. What you are suggesting, would actually look like this in Italian: "Perché mi stai tendendo la mano?" Mark the extra letter d in the middle of the verb. So yes, it looks very similar, but there are actually two different verbs involved: tenere (to hold) and tendere (to stretch/hold out) ;)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/paulmacd

But the hover hint gives "holding out" as a meaning of "tenendo". Is the hint incorrect?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mangoHero1

That translation is slightly too wordy. Just "holding" would suffice.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/paulmacd

The point is that "holding" and "holding out" are different actions. Are the both correct translations of tenendo?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mangoHero1

My impression is no, you might say tenendo fuori


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/alanvoe

"to hold out" has several meanings:

  • to offer. Ex: When I said hello to them, they held out their hands in greeting.
  • to last. Ex: Will the food hold out?
  • to refuse to give in. Ex: We are holding out for higher wages.
  • to withhold something expected or due. Ex: You'd better not be holding out on me.
  • in the idiomatic expression "to hold out hope" (= to maintain hope)

AFAIK "hold out" can only be translated to "tenere" if it has the last meaning: tenere la esperanza.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/alanvoe

"porgere" (= ofrire tendendo) is a more accurate translation of this transitive usage of "to hold out".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/carolsduol

What about "why are you holding the hand?" How do we know it's "my hand"?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/dieprinzessin

What about the word 'mi' in the sentence... It can only be my hand.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/colbymenning

Understand lack of mia possessive with body parts. but this is : Why are you holding me (IO) the hand. So , it becomes my hand . What if visitors expressed la mia mano? possessive personal pronoun always takes the article. So why is "mi" used here? stare + gerund is action right now.

tenere is holding tendere is stretch, pull, reach.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Germanlehrerlsu

Colbymenning: 'Mia la mano' would mean "my the hand" - you'd have 2 modifiers for 'hand.'


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Annalinda13

So this would mean "holding me by the hand"? I don't understand the sentence structure


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Germanlehrerlsu

Annalinda: Maybe it'd help to think of it as "holding something for someone" e.g., "Why are you holding this door open for me?" In DL's example what's being held is the hand, and the someone for whom it's being held is the "me." You're dealing with a direct object (the hand) and an indirect object (me).


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ste-n-Dee

I don't know if this is grammatically correct, but I think of it as if "mi" and "la mano" are both the direct object of the verb, which "la mano" specifying exactly which part of "mi" is being held.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mmseiple

This is a good way of wrapping your head around it, but "mi" here is an indirect object (you can't have two direct objects). It works like this: you are holding the hand (the thing affected directly by the action) and this action indirectly affects me as a whole (indirect object).


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Germanlehrerlsu

sbeecroft: if it's helpful for you to think of it that way, fine, but grammatically "mi" is the indirect object. The hand is what's being held. See my comment to Annalinda below.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/lucaturilli

What is the function of 'mi' here? We are saying 'my hand' and not 'me'.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Germanlehrerlsu

lucaturilli: the 'my hand' part is conveyed by 'la mana'. Italian doesn't use possessives with parts of the body. The "mi" conveys the idea of "to me". So think of it as: "why are you holding your hand to me." Awkward to translate it this way, but that's the idea I believe.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/lucaturilli

Yes, it may work to understand the construction. Thank you.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KiwiGuy

I am with Lynnich - why is it not "Perche stai tenendo la mia mano?"???????


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Germanlehrerlsu

The noblesunfish has explained it clearly enough. German too by the way also omits the possessives with parts of the body.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KiwiGuy

ok smartypants, why don't you look at the date that noblesunfish answered Lynnich's query, and then my query? I asked the question 3 months ago and he answered it one month ago!!! I am not psychic, despite wishing I was :-)))))


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Germanlehrerlsu

Hey, KiwiGuy: I was never good with dates -- goes back to middle school! Years of therapy haven't helped. And secondly, it's bad manners to look at someone else's dates - it'll lead to either a broken friendship or a broken nose.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PolyglotNinja

Wow! He really misinterpreted the signals. How embarrassing!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/EndaBurke

The "correct" translation given to me by Duo was "why you are holding my hand?" Is this a computer error? Did they intend "why are you....etc..? I hope so.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mmseiple

Not sure why that was in the system as an alternate translation. It's fixed now!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MarioAndrews

what is the function of "mi" in that sentence?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/baggiemews

This explanation from above seems the best solution to me.,

dieprinzessin 25 18 12 11 10 9 9 6 2 2 I guess you could say so if you take 'mi' out and if you want to say (maybe in a kid's game) why you always hold my hand take some one else's instead. But if you are on starting a love story, you better use the sentence as here, asking 'why are you doing that 'hand holding activity' to me?'.

"Mi" before the verb usually means "to me", so 'Why are you hand holding with/to me' kinda makes sense


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/I-AM-THE-STAR

Cause I'm feeling scared :~O


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/egregor1

so what is 'why are you holding the hand'? i.e. not mine.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/alanvoe

Italian often uses direct object pronouns ("mi" in this sentence) instead of possessive pronouns with body parts, as explained in previous comments. Please read them before posting.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/paulmacd

Despite what alanvoe says, I don't think your question has been adressed before. I do not know the answer, but I wonder if you might use one of the adjectives "questa/quella mano" instead of the article "la".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Svendborgvej

Why use the gerund here?! As if someone is constantly taking the other one's hand, like in a nightmarish film! Perhaps it's okay in English, but in other languages it sounds dark and surrealistic. Duo must be an Anglosaxon bird.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/alanvoe

I'm not sure what other languages you're talking about. The gerund is usual in this context in English, Italian (the relevant languages in this Italian course for English speakers), Spanish and Portuguese.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Giovanna282584

As the Prime Minister didn't say to the President...


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/cseverin80

Said Melania to Donald...


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Germanlehrerlsu

cseverin: BRAVO! Cha ching! :-)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Giovanna282584

As Theresa said to Donald...


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Wanhm

Why is mi necessary in the sentence?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/paulmacd

I think this has already been addressed in the answers to Annalinda13 and lucaturilli. Was there something in those answers you didn't understand?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ClassiDuo

Because I wanna


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/chepazzo

"Those aren't pillows!"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jzzybme

Famous line of almost every RomCom.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Lanned

La mano = My hand???


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rid787569

Perche..... Fool..... Shame.... Io...


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rid787569

Ti amo il mio Insegnante...


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Diamondswagboyz

... let's get married


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Giuseppe777570

As long as there's no handcuffs, just go with it.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/tzar_ivan

Noi siamo entrambi uomini ...


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jauneverte159

La mano is the hand not my hand Translation is incorrect.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ajdjr73

you are wrong, with body parts, the possessive is not used and this is actually how Italian expresses "my hand"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Germanlehrerlsu

ajdjr73: You're absolutely correct.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/asafas3

Well that's akward...


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Kieran459226

'Taking' should be accepted.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Germanlehrerlsu

"Take my hand, I'm a stranger in paradise" -- Tony Bennett


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Cj_Fresco

Perché mia mano è fredda


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/william887083

Because I have sweets in the van

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