"È difficile da mandare giù."

Translation:It is difficult to swallow.

May 8, 2013

42 Comments
This discussion is locked.


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

send down = to swallow :) Is "mandare giù" most common way to say "to swallow" ?

And if i want to say: It is difficult to send it down. would it be "È difficile da mandarlo giù" Or would that be a strange way to say it ?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/f.formica

It's a colloquial expression for "ingoiare" (to swallow); "it is difficult to send it down" would be "è difficile mandarlo giù" but "it is difficult to send down" would be just the same "è difficile da mandare giù". Note that the sense here isn't that I'm having trouble swallowing, but that the object I'm talking about is in itself hard to swallow, most likely in a figurative sense (it's hard to accept).


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

So, this translation arises because English uses "swallow" to mean "accept" and Italian uses "send down" to mean "accept? Basically, "send down" doesn't literally mean "swallow" in Italian at all, just that they both happen to be used idiomatically to mean "accept" ?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/f.formica

No, it does mean swallowing, although the figurative sense is more common. It has a more negative sense than its synonyms inghiottire, deglutire, ingoiare and ingollare, as it refers to swallowing without tasting, e.g. "manda giù la medicina" (swallow the medicine). Niccolò Fabi wrote a song that went "Bevo la mia acqua e la mando giù", "Bevo questo vino e lo mando giù", "Bevo il mio veleno e lo mando giù" (drinking and swallowing in order water, wine and poison).


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

f.formica: I have run across many of your comments, all of which have been extremely helpful. Have a lingot!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ilfalco42

To f. formica: It is so good to have someone who really knows the language, understands our problems, and explains clearly and compassionately. Grazie mille!!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/GU7P

So I'm thinking this might belong in the "idioms" section that I paid lingots for; otherwise, how is one to know? :-)


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

So a bit like English to get something down. Though swallow is probably more idiomatic. Very helpful comments, thanks!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Nonna602151

Or, as we say when we don't really believe something, "That's hard to swallow"!


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

Thank you for your wonderful explanations. Mille grazie, f.formica


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

Even in English, if I hear "it's hard to swallow" without context, I'd assume it was figurative. It's the sort of thing you'd only really say literally to your doctor.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/2200Lucia60

That is what I wrote in fact, "It' s hard to accept". It 's the real meaning of the Italian idiom, so I am going to report it. Thank you, Ferdinando.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Francesco817465

Hmm... To learn colloquialisms is useful but I wish DL wouldn't use them so often. Basic Italian grammar, something like 'È difficile inghiottire.' or whatever, would be more useful to me in learning infinitives.


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

THAT'S WHAT SHE SAID


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

How did you manage to get 69 lingots for that? Creepy.


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

Nobody is gonna give him more than that, probably xD


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/HairyChris88

I was going to give him another one but that would spoil it.


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

Why do we need the "da"?


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

Is it ok to use it in case of dysphagia?


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

Does there really have to be giu = down. You cannot swallow up so 'down' seems superfluous in this sentence.'It is difficult to swallow' sounds ok on its own.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/f.formica

That's the same with "è difficile da ingoiare", or "è difficile da deglutire" (more formal); but mandare in itself means "to send" so without the adverb giù you wouldn't get the idiomatic meaning of swallowing.


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

Is "e difficile da fare qualcosa" a template to remember? I've noticed that in some (all?) practice exercises this phrase doesn't take the "da": "e facile fare qualcosa". It's hard to reconcile the difference use of the preposition between "it is difficult" and "it is easy".


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

Non Italian here will take a stab at this. "da + verb infinitive" = something to be done. Maybe a task with some effort. So that goes well with "difficult". If it is "easy" then it hardly requires your intervention, effort, or input so the "da" is less needed. Just speculating.


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

If I have understood f.formica's posts correctly, È difficile da mandare giù means that "it" (ie this food, or claim, or theory) is hard to swallow; but È difficile mandare giù means that swallowing (ie all swallowing) is difficult.

This conforms to the general principle that in impersonal expressions like è difficile leggere qui, è impossibile ricordare tutto ... in which the subject ("it" in English) is really a placeholder for the (abstract) action of a verb, the infinitive of said verb must follow immediately without any preposition.


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

You may be correct and Plato's example "è facile fare qualcosa" is among the impersonal expressions that you mention. If you copy & paste your reply directly to Plato I will withdraw my speculative reply.


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

OK, I have done that. I'm not sure you need to delete your contribution though: there may well be something in what you say. (We clearly need a native speaker here to confirm/deny these speculations though!)


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

Thanks for the comments. Yes, I've realized "e difficile da" and "e facile da" are not common as I've moved through this section. I still can't grok why the "da" is needed here but that's OK.


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

If I have understood f.formica's posts correctly, È difficile da mandare giù means that "it" (ie this food, or claim, or theory) is hard to swallow; but È difficile mandare giù means that swallowing (ie all swallowing) is difficult.

This conforms to the general principle that in impersonal expressions like è difficile leggere qui, è impossibile ricordare tutto,... in which the subject ("it" in English) is really a placeholder for the (abstract) action of a verb, the infinitive of said verb must follow immediately without any preposition.


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

( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/grege2

For me, mandare giu seems the analog of "get it down", as in "This medicine is awful, I can't get it down" .. "That meat was tough, I could hardly get it down" ... "Come on kids, we have to leave, get it down (ie. your lunch)". Ciao.


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

I just tried 'get it down' in a revision / strengthen skills lesson and it didn't accept it...


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jean521365

Why do we need DA? I've just had 'è facile cadere' and my Italian grammar book confirms that è facile/difficile is followed directly by the infinitive .


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

I recommend reading (native Italian speaker and DL moderator) f.formica's posts at the start of this thread.

If I have understood correctly, a preposition is not used for impersonal constructions as eg è facile cadere (meaning that falling can easily happen) or even è difficile mandare giù where this means (in the abstract) that swallowing is difficult, but is required if you want to express that some specific object (a piece of food if literal, or opinion if metaphorical) is "difficult to swallow". Then what you are in effect saying is that whatever-it-is is, so to speak, difficult for [the purpose of] swallowing: hence difficile DA mangiare giù.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jean521365

Thank you, I think I've got it. So this concept 'è difficile DA capire'??!


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

That makes sense. It is difficult to send down doesn't but I was told this was a correct answer!


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

google translate interprets it as " e difficile deglutire " any comments ?


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

i think we can ommit da


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Emma573749

Mandare giu has many meanings suggested even by DUO dictionary; to swallow, to return, to advance, ... In sentences lacking context , any of its meanings should be accepted.


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

another sentence that without the context it's difficult to translate. It is difficult to swallow it's different from It is difficult to swallow it!

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