Translation:We reserve our room as soon as possible.
Thanks for the answers. I was confused by all of these questions. How wonderful to just click on "discussion" and get instant answers!
I laid this one to rest a while ago and took the advice of our learned friend siebolt here on this page whom I quote "Just learn: il prima possibile = as soon as possible." Good, indeed great, advice! (But if you ever find a reason I remain curious!)
I was wondering that too... I know that in Spanish words that end in "ma" are always masculine; maybe it's like that in Italian too?
Pulled this from another post.
Nouns ending in "-ma" in the singular and"i" in the plural, e.g. "il problema" / "i problemi": most nouns in this class are masculine.
To explain the exception: Many nouns ending in -ema, -ama, -g(h)ema, -gama, are of Greek origin and are considered foreign loan words. Foreign words in Italian are always considered masculine (despite ending in "-a" in this case). Thus, they take the masculine plural of "-i."
il cinema (cinema/ the movies [Am English]); il dramma (drama); l' idioma (idiom, language); gli idiomi; il problema (problem); il proclama (proclamation)
Here are the 20 most common words:
This does NOT make it a rule for all words ending in "-ma", just those of Greek origin. There are Italian words ending in "-ma" that are feminine:
la mama; la cima (top, summit, peak).
Hope that helps.
This "ma" rule for spanish words doesn't sound right. "Cama", for example, is feminine. And there are lots of examples like this one.
Point taken, not a rule, but when a word ends in -ma it is time to 'think' and try to remember which one it is. :-)
Those are cases, but they don't make it a rule. Honestly, it's not a rule. :-)
Perhaps "at the first chance" should be an acceptable and natural translation of "il prima possibile" ?
In Swiss Italian they have a word more similar to the English "reserve". I believe that Swiss Italian uses "riservare". There are a couple of other instances like this.
"prima" probably because of the preposition of time "prima di" = before. "il" ?don't know. but this is not a construction to understand but to learn by heart.
Thanks - I was confused as to how it could be "il" - but glad to know that it isn't that I don't understand this construction - its just something to learn by heart
One of my friend who has lived in italy for two years said that Italian is one of those languages that has sooooo many exceptions.. So I think just remember the phrase as the way it is
You are correct; that's not how it is done here. "Appena" as an adverb means "just" or "barely".
- Siamo appena partiti = "We have just left"
If you use it as a conjunction, then it does mean "as soon as".
- I will play outside as soon as I'm finished with my homework."
There are no clauses to join with a conjunction in the original sentence of this discussion.
Apparently it's a well-known phrase in Italy, "il prima possibile".
Subito is used as "right away" or "immediately" on Duolingo lessons.
So you should be able to substitute that word into a sentence that means "as soon as possible", but it would require an administrator to approve your sentence syntax after you "report" it.
When counting ordinals (1st, 2nd, 3rd, etc.), you begin:
- Primo, Secondo, Terzo...
Thus, the word primo as an adjective means first, with masculine and indeterminate nouns, so prima means first with feminine nouns ("la prima stanza" = the first room), and I think that it is only used with "la" in that way; an adjective, in comparisons or rankings.
Prima as an adverb, on the other hand, means either "sooner" or "before". More telling, it also means "beforehand" or "in advance".
Most times you will not need the article "il", at all, when used this way. As already mentioned in this discussion, this sentence is idiomatic.
There are other idioms that use it, but without the article:
Prima o poi = "Sooner or later".
Pensa prima di parlare* = "Think before you speak".
I might want to say we will reserve our room as soon as possbile or we ought to reserve our room as soon as possble or we are going to reserve our room as soon as possible. But we reserve our room as soon as possible is not something that I can see any purpose in ever saying. So I think that the present tense Italian can be used to indicate future time?
my italian teachers told us that the future tense is rarely used. i.e. domani vado alla scuola tomorrow i go to school. Future would only be used for events a long way in the future, like next Christmas I am going home.
What if this sentence isn't referring to a specific situation but how it is in general. Like "We always want the best rooms in the hotel when we go on holidays so we reserve them as soon as possible."
Thank you for mentioning it... I wasn't aware that the present tense in English won't be used for this sentence. What about the present continuous? If we are sitting at the computer right now and clicking through the options?
The present continuous is fine. Sitting at the computer someone asks what are you doing and I say I am reserving our rooms.
There is a use for the present however. It can refer to habitual actions: we reserve our rooms as soon as possible - because otherwise they will be all booked, perhaps.
Is the Italian sentence talking about habitual actions or does it indicate present time?
it's not clear if it is talking about making the reservation quickly or making the reservation for the first vacancy. Is it? Doesn't this work for both in Italian?
I assume this is equivalent to the English phrase: We reserve our room the first possible night. In which case the English phrase should be accepted as a fair translation.