"In un momento il ragazzo finisce la cena."

Translation:In a moment the boy finishes his dinner.

May 11, 2013

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This isn't fair. We all know that the present tense can be used in Italian (and English) to refer to a future event. It makes more sense to translate, "in a moment he will finish dinner" and still remain faithful to the Italian. I have seen duolingo translate the present as a future in other exercises so I figured it would be allowed.


I would agree, however I think this sentence refers to the idea that the boy "Eats his dinner very quickly". It would be incorrect, therefore, to say "The boy will eat his dinner very quickly", as it is dealing with present tense.


cacioepepe is quite right. In English we would not say, "In a moment he finishes dinner". You would say, "in a moment he will finish his dinner" or you might say, "He finishes his dinner in a moment" (which means he always does that).


Hey, this is a free site. You get what you pay for. They're very inconsistent with allowing translations of Italian present tense verbs into future tense in English. So I default to using present tense translations while reaping the understanding that, in Italian, it appears to be okay to use present tense in the sense of "am/is/are going to..."


But what does this mean in English? That in a moment the boy will finish dinner? Or that in an instant he finishes dinner (talking about his habit).


Perhaps he gobbles everything up with amazing speed.


Can it be used to talk about the future too though?


I am not sure, because Italians love to use the future tense, much more than I would in my language.


Thanks siebolt, it's confusing! . Does anyone else know ?


The English translation can be understood in either case that you state IGFS. Both are equally correct. Additionally, the Italian present tense is often used to express the near future. I'm not too sure how long that extends into the future but certainly long enough to either gobble up a meal or take a more leisurely approach. Hope this helps :)


Maybe I can help a bit, although I'm not Italian. In my language we sometimes use present tense even if we talk about the future, in order to "raise the tension" of the narrative. It is most commonly used in literature and in storytelling. From this point of view, the above sentence would be completely normal, as it should be understood according to siebold's interpretation. Of course it is hard to judge without a context, which is Duolingo's notorious flaw.


The English translation given above is a real stretch. That is not to say that one could never imagine a reason to say that, but in almost every case it would be a poor choice. Moment is usually not intended to be precise, so if I wanted to say he eats in a minute I would say something like "He finished his dinner in only one minute." In a moment is much more likely to be used to indicate the near, but indefinite future. "I will be ready in a moment." "In a moment (i.e., very soon) the boy will finish his dinner."


What's the difference between diner and supper?

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