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  5. "Quando ero piccolo, non mi m…

"Quando ero piccolo, non mi mettevo i pantaloni."

Translation:When I was little, I would not wear pants.

May 14, 2013



sometimes i still don't


I wanted to put 'would' but was afraid to since it wasn't a conditional tense...


Would can also work like used to and if it doesn't work feel free to report it :)


I found understanding "would" quite challenging so perhaps my present concept may help others who read this discussion. I found it helps to appreciate the English use of "would" is used in two contexts: 1) What would happen if....(the conditional) 2) What would have happened in the past. (Imperfect) The next trick is to put this into the appropriate Italian tense.


Ahah, thank you kind sir!


Not here it can't: negative would is modal. It's wrong and should be fixed.


Same here, but "didn't used to wear" was not accepted.


I wrote: When I was little, I did not wear pants. It was accepted. Duo suggested another answer: when I was little, I would not wear pants.


I think you can simply take would to mean was not willing here, as in "I was not willing/refused to wear pants." It works for the English sentence, but does the Italian imperfect have that meaning??


DL's translation would be extremely helpful if it were to offer us 'long' pants. Pantaloni originally meaning "long pants" or "trousers". When I was little, I did not wear long pants.


"Long pants" in BE would still be undergarments, not trousers.


In English pantaloni are translated as 'trousers'. You need to update your answers


Duo translates it as "...I would not wear pants" -- wouldn't portare or indossare be a better verb than mettere, which would seem to indicate "put (on)"?


The verb here is mettersi, and mettersi also = to wear


It counted me wrong for saying "used to", telling me to instead use "use to"...


You were correct: 'used to' is proper English, 'use to' is not.

  • 1763

Yes, must reporr this.


It depends how you used this - for the negative, you can either say "used not to" or (more common) "didn't use to".


Absolutely right.


Would 'piccolo' change according to gender or is it always 'piccolo' in this sentence?


Yes, she would say 'piccola', he would say 'piccolo'. This is the case any time an adjective is used with a form of essere.


Why doesn't Duo accept "wasn't wearing"?


I agree - this was marked wrong, except I wrote "was not wearing"


Same here, and reporting it.


'When I used to be small, I did not wear trousers' not accepted by DL - can anyone please explain why this was not acceptable ? thanks.


Why I wasn't wearing pants is marked wrong? I want to see the rule when to use the conditional please.

  • 638

I still refuse to wear pants


I was not wearing pants is also correct (past imperfect, not conditional).


If "mi" is before the verb, why is it wrong to add "myself" at the end of the sentence. This would mean that I put on trousers but that someone, mother?, helped me. If adding "myself" is wrong, why is the Italian not "i miei pantaloni"?


Quando ero piccolo, non mi mettevo i pantaloni perché mia mamma mi ha messo i vestiti.


I put, I did not put on my pants, as my interpretation of 'mi', and duo accepted that.


Addressing the second half of your question: I can't say for certain, but when translated exactly, the sentence means "I would not put on myself the pants". I imagine that it is implied that 1.) you are the one who put on the pants (or not in this sentence) and 2.) that the pants you would wear are you're own. I could be wrong though, so could someone confirm this?


The verb used here, "mettersi", is reflexive, so the literal translation is "I would wear to me the trousers." This construction, of reflexive verb plus noun with definite article, is not found in English, but it occurs in quite a number of other languages.


Ora sono più vecchio e non mi sento la brezza.


How archaic. I wonder how many people actually know what this means?

"Pantaloni" are in fact "long pants", a reference to a time a century ago when young boys wore knickers until they got old enough to wear long pants (I suspect this was a fiction).

In today's changing fashions, I suppose the young lad could have worn a nice dress instead of pants. Maybe a kilt. Knickers if this was the 19th century. Let's at least hope he wore underpants.


How confusing English can be! To this native BE speaker, pants and knickers are the same thing - i. e., undergarments. Long outer garments are trousers, while short ones are shorts. I'm not sure what Jeffrey 855877 means. To me, an English lad born in 1944 to a poor family, it meant what happened to me: that until I was three, I had to wear my elder sister's dresses.


The sentence lends itself to the notion that the youngster didn't wear anything at all.

In AE, "pants" are always BE "trousers". AE "pants" are never undergarments. However, AE "panties" are always women's undergarments. And "trousers" are the same in both BE and AE.

I've always been curious about the Beatles' song in which the young lady is said to have "let her knickers down". In the US, "knickers" are "knee-pants" - trousers which only go down to just below the knee, where they are secured by a elastic or a belt or a snap of some sort. Rarely seen nowadays, mostly on golf-courses. Paine Stewart used to wear them on the PGA tour. They used to be much more common - worn by young boys who were not dressed in long pants or trousers for quite a while.

In many old family photos I have of babies and toddlers (in AE, up to about age 3), it's difficult to tell the girls from the boys because not only did the baby boys wear "dresses" (they were probably just called "baby clothes"), their hair wasn't cut. It was a passage into later childhood and maleness when a young boy got to wear trousers/pants of some sort (instead of a dress) and received a hair-cut, after which long hair and dresses were deemed effeminate. (Worthy of a psychological thesis, I'd say. Dressing a baby boy like a girl, then changing him to male clothes and hair for the rest of his life?).

But today, with gender reassignment/confusion/whatever, it's not all that unusual (though rare) for a young boy to insist on wearing dresses and or young girl to wear trousers. It's confusing.

After that digression: my point has to do with the fact that "pantaloni" are "long pants", i.e., "trousers", so that not wearing "pantaloni" could mean wearing knickers, a dress, a kilt, or nothing at all.


What you describe as knickers, in BE are knickerbockers, now a very dated expression. "Knickers" = "panties" (i e women's undergarments)- miss that, and you fail to understand a whole raft of English expressions and references!


I suspected as much.

The term "knickers" in AE pretty much only refers to the short trousers ending below the knee. It comes from "Knickerbocker" the short trousers worn by the early Dutch settlers in that area. The word's popularity arose with publication of the satirical "A History of New York from the Beginning of the World to the End of the Dutch Dynasty" written by American 19th century author Washinton Irving, under the pen-name Diedrich Knickerbocker. (I haven't read that book yet, but now I'm very much motivated to do so.)

You might be interested to know, if you don't already, that the full name of the professional basketball team from New York City is "The New York Knickerbockers", fondly know as "The Knicks".

There is also the Knickerbocker Club in Manhattan. It's a very exclusive men's club, similar in concept to the British gentleman's club, rather than the tawdry American application of that term to strip joints and nudie bars. There's probably a Knickerbocker strip club, but I don't know that for a fact. It's America, after all.

In conclusion, it seems the Brits have extended the word to mean panties, and it's not in common use here at all, although I think that if you referred to the basketball team as "The New York Knickers" you'd get a laugh in some quarters. You also might get beaten bloody, in the off chance anyone inclined to bar-fights overheard you and would also know what "knickers" are in BE. Very doubtful, that.


Didn't Paine Stewart wear Plus Fours like the early traditonal golfers? Not knickerbockers.


Back in my day...... XD


I translated "piccolo" (a masculine word in Italian) as "a little boy", which conveys the correct message in English. Even though, my answer was not accepted. I feel very sorry for that. Please duolingo, reconsider your correction! My greetings to everybody. January 22, 2017.


I put when I was little I never used to wear pants. Why is this wrong?


Perché la frase non ha la parola 'mai' ('never' in inglese).


Yeah one upon time""""?)what a days


Do you really have to say mi mettevo? Isn't just mettevo just as right?


That sounds an odd translation in English as pants are our undergarments. I know the word came from underpants but always abbreviated now. We wear trousers..


Yep, this is definitely one where the use of US English raises an eyebrow to those who speak GB English...


Some of these sentences make me roll my eyes and some of these sentences make me roll my eyes and scream. :)


What about: "When I was little, I didn't used to wear pants"?


Neither did I - so (despite the fact I'm a girl) I was nicknamed Nicholas.....


Why not, "When I was little, I didn't used to wear trousers"?


Well I thought it meant, when I was little I couldn't put on my own trousers. I've got used to AE translation of trousers although it is still anooying


Adesso sono grande, e quando lavoro a casa: la stessa cosa.


It wouldn't take "when I was small, I usen't wear pants"


Hi Grainne from the deise - I think "usen't" might be an Irishism - not known outside this blessed Isle. Greetings from the Premier county.


The English translation means that when when this person was a child, he refused to wear pants. I don't think the Italian sentence means that.

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