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  5. "Io aspetto finché non trovi …

"Io aspetto finché non trovi il cane."

Translation:I wait until you find the dog.

May 16, 2013



I'd to think of this as finchè meaning "as long as": so, "io aspetto finchè non trovi il cane" translates roughly as "i (will) wait as long as you don't find the dog", which basically means "I wait until you find the dog". Am I right?


I dont know understand why the non is there then


Finché means 'as long as'. Ex. Finché c'è il sole, sono felice ('As long as the sun shines, I am happy').
Finché non means 'until'. Ex. Ti ho aspettato finché non ha cominciato a piovere ('I waited for you until it started raining')


If you think about it, the english word 'until' has the 'non' built into it - 'un', which means 'not' in english... we have such a wonderfully mashed up language.


Thank you!!! That makes perfect sense.


Thank you, now I understand!


Okay but they have a word for until which should negate the need for non. Yes I know. Accept it as it is.



If I'm not mistaken, in Italian and many languages, many words such as "until" are implied rather than used directly. Also in Italian, we have what is known as a double negative. That is why we use non.


Makes sense. Thank you!


Thank you for a straightforward explanation.


And suddenly it makes sense. Thanks!


It doesn't make sense, but I believe that's how it is.


I think it doesn't need the "non" there so the translation in english makes sense


Oh!!! Thank you! That makes much more sense now



  1. Would you mind to explain us about what term "c'è" is?

  2. What is "raingin"? I have searched for it in my English dictionary, but I don't find such word at all.

Grazie mille


"c'è" means "there is" = ci + è; "ci sono" means "there are"


Grazie per la spiegazione. :)


Raingin = raining


è chiaro adesso, grazie.


He meant raining


raining water falling from the sky


It's not "raingin," it's "raining." That's why you couldn't find it in the dictionary :)


Gracie mille.


Most helpful. Thanks. B


Thanks cleared it for me


Thanks! Now I do understand !


OOOH, that is a better explanation. Until is in this case not the right translation, because Until refers to a definite moment, while As long as refers to an indefinite time.


Think of it as "I wait while you don't find the dog"


My italian wife says it is a mistake


Could you specify what the mistake is?


Yes. Me too...why is the non there


Finche non = until


Finché means 'as long as'. Ex. Finché c'è il sole, sono felice ('As long as the sun shines, I am happy'). Finché non means 'until'. Ex. Ti ho aspettato finché non ha cominciato a piovere ('I waited for you until it started raining')

5 years ago (5th post from the top)


Thanks! This makes perfect sense! I avoid direct translations of other languages to my mother tongue (greek) in order to learn them, I think it's detrimental for the learning process, but sentences need to make sense in italian, otherwise they won't stick in my mind! That helps a lot :)


very useful comments!

[deactivated user]

    No. How can 'don't find the dog' and' find the dog' be the same? One is a negative?


    That is VERY helpful, thank you!


    No. You're not right. That's a nosensical explanation.


    Thank you so much!


    Thank you , this sort of makes sense, I just have to follow common usage, as in many languages.


    I was confused, now it's making sense with your explanation! thx!


    or 'in case' maybe too.


    As long as? I thought it meant finish. Help!?


    would be nice if duolingo gave us a small grammar lecture about these kind of words, with uses and exceptions, instead of throwing it at us and causing confusing, while we have to ask help from other members or scower the internet.


    I think it's fine for free language learning. Things like this I'd rather look up on my own or ask others about. It would be too much information if they over-explained things.


    I agree. In addition to begin free, with all of its problems, the approach this app takes is proving to be extremely effective for me. There are many alternate online resources at one's fingertips to balance the help here. Taking the trouble to use those resources are a great support out to the learning experience in total.


    It's "scour", not "scower", by the way....


    actually this is the way a child learns. No explanations just sounds. I THINK this might actually make us more able to use Italian than the more typical lengthy explanations that require you to translate each word and phrase.


    I agree an explanation in the discussion area by someone actually involved in making the Italian tree would mean those who go looking for more information are getting the right explanation. It is dishearting sometimes when people trying to help contridict each other.


    in my opinion this should be translated as: "i wait until you do not find the dog" because of non. could somebody explain this?


    wondering the same thing...


    from chris123456 about: "No, non finché non lo apri." Translation: No, not until you open it.:

    In this sentence only one "non" is causing the negation. In some circumstances " non" doesn't negate things. This is a particularly tricky sentence because it has both types!! The clue is the word "finché" so approach with great caution!!

    There are two ways to use "finché and you need to decide which is being used. Either "until the moment that" or "for all the time that." In the former case the use of " non" can be optional and does not change the meaning as in the above case. In the latter use the meaning is changed.

    The apparently additional use of "non" is called pleonastic so you may wish to try googling that word or there is more info here: http://onlineitalianclub.com/free-italian-exercises-and-resources/italian-grammar/finche-finche-non/ Hope this helps :)


    Interesting, in my mother tongue we always use this kind of pleonastic denial (literally, "ne"), regardless of the meaning as in Italian. It is also a common mistake we make when speaking English. Hint: this is one of the ways to spot a Southern Slav who hasn't polished his English yet. :)


    It's not that pleonastic, though: double negation was once standard English (well, early modern one) and finchè as one may deduct from (http://www.collinsdictionary.com/dictionary/italian-english/finché) functions as until only with the "postpositive" non (in fact it derives from fin+ché), otherwise it is closer to all the way up to (http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/finché)


    May I ask what specific country you're from?


    Thanks for the explanation. It seems so illogical to me and I guess I'll just have to take it as is


    I know what you mean in my country we do quite the same... Thing is "i wait until you don't find the dog " and "i wait untik you find the dog" has the same logical meaning in English...

    [deactivated user]

      Thank you, this explanation helps a lot!


      Thanks a mil this is a great explanation. Will check out this website. Similar to using double negatives in English


      Brilliant, thankyou!


      @Tim1988 When you hover you get : finché.. non =until, as long as,while. So, the non is part of the expression. It's not translated as not.


      it is explained at the very first comment


      FINCHE NON seems to be used whenever there is use of a negative. eg. until i die ( as long as i have not died) AND until you have found the dog ( as long as you have not found the dog..


      Rather beautiful how Italian encourages patience and non-perfectionism by saying literally "I'll wait as long as you don't find the dog" for " I'll wait until you find the dog." Really like it!! :)))


      How good to hear someone look on the bright side. Too many people are stuck in the rut of the familiar that anything new engenders complaints. Your post was a breath of fresh air.


      One of my reasons for learning Italian is that I'm interested in how learning can change the way we think. This sentence seemed a good example of how a new language can give us a new way of looking at the world and thinking differently about life. :))


      You're off to a good start. Every language has a whole nation and heritage behind it. Yes, this was one of the more "unusual" examples and I'm sure you'll find a lot more windows on the Italian world and enjoy learning, too. Good for you.


      That's the spirit! I commend your will to try to understand how different cultures think! :-)

      [deactivated user]

        In English, we would never say this. We would say either 'we will wait until you find the dog' or 'we will wait for as long as you wait for the dog.' The Italian does not translate well.


        Just to make it clear: can i just say "io aspetto finché trovi il cane" without the "non"?


        Not with the same meaning.


        what does it mean without the "non"?


        Is it just me or has the difficulty gotten far harder in this section? I had absolutely no trouble following this course untik now, and all of a sudden I find myself completely lost. How am I meant to understand how to translate these sentences? I don't recall being instructed on this grammar previously.


        I agree it suddenly gets harder but all the effort of figuring it out help me to remember.


        I think i need a break


        Hmmm. This must be the dog that eats salt. Probably looking for water lol!!


        keep getting my Spanish mixed with my Italian!


        Can someone explain why it's "non"???


        Well, we say things like "I'm not going until you find the car keys", which to a non-native English speaker no doubt sounds like "I'm not going" etc. Every language has its idiosyncracies, and "finchè non" is one of the Italian ones. We tend to think our own language is quite simple, and since we are used to it, we don't think of the inherent difficulties....until someone says "Why in English is say like this?" (We have had several Italian cousins to visit recently, and that is the sort of thing they ask.) So try to just learn something as a general rule...i.e. in Italian, "until" is expressed as "finchè non"...and so on.


        You are wisdom personified :-)


        Goodness, flattery like that deserves a Lingot :D

        [deactivated user]

          Guys, you are awesome! Grazie!


          I will or I shall.. the meaning is the same


          Can it be: I wait while you don't find the dog (I know it is not a direct translation), but it helps me to understand that by the time the person finds the dog, you will not wait any longer, and not look for something found. ?


          Doesn't non trovi mean not found


          That would be non trovato.
          Trovi is second person singular (you).


          This would have been very confusing to me, but the Czech language works the same way. Instead of saying "until", they just say "while" (or as long as), and negate the verb.

          So, instead of "until you find the dog", you say "while you don't find the dog", or you can think of it as "as long as you haven't found the dog".


          For those confused about "non", after reading on it, I think one question really comes to mind.

          If "non" is used in a positive sentence, how do you create a negative sentence without a double negative? I.e. "I will wait until you don't do it"

          Finché non - Positive Fino a quando - Negative

          I will wait until you do it.

          Aspetto finché non lo farai.

          I will wait until you don't do it.

          Aspetto fino a quando non lo farai.

          Both contain negatives but for different reasons. These don't have "literal" translations as the grammar is different from English, but you can derive meaning from them as so.

          I will wait as long as you don't do it.

          Aspetto finché non lo farai.

          I will wait for when you don't do it.

          Aspetto fino a quando non lo farai.


          Yes, thank you for the clear and concise answer. I and many others have answered this numerous times, so I'd encourage anyone before they post a question about using "non" refer to this answer.


          Iborrione: I put 'Io aspetto finche tu trovi il cane' and it was marked right, so assume you can say it like this.


          Why is non in this sentence?!?! Does it not mean not?! #soconfused


          A point in English I seem to be unsure of is that: I'll and we'll can be rendered I will, we will or I shall, we shall when indicating the future. Yet DL does not accept I shall in this case. Anyone know why?


          Thanks Muttley, surely this does prove my point? Not worth the bother though, life's too short for shillyshallying and willynillying.



          Is it also correct, if we say it like this, "Ti aspetto finché non trovi il cane"?

          Grazie mille per le vostre risposte.


          It is correct and, let me add, it is very correct. The use of the pronomi atoni is not very easy to grab and you seem to have mastered it :-)


          Having been over this again, and not having looked at this particular lesson for weeks, I now find that I got it wrong and put 'il carne' instead as that is what I heard. How can we differentiate the sound of 'cane' and 'carne', as this sentence would have vaguely made sense even with 'meat'? Thank you for any tips.


          My italian teacher cries with laughter at my attempt to pronounce some words with double consonants. I simply cannot HEAR the difference when she says the words! ...and of course the meaning changes!


          As a Brit I would pronounce "cane" and "carne" the same, but living in America has modified that, but we are of course talking about speaking English. My impression is that native Italians do not accentuate the "r" in a word like "carne" as much as an American would in "carnival" but I would be interested in a native Italian speaker's comments.


          I'm not Italian, but British like you, but as a Spanish speaker I would make a difference (and hope it is right in Italian):

          "cane" doesn't involve the tongue (well, of course it does, but you're not really aware of it)

          "carne" - is like you're Scottish, rolling or trilling the 'r' a bit.


          It has been explained several times in previous comments. Please read the comments before submitting one that has already been answered. This helps you get answers to your questions, keeps the number of comments to a manageable number and shows some respect to the people who spend their time trying to help users learn Italian :-)


          Three cheers for Muttley71.


          I read the comments below now I think I understand


          Why "non trovi" instead of just "trovi"


          The "non" makes it very confusing


          What's up with the subjunctives in this lesson? I don't recall them being introduced yet...


          There is no subjunctive in this sentence.
          io aspetto = present indicative.
          (tu) trovi = present indicative.

          Finché is followed by the indicative so trovi is not one of the singular subjects of trovare in the subjunctive but the 2nd person singular indicative.


          Why is there a "non"?


          Please read the very first comment.


          Is it usual in Italian for this phrase to be in present tense? In English it would always be future: I will wait . . .


          I would say "I will wait" and not just "I wait"

          [deactivated user]

            'non trovi' = don't find


            This post is just for clarification - 'finche non' are used together to mean 'until', so don't associate the non with trovi i.e. hence the translation 'I'll wait until you find the dog'.


            I think this distinction is far too complex for this level of learning.


            'I'll wait ' is more natural English


            Please read the very first comment on this page.


            The last question I translated without the "non", and this one with the "non", but both translated into "I wait until you find the dog". What is the difference between adding the "non" and not adding it?


            Aspetto che trovi il cane ???


            Aspetto che trovi il cane.


            it would be helpful if duolingo explained difference between FINCHE and FINCHE NON in TIP section


            Shouldn't it say I'll wait until you find the dog? 'I wait' just doesn't fit together.


            Why Non, meaning that I will until you haven't found the dog. But I want that you find my dog.


            so finche is roughly forever, but 'finche non' puts a limit on forever, forever's end, rather like I am going to wait forever, or not forever if you find the dog


            "finchè" is not "forever" it means "till", "as long as" "forever"--->"per sempre"


            for me as a russian speaker there is no mistake; everything is logical. In Russian we would say: "пока не" which literally means "finchè non"


            Same here, easy for me. But I would not say it is logical, because when I think about it there is more logic to that in English, as someone waits till he/she finds the dog, so the word "no" doesn't make much sense. I can understand the confusion English speakers have here. But you know, each language has its own rules and structures, we have to learn them.


            Not everything will be logical in another language. I, too, had trouble with this sentence until I realized that it is "finche non" that is an adverbal phrase modifying "trovi" and is not read as "non trovi".


            Yes, I agree with you that each language has its pros and cons. Well, when I started to study English, English "until" seemed very, very unnatural to me as well as single denials. I'm fluent in Turkish and they'd literally say "before you find".


            The issue is that Duo chose to use "until" instead of "as long as".


            Right, luckily a daily conversation is usually more forgiving than DL


            Or 'i wait while you don't find the dog'


            Kind of, it's more like "wait until I no longer have not found the dog."


            Didn't the exact previous example of this sentence not use the word non. I am so confused.


            I was marked correctly but in fact i was wrong - i put 'io aspetto finche non trove il cane


            Sometimes Duo allows small typos.
            Kudos to you for spotting the issue yourself :-)


            A native English person would say "I'll wait until you find the dog" but I guess we haven't tackled the future tense yet.


            From what I understand finche non = until and finche = as long as. So it wouldnt make sense if it was finche on its own because it would be I will wait as long as you find the dog, adding a non doesn't necessarily create 'as long as you dont' because that wouldnt make sense, it instead as adds a finality to the 'as long as' -so when the 'as long as' ends i.e until.


            How about "I'll wait until you DON'T find the dog" meaning "I'll wait until you've looked long enough for the dog, you haven't found it, and you decide to give up and leave.


            I am not sure I understand the meaning of this sentence. Could be "[...] until the dog won't be found"? I am puzzled because yourself needed to explain the meaning of your sentence, so I guess in Italian you would say: "Aspetto finchè non troverai più il cane" or "aspetto finché non riuscirai più a trovare il cane" but it will require further explanation.
            Più here marks that the action stops or is no more.


            Please hover over the words above and you'll find that the "non" in "finché......non" does NOT mean only "not", it can mean "until". With "until" you get a very logical sentence. And before you ask a question or propose a solution do read the comments above where you'll find lots of interesting information


            Jaye16: Waiting until someone doesn't find something is just as logical a scenario as waiting until someone does find it. My question, after reading all of the previous comments, as you suggest, wasn't to take exception to the correct translation or somehow challenge it, it was asked to try to find out how one would in fact say what I'd written, namely "I'll wait until you DON'T find the dog". No one's answered that question.


            Then I most certainly owe you an apology. I hope that after reading the many posts and all the hoopla over that "non" in the sentence my thoughts went to: "Oh, no not again." I need to learn to read more carefully.


            jaye16: Thanks, I appreciate it. This sentence has generated more comments than any other I believe. And I'm grateful for all the time you and others have taken to help me understand how the phrase is being used.


            Yes, it seems to be some sort of record and it's been around a year. Best wishes for great language learning progress.


            its the non trovi that foxes me


            Seems like it says I wait until you don't find the dog...why non trovi?


            what is "non" doing in this sentence? doesn't this mean "I wait until you don't find the dog"?


            In this particular sentence non is being combined with Finche to mean 'until'. Have a look at Muttley71's explanation and examples in response to sambarown's query 4 years ago and the other helpful comments from Muttley71 and Jaye16 and others regarding this same query - they helped me to understand, accept and move forward :-)


            i dont understand the 'non' in this sentence. Why do they use non in this one?

            [deactivated user]

              I am leaving this language site and recommending my friends/family do not sign up because of error.


              I don't understand why the 'non' is there.


              But it says '...NON trovi il cane'


              Why is the negative needed in this phrase?


              Muttley71 post five years ago very near the top of this discussion should answer this.


              Why can't one say"tu trovi"? Especially when "io" is emphasising I do one thing while you do another.


              Why the word non then ?


              Hi. I understand finché non means until however I've practiced with a few Italian friends and they all disagree. They say I should just say finché for until. Now I'm confused.


              I wait until I find the dog. But you put non there and says correct. I don't see the answer as I do not wait until so why is "non" in the sentence correct?


              Please read the very first comment on this page.


              i wait finish not find the dog?


              you can use finché without non for until. To clear up some confusion a good way to look at it would be you cannot leave a situation until. Non finché = I cannot go until. Literally. Finché = until


              Non" is confusing here


              Please review the comments above. This has been asked and answered numerous times. The answer is right at the top.


              why the non is there ??? i wait until you don't find the dog ?


              why is non is this sentence? there is no negative


              Hi look, it is just the Italian construction of the sentence, I know it is counter-intuitive, but you have to take it as it is. It is easier for me as it is pretty much the same in my mother tongue. But think about it like this: Someone is willing to wait all that time the other person CAN NOT find the dog (that's where "non" comes from). As soon as that person finds the dog the waiting is over. So that "non" relates to the period of waiting/looking for that dog. I know that Italian is so different from many languages, one can't just translate word for word and word order for the same order. Give it a time.


              so the non at the beginning of the sentence is an indication of what could be as well as what the actual translation is?


              The “non” is not at the beginning of the sentence and it is there only because in Italian there is a different approach/structure to such statements. Read some other comments, it is pretty well explained.


              How would this sentence be written if "i wait until he doesn't find the dog"?? Aspetto finche non non trovi il cane?


              I am guessing that you are not an English speaker. Take both sentences:

              "I wait until you find the dog". "I wait until you don't find the dog". and translate them into your language. I'm pretty sure that both can't be correct. The sentence: "i wait until he doesn't find the dog" doesn't make much sense. Its meaning is like "I wait until he loses the dog". But please note, I am not an English speker.


              Perfect confusion with "non"...


              Please read the other comments on this page and I'm sure enlightenment will be at the end of your venture.


              I wait untill you "dont" find the dog...?


              the reasoning is like this: "I wait as long/all that time/for the time you DON"T find the dog (but at the very moment you do find your dog the waiting is over)", if this makes any sense to you.


              Not everything will be logical in another language. I, too, had trouble with this sentence until I realized that it is "finche non" are the pair that is an adverbial phrase modifying "trovi" . It is not read as "non trovi".


              Yes, but PLEASE review the other comments on this page where this has been answered many times.


              Surely this means: I wait until you DON'T find the dog. It doesn't make sense.


              O no, it makes a lot of sense. First, "finchè" doesn't mean "until" in this sentence. Each language has its own way to express the same thoughts. So in Italian the reasoning is like this: "I wait as long/all that time/for the time you DON"T find the dog (but at the very moment you do find your dog the waiting is over)", if this makes any sense to you.

              Look, for many English learners if you'd say "I'm on a bus" "I'm on a train" doesn't make any sense because they thing you are on the top of a bus, not inside a bus. If you have a roof over your head you are clearly "in" not "on". One doesn't say "I'm on the house" or "I'm on the tent". Each language is different and I believe each is pretty logical (with some exceptions in every language).


              Thank you, Stefan. That's very helpful. There's so much scope for meanings to be lost in translation.


              I would highly encourage you to read the rest of this page, this question has been answered numerous times. Thanks.


              You are right. The key word is "translation". Wouldn't be great just to learn some vocabulary and speak the language? Go to one of the first lessons and read people's comments. Then you'll understand what a huge progress you have made. 50 days and I can have a simple conversation in Italian. I would say it's a pretty good starting point. (btw DL is the last source of my study, there are much better ones out there)


              I feel your pain, have you tried Babble? I've heard a lot of great things about it, though I've never tried it myself. Here's a Lingot for you patience.


              thank you. No, I have not. I've been using online classes which are taught by Italians. Great stuff. But unfortunately I do not have any native speakers around me and I really think that an hour of conversation gives you more than a week of studying. And I am memorizing the most useful vocabulary, so even if I make grammar mistakes, I can still express my thoughts. And this works pretty well.


              I don't understand why the non is there if the translation is supposed to be "I wait until you find the dog" or some variation of that. Also, I'm confused by aspetto as well.


              the reasoning is like this: "I wait as long/all that time/for the time you DON'T find the dog (but at the very moment you do find your dog the waiting is over)", if this makes any sense to you.



              Does not make more sense to say: Io aspetto finche trovi il cane?


              I agree. The "non" is the opposite of "finding" (not finding) and confuses the interpretation of the sentence. Colloquial?


              why is the word 'non' used as it suggests that 'you do not find'?


              the reasoning is like this: "I wait as long/all that time/for the time you DON'T find the dog (but at the very moment you do find your dog the waiting is over)", if this makes any sense to you.



              Io aspetto finché non trovi il cane--- Why do you write the negative sentence in Italian and you do not accpet the negative translation in English?. Don't you think it will be better if you write IO ASPPETO FINCHÉ TROVI IL CANE?


              As you'll see from the many comments above the Italian is correct and the English is correct. The two languages have different means of expressing things. If you had read the other comments you would have noted that the Italian is not negative.
              It's really a good idea to always read the comments they contain a lot of information.

              Also see these sites for assistance: http://duolingo.wikia.com/wiki/Frequently_asked_questions http://duolingo.wikia.com/wiki/Duolingo_Wiki#Getting_Help


              Personally, I have learned a lot about the language from explanations in the forum. It always helps me learn when I understand why a sentence structure is the way it is.


              Thanks for your answer but the differences between 'finché' and 'finche non' were not written in the excercise and I lost a life. I think you should write an apropriate explanation before anyone writes a comment without reading the comments above.


              I think you are missing the point here. The aim of Duolingo is to teach a language (Italian, in this case). The hearts and lingots thingy is a way to make the learning process funnier, not the main point. If you lose a heart, well, you just repeat the exercise/training and you get it right. No kitten is ever harmed for a missed heart :-)


              I think the person is missing the point here, is you. I do know that losing a hart it's not important, the fact here is that I lost it for something that duolinguo doesn't explain/teach very well or considers as well known when it never taught to the learners in previous lessons. Thank you for advice. Are you the owner of this webpage?. If you are just a student, I think it's better to write comments for improving the teaching, not for perpetuating the mistakes of design of this great project, which generates confusion instead of learning. As you said, the aim of Duolingo is to teach, not to confuse.


              Let's not get personal :-)
              I m sure that now you will remember this Italian structure that differs from the English one. For that matter, Duolingo's mission is accomplished :-)
              Learning a language on Duolingo is not the same as with the traditional method with grammar books. It's rather a matter of trying and learning by repetition. The earlier one realizes that, the better.


              In addition to all Muttley 71 said, which I agree with totally, I got the explanation for "finché....non" = until, as long as, while by hovering over the Italian at the top of this page. If you don't know about this treasure of information you'll be glad to see it. However, sometimes it's not accurate but most of the time it's truly a help. And to repeat Muttley71's great advice, stop worrying about the hearts everyone, even long time users lose hearts. Repetition is the key to learning.


              Read my post to Muttley71. I think it will help you to understand my point of view. Thanks.


              I was trying to help, as was Muttley71. Since you refuse my help and continue to be impolite I shall leave you to your own resources.


              You didn't help at all. You just tried to be obsecuente with the collaborator.


              Why does it say "non trovi" if the english translation is trovi, you do find the dog?


              "non" throws the entire sentence off. Translates to "not finding"

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