Translation:My dear, it would be better if you put on the sweater.
I don't agree that the article 'the' would be used in English. In English we would use the indefinite article 'a'. It's annoying that this site is very inflexible in its translations of the articles when they're used so differently between English and Italian.
You're right that at times articles are used differently but in this case a literal translation does work. You could also say 'un maglione' in Italian to refer to just any sweater but telling somebody to put on 'the sweater' or 'il maglione' indicates that there is one on hand :)
I literal translation may work but the question is, 'Would an Italiian ever say 'il maglione' in circumstances where an English speaker would say 'a sweater'?
If I were referring to a specific jumper, I'd definitely say "the jumper". Certainly there are differences in article use between English and Italian, but I don't think this is one of them.
The definite article would be used perhaps when given a choice of which piece of clothing to wear. "Honey, which do you prefer, the sweater or the vest?"
puppybane&confusedbeetle: And I learned a tee shirt was a maglietta. My guess is ONE of them has got to fit to a T.
Ah thank you, have just done the unthinkable and consulted my dictionary which has tee shirt as maglietta, which makes sense as the sweater/jumper/pullover is a bigger item
Maglione = it's a heavy sweater (usually made of wool) that you usually wear during winter. Maglia is more generic and it may indicate a lighter sweater, a shirt, or even a t-shirt. Maglietta = t-shirt, or a shirt you would wear during the summer.
Basically you can associate the heaviness of the shirt with their suffix. Maglione = big shirt -> heavy shirt Maglia = shirt -> light shirt Maglietta = little shirt -> lighter shirt
This exercise is difficult because it contains three sources of confusion. Firstly the imperfect subjunctive which cannot be literally translated without totally contorting the English language. Secondly the Italian use of "mi metto il maglione" for "I put on my sweater" (this is why the definite article is used here). Thirdly maglione / maglia is difficult to translate as there is no consistent translation in English (ask an American or English person what a T shirt is....try Googling it!). Having said that, if you can overcome these challenges your Italian (and English) will definitely improve.
I think there is uncertainty, the speaker is expressing an opinion which may or may not be true. sarebbe meglio has the same feel as penso che to me, may be wrong, I often am
Thanks. acqualinda pointed me to this great explanation of the subjunctive. http://blogs.transparent.com/italian/2009/10/page/4/ Point 4 applies here.
That page has moved. It's now at http://blogs.transparent.com/italian/il-congiuntivo-part-4-%e2%80%93-imperfetto/
It explains that the imperfect subjunctive is used following the conditional +che construction for certain verbs including the "essere meglio" used here.
The subjunctive is used in certain constructions even when there is no uncertainty. See the other comments on this page.
Missed out "be"; it should read: "My dear it would be better if you put on a sweater."
gianberto: Nothing wrong at all. 'A sweater' implies 'your sweater'. My comment would be about DL's choice of 'my dear' which i think is too literal. It sounds like a parent speaking to a child and 'my dear' sounds too formal. I'd say "honey..." which many parents use when speaking directly to their children.
I'm afraid these 'personal' uses of words are just something we have to deal with. by the way; i would use 'cara mia' instead - it just sounds better and more common.
I believe that the translation for "" il maglione " is " the sweater " not " your sweater " as they have translated
While technically correct, italian like other languages, German e.g., prefers the definite article over the possessive adjective -- il vs il tuo -- with parts of the body and articles of clothing, when the context is obvious. Inclusion of the possessive is certainly not incorrect, but its use isn't necessary to warrant the English translation DL's given. It's never a good idea in translating to be too literal or to strive to achieve a word-for-word equivalency. In doing so the translation will often wind up sounding awkward.
I put "my beloved" instead of "my dear" and was marked wrong. Was I actually wrong?
No it's not wrong, Gomez in Addams family calls Morticia "cara mia!" as meaning "beloved". But here we don't know if it's a lover, so better use "dear" as it is more general
Doesn't matter if it's a sweater or your sweater. Wear one is the important thing!
Presumably this is reflexive, ie., “mettersi”, but without context is there a way to distinguish between “mettersi” and “mettere” in the subjunctive imperfect? AND if the sentence had said “it would be better if you put the sweater away” would this be translated simply by adding “via” after “ti mettersi”?
You can tell its reflexive because of the ti. mettersi= indossare. If you wanted to put it away you would probably use mettere a posto
- Did you remember to translate "mia cara"?
- There is a (slight) difference between "to wear" and "to put on"
yes I did, and admit the slight difference, but it is slight. Sometimes duo likes you to be exact and other times not.
Is dear like darling or when something bad happens and your like 'dear oh dear, what happened?'
I cannot imagine anybody ever saying such a patronising sentence if he wished to stay alive!