Translation:It was not this small before you came in.
You guys don't appreciate DL's literary knowledge, it refers to Balzac's "La Peau de chagrin" :-).
gsir: I'm not familiar with Balzac (which come to think also lends itself to some good natured snickering), but (like others) I'm pretty chagrined at the innuendo. Let's hope DL's referencing one of those old VW-Beetle ads demonstrating how "easily" sex (i mean six) people can squeeze into one.
stiofanin: Prego, ci mancherebbe! That's one of the nice things about this site - spero che tu abbia una buona giornata!
I don't believe trying to confuse students by using esoteric examples will help them learn a language, which is what most of us here are attempting.
The context and origin of this sentence are irrelevant. The sentence is useful for practising the subjunctive imperfect.
This website is for teaching language concepts and vocabulary. It's not a phrasebook.
Well said Sir! There are a few too many Smartie examples that add nothing to the learning process.
Interesting. Duo once rejected a Balzac short story I tried to upload because of this sort of thing.
It could be an insult to a "generously-sized" person if referring to the room's space.
Facile: Winnebago; crowded lift; small shared apartment. OR He was not this small….etc. Possible comparison on the arrival of a much taller man!
As in "it (the cake) was not this small before you came in", implying that you are accusing the person..
Ange-Romain: That definitely takes the cake for the best explanation for this bizarre sentence. Thanks.
Why is the io form of entrassi used here when the subject of the sentence is 'you'? (Okay, it's not the subject, because that's 'It' but you know what I mean...)
In the subjunctive, the io form and the tu form are the same. The 3rd person s/he/it form would be entrasse.
could this also be translated "It was not as small before you came in"? DL didn't accept that.
it sounds like a remark made to Alice after drinking from the first bottle when she was in wonderland
OK, what? The innuendo here is unmistakable. Way to go DuoLingo! You've officially given me the creeps!
This is one of the weirdest DL examples I've seen yet. Translating it in my head, I kept saying to myself, this can't be right.
This was first sentence in 177 days of Italian with Duo where I actually wasn't sure I wanted to see the comments...
the below responses are silly and not helpful. I want to know why "ti" is not before the verb, "tu" after the verb with no "a" or "de" or "da" makes no sense to translate "
jeannebridgforth: There's no "ti" because the verb to enter is not reflexive. As for the position of the subject "tu" it's included and placed after the verb I believe for emphasis.
some folks at Duolingo are having way too much fun coming up with these sentences. :D
I really tried to make this translation different as I could not believe that it what it is!
Okay, so I wasn't the only thinking what in the world does this mean? Lol. What in the world wasn't so small???? LOL
I wrote "until you came in" instead of "before you came in" and was marked wrong! Given the limited context in this sentence, I see no difference in meaning between these two responses.
hughcparker: Out of context I agree w/ you since I can think of any number of scenarios where they wouldn't express the same idea: "They talked until the bar closed" vs "They talked before the bar closed." etc. But in the sentence above I tend to agree with AlfredMond1 that the two words seem to be interchangeable. Possibly an absurd scenario (Pazienza!): There's a small table in a bar capable of seating 4 comfortably. Three are already seated having some Chianti and 'tutto va bene'--ample room at the small table. Then a fourth person waddles in tipping the scales at 340lbs and he's 5'2". He sits down at the table which "before/until he came in wasn't this small".
I'd love to see what the French students would do with this! They're a rowdy bunch over there!
It was not so crowded before you came in.
Not accepted Jan 29 2017
If it doesn't mean this, it doesn't mean anything
Not directly, of course. But what else could it mean? The room got small when you came it - it's no longer big enough for everyone?
Anyway, I'm not suggesting piccolo by itself should be translated as "crowded", but that the sentence as a whole suggests idiomatic interpretation. Mainly because it's nonsense otherwise.
I don't think it's nonsense otherwise, I think you've just chosen a context for this sentence that doesn't work. Maybe this sentence is talking about engineers, scientists, or doctors watching a guage - "Those numbers are really small, particularly the blood-pressure guage. Should we do something?" "Hmm, I don't know. His blood pressure number is small, but it wasn't this small before you came in. Let's give him a moment and see if the readings improve.
I'm scraping the bottom of the barrel a bit with my example, I'll admit, but the sentence makes sense.
hugh---I for one like your example. The main thing is for all of us DL users to try to keep our blood pressure in check when we post our comments, myself included.
Blood pressure numbers are "low", not "small". Also, the sentence suggests some causal link, which your example lacks.
So far, nobody has been able to come up with a sensible context for this sentence, so I'm standing by my thinking until I see one that makes more sense.. I actually can think of one, but it's very much in the gutter, so I doubt it's part of Duo's thinking.
A: This lift/elevator is so small!
B: It wasn't so small before you got in.
Jeffrey: The context is definitely lacking and thus ambiguous, but to assert that 'crowded' should be used to translate 'piccolo' is assuming too much.
I don't usually go for the interpretative school of translation, but when we get this stupid sentences which don't seem to mean anything literally - what else is left but idiomatics? It's frustrating that Duo would give up such a cryptic phrase and then not allow some reasonable creativity in trying to decode it.
If we'd been given a context, it would make sense to translate the sentence in its context. We haven't, though, so we just have to translate the sentence as it is.
I'm actually a big advocate of what you're saying. In this particular instance, though, the sentence makes so little sense that an idiomatic interpretation seems appropriate. I'm wrong, of course.