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"Non mangi finché non li leggi."

Translation:You won't eat until you read them.

May 23, 2013



This sentence does not help students to understand about clitics. A few more simple sentences please!


Thanks for the comments! A few points:

We'll definitely aim to add a few more simple ones, thanks for the suggestion ;)

Finché non = until, finché = while

The idea of the sentence is along the lines of what @hoffmannov95 suggested.


The point is not the meaning of "finché non"; a glance at the Collins dictionary makes that clear (http://www.wordreference.com/iten/finch%C3%A9%20non). The point is that people struggle to find meaning by creating contexts. If duolingo provided even a simple context (in English or Italian) no one would have had to waste time writing these comments. Read the comments again: notice the number of times "mean" and "sense" occur. Then people make up little scenarios to find meaning. It astonishes me that this sentence is still being used after so many people have made this obvious point.


thank you for this comment, 5 years later!


It would be useful to define that before asking questions on it.


I have to disagree with ackworth. I like the difficult sentences; bring them on!


I don't use the hints. Read this ten times, read my answer twenty times, as it made no sense whatsoever. Pressed enter, was correct. Who comes up with such stuff?? At least something like "you won't eat until you cook them" would make some sort of sense.... there's way too much un-pruned nonsense in here... which makes learning much more difficult.


What exactly is "You do not eat until you read them" supposed to mean?


Maybe a child wants to eat some junk food (chocolate!), but mom and dad want him/her to finish reading for their homework assignment (some news articles? short stories? three chapters of the book?). That's what I'm sticking with.


Yes ..to read 'to them' makes 'them' an indirect object, which would be a different sentence

non mangi finchè non gli leggi
.. or ..
non mangi finchè non leggi a loro

This is from my recent understanding from clitics. So, when this sentence says 'read them', them is a direct object. It does not answer to whom are you reading, it answers what you are reading. So, a your context makes sense, the kids must read 'some things' before they can eat. ;-)


I agree with tis too! What the hell is this supposed to mean in ANY language


You don't eat until you read them (the Boarding House Rules posted on the wall over there)?


I agree, there are some heroic efforts here to make sense, but it really is a pretty meaningless sentence on its own, and thus hard to translate. and is non mango won't eat as well as don't eat?


I ask myself the same question


that's such a bizarre sentence that i couldn't believe i had it right. . .


Don't eat 'em till you read 'em. I think this must be an instruction to read the labels of things before you gobble them down. In any event it's pretty zooty. Translate that, Jackson!


I put, "Don't eat until you read them" and it was marked incorrect. Is the 2nd per. sg. imperative a different form?


"Non mangi" could be a polite imperative form of "don't eat". But "leggi" is an informal form of "you read". So you're addressing the person in two different ways, one polite and one not. That translation doesn't quite work.


That answers my question. Thanks.


I wrote that too assuming that the first "you" was unnecessary as it was implied quite definitely by the second "you"


Here the present in Italian is translated as the future in English. Sometimes Duolingo rejects such translations.


Clitics leaves me puzzled - the earlier stages need a wider presentation of this area to aid learning.


This section "clitics" discouraged me big time UNTIL I did the object pronoun section (Pronomi oggetto) for Italians learning English. They were so simply introduced. This gave me a thorough baseline and the courage to tackle the "clitics" again. I highly recommend it.


A philosophical musing on the sentences that seem weird: Yes, context is nice sometimes to help one figure out a sentence, but it can also be a bit of a crutch. I think having sentences that don't seem to make much sense as part of the mix is good, because it forces you to translate without any contextual clues.

And pronouns often don't make sense as they are substituting for a person or other noun from earlier in the conversation, so they're prime candidates for this.


"It forces you to translate without any contextual clues" - which would never happen in real life


Is adding "you" really all that necessary? :P


Why not "You don't eat until you read them"?


Your sentence is correct. If you were marked wrong, it maybe because of the contraction "don't". You should submit it, if you come across it again.


You don't eat until you have read them. You won't eat until you read them. past participle and/or future ??? I was trying to use present is there a way ??


Hard to translate without context. The message below warns me to "stop the clutter", but I do post this comment since nothing seems to change...


Stupid sentence - means nothing and really difficult undertand


Why does it not accept "You are not eating until you read them"? That is a direct English translation with the same meaning as the Italian.


Piero, ask f.formica, but I think the Pres.Cont. (you are eating) is nut lucky here. You won't eat or You don't eat could be sure accepted.


Where is the "won't/will not" in this translation? Explain.


I put "to them" and was marked wrong. I think this is because "li" is a direct object, not indirect. So, "You don't eat until you read to them" would be something like, "Non mangi finchè non leggi a loro." Could anyone confirm this? Thanks!


I think, if you want to say 'to them', then yes, a loro (following the verb) is correct.
The Declension of Pronouns Personal

Also ..
non mangi finchè non gli leggi


So far I feel like I am keeping pace with my understanding of clitic pronouns, but I just possibly might have turned gray (capelli) before I get through this section. Thank you for all the help you give us, xyphax!♡


I put "you cannot eat" but it was marked wrong.Is this sentence showing an imperative? If so, DL, please stop confusing us. There are already too many negative comments about this sentence, change it or drop it!

  • 2548

It's not an imperative, that would be "non mangiare": it's a statement and a not so veiled threat like mothers do.


Five years after people said this sentence is confusing I'll add that I completely agree.


How come it is "Non mangi finché non li leggi" and not "Non mangi finché li leggi"? I thought it was: "You do not eat until you do not read them" (wrong)


As I understand it, "finchè" means "as long as" and "finchè non" means 'until.' Also, in English a double negative is considered incorrect, but in Italian it can be proper usage.


Ah I see, thanks for the explanation!

So I can kind of think of "finché non" in this context to mean "as long as you don't read the book," while also remembering the meaning of "finché non" being "until."

Double negatives, although incorrect grammatically in English, are used in common speech, although a bit yokelish ;) "You ain't done nothing!"

Thanks again! :)


It's not really a matter of double negative. The use of non is parallel with French ne in such constructions. The technical term is pléonastique. A French translation of the sentence here could be "tu ne manges pas à moins que tu ne les lises...ne is "elegant" but optional, cf. J'ai peur qu'il ne revienne 'I am afraid that he will return.'


This is not a sentence with a clear meaning. I don't really like having to construct a mental scenario in which the sentence seems to fit only after Ive gotten it marked wrong because I can't make heads or tails of it in the first place. Not helpful.


"You do not eat until you read them" is the correct translation. The verb 'won't" is incorrect unless it is a horseshoe/hand grenade approach (close enough!). "Non mangi finché non leggerli" is another way of saying "You do not eat until you read them."

  • 2548

Finché cannot introduce an infinitive, so "finché non leggerli" doesn't make sense.


It is a ridiculous annoying mraningless sentence


Bizarre sentence


I refuse to lose a heart over a nonsensical sentence. I'm starting the lesson over.


Hopeless example......


Since when we are learning future tense?


Weird sentence! Not just complicated, but on its own, it doesn't really make sense.


It should be 'tu non mangerai' as will not (won't) is in the future


As noted throughout this discussion, there are many problems with the translation. I think that the Italian sentence is in the present tense, so "You do not eat until you you read them" should be an acceptable translation into English. Furthermore, if DL wanted to create an Italian sentence that would translate into a future tense in English, it should have presented a sentence something like "non mangerai finche' non li leggi."


Is "finche non" interchangeable with "fino a" and when would you use one way over the other?


My notes say "finche non" is used when followed by a conjugated verb whereas "fino a" is used when followed by a noun or infinitive verb. In this case "finche non" is used because it is followed by "leggi." I am guessing that "li" is sort of transparent in this rule.


Thank you Charles. Impressive detail on your notes.


what kind of sentence is this !!!!!


I swear these clitics are killing me...


Agree. I finally completed Clitics level 4 and then got to the point I could access Present Perfect. That is more useful to me, just like Future tense will be. At some point I'll finish Clitics, but I can't say that I will have mastered it.


present functioning as future?


"You do not eat until you eat them" is wrong? You prefer a contraction which in English is future?


JeaniePres: Is that second "eat" a typo? If you wrote that in the exercise, that would have been marked wrong.


I get finche non, but how is "non mangi" in future tense? English won't stands for will not = future.


This is a rubbish sentence that DOES NOT MAKE SENSE..


This sentence makes no sense. It is extremely vague.


"Non mangi" significa: don't eat

  • 2548

"Non mangi" can only be the imperative for Lei, which wouldn't agree with "leggi" (tu). So this must be the normal present for tu: "you don't eat", "you aren't eating".


f.formica, thank you for your excellent explanation, you convinced me ('mangi' should agree with 'leggi'). I still can't decide which language is harder, English or Italian. However which is more beautiful is not a question... :-D Salute dall'Ungheria

  • 2548

I'm pretty sure Hungarian is harder, but we'd need an impartial judge :) In this specific case I'm not so sure: the Italian imperative is a weird conjugation, sometimes different in positive and negative commands.

  • (Tu) mangia! Non mangiare!
  • (Lei/lui) mangi! Non mangi!
  • (Noi) mangiamo! Non mangiamo!
  • (Voi) mangiate! Non mangiate!
  • (Loro) mangino! Non mangino!

The "tu" form is the only proper imperative, the "voi" form is the same as the indicative and the other ones are actually subjunctive and sometimes called "exhortative" because they are more a wish than an order.

Another point is that finché usually introduces an indicative verb, but can introduce a subjunctive, although in modern Italian in that case it's usually split into "fino a che". So the fact that both verbs agree in tense isn't a general rule :)


Finché usually is followed by non when it expresses the meaning of ‘until something happens.’ I would translate this sentence more as an order: You don't eat until you read them. 'Won't' is the English contraction for 'would not' which would require the verb mangiare to be in the conditional tense.

  • 2548

It's not an order, which would be "non mangiare", but more of a threat, "you're not allowed to eat". "Won't" isn't the contraction of "would not", which is "wouldn't", but of "will not".


Yikes! This is what happens when I multi-task and type too fast. Hai ragione f. formica! I meant to write won't is the contraction of will not; and I should have written future not conditional tense. Future tense = Non mangerai (you won't eat). Thanks for catching my error. Grazie!


Why is "You don't eat until you read them" incorrect?


There must be something wrong when a sentence gets so many - negative - comments. I suggested already to delete the hole sentence but Mr DL did not take my advice...


I don't understand when to add in the extra "non". I understand, "non mangi", but if "finché" means 'until', it does not make sense in English. But IF "finché means 'if', THEN, the sentence makes sense with the extra "non". I think "finché" must have an implied 'if' in it. How do I figure out when to add in another negative.


I always avoid to translate in Future Tense in English when there is Present in Italian and I am safe this way. Not this time. I was said "You do not eat until you do read it" is wrong...


You DON't eat until...is that not the same thing?


What is wrong with you do not eat until you read them?


I assume the children won't let me eat unless I read them a story?


"You can't eat until you read them" would be more common, if one ever were to encounter one of the scenarios in the comments... yet is marked wrong.


This sentence makes no sense. What am I reading? My food, a book; maybe a newspaper. The closest report is something else went wrong.


why is it won't eat rather than don't eat? Why was my don't eat answer incorrect?


Duolingo often throws curve balls; too often for my liking. Learning a new language is difficult enough without unexplained idiomatic phrases and nonsense sentences being presented to the learner. Context is everything, and we all deserve better than the dross that Duolingo chucks in. The fact that we see so many complaints about the same problems carrying on for years indicates that Duolingo does not care as long as it is raking in the cash.


This is a terrible sentence. Please remove


why "Do not eat until you read to them" is wrong ? UNBELIEVABLE


"To them" would need an indirect object pronoun. As it stands, it uses "li," which is a direct object pronoun (i.e. "them" is the object which you are reading, not who you are reading to.) "To them" would need "loro." Hope that makes sense.


De vertaling van 'non mangi' in 'you won't eat' is niet correct!


nonsense sentence !

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