Generally, bravo/a is good at something. For example, if I say I tap dance, you might ask me if I'm good with bravo. ("Sei bravo?") Or if you want to say someone is a good cook (meaning good at being a cook or at cooking), you would use bravo/a. Most other meanings of good would be buono/a.
This particular sentence is a bit of an exception. When you refer to un bravo ragazzo or una brava ragazza it means "a good boy/girl" in the "good person" sense, although I suppose you could argue that it's still in the sense of good at being a boy/girl if you think that means doing a good job at what boys/girls are supposed to do (being polite, obeying parents, doing chores without complaining, completing homework on time, etc.).
Your explanation is really enlightening. It shows the wisdom of not skipping thru a level (which I could certainly do at this stage) because otherwise I'd miss out on all these nuances and subtleties that make learning a language so fascinating. Grazie.
"Great" is not really a valid translation of "bravo", because it has a stronger meaning than good/ clever. "Great" is usually "grande", but I doubt that would be used in this context, since it would sound like "You are a big boy". Probably "tu sei un bravissimo ragazzo" would capture the meaning of "you are a great boy".
I guess the word "bravo" doesn't have any relation with "Brave", right?
It is an alternative according to the dictionaries, but seems to be rarely used compared with 'coraggioso'. However, bravo is very much used for "good", "clever", "skilful", "capable", "honest", "decent", etc. so don't kid yourself that brave is the right answer here.
I also think it could be translated like that.
btw a better translation of "You are a good guy." would be "Sei un bravo tipo."
"You are a good lad" I am sure is correct. Do we agree it should be accepted?
In English, "You are a good boy" is often said to pets (especially dogs). Does this meaning work the same in Italian, or is "ragazzo" only used for a human boy? Thanks in advance for any insight! Grazie mille!
Also, a clever boy is " un ragazzo bravo"". The positon of the adjective alters its meaning.
Nice tends to be translated by "simpatico" for people - a bit different to the meaning of "bravo".
I think I can see where you got your info re "nice" vs "clever"!
I'm not so sure about this myself. Other sources do not explain it that way. For example:
"Able" is pretty close to the meaning "clever", but it can also be used after the noun for emphasis. The position of the adjective definitely alters the meaning for some words, though.
I guess it's just another illustration of the subjectivity and subtlety of languages. I'll see if a native speaker might be able to clarify a bit.
Up-date: native Italian speaker forsilvia has kindly helped us out. She wrote this:
"Sei un bravo ragazzo" is a typical sentence an adult says to a teenager; I can't think of a boy saying this to another boy. "Un ragazzo bravo" (with the adjective after the noun) is never used. possible with more than one adjective: Un ragazzo bravo, intelligente e simpatico."
It's rather prosaic, because Italians have more sense than Brits and Yanks. A dog is a dog, not a personality. "Good boy!" becomes simply Bravo.
Why is this adjective not after the noun? i.e., Tu sei un ragazzo bravo.
This is probably because with some words (including "bravo"), order matters: http://www.italyheritage.com/learn-italian/course/grammar/adjectives.htm
I am = io sono You are = tu sei He/she/it is = lui/lei è (there is no word for it) We are = noi siamo They are = loro sono You (multiple) are = voi siete
"Fare" is more like a "do" word. I did this, I did that. It can also, more commonly, be used for the English word for "make."
I wrote 'You are a capable boy', seeing as one of the translations of that word is capable and I was marked wrong? Can anybody please explain why?
Adjectives (bravo/brava) and determiners (un/una) reflect the gender/number of the noun (ragazzo/ragazza):
- Tu sei un bravo ragazzo = You are a good boy
- Tu sei un
a= You are a good girl
Brave = corragioso. Bravo is a well-known "false friend" for English learners of Italian. It is already explained above, and Duo asks us to look before posting duplicates.
How do you know when the adjective should come before or after the noun?
Sono un ragazzo cattivo - which indeed you are for being too lazy to use an online dictionary! :-)
Well I typed 'successful' instead of 'clever'. As far as I know 'bravo' means 'successful'. Am I wrong?
You are wrong. Bravo means 'good', in these senses. 1. Able (good at, clever, skilful, capable). 2. Well-behaved (decent, honest). 3. Kind.
One sense overlaps with successful, which is 'good at'. However, successful describes achievement and is typically translated by riuscito, di successo, o arrivato, whereas bravo describes the actions that lead to achievement.
I got it correct at least give me the credit and give me the hundred percent because I've done the whole course and I've been doing it every day since January I should be at 100% already you got me a 40% that's ridiculous
In the same lesson, "brava ragazza" is "nice girl," but "bravo ragazzo" is marked wrong when I put "nice boy." Any clue why?
Tried "You are a grand lad" (common phrase in the north of England). Marked wrong, inevitably!!
Why 'un' bravo ragazzo? For the sentence regarding the good girl, 'la' is the correct response with explanation that the definite article is needed. Why not the same in this sentence?