I struggled to translate this because in English, we would say 'we have lived together for 60 years', but we haven't learned the past yet so I assumed I would be marked wrong for doing so. I wrote 'we lived together from 60 years' and was marked correct, but then found that the correct translation they suggest utilized the past tense. Bit confusing, because in the past I have translated things to make them sound proper in English, using the past tense, and been marked wrong.
Just because you should use a present perfect in English, it doesn't mean you should use a past tense in Italian. "We have lived..." is not what you call a past tense, anyway. Only "we lived" is.
I agree with you .... I am confused as to why we are translating the present tense as the past.
The simple present tense is a lot more versatile in Italian than in English.
For a sentence where in English you use the present perfect tense (unspecified time up to now, e.g. "I have lived") or present continuous tense (e.g. "we are going"), an Italian would use the simple present (e.g. "andiamo", "we go", rather than "stiamo andando", "we are going").
Check out http://italian.about.com/od/verbs/a/italian-verbs-present-tense.htm for an overview. =)
Answering yours, CTrinity's, and jbrener's question all at the same time here, I believe.
As I see it, we use "da" here because the past tense is implied through "da", while "per" would mean present tense ("We live together for sixty years"). If "da" is not actually past tense in Italian, then the past tense comes through in the English translation:
"We live together from sixty years" sounds weird in English "We have lived together for sixty years" sounds better and is the past-tense equivalent of the above sentence.
Hope that helps!
I agree with Trinity. I answered "We live together for 60 years." which was marked correct but is an unusual sentence in English. On previous items, the system was very strict about using the present tense and would have marked "we lived" incorrect as a translation of "viviamo".
I disagree. See Greg's comment below. This is a legitimate Italian sentence. duoLingo is teaching us the Italian way of saying this. The only other option is to leave out this kind of sentence all together until we learn past tense. I would rather learn it now .. it seems appropriate in this section. Sure, I lose my heart the first time because I don't understand that it needs to be translated to English in the past tense, but after that I am familiar with the Italian phrase and how to comfortably say it in English.
why doesn't 'viviamo insieme' mean 'we are living together'? where did the past tense come from?
It's more a continuous tense—"we've lived" suggests continuous activity from the past that persists into the present. In English it sounds more past (though the operative word is "we HAVE [present] lived together" but in Romance languages this time-concept is usually expressed in the present like this.
So in isolation "viviamo insieme" means "we are living together." But as soon as you add "da" you're talking continuous. Hope that helps.
I would have liked to have gone a step further and used a present perfect continuous here - We have been living together ....
I read your comment a few minutes ago. Subsequently I was heartbroken so I had to redo this section. Here I am again, so I tried
We have been living together for 60 years.
and walk away with my heart intact ;-)
This makes more sense. The Italian reads as present tense, but the translation gives you present perfect.
Why does the system accept sessant'anni and does not accept sessasnt'amici? What is the rule on how to use the apostrophe when writing numbers?
My question here is not so much the presnt perfect versus the normal past tense, but why this question showed up (for me at least) in the spot in the tree it did. I have not yet seen the past tense at all, but I am seeing this question in the adverbs lesson. I translated it "We live together for 60 years" and got it wrong.
Now I speak Spanish well and know that in the nosotros form, the verb conjugations are usually the same in past and present, and I figured this may also be the case in Italian. But I still wonder why it would not accept the present tense as correct. Any thoughts?
viviamo is not past tense: it's present tense. vivemmo and vivevamo are the past forms. Italian and Spanish are different here. The action is happening and has happened for the past 60 years, so you use the present form in Italian. English requires the 'have +ed' or the present continuous whereas Italian uses the present.
I would like to know why they use the verb "vivere" and not "abitare" since "vivere" means to exist/be alive and "abitare" means to live (somewhere)/to habitate.