"Pensavo che avrebbero preso una torta."

Translation:I thought they would have gotten a cake.

June 17, 2013

51 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/wiplala

"I thought they would have brought a cake?" As in portare = to bring ?

June 27, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/mmseiple

No, "prendere" is more "to get something from somewhere" than "to bring something somewhere." I would interpret this sentence as what one would say if a group of people walked into a grocery store with birthday party hats and bought a bag of apples. Or what one would say if that group then showed up at the party with the bag of apples ("I thought they would have gotten a cake [at the store].").

April 19, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/LindaB_Duolingo

Hi, M

Sorry, I should have said 'WE Brits' - I'm British. A tired, old Brit.

I think you've been misled about our attitude to 'get'.

Even as a child, back in the early 60s, we would talk about getting something for Christmas, get me something from the shop ... etc.

We should ask Estelle for confirmation, but I think we have two issues here. GET is a catch-all verb used out of laziness when more precise verbs are available - buying the paper, fetching the paper, and so on. The objection there is one of style.

There is a separate issue on 'gotten' - we use 'get, got, got'.

I would have got the paper if I had known you wanted it.

No problem. Not Shakespeare, perhaps a little ambiguous, but basically OK.

However: 'I would have GOTTEN ...' counts as an error in grammar in a British school.

I hesitated to reply because I seem to be quibbling a lot this week, but it didn't seem right to leave you misinformed.

Have a super day. I'm off to agree with someone - anyone, really - on another course.

:)

July 8, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/MichaelEszter

Gotten: Terrible English!

December 11, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/LindaB_Duolingo

Hi, Michael

In Britain, I agree. The Brits would wince over that.

The Americans, though, seem cool with it.

Different strokes, guys.

Have a good one. :)

December 11, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/RoslynJS

"Gotten" is still considered poor usage in Australia. Made me wince, too.

April 3, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/violagatta

Yes, agreed, there's no issue with the verb "to get"; it's just the past participle "got", which some of us have been taught to avoid (even though it's not technically incorrect), because "there's almost always a better word". Some lessons are hard to forget!

July 8, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/RoslynJS

I was taught the same in Australia & I still always try to find an alternative way to communicate without ever saying or writing "gotten". "I had forgotten" is fine though ...

April 3, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/mmseiple

Ah, okay. I had seen both issues here, but it seemed like the confusion was stemming from people using (or wanting to use) verbs other than "to get" and thus misinterpreting the Italian sentence. The variation with "have got" is already in the system; it's just not the default translation.

There's no need to apologize for not agreeing with people. Feel free to quibble away. : ) I like to see that people are arguing grammar points - it shows that they're trying to think things through and process them. If you have questions, don't hesitate to post them on my page.

July 8, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/john585666

Mmseiple, where do I find your page?

June 24, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/EstelleTweedie

Agreed, Linda!

July 8, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Stuart451196

Hi Linda, I also had a few board rubbers thrown at me for using Got, Get, Getting or Gotten. I only went to a state school in England learning English.

November 19, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/violagatta

I think the problem is the word "gotten", which is quite bad English and can mean brought or bought or taken. I think this sentence should be replaced with "I thought they would have brought/bought/taken a cake", whichever the intention is. We certainly shouldn't be teaching "gotten" to learners of English!

April 20, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/mmseiple

Here in the US, "gotten" is the most commonly used participle for "to get," which is the meaning of "prendere" here. It is not bad English here. This is a regional difference. You should find that "taken" is accepted, as well as "got," however. If not, let me know so I can add it.

April 20, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Eluzie

gotten - i think that this is not standard english, even in the usa. sorry. however i'd be interested to know which regions use it predominantly. always something new to learn.

May 12, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/mmseiple

As far as I know, "gotten" is the standard participle for "to get" throughout the US, though I suppose it's possible that there are parts of the US where it is not. It is a big country, after all. I grew up in PA and am now in VA, and would say that in both places they say "gotten." Outside of the US, the standard participle is "got":

http://grammarist.com/usage/got-gotten/

http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/english/gotten

May I ask where you are from?

May 12, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/LindaB_Duolingo

Hi, me again.

So ... I thought they would get a cake - is not actually wrong?

I offer it because it gets you out of the 'gotten' problem that distresses the Brits so much.

I know CR is flawed, like every tool out there - to be used with caution. Still very useful, though.

I am actually past the stage of learning how the conditional perfect is formed - I'm trying to internalize how it's used, how it relates to what we would say in real-life English. So, thanks for the advice, but I think I shall persevere with trying to go beyond literal decoding of the text. Io mi spingo oltre!

:)

July 7, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/mmseiple

It's the verb "to get" in itself that the Brits don't like, which I'm afraid does not have a good solution. I just meant to use a literal translation on here - not everyone is as advanced and I think that adding different tenses to the Duolingo translations when the original tense does work in English runs the risk of confusing beginners.

If you're trying to work out the subtleties of the way the tenses work, you might try focusing more on Immersion here (and perhaps you already do this) or just reading without translation (the best way, to me). I find the added context helps a lot.

July 7, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/violagatta

Okay, I understand; however this sentence will cause problems for non American English speakers - as per the comments, interpreting the sentence as " ...brought a cake" and using the Italian verb portare instead of the intended prendere. It's annoying to get something wrong because of a different interpretation of the English sentence. Of course, these issues will crop up from time to time - I'm not complaining and I'm grateful for the work you've done/are doing :-)

April 20, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/mmseiple

I'm sorry, unfortunately we have to pick something as the default translation. The best I can do is add alternate translations so that you're not being marked wrong. I am trying to add the non-American alternatives when I see them, so make sure that you report them when they are not accepted.

April 20, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/violagatta

Could this not also be interpreted as "pensavo che avrebbero erano dato una torta" (I thought they would have been given a cake)? ie They got a balloon for their birthday. I thought they would have gotten a cake.

April 20, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/mmseiple

The Italian sentence here could not. "Prendere" means "to get" in the sense of taking something into your possession. If you were translating the English sentence "I thought they would have gotten a cake," you could certainly translate that as "Pensavo che avrebbero ricevuto una torta" ("I thought they would have received a cake."), since that is another meaning of "get" in English ("get" is kind of a slippery verb in English and means many different things). You cannot literally translate the sentence "They would have been given a cake" in Italian, though, because in Italian the passive would only work for the thing being given (i.e. "A cake would have been given to them."). This is a weird structure in English (using an indirect object as the subject of a passive sentence) that doesn't work in Romance languages in general.

April 20, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Margaret_S

Here in the US, the most commonly used past participle for "to get" is "got'. It can be used in the perfect tense as "would have gotten".

May 16, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/LindaB_Duolingo

Ciao, mmseiple

I thought they would get a cake ....?

:)

July 6, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/mmseiple

Close, but you need the conditional perfect for the second verb: would have gotten/got.

July 6, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/LindaB_Duolingo

Hi, mmseiple

Sei sicura? (Apologies if that sounds arrogant.)

I've seen many examples where future perfect and conditional perfect are not translated that way in English.

Pensavo che sarebbe venuto -> I thought he would come.

If you look in Context Reverso, there are many, many examples like this.

I ask because I'm struggling to internalize it myself.

:)

July 6, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/mmseiple

It's true that sometimes where in English we use the simple tenses (future and conditional), Italian requires the perfect tenses. This means, where in English "I thought he would come" sounds more natural than "I thought he would have come," in Italian the opposite is correct. This is why you get examples like this when consulting Reverso, since they are actual translations and not exercises to learn a certain tense. Also, you have to take those with a grain of salt. Looking up "avrebbero preso" on Reverso, a couple of the translations of this in the conditional appear to be Italian translations from subtitles of dialogue where a character is speaking broken English, which is then corrected in the Italian. I don't see any examples where the conditional perfect would not work just as well as the conditional translation.

It's good that you're thinking about this, and the perfect tenses in Italian do sometimes work in weird ways, but I would encourage you to translate the tenses literally here if it is possible and makes sense. In the real world, you might not do this, but for the sake of learning the conditional perfect I would translate it as the conditional perfect in English on Duolingo.

July 6, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Rafforza

I think this sentence would make more sense to people if you understand the phrase:

To get a coffee = Prendere un caffe'

This is just another form of that expression, hence why the past participle of "get" is being used. Unfortunately the past particle of "get" has a lot of variation in English.

November 5, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/ackworth

ditto

August 12, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/stevers

I agree. I thought this was "I thought they would have brought a cake".

December 31, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Kieran459226

'Gotten' is an abhorrence.

January 14, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/CH_lang

"Gotten" isn't English, no English person would use it

August 6, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/EstelleTweedie

My feeling exactly - until I started reading Bill Bryson's interesting and entertaining book, "Mother Tongue," in which he points out that many apparent Americanisms are actually archaic English words which have fallen into disuse in Britain, but were taken across to America by the early settlers and retained.

August 7, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/ElizabethJ519963

There is no such word as GOTTEN in the English language. Why is Duo still so American

September 1, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/KGdcprXt

Oh dear, that is just so American and that is not good English at all! ' I thought that they would have taken or brought a cake ' is right and not the Duolingo translation after all English is the language being taught not American !

September 22, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Eluzie

sorry mmseipel - you are no doubt correct. too much bbc, i suppose. i am from western pennsylvania, but so long ago that my accent and speech patterns have morphed into a more bland language form, something i regret. always feel pleased when i hear a pennsylvania accent.

May 14, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/violagatta

Actually in British English, although 'got' might be the standard participle, it is strongly discouraged. "Don't say 'got'" my grandmother always used to tell me. eg "I've got a cake" - "no, you HAVE a cake" or "I got a biscuit"- "no, you TOOK a biscuit". The use of the word 'got' was often an indicator of the level of education (or lack thereof). I think this has changed somewhat now, although I still cringe when the word accidentally slips from my mouth.

May 14, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/EstelleTweedie

As an English teacher in South Africa I am constantly waging war against the word "got' - there is almost always a better word! I shudder when I hear "gotten"!!

May 19, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/LindaB_Duolingo

Howzit, Estelle! ❤❤❤ gaan dit?

(Pom living in the Cape.)

English is changing so fast I can't keep up.

I can remember being chastised for asking 'can I?' instead of 'may I?', but no-one seems to mind very much these days. I learned 'I shall' but 'you will' ... which makes me dinosaur, apparently. 'Gotten' sounds so strange to me (apologies to our American friends) - but 'got' .... I've heard it so often now that I use it myself.

'Strongs' to you for fighting the good fight.

Lekker dag. :)

July 6, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/EstelleTweedie

Thanks for the encouragement, Linda. Dit gaan baie goed, dankie! We're obviously from the same era - and I'm also in the Cape!

July 6, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Eluzie

sounds like i need english review, not italian! thanks for the input.

May 15, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Margaret_S

You and your grandmother are right, but there are correct uses for got: I got on the bus. I got them at the store. I got lost on the way to your house.

May 16, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Paul856300

Well you know what they say,America and Britain are two countries divided by a common language!! , being British I personally have never heard "gotten"being used

February 10, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/LotSparham

I'm just getting pretty confused and frustrated with these tenses - in a recent exercise the perfect, translated as a perfect ( I thought that you would not have come), was rejected - now it's the only acceptable answer. Am I missing something?

May 17, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Constantine77549

"Gotten"? What about "brought"? And I don't really care how does it sound correctly in Britain English or American or Australian. Because I learn Italian. Allora non fare il salame.

August 10, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/JosephineR971367

GOTTEN does mot exist as a past participle of 'get'. The past participle is got! ENGLISH is not the same as American

September 5, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Klgregonis

Then stop using an American company to learn Italian. I'm an American, I shudder when I hear "I would have got a cake" To me, the verb is get, got, gotten, when it does not refer to possession. I do use I have got or I've got for present simple possession of something or when expressing necessity (I've got a cake, I've got to go).

April 29, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/ElizabethJ519963

There is no such word in the ENGLISH language as gotten. Why do we only have American spoken here

September 25, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Sedona2007

But, as Professor Higgins said "I don't know what to say about America, really - they haven't spoken English for years."

Seriously, American English is the standard on this website simply because Duolingo is an American company.
Merriam Webster's Dictionary of English Usage includes "gotten" as a past participle (ironically the American publisher is now owned by a British company). If Duolingo were a British company, British English would be the standard and all of the Brits would be impatient with the Americans endlessly whinging about "colour" instead of "color"; why can't we say "gotten", etc.
The program does try to include your "proper British" spelling and grammar as acceptable answers but it is quite simply an American-based program.
Di conseguenza, è quello che è. It is what it is.

December 10, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Grinne22752

I thought they would have gotten a cake??? What on earth kind of English is that? I said "I thought they would have brought a cake. "Gotten" is bad grammar

April 13, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/IARose
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Just to add my two pennies worth: Portare most commonly means either to bring, to carry, to bear, or to wear.
In no self-respecting Italian-English dictionary have I seen the verb Portare translated into that most ugly of verbs "to get", which should only be used sparingly and in very particular contexts, such as: "I would like to get this" or "I got it" and even then there are better alternatives.

April 18, 2019
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