"Non hanno talmente tanto cibo."

Translation:They do not have so much food.

June 19, 2013

This discussion is locked.


I don't understand the purpose of talmente. It seems redundant with tanto. Is it colloquial, or does it give a particular emphasis?


I've got another long one coming up!

Firstly, I wouldn't want anybody reading these posts to think that I wander about on country roads importuning passers-by to help me with my Italian homework. I could imagine that in the future, people walking towards me might turn around and run off in the opposite direction. I'm not sure that Italians are too tolerant of eccentrics. I try to disguise it. The reality is that the people whose opinion I asked are friends and acquaintances from the trekking group to which I belong. Anyway, this won't get the baby a new hat!

Now, not being a native Italian speaker I must admit that I cannot always be positive whether a group of Italian words can stand by themselves or whether they require something in addition eg a subordinate clause. However, I am a native English speaker and I do not have the same doubts about English as I might about Italian. So, following this paragraph, I am going to set out some English sentences which I know can stand by themselves, and, in addition, I will give their Italian translations. All of these English sentences with their Italian Translations have been gleaned from a well known authority on the subject. It is my contention, given the authoritative source, that if the English sentence is complete, then so must be the Italian. I apologise in advance if some, if not all, the sentences have already been cited in my previous post.

  1. 'She worries so much.'; 'Si preoccupa talmente tanto.'
  2. 'You see so many weird things.'; Se ne vedono talmente tante di cose.'
  3. 'He travels so much.'; 'Viaggia talmente tanto.'
  4. 'I have so many things to do.'; 'Ho talmente tante cose da fare.'

One thing is certain, and that is, all of the above English sentences (1-4) stand by themselves and have no requirement of a subordinate clause. Now, I hope nobody will mind if I suggest that the reason why 'talmente tanto' or 'so much'/'so many' is confusing to some people is because they have not seen what the function of 'talmente'/'so' actually is in THESE sentences. The function is to give a quality of intensity to the adjective which follows it i.e. 'so' or 'tanto'. Compare, if you will, the following two sentences, neither of which requires a subordinate clause:-

  1. 'I love her very much';
  2. 'I love her so very much';

Nobody, I think, can deny that the 'so' in sentence 2. brings a more intense quality to the meaning, and that there is no requirement for a subordinate clause.

Finally, my mother-in-law, whose opinion I have asked rather belatedly came up with this rather nice sentence which refers to my dog.

'E talmente tanto affettuoso.'; 'He is so very affectionate.'



I'll keep it short. In all sentences you mention, 'so' can be translated in Italian as così and the meaning would be the same as in English. In my opinion, you are mistaking talmente for così. talmente actually translates as 'to such an extent'.


In response to Peter_Shelly, I appreciate this explanation--which makes sense to me. I'd add, however, that (and I admit, I am a fuddy-duddy grammarian), I learned way back in the day that "so" was a qualifier that did need a subordinate clause, e.g., he is so hungry that he could eat a horse; I love you so much that I would go anywhere to be near you, etc.,etc. etc. I understand that this is a rule broken so often that it is probably not a rule anymore, nonetheless, I thought I'd mention it. Thanks again for your lucid explanation.


Thank you very much Theresa for your consideration; I'm definitely feeling less paranoid, now. Please be so kind as to accept a Lingot. All the best.


'this won't get the baby a new hat' - i love it! but what does it mean? i'm an american, and the expression is new to me. thanks.


Hello Eluzie, I thought that I would easily find this expression on the internet, which would have saved me the bother of trying to explain it, but I didn't find it. Anyway, here goes. Firstly, I seem to remember my mother having used it a long time ago. I am English and 70 years old. I understood the expression to mean that we should desist from whatever diversion we are involved with now and should attend to more important and pressing matters. Has anyone else any view or information on the subject?


thank you for the explanation. some metaphors translate, others do not. there has to be a kindred american saying. what it is, however, i do not know.


This don't get the cows milked/ hogs fed. (rural colloquialism)


You are welcome. I am sorry that I couldn't find anything more illuminating on the net. There should be equivalent expressions in the US, but not necessarily with babies or hats. It is interesting that there are English expressions in use in the US that seem alien to the Brits, but on close examination, one finds that they are (or were) in use in the UK. One that comes to mind is 'to spell the baby'. I believe that most Brits would not know what that meant, however one finds in the Oxford English dictionary the verb 'to spell', which means - among other things - 'to take a turn with'.


OR "this won't get the child a new frock", which my mother over-heard as a child, and waited longingly for the new dress. As for tanto, a lot of, so much...and talmente, so, so much - I think that like the double negative, redundancies are allowed in Italian speech, as required, for emphasis


Hi Robina. Of course you can always repeat words, changing grammatical rules ecc. while you are speaking in an Italian that is linked to your personality and adapt at specific situations or feelings. The discussion between Peter S and me about the incorrect use of "talmente tanto" remains valid, referring to a regular Italian, defined by the daily correct use and its rules. I am living here in Italy since 1985 and I think some feeling and experiences of the culture and Italian language has been acquired. Always available for help ( and in need of help too sure), I wish you all the best. Cheers, Lu.


Thanks Lu. This has been an interesting challenge for me, and I think the discussions are great. (Hope I wasn't "butting in"). I am visiting Italy next month, with a tour group in the north, and a two-week stay in Toscana after that. Spero posso parlare un po'di italiano. Ciao, Robina


Hello Eluzie, I found a few references to a a baby's bonnet on the internet. You may find one of them here: http://www.accringtonweb.com/forum/f66/do-you-know-where-this-quotes-from-44390.html My brother believes there is a variant referring to a baby's frock.


what a funny language english is! thanks


It's 'this won't knit the baby a new hat'. All housewives used to knit but if they stayed chatting over the fence too long this is what they would say. Bit dated now!


Hello zubi, Thank you for your interest in this rather dated expression. It's not so dated, though, that I would not use it.


Actually I've remembered it properly now - my mother who was from Liverpool used to say it: 'Well this won't knit the baby a bonnet' Hilarious.


Ciao, too long to have full answer, just this: many time you say things on regular basis, but you wouldn't write or consider them right in a book. All the sentences you used as examples are good for speech, not for grammar. Then, up to Dueling to stick with one or the other. Ciao


Ok. Native Italian. "Talmente" is usually for comparisons: "talmente....che" meaning "so....that". Some sentences (in previous comments) are just different, like "ti amo talmente tanto" = "I love you so much". But the point is that those are special sentences that always suggest some other sentences, included in the message, often appretiation. "He loves you so much (that he'd do whatever for you)". In a single isolated sentence I would say, staying with the grammar, that "talmente" here is not correct.


Hi Emik. "Hanno talmente tanto cibo", .. e allora? "Hanno talmente tanto cibo che.. " , .. d'accordo, ma.. allora ?? " Hanno talmente tanto cibo CHE NON SANNO COSA FARSENE !" AH.. si, ora ho capito ! This little Italian daily life conversation, to prove the correctness of Emiks' super great comment ! By the way, Emanuele, the "farsene" is right, does it ? Best of luck with Duo !


Thankyou Luciak60 you got the point exactly. The sentence alone should be "Hanno così tanto cibo" and that'd be good, as a single comment. Already reported.


Good information 2200Lucia60, but a side note. I suspect English isn't your native language, so I'm just offering this to be helpful. "By the way, Emanuele, the "farsene" is right, does it ?" should be "By the way, Emanuele, the "farsene" is right, isn't it ?"


Thank you WingFan. Nice you came in to correct me. I would like to get corrected my English more often. Best wishes for 2017!


It is the only way to learn :)


i would like to have (or get) my English corrected


This discussion has gone away too long in my (Italian) opinion. This sentence is just wrong, in Italian. The correct translation is "Non hanno così tanto cibo". "Talmente is just wrong, as it requires a second sentence to follow. Negative or positive. "Hanno talmente tanto cibo da mangiare per un mese" or "Non hanno talmente tanto cibo da poter mangiare per un mese" even if in the negative form, "cos'" is more appropriate "Non hanno così tanto cibo da mangiare per un mese". "Talmente" means "così tanto" or literally "in modo tale" and "tale" doesn't exist in Italian any more by itself, it needs "tale...che".


The following example is to be found in an authoritative source, so I guess it is OK.

  • 'ho talmente tante cose da fare'

Are you able, do you have the time, to explain how this example differs grammatically from say 'hanno talmente tanto cibo' which example, I accept, you do not regard as valid.

Your assistance would be appreciated.


Well, the sentence "alone" with no context is/may be used informally/spoken, and understates (they are so busy...) like an exclamation. Point is, is more common to use talmente in affirmative, while in negative you'd say "non hanno così tante cose da fare" to stick with sense and grammar; but in written, to be 100% correct with grammar, "talmente" as "così tanto" both require a second part. Ciao


Hi Emik. You are right about almost everything. Just two adjustments, 1."talmente" ( meaning "così tanto") includes an affirmation, a strengthening of something that one has or does or is.. and cannot be never ever used in a negative sentence. It just doesn't fit linguistically. Ho talmente tanta birra che.. (devo star attenta non ubriacarmi. lol) = Ho tanta birra, infatti potrei ubriacarmi/ ho tanta birra, COSÌ TANTA infatti che potrei ubriacarmi. It has all a strengthening effect. 2. "Hanno talmente tanto cibo da POTER mangiare (per) un mese/DA AVER da mangiare per un mese". [see above]. Sorry being hairsplitter, too much maybe. See you.


I'm not an expert, but this doesn't sound natural to me. As in other roman languages, "talmente" might map to another meaning of "so", like in "so he said". To say "so much food" I would use "così tanto cibo". Anyone here can tell me if I'm wrong?


I think that "così tanto cibo" has a meaning like "at thanksgiving we had ten different entres, but now we do not put out so much food", and the sentence for this question means something like "they don't have much food here".

A smaller example:

talment: I at SO much food, I am going to burst

così: you ate the whole thing, but I did not eat so much food

Basically, I think così is used when there is something for comparison, either implicitly or explicitly, and talmente is used more as a general exclamation of excess.


Don't care about talmente, it is not so used in italy


Agreed. "Talmente" doesn't fit here. "Così" is the right choice. "Talmente" makes the whole sentence incomplete: to use it here, another sentence would be required to explain. Even so, it doesn't sound right.


Does not make sense


My dictionary suggests that 'talmente' is OK as used here, but there doesn't seem to be much, if any, difference between it and 'cosi'. The dictionary has plenty of similar sentences using either 'cosi' or 'talmente'. I would suggest caution, though, as 'cosi' is not always used adverbially and, therefore, may not always be substituted by 'talmente', should anyone be so tempted.


'Talmente' is incorrect in this sentence. It can be translated as "to such an extent", that is it requires something to precede or follow.. It would odd in English too.


linguee.com backs you up. Lots of "talmente tanto"s, but they are always partnered with a "che..." phrase, corresponding to a "so much... that..." construction in English.


Is this sentence makes sense? "They don't really have that much food".


Hello Jérémie, You ask 'DOES this sentence make sense?' 'They don't really have that much food.' I would say definitely yes, but I'm not sure that 'really' is the word you are seeking. I think that the Italian for 'really' in the case that you propose would be 'in effetti' or, possibly, 'veramente'. You could look in your Italian/French dictionary to check that 'in effetti' or 'veramente' do equate to the French equivalent of the 'really' that you have in mind. I will interested to read what you discover.


Thank you Peter !

The use of "talmente" together with "tanto" confused me because they have apparently the same meaning so it looks redundant.

I wanted to find an equivalent in English that's why I used "really" to emphasize but it looks like there's no need. "They do not have so much food." is enough.

The French translation would be simple as well:

"Ils n'ont pas tant de nourriture"


"Ils n'ont pas tant de nourriture que ça."

Last point, yes, the litteral translation of "veramente" would have been "really"!


Just weird. Trying to demonstrate an adjective. "They only have so much food" is what you will hear stated. talmente so much so Tanto a lot together we get so much so a lot.
There has to be an Italian statement that more closely reflects a sensible statement in English. If a "ma" is used this sentence is common "they only have but so much food."


To anyone else who may have gotten this far in the above thread, it certainly seems to have been cathartic to some and entertaining to me. Thanks. As for the "...baby a new hat", a simple "But I digress" would suffice. 14Jan16


I guess, mprdo, you never experienced the joy of talking to your neighbour over the garden (yard) fence.


"They have not so much food." That is not an incorrect sentence.


And why is my suggestion wrong then?

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Koving on from the discussion about talmente tanto, there is, I think, no need for the addition got, which is redundant as given in the DL translation." They haven't that much food" appears to me a perfectly good translation.


Questa frase non ha talmente tanto senso! Semmai si potrebbe tradurre in "Non hanno così tanto cibo"

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