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  5. "Non si possono suonare i tam…

"Non si possono suonare i tamburi senza aspettare."

Translation:The drums cannot be played without waiting.

June 27, 2013



I was going to literally translate it but imagined it to be some kind of idiom... wished I had done the former now! As for the given translation, the English words make sense but the sentence doesn't. I'd put my money on "the drums can't play themselves" as suggested.

My own best guess was someting to do with "One can hardly wait to play the drums"... I felt quite creative even though it was wrong!


i think the "si" is the impersonal form which is sometimes used instead of the passive voice, for example "si parla inglese" (English is spoken here) or " si parlano lingue stranieri"


Yes but why is it plural? I don't think it was ever plural in the previous chapters.


There was a big argument here which got deleted because it got nasty. Basically, there was debate about the underlying grammatical reasons, but it is certainly a rule: when the impersonal "si" construction is used, it must change to the plural when a plural noun follows the verb (eg "si studiano i libri). Similarly, in the case of si dovere/ potere/ volere + infinitive (like this sentence), the modal verb form is plural if the object of the infinitive is plural: "Si può usare il telefono?" or "Si possono comprare libri qui?" (Adapted from Prego by Lazzarino).


Thanks. So it is a bit like "piacere" : mi piace questo libro ... mi piaciono questi libri. Right?


You could think of it like that if it helps... although piacere is a fairly straightforward verb meaning "to please" that takes an indirect object ie "to be pleasing to someone" when that someone likes something. So that's why you have to use piaciono with i libri, because the books (plural) are pleasing to me. It's just because us English speakers are not used to talking this way that we have such trouble with it! So it's quite different really from an impersonal construction...but you're right that it looks similar.


Yes you are right. Well, anyway, it helps me to remember ... I hope. :)


This sentence makes no sense in English.


Why is this "one" translated in plural as in "si possono" rather than "si può" ? Thanks


Wondering the same thing....


Maybe because drums is plural.


This offered translation made not sense to me. I tried "One cannot play the drums without pausing", attempting to use an alternative meaning of "aspettare" but was shut down :-(.

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