"Vedi il pescatore?"

Translation:Do you see the fisherman?

July 5, 2013

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Idiomatic English would be "Can you see the fisherman?"


Americans often say 'Do you see x?' and 'I see x' etc. so it's not unidiomatic (in their dialects) nor incorrect. It's also appropriate if you're asking about a repeated event: "Do you see x [every morning]?" However, using 'can' is completely legitimate and versions with 'can' need to be added on all questions on this course involving verbs of perception. 'Can' usually doesn't need to be translated at all when it's used with verbs of perception in the present tense because in that context, it doesn't usually convey the meaning of being able to perceive something, only the fact of perceiving:

With verbs of ‘inert perception’ and ‘inert cognition’… there is little difference between being able to do something and actually doing it, so can tends to lose its distinctive modal meaning… With ‘verbs of inert perception’, furthermore, can not only loses its distinctive modal value, but has the additional special function of denoting a state rather than an event. As the Simple Present of these verbs has only an ‘instantaneous’ event meaning… the main difference between… I can see and I see is one of perception as a state versus perception as a (momentary) event

Geoffrey Leech, 'Meaning and the English Verb'

"Can you see x" can mean either "Vedi x?" or "Puoi vedere x?" and both of these can be translated into English as "Can you see x?"


That can be translated into Italian, though, as «Puoi vedere il pescatore?»


But that's unnatural in Italian, just as "do you see the fisherman?" is in English.

English uses "can" with verbs of the perception; Italian does not.


It is not unnatural in Italian or English. I am a native speaker of English, and I use the "do you..." construction all the time, much more than "can you...". It is not a matter of always using "can" with perception; it is what is meant/what the situation calls for. This is my opinion.


I am a native speaker of English and "Do you see" and "Can you see" are used interchangeably.

"Can you see the Fisherman" should be accepted really.

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Except that defeats the purpose of Duolingo teaching us the different vocabulary and grammar of "Do you see the fisherman/Vedi il pescatore?" vs "Can you see the fisherman/Puoi vedere il pescatore?"

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Language is about meaning, not literal translation.

I am well aware of that. I tell people that all the time. However, if Duolingo is trying to teach you certain grammatical constructions, then for the purpose of learning the distinctions it's best to stick with strict (I never advocated literal) translations. The other thing I often tell people is that Duolingo is not meant to be a handy phrasebook. It's meant to teach grammar and vocabulary. And by glossing over the difference between "do you" and "can you", you are defeating the purpose of these lessons.


Language is about meaning, not literal translation. If only literal translation were allowed then the correct translation is "you see the fisherman?". Italian does not use any qualifier like English - it does not require "can" (puoi) or "do" (fai).

Languages rarely translate literally and one must learn how meaning is conveyed. In this case, "Can you see x" and "do you see x" have exactly the same meaning in English, that being enquiring whether one is able to see x, in this case, the fisherman. To convey that meaning in Italian one would say "Vedi il pescatore". To convey the same meaning in English one can say "do you see the fisherman" or "can you see the fisherman", there is no difference


Me: That tree looks cool! You: Which one? Me: Do you see the fisherman? You: Yes. Me: Just to the left of him.

It is not unnatural at all.


Me: That tree looks cool! You: Which one? Me: Do you see the fisherman? You: Yes. Me: Just to the left of him.

It is not unnatural at all.


I can just imagine this in some creepy movie.

Vedi il pescatori?

Non vedo nessuno.



is ''il pescatore'' just for men or it's for both of them.

Cause we use different words for ''doctor'', for example.


La pescatrice is for a fisherwoman


See https://www.duolingo.com/comment/20584308 DL has been caught out, accepting the modern/old gender-neutral 'fisher' for pescatore, but not for pescatrice.


in another training element it was said that il pescatore and un pescatore both meant a fisherman but here it is the other way around. Any ideas?


Are you referring to Mio padre fa il pescatore? When talking about professions you can use fare + il/la to mean works as a or is a.


without slowsound it says "Vedi pescatore" with no il


When played on slow August 2021, the female voice definitely says, "Vedi i pescatore." I thought that was what it said on normal speed, and it is absolutely what is said slowly. Being about my 3rd question into the profession section, this really threw me. The article and noun definitely didn't match up.


Why not, "See the fisherman?" That would be perfectly acceptable and grammatically correct in English, I believe. I'm not sure why it has do have You or Do you...


By the way, fishmonger is said in Italian "il pescadero / la pescadera". Very close to "il pescatore".


How come pescatore does not end in i???

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No natural language is perfectly regular. "Pescatore" is one of the irregular nouns that ends in -e in the singular and -i in the plural, and you need to learn on a case-by-case basis whether it's masculine or feminine.


Sadly not all singular masculine nouns end 'o' . Some masculine nouns end with an 'e' and so do some feminine nouns. They both take an 'i' for the plural. Languages, eh?


I put see the fishermen, I still can't see we're the.! Do comes from.

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In writing, a question mark turns a statement into a question. In speech, tone of voice turns a statement into a question. Verbs in English have do-support. Verbs in Italian do not. English needs a subject pronoun. Italian does not. We can tell from how the verb is conjugated -- in this case, vedi -- what the subject pronoun is -- in this case, tu, which in English is "you".

You see the fisherman.
Vedi il pescatore.

Do you see the fisherman?
Vedi il pescatore?


Why is it that I can never hear the female presenter saying 'il' o 'i', or indeed most other prepositions towards the end of sentences. We are asked to write what we hear but even when I am sure of what it should be I cannot hear it - and if I do the is apparently no difference between 'il' and'i'.

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