"Chi arriva a marzo?"
Translation:Who is arriving in March?
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I did as well. But when I did so, I heard it a little like an expression of surprise or exasperation. It certainly does not necessarily mean that in English, but it is an unusual construction to use instead of who is arriving or who will arrive. I suppose if you are marking people on your calendar based on what month you arrive and are going month by month it would make sense.
Sort of. The Italian present progressive is not used nearly as frequently as we do in English, so the Italian present tense can usually be translated as either the present or the progressive. But the issue is what is the difference in English. In English, except for stative verbs, we only use the present tense for general statements or for narration. This is a question, so it isn't narration. So the issue is who would actually ask who arrives in March as a general question. That is why I heard it as a surprised and disapproving question. It sounded like a version of "Who does that!". But my answer was accepted as it must be because it was technically correct. There are a few situations where someone might use the present tense for the immediate future as here, but they are fairly limited. And when translating real life situations, only one option would be the correct one. And in this case, Duo's answer would be applicable to most situations, the other only to a few.
I find that happens a lot with English speakers. I used to teach about that a lot, but I don't do that anymore, at least not to people studying a romance language.
We got the word gerund from the Latin word gerundus which means to carry on. The western Romance languages all use their form of that word to refer to the present participle, and their present participle can never be a noun. So explaining that English sort of co-opted the word for the ing form of a verb but only when it's used as a noun, but then explain that the gerundio isn't that sort of gerund is a bridge too far for many Duo users who have forgotten most of the English grammar they may have once known.
Previously, I have been marked wrong for using present continuous, when the word is a simple present tense. My present tense was accepted here, but when is it permissible and when is it wrong? I accept the comments in this discussion, but I have still been marked wrong for eg. "we are going" which has to be "we go".
Who arrives in March? Would an acceptable answer to this question be, "The Spring" - a personification of the spring? In the English language we consider winter a person named Jack Frost. Do Italian people also consider seasons to be people, or would they ask "What arrives in March?" to get the answer "Spring arrives in March."
While we're on this topic, does Spring start in March in Italy? Here in New York it really varies. Sometimes it arrives in March, leaves, and comes back in May, and other years it arrives in April.
It that answer wasn't accepted, then report it. We are supposed to assume that this is a question about the immediate future. Italian uses the present tense to refer to the immediate future and we do as well, sometimes. But most commonly we use the present progressive to talk about the future. The present tends to sound like a general statement/question. So if you say Who arrives in March, I tend to hear that as a question of propriety somehow, while who is arriving sounds just like making a list. Of course the Italian sentence could be either, it's the missing context that would determine how you interpret this. But I think Duo was directing you one way too strongly, only to insure we see this as a more routine type of question.
These sentences are always going to sound somewhat unnatural, even if they were sentences that the person heard spoken around them. Context is such an important element in meaning and certainly in naturalness, because what's "natural" depends on the situation. So we have some unnaturalness built in. But then you have to remember that we can only learn a few things at the same time. So there are many different potential difficult constructions or special rules about phrasing something a certain way that we can't yet anticipate if we make some choices.
When we learned to read our native language, we were reading much more simple language than we could speak, because we had to start in the beginning. We know how to read now, so we don't have to start with Dick, Jane and Sally, but we still have to realize we are stepping around things we aren't yet ready to learn in Italian. But I do generally find I can put them in some imaginary scenario which works well enough.
I realize my reference to Dick Jane and Sally probably confused most people. I don't know how long they were used, but a large swath of Americans my age learned to read by reading the adventures of Dick, Jane and Sally and their dog Spot. Of course "adventures" is a ridiculously exaggerated term. It all went something like this - "Look, Jane, Look! See Spot run. Run, Spot, run!
You have the name of the tenses wrong, because they are both present tenses. The answer is given in the present progressive or present continuous tense. This is the tense most commonly used in English for action verbs, both to say what is happening now and for the immediate future uses.
If you translated this as Who arrives is March it wouldn't be wrong, it just would mean something a little different. For action verbs the simple present tense is generally only used for general statements or for narration. So that would be essentially asking what kind of people arrives in March, unless this was something like a time share where every comes at their designated time each year. Only with verbs that describe more of a state, do you use the English present tense to indicate the present. That's things like I know, I want, I feel, etc.
I noticed that you used the word "doubt" where most English speakers would say question. I know they use duda(s) in Spanish for this, though. Are you a Spanish speaker or does your language do that as well?
@lynettemcw I am a native Hindi speaker(Indian). I used the word "doubt" instead of the word "question" because the word "question" feels very direct to an individual rather than public. While translating between languages, one of the rules are don't change the tense. Because we have sub-tenses (like present continuous) of tenses (like present) I think translating a sentence of a language to another language but changing the sub-tense to a different sub-tense (like simple present) of the same tense (like present tense) would make our translation incorrect.
I don't understand your question. The present progressive uses the verb to be with the present participle to form the tense. A gerund is the present participle when it's used as a noun. It's the same form, which ever its use, but it only has one use at a time. Who is arriving in March is using the present progressive. "Arriving in March isn't a good idea" would be a sentence using the gerund arriving. Each is separate and distinct.