Translation:If you have a cake, why don't you eat the cake?
if you have a cake, why not eat the cake?
that's how we would say it in English
Don't let this section get you down. It's, I think, a hurdle section, like a rite of passage. Once you get through it, then down the line you'll start to remember more and more of how Italian syntax works, plus more of its idioms will better better understand. It's a clever language, but can be a bit awkward to the logic of our English thinking brains.
That‘s quite hopefully. My mother language is portuguese, and i am using it as a parameter between the metric of English and Italian
Non si può avere la vostra torta e mangiarla anche.
EDIT: changed "la magiare" to "mangiarla" which means the same thing but is more correct.
Perché secondo gli inglesi, non è possibile di avere la sua torta ed anche lo mangiare.
I honestly have no idea where that saying comes from, I myself an American, have never understood it.
I believe it was originally, "you can't eat your cake and have it, too", which does make sense -- but it got switched around at some point.
I eat some cake, then it's gone, so I can't have it - makes sense. I have some cake, but I can't eat it because???
I thought "se" was operating as a pronoun, not as "if". I lost a heart...oh well.
Yes, that's confusing to anyone who knows a bit of Latin, because in Latin "se" means exactly what "si" means in Italian.
EDIT 04/26/14: I recently learned that "sé" with an accent mark is in fact an Italian word that means roughly the same as "si".
Where is the pronoun here? At least the sentence could have been, "If you have a cake, why don't you eat it?" Se hai una torta, perché non la mangi? I think?
I think I get it - maybe they want us to discern when "se" is not a pronoun, but rather is "if," since they are spelled the same.
Yes, they introduced a new noun in this section, I forget which, but I remember it began with l' .. because it came right after another sentence where l' was a clitic ..
l'auita = (lei) lo aiuta = she helps him
I put why not eat the cake and it was wrong! The translation was stupid sounding in English!