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  5. "Lui mi diede una mano."

"Lui mi diede una mano."

Translation:He gave me a hand.

December 20, 2014



Does this mean "he gave me a hand" in terms of helping someone, or does it literally mean that he gave/extended his hand for me to grasp/take/hold/shake)?


The first. It's an idiom in Italian too. The second is "mi diede la mano".


Ah, so give "a" hand vs. give "the" (i.e. his/her) hand. Thank you. Have a Lingot. :-)


Exactly. Thanks! :)


Of course no one has yet mentioned that maybe this was a seriously disturbed individual who gave a severed hand to someone. It's not always an idiom and sometimes creepy.


Ah! Have you heard Tom Lehrer's love song "I hold your hand in mine"?


Past historic tense is not often used in speech I thought. It is literary more found in books??


Passato remoto is commonly used in the southern part of the country.


The English sentence has several meanings:

  1. He applauded me. (more often plural)

  2. He helped me.

  3. He held out his hand to be shaked/shaken.

  4. He held out his hand to be taken/grasped. (a romantic gesture or a possible conjunction of 2 and 3)

I doubt that Italian has adopted the first one. But has it incorporated the second sense? I doubt it, since "aiutare" is a good verb. But which option is more likely to be better for option 3 and 4?

This is a long-winded version of LynnSerafi's quetion. Is there an answer?


Actually the Italian phrase means only the second: "he helped me".

"He applauded me" corresponds to "battere le mani" (applaudire).

"He held out his hand to be shaked/shaken" is "dare la mano" (see above).

"He held out his hand to be taken/grasped" is "porgere / tendere la mano", that can be for the purpose of 3 or something else. You can also say "porgere / tendere una mano", eg for help you to lift, but it isn't idiomatic.


silen03: Again, I've got to hand it to you -- your explanations are always hands down the best! Grazie.


Maybe I'm old-fashioned but I recalled the equivalent english phrase as, "he lent me a hand".


why does the prompt have diede / dette and diedero/dettero?


Because some irregular verbs have two forms in the passato remoto for first and third person singular and third person plural. diedi/detti, diede/dette and diedero/dettero. It's the same with vedere.


Which form is more common? Thanks.


They're both commonly used, but the -etti, ette, ettero form is especially found in speech.


Grazie per questo.


Roadlawyer: So that explains why "diede" isn't shown in the conjugation dropdown? Thanks. It puzzled me.


So I tried changing this to "He gave her a hand" 'Lui lei diede una mano'. Which reverso.net translated as "She gave him a hand". So I went to 'lei lui diede una mano'. Which reverso.net also translated as "She gave him a hand". Working the other way in reverso 'He gave her a hand' becomes 'Lui diede lei una mano'. is this correct? If so why not 'lui diede mi una mano' for 'he gave me a hand'? Thanks.


Actually not all the translations by reverso.net are right.

"He gave her a hand" = "Lui le diede una mano" and "Lui diede a lei una mano".

"She gave him a hand" = "Lei diede a lui una mano" and "Lei gli diede una mano".

"He gave me a hand" = "Lui mi diede una mano" and "Lui diede a me una mano".


That is what I thought and why I asked here. Google translate is even worse at times. Thanks for the help.


You're right, google also sometimes is wrong. You're welcome


I am italian: "dare una mano" means help, so: "Lui mi diede una mano" could/should be "He helped me"? Asking for confirmation. Ciao


Emik73: Yes that's correct. To give someone a hand mean to help that person. That said the English has another idiomatic meaning, i.e., to applaud someone or someone's performance, as in "Let's give this little singer a hand!" as everyone claps. I don't know if the italian idiom 'dare una mano' has the same meaning.


No it doesn't: to clap we say "battere le mani" - Ciao


Thanks. I appreciate your clearing that up.

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