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  5. "La gente entrava quando vole…

"La gente entrava quando voleva."

Translation:People would enter whenever they wanted.

July 27, 2013



"People would enter whenever they wanted" is good.


(American English speaker) I agree. The "would enter" is equivalent to "used to enter," especially when the rest of the sentence makes it clear the action is in the past.


Yes, I'd never thought about that as a way to express the imperfect in English.


Yup. Depending on context though. "People would enter if they knew how" is a totally different meaning of "would".


This is as bad as it gets. "The present conditional tense (condizionale presente) is equivalent to the English constructions of "would" + verb (for example: I would never forget)..." while... "The conditional perfect (condizionale passato), like all compound tenses in Italian, is formed with the condizionale presente of the auxiliary verb avere or essere and the past participle of the acting verb..." So, the sentence: "People would enter whenever they wanted" translated to Italian would sound something like this: "La gente sarebbe entrata quando voleva." or maybe "La gente entrerebbero quando voleva." But definitely not Would Enter as a translation for voleva. On the end, actual translation for the Italian sentence "La gente entrava quando voleva" would be "The people used to enter whenever they wanted.".


Sorry, but "would enter" is another way of expressing the imperfect tense in English; it means the same as "used to enter". Another example, "I would eat spam during rationing in the 1940s, but not now". Or "they would put their mobile phones away when the teacher entered the room". There is nothing conditional about any of those; it is a description of what used to happen. In English an equivalent sort of phrase in the conditional tense is: "Would you enter the building if it were on fire?"


It doesn't necessarily mean the action in the past isn't done anymore if you ask me. There's a subtle difference between "People would go to the game" and "People used to go to the game". I feel that the first one leaves the possibility open that they still go to the game but you don't know one way or the other.


Both your examples look conditional to me: I would eat spam because it was wartime and I would put my phone away because the teacher came in. In the question we're discussing there is no such condition.


How about, I would walk along the beach in the evenings back then. We would listen to the stories our grandfather told us when we were young.


No, Craig, neither is conditional. "Would" in English is frequently used as the imperfect tense, the same as "used to" (as Ariaflame says above). For my examples to be conditional, they would be : "I would eat spam if there were rationing" [but there isn't, so I don't], and "I would put my mobile phone away if the teacher were to walk in" [but he hasn't, so I haven't].


I thought this should be translated as "La gente entrava quando volevano" Why is this wrong? :(


Because while people does involve more than one person, 'la gente' - the people' is treated as a singular noun, as the group of people effectively, so the singular voleva rather than the plural volevano is used.


Bravo! Grazie mile! Mi hai aiutato molto


Ah, that explains it. I had the same question :). Thank you!


Great help! Thanks!!


"would enter" isn't a translation of voleva. It's a translation of entrava. In English we do tend to use 'would' as a synonym of 'used to' when speaking of the past. When speaking of the future then it's used in its conditional form.


La gente entrerebbero quando voleva -> "La gente" is singular so it would be "la gente entrerebbe quando voleva"… …which is wrong because it sounds like "people would enter (in the present) when they wanted (in the past) by the way thanks


Ok. But I offered two possible translations. One in Condizionale Presente and one in Condizionale Passato. Well, it is obvious that one in the Present is not correct as the sentence is in the past. But on the other hand, I just wanted to show that Duolingo's translation cannot be correct.


That aside how would you say that sentence in english? I mean: in everyday language how would you express the same content?


One would say, "People entered whenever they wanted." "People would enter whenever they wanted" also works.


As an Englishman, I would say, 'People used to go in whenever they wanted.'


Something like: People (just) enter whenever they want. Without would. With or without just.


But that isn't past either?


I would use the last one. Sounds more natural


Why is this voleva and not volevano? I put "The people were entering whenever he wanted.", which was obviously marked wrong.


La gente is singular, hence voleva. You nevertheless have a point in my view: whenever he wanted would also be translated like this, maybe with adding "lui" to avoid confusion. But I might be wrong :-)


Thanks, I suppose you can't expect Duo to catch every interpretation of the translation, especially when they're a bit atypical like the one I wrote.


But, if the correct answer is, "they wanted", then the correct form should be "volevano."


Except the 'they' here is representing 'the people' which in Italian is the singular 'La gente' hence voleva. It's they in English, but not in Italian.

And no it can't be "Le persone entravano quando volevano" because that would be "The peoples entered whenever they wanted". In italian la gente = the people is a singular noun. The least awkward wary of translating it into English does have the 'they wanted' but that doesn't make the Italian noun and thus accompanying verbs plural.


What if he was manning the enterance and letting people in?


But, it's being translated to English. Even if it wasn't, it's ridiculous that a language should create a situation like that. "Voleva means he/she/it wanted, except for when you try to translate it as such, then you''re wrong. It's 'they wanted.'" I have a solution: "Le persone entravano quando volevano."


Grazie, Lawrence49, that makes sense. We do say "the people are...."


Could it not be "People would enter when he/she wanted", as in, the people were entering at a time when another wanted them to?


"the people entered when they FELT LIKE" is not good? I'm italian


If you were going to translate this sentence like this I would say "The people entered when they felt like it." We rarely say "felt like" without the "it" at the end. I'm a US English speaker.


But a question, hazablad. The final verb "voleva" is singular. I said The people entered whenever it wanted" Now I know that sounds weird in English but I couldn't say "they" with the verb "voleva" Very troublesome.


Yes you can. English uses the plural form when talking of people, Italian uses the singular, hence voleva.

If you turn it the other way round and translate into Italian the English "the people entered whenever they wanted", you wouldn't write "la gente entrava quando volevano".


Understanding this stuff is easy. My problem is remembering the individual word spellings. haha


That is precisely what I put in Italian and my efforts gained me an "Oops! That is incorrect!" This is not the first time, and I do not understand the error.


The sound is missing...


People would come when they wanted marked wrong.


This might be a dumb question, but how would I know whether to use "could" or "would"? Thanks.


"The people were entering when they wanted" why is this wrong?


I have the same question. Surely 'when' and 'whenever' are synonymous in English here.


Why not simply, "People entered whenever they wanted."?


Why was l'agente marked wrong? It sounds exactly the same.


"Voleva" is singular. Why is it translated as "they" here?


Why is the conditional used here?


It isn't the conditional, Brenda - it's the imperfect.


Would is conditional tense not imperfect


Not necessarily. It is not uncommon for an English person to say "we would visit our grandparents every Sunday", meaning "we used to visit...", when talking about things that happened frequently in the past.

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