1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Italian
  4. >
  5. "Mi sono guardata intorno."

"Mi sono guardata intorno."

Translation:I looked around.

August 1, 2013

35 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/gordon_gregory

"I looked around me" was accepted. Why the "mi"? It implies a reflexive to but "I looked around" is DL's translation.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/sandrabruck

It's like an idiomatic expression "guardarsi intorno" = to look around; there are a lot of terms using "guardarsi".

"guardarsi" itself means "to look at" or "to take care"

  • guardarsi intorno = to look around

  • guardarsi attorno = to keep yourself informed; but also: to be careful

  • guardarsi alle spalle = to be on guard; to be wary


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ScarletteChase

My guess is that the reflexive is telling us where the speaker is looking around, as in "I looked around myself" as opposed to "I looked around the corner" or something. In English this is understood, but maybe in Italian it has to be explicitly stated.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/German4me22

You are on the right track..I believe. Verbs often have a subject and an object. I look at the mirror....Clearly ( I ) is the subject and (the mirror) is the object.( Guardo allo specchio). Here the verb is clearly not reflexive. If however the subject and the object of the verb are the same it becomes reflexive. I look around (I look around myself). The verb Guardare now becomes the reflexive verb Guardarsi. Mi guardo....Ti guardi etc


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Karmaria

I don't understand why this needs a reflexive either, can a more informed Duolingoer explain this please?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Germanlehrerlsu

Maybe this helps. Some verbs simply are reflexive, without necessarily having an english equivalent reflexive construction. Other languages are similar. For example "to catch a cold" in German is reflexive while in english it isn't. It doesn't always make sense why it's reflexive in one language and not in another. It's just something to learn.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Revilo_N

Yes this sentence "Mi sono guardata intorno." would be in German reflexive, too "Ich sah mich um.". Some verbs simply are reflexive in one language, but not in the other one. That's one reason why learning a foreign language is not just learning vocabulary.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/robert0n

Can anyone explain why it is "guardata" (with an "a")?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mario.a

If you are male you say: Mi sono guardato. If you are female you say: Mi sono guardata. The reason is that the past participle changes with gender when the auxiliary verb is "essere" (and in some cases also with "avere").


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/robert0n

Thanks. Embarrassingly, I did know, I just forgot. Thanks for reminding me!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Metlieb

Why is "sono" used here isntead of "ho"?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Germanlehrerlsu

Reflexive constructions require essere not avere.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Metlieb

Okay, I'll try to remember that. But why is "guardare" a reflexive verb here? I've never noticed it to be reflexive before. Or did I just miss something?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Germanlehrerlsu

My understanding of it is "guardare" is used as a transitive verb, meaning one that takes a direct object -- one looks AT something. "Guardarsi" I think is used more in the sense of "looking around". I know that doesn't explain WHY it's reflexive, other than to say that in some languages (German e.g.which I'm much more familiar with) some reflexive verbs simply have to be used reflexively and don't necessarily have an English (reflexive) equivalent. So, e.g. "to catch a cold" in German is reflexive. Italian has the same sort of verbs which may always be reflexive, with or without an equivalent English translation, or they may be sometimes reflexive, sometimes not - "guardare/guardarsi" in which case their meaning and use changes, maybe slightly, maybe a lot. Hope this helps.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Metlieb

It helps, thanks for the great explanation :)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Germanlehrerlsu

Prego. If nothing else it's something to reflect on! :-)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Racile

can we translate this sentence to they looked around me?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/GastonDorren

No, if it were 'they', it wouldn't be a reflexive, and therefore you would have to use 'hanno' instead of 'sono'.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jones_Rick

How do you say: "I myself looked around "


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ScarletteChase

That would be an intensive pronoun, which I for one have not learned how to do in Italian yet


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MariaIramendy

Isn't this a reflexive verb? If so shouldn't be I looked myself around?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/needacpa

I looked around me.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/stephan547184

Shouldn't they have used the woman speaker instead of the man? Why would the man say "guardata". Or was it meant to catch us off guard?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Eleventydeventy

"I looked all around myself" seems valid, no?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Aube2020

This sentence looks "wierdly" constructed. Yes, I know that's not a word. Never really heard anyone day that when i was living in Naples...


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Marninger

Guardare means to guard/to watch/to look at and it needs an object, - what is being watched/looked at. In this sentence the object really is "around myself". So here "I" am both the subject (the one who watches) and the object (the one who is being watched around). This kind of construction is called reflexive and requires the use of "mi" (~myself).

Mi = myself
sono guardato/a = I watched / looked at (m./f.)
intorno = around.

Myself, I watched, around ~
I watched around myself ~
I looked around

From the use of "guardata" we also know that it was a woman that was "looking around".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LuDGeRBriNk

Why do we use "essere" as auxiliary verb instead of "avere"?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Anne720

How are you supposed to know to use 'guardata' rather than 'guardato', if there is other context?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/NettieSchetti

Is the subject of the sentence (I) necessarily a female because of "guardata" (ending with an a)?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MariaIramendy

I believe the English sentence should be translated as: ho guardato intorno. If DL wants it to be reflexive shouldn't be translated as: I have looked myself around?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/agusnina

if it is an idiomatic expression you must teach us de real meaning in the first place.

Learn Italian in just 5 minutes a day. For free.