Can one also say: "Aspettiamo fino settembre"? Without the "a"? If not, when does one use "fino", and when "fino a"?
Why "fino a" and not "finché"? What's the difference bettween those two words?
Fino a is a prepositional phrase. It's always followed by a noun. Finche' is an adverb of time. It modifies a verb.
Thank you very much! Another question... do you know why "finché" is always followed by a negative verb? for example, "sei mio finché non muoio"
Here is a lingot because your answer really helped me!
Actually, it isn't. A Google search for "finché arriva" returns hundreds of thousands of results. A lot of them seem to be a famous quote by Einstein, but they appear to be written by native speakers.
You may want to check out the Wiktionary entry on finché: http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/finch%C3%A9. It's one of those funny expressions that may mean two opposite things, depending on the context. The reason you see it more often followed by a negative verb is that Italians use that construction to express "until." If you think about it, "as long as X doesn't happen" logically means roughly the same thing as "until X happens." And if you know any Italians who speak English, they may say that (somewhat odd) expression in English.
Another great online resource is the Corriere della sera dictionary: http://dizionari.corriere.it/ CDS is probably the most-read newspaper in Italy. I find that the dictionary gives simple, easy-to-ready definitions. If you're interested in learning the "correct" (i.e. Tuscan) pronunciation of vowels, it's also reliable for that. Unfortunately, it doesn't do any "close enough" searches, so you need to make sure you get the spelling and accents right.
The CDS entry for finche' also gives two good examples. In the first (finche' c'e' vita c'e' speranza), it's easy to translate as "as long as." In the second example (lo aspetteremo finche' [non] arrivera') is great example of the slippery nature of finche'. Logically, there should be a "non" in there: We'll wait for him as long as he doesn't arrive ("We wait until he arrives."). However, you may hear native speakers leave the non out without changing the meaning of the sentence (so finche' would mean "until").
Wow, what a treasure of a resource that CDS page is! Thank you! I love having good resources in my bookmarks.
Correct. "...iamo" can often mean "let's" For example andiamo = let's go
The Italians don't seem to capitalise the months and days. Do they have to capitalise them on formal lette?
"We'll wait until September" should be a correct answer, too. It's hard to translate these sentences out of context. The Italian present tense isn't only used to talk about the present. In any case, when would an English speaker ever see these 4 words by themselves?
Arrrgh, I'm doing this lesson for the third or fourth time and can't pass it because of the mistakes in English translation! When I translate a phrase (not only this one, any) literally, they correct my English; when I translate a phrase so that it sounded "English", they say, it's an incorrect translation. By the way, till and until are synonyms, aren't they?
'til is a contraction of until. Till is a noun meaning can register or verb meaning turning over the earth in a farming context.
Some English speakers consider it incorrect to write till as short for until, even though it's very common in spoken English.
The English translation usually matches the italian, except for little missunderstandings. Never mind!
I have a problem with articles: when I translate it into English with an article (because it sounds better), they say it's wrong, for in an italian sentence there's no article; and vice versa. In any case neither of these languages is native to me, so I can practise both:)
I finished the Italian tree and had similar issues with articles (where Italian uses them more often) and subject pronouns (where they use them much less). I'd like to see Duolingo do a better job of nudging learners toward forms that may seem a little unnatural at first but are actually much more common in the target language.
Three or four times? Wow, it's amazing. You don't give up. I don't know if it is happened to me. :D
If I have a hard time to understand the question or sentence, I will write it down on a paper (writing on computer doesn't work for me). It will help me to remember when I redo the lesson.
The sentence, "Aspettiamo fino a settembre", could that also be translated as "We are waiting until the end of September"?
No. Fino a settembre could only mean until September or up to September. The end of September is fine (di) settembre.
Oh, I must be the only one with such old ears! The speaker drops her voice level so that the words disappear.
I am not sure, but I think the translation then should be: "Aspettiamo fino al fino di settembre." Untill = fino a...
the end of= il fino di