La parola "ma"
Significa "but" in inglese, but I hear it used in sentences that definitely don't mean "but," usually starting a sentence. Could somebody list the ways Italians use 'ma?'
mi piacerebbe venire ma non posso I would love to come but I can't
non solo non beve più ma ha anche smesso di fumare he's not just given up drinking, he's stopped smoking too
hanno fatto quel che potevano ma non sono riusciti a salvarlo they did what they could, but they couldn't save him
non se lo merita ma dovremmo cercare di capirlo even though he doesn't deserve it, we should try to understand him
ma non se lo merita he doesn't deserve it though
incredibile ma vero incredible but true
ma si può sapere che cosa vuoi? just what do you want?
ma smettila! give over!, stop it!
ma va'? (dubitativo) really?, (esclamazione) surely not!
ma davvero? really?
ma sì! (certo) yes, of course!
ma no! of course not!
ti dispiace? -- ma no! do you mind? -- of course I don't!
ma insomma! for goodness sake!
ma insomma, vuoi smetterla? stop it, for heaven's sake!
2 sm inv but
ci sono ancora dei ma there are still some uncertainties
non c'è ma che tenga I'm not going to take no for an answer
We do this in English as well, sometimes!
But you are too kind!
But of course!
I guess, but NEVER say "ma però." It's a common mistake foreigners make while speaking Italian. però is more related to "though" or "however" in my opinion
Però con l'accento, pero is the tree of the pear. Però, ma, tuttavia, comunque, have the same meaning, but (però) depends on the context of the phrase. Bye
Hey Laura, you make a good point. Unfortunately there's rarely ever an exact 1 to 1 correlation between two works of a different language.
I think it's use IS like in English - sometimes just an introductory sound to a sentence ...
"But.. that isn't what I thought.."
" But I was only going to..." I am sure you linguists have a posh name for a nice long.. "Allora..." in Italian or "Donc..." in French that gives you thinking time.