"Lui è un uomo in gamba."

Translation:He is a capable man.

August 6, 2013




October 14, 2013


When I am returning to Australia from my grandmother's home town in the North of Italy they say "buona fortuna in gamba" . I think it means "good luck in (your) travels". Up there the only form of transport was walking or horses for centuries. Both involve legs.

November 17, 2016


Of course I answered it as " He is a leg man"

February 24, 2019


Grazie. Danke. Gracias. Merci!

October 12, 2015


A nice idiom!

March 4, 2016



October 10, 2018


My first translation was "He is a leg man," meaning a man who is more attracted by a woman's legs than by her breasts. Shows where my mind is at, I guess.

January 17, 2016


Genious ! have a lingot

January 18, 2016


Or some man who never skips leg day at the gym ;-)

June 16, 2018


I am un uomo in gamba then.

December 18, 2018


DL suggested "He is a man on the ball" as an alternate for me. Although I definitely use "He is on the ball" I don't think I have ever used "He is -a man- on the ball" Any other native English speakers think I should suggest correcting this English sentence?

December 16, 2014


I said "He is an on the ball man" just to see what happened, and it was accepted. But if I were being serious, I just say, "He is a capable man", as "capable" is the first suggested translation for "in gamba"

September 21, 2016


I agree with Mutt & sur- idioms need to be a separate lesson -toward the end - when we're ready for the nuances of the language... and it will be a "piece of cake!" Until then, we're "not playing with a full deck" and "your guess is as good as mine!"

August 14, 2015


I've always understood "in gamba" to correspond to our English expression, "with it," which can have many applications. WordReference also translates it as "on the ball" or "on top of things," and gives "In gamba!" as a way of saying "Take care!" "Capable" seems a rather boring way to translate it.

I also vote for WordReference to help get at the nuances of these expressions.

September 11, 2014


Wordreference.com also specifically lists the compound form "essere in gamba" as meaning "be very capable".

January 7, 2016


I have always understood 'in gamba' to mean smart or clever. Capable surely isn't the only way to correctly translate this?

October 13, 2013


I also learned it to mean smart.

December 21, 2013


I wrote 'clever' but got it wrong

June 10, 2016


Maybe this idiom has something to do with the Hebrew connection between the word רגיל <rageel> (=used to something/capable of something), derived from the root ר.ג.ל (RGL), and the word רגל <Regel> (=leg) of the same root. So far i've encountered many similar phenomenons, where the Italian association of words was identical to the Hebrew equivalent...

November 16, 2015


Collins Dictionary gives in gamba = in buona salute = well (therefore, presumably, healthy) and = capace, sveglio = bright, smart

April 21, 2014


In English, "He can think on his feet" suggests a similar idea.

March 2, 2016


Good way to remember the phrase. It's closer to the Italian than what I contrived: a man (who in tough situations) always lands on his feet.

August 11, 2017


Sorry to say that, but this is totally over the top, Duolingo. We really need a separate section with idioms. This is not helpful at all.

February 1, 2017


Funny! In Spanish "gamba" means "prawn" so reading this sentence one cannot avoid picturing a man riding a prawn or sort of.

May 25, 2017


What about "He is a man on his toes"

January 7, 2015


'he is a fit man' seems to cover everything and sounds right in English.

August 12, 2015


I answered, He is a leg man......Your not the only one Macossay.

March 2, 2016


If the anti idioms are not pulling our leg i think they should toe the line. Some of us want to learn italian as spoken, idioms and all.

October 15, 2018


I would translate "in gamba" as "hands on"

August 6, 2013


I think that "He is on his feet" would be closer to the Italian phrase.

August 21, 2014


Why test us on idioms when we are learning the language? I am still in literal translation mode.

October 25, 2016


This is not the lesson to teach idioms. There is a different lesson for idioms.

December 29, 2016


'In gamba' cannot be translated as being 'in shape'

November 24, 2014


"he is a smart man" is perfectly correct and should be accepted.

January 9, 2016


Wow! Some of these comments are years old! My Italian relatives always used "in gamba" to mean "in shape" or "doing well". I'm sure different regions have their own nuances for idioms.

February 25, 2018


Yes, idioms are always.." un male di testa", hahahahaha! Saluti!

February 27, 2018


And i agree with you; it looks like no one is interested on doing comments in this page. I think it's a sad situation for us, languages learners, not expressing our feelings. Maybe, we are afraid of making mistakes, not knowing that it is another way of learning. Greeetings!

February 27, 2018


Another idiom that is here only to introduce the word "gamba", but has nothing medical in it.

The word could be introduced in another sentence, more suitable to the medical section (and to get the meaning of the word).

August 3, 2018


...a stand-up guy?

November 18, 2018


whoever selected this translation got it wrong. I have three dictionaries that say 'in gamba' means 'well' or 'in good health'.

June 28, 2016


He is a fit man was refused

April 19, 2017


This is not the lesson for idioms. Hey Duo, keep the idioms in their own lesson.

January 5, 2017


warn us about the idioms

September 20, 2017


Eessere in gamba means to be in good shape. The "correct" answer in the exercise shows the answer as He is a man on the ball! How in the world would we know all these idioms? Here it shows the answer as He is capable man.

February 28, 2018


A French friend of mine used to say, "He is in his legs." Maybe this is where that came from.

April 6, 2018


Enough of the idioms. I am trying to learn to speak the language. Before I learn the idioms I just want to be able to understand the words I am speaking. At the end of the course, there should be a whole section on idioms, but not while we are still trying to learn the definitions of words and sentence structures.

May 14, 2018


If you are really trying to have conversations with people who actually speak the language, idioms are a vital part of the language. REALLY listen to your conversations some time - idioms such as these make up a pretty large portion of your speech. Some of them have become so fossilized you don't even realize that they started AS idioms (metaphors, largely).

February 9, 2019


Yes! You only need to watch an italian soap opera to confirm this Hypothesis.

February 28, 2019


Words for body parts can be both remarkably stable, as can be seen in the words for 'nose' and 'heart', for example, and changeable. Slangish metaphors become, for example, the "regular" terms. Classical Latin crus (crura) 'leg' was replaced in Late Latin by gamba, borrowed from Greek kampe 'curvature'...In Japanese, gambaru means 'hang in there, do one's best'. But I remember gamba from the French form jambe, cf. il a des jambes.

August 30, 2018


He is a good man. Not acceptable

September 13, 2018


Why not man on the ball instead of capable man? Same meaning, both given as translations of in gamba?

November 3, 2018


I almost put, he is a leg man, too, but peeked.

November 27, 2018


I wrote " he's a man on the run" ! How would you say that?

January 28, 2019



April 5, 2019
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