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  5. "Non sapendo dire no alla mad…

"Non sapendo dire no alla madre, finisco col fare tutto quello che dice."

Translation:Not knowing how to say no to my mother, I end up doing everything that she says.

August 10, 2013



this entire gerund section is the most frustrating yet on this usually great site


Non sapendo = Not knowing
dire no alla madre = to say no to the mother (~my mother)
finisco col fare = I end up with doing
tutto quello che dice = all this that she says

~ Not knowing how to say no to my mother, I end up doing everything she says


Getting marked wrong for "mom" rather than "mum" is maybe the angriest I've ever gotten for getting one wrong!


But 'madre' means 'mother', not 'mom' or 'mum'. 'Mamma' means 'mom or 'mum'


Yeah, like Emrani says, it has nothing to do with how you spell it. That's just the wrong word altogether. It's debatable I guess, but it's not (or at least doesn't seem to be) a matter of "mom" vs "mum".


I put "mom" here because I lost a heart putting "mother" in another sentence. Which is then accepted here, while "mom" is not -____-


Why is it "col" instead of "con" ?


con il = col (I think.)


Yes, you're correct "col" is a contraction of "con + il" . I wasn't clear enough in my question. I was wondering why the definite article is need, therefore why "col" instead of "con" ?


yes, I am also confused about why an article is appearing before an infinitive -- this is the first time I remember seeing this.


I think it’s because “fare” is acting as a noun. “I end up with ‘the doing’ of whatever she says


To be given a seentence of 13 words as a dictation in this miserable audio quality and then getting it marked wrong because of a single typo really drives me mad


Strictly speaking, the word no should be in quotes.


I did that and it took my heart.


Need a rest after typing all that


I wrote "I finish by doing" rather than "I end up doing". Why was my answer wrong??


I think that would’ve been “finisco facendo”. See my reply to Edith above


How does one know that there is an understood "how" in the sentence?


The verb "sapere" can be translated as "to know" as well as "to know how to".

The latter is used when we have "sapere" followed by an infinitive of some verb.


  • Purtroppo non so guidare una macchina. = Unfortunately I don't know how to drive a car.

http://en.pons.eu/translate/italian-english/sapere (#2)


The hoover said being able is to also a possible translation which seemed odd.


Well, I made a mistake of taking the hoover suggestion as a possible option and said "Not being able to say no to my mother, I end up doing all that she says" and was shut down :-).


The audio here is very quiet for some words.


THE "mother" in English means something far from MY mother.


Use of the definite article without a pronoun is common in Italian. The owner has to be inferred from the context.


and of course we are in a situation where there is no context. I must admit i was thrown here, as the definite article is dropped in the possessive for family members, yet a definite article without a possessive adjective is understood as one's (the speaker's) mother. Quite tricky.


This sentence is almost impossible to write during timed practice.


I've stopped doing them now after a couple of disheartening wipe-outs. Had three in a row the other day, trying to mend fractured skills. Preferring now a slower, but infinitely less stressful progress towards the daily goal. Not too bothered about getting relegated either, so long as i keep my hand in.


Why can't I say finish instead of end up?


Apparently “finire CON la/ COL...” (or PER) is an idiom meaning “to end up [doing something- infinitive]” because circumstances forced you to. “Finire A [infinitive]” means ending up doing the thing because you exhausted all other possibilities - “end of the line.”

“I finish doing” would’ve been “finisco di fare”


why not all what she asks?


"all that she asks" should be OK, but "all what she asks" is not standard English. The use of "what" in this way is usually regarded as "uneducated English". This may help: http://english.stackexchange.com/questions/107073/use-of-what-vs-that (though I found the answer given difficult to follow).


Unfortunately the word "says" does not exist in the list. The fault is inevitable.


"mama" instead of "my mother", "finish" rather than "end up" and DL marks the sentence wrong? Perché??


1) "mama" is informal. "mother" is formal. (2) " I finish doing everything that she says" suggests that you complete the tasks that she tells you to do. "I end up doing everything that she says" means that you do what she wants (even if you don't really want to).


Even accepting the formal/informal reason for DL wanting the one over the other, I have grave doubts DL believes that "end up doing" is more emphatically a rejection of wanting to do anything than is "finish doing", not to the point that it was a make/break point of a gerund lesson. But, thanks for the time you took. Have a lingot.


I would say, "Not knowing how to say no to my mother, I finish doing everything everything that she says." It's more of a literal translation than the acceptable one, but why doesn't it convey the point?


I was marked wrong for leaving out the word "that" in this translation. The "that" is optional in this English sentence and many writing instructors urge its omission.


Being a native English speaker I would not use the word that in the sentence. Generally happy with Duolingo but do struggle with their English at times


"Not being able to say no to my mother" not accepted?


" not being able to" is not the same as "not knowing how to".


Then why put it as a suggestion?


I didn't know it was a suggestion (presumably you mean by DL). If it is, then I would have thought that it is a mistake by DL, unless it is an idiomatic use in which case apologies if my comment was wrong.


Yes it's a DL suggestion. I'm pretty sure DL has used it in a sentence before as well. I think it may have been about a woman not being able to drive.

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