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  5. "Provavamo per ore."

"Provavamo per ore."

Translation:We used to try for hours.

August 16, 2013

52 Comments


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

Why not "we were trying for hours"?


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

I think you are right . . .

As far as I figured out the italian imperfetto is used to talk about

• Things that used to happen in the past
• Things that repeatedly happened in the past
• Passage of time in the past
• One’s age at a point in the past
• Weather in the past
• What you were doing when something else occurred
• How someone looked in the past
• Describing a scene to set up a story
• Events that happened simultaneously in the past
• One’s state of mind in the past

. . and as Provavamo is imperfect of provare this sentence has to be about that we used to try, or repeatedly tried . . for hours.

But depending on context and according to Reverso.net "provavamo" can also be translated as: we tried / we rehearsed / we were trying / we were rehearsing / we used to rehearse / we practiced / were feeling / we felt / we're trying

Can anybody verify or tell what we are missing?


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

"We used to try for hours" was not accepted. Any help here, please?


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

It's accepted now. :)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AnaMartine4933

It is like they were trying many times for hours


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

Did the same thing, also do not get it why it is marked wrong...


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

I agree. I think that "used to" is regularly used in English to signify a continuing past action ie imperfect tense!


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

We do not have an imperfetto tense in English. Translating with 'used to' will not always be accurate, though close.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Francesco817465

Agree - 'used to' normally represents a special situation in what DL calls the past imperfect. It not necessarily wrong but could misrepresent the intention of the speaker. It's habitual use by DL to represent almost all cases of the past imperfect is in my opinion misleading.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/epac-mcl

I think it's because, "We used to try for hours" would translate as "Abbiamo usato provare per ore". "We used to try for hours", suggests repeated attempts of a particular event for hours at a time. "We were trying for hours", suggests a singular event for hours at a time.


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

usare is not 'used to'. There isn't a good translation.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SchubertNo21

That is correct. Usare is to use. I use, you use... we use. Ho usato, I used, etc. not used to. that is purelyEnglish.


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

You can read a very informative text about 'da' vs 'per' on: http://blogs.transparent.com/italian/da-or-per/


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

I run some of these through google translate which sometimes is helpful. It translated this as "We rehearsed for hours." Does "provare" also mean rehearse or is that simply a google translate oddity.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/rsc55

Yes, it can mean to rehearse "provare"'; "prova generale" dress rehearsal.


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

"we rehearsed for hours" provare in theater means rehearse as the equivalent in Gerrman (proben)


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

It could mean rehearsed, depending on the context, per my Italian husband.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Puzzle36714

Wouldn't you like to know? ;)


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

Could we say 'We were running trials for hours?'


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/rsc55

It's not clear what they were doing. But they were trying for hours to do the best at whatever they were doing.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jaye16

See here for help on using the drop down vocab. and other hints: https://www.duolingo.com/comment/4821654


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/lacrimae2

Potrebbe essere Correvamo delle competiozioni per ore, penso


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

"we wer trying for hours" is marked wrong. It is a typo isn't it??


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/epac-mcl

Yes. "wer" should be "were".


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

True but "We were trying for hours" was also marked wrong.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/epac-mcl

The correct answer is, "We used to try for hours", which is a different statement than "We were trying for hours". The first statement suggests having made several attempts at something, for hours at a time. The second statement suggests just one attempt at something, for hours.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/a14th

In another comment you say the opposite. Which is it? It's ok if you don't know, but don't speak like you do. It will only confuse others.


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

Past tenses employed with "for" and "since" always had to be formed with past perfect when I was in school - We have been trying for hours. :p isn't this true?


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

No it isn't :) with "since" I think we should use the present or past perfect, but it's not always the case with "for". We have been trying for hours (which incidentally is present perfect not past perfect) means that we may still be trying now. Past perfect - we had been trying for hours - would mean we tried for hours before we succeeded or gave up or something else happened. We were trying for hours is probably intended to emphasise the "ongoingness" or length of time of the action, and past simple - we tried for hours - doesn't seem to imply anything extra. At least that's how I see it :)


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

Thanks for your explanation, that makes sense. But here the English translation is still different, as it uses we used to try for hours. Is that because of the imperfetto "provavamo"? I understand that the imperfect tense is used to talk about recurrent iterative actions, and the best way to formulate that in English might be with used to, but still I find it strange to combine these two. To make it short: I don't like the English translation :p


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Puzzle36714

So far, from the phrases and verbs I have encountered, Duo has done a poor job of being consistent in its translation. Until we know the actual intended meaning, we have no way of knowing what the "correct" translation is. In other words, you might actually be correct, but are being marked Wrong by the system. Or vice versa.


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

Yeah, it's maybe a little hard to imagine that people would try the same thing for hours time after time :) but it's possible I suppose


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Captain004

Please how do I know when to put the "va" e.g provavo


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

Should we stress the first or the second "va" of "provavano"? Thanks! =)


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

What's the matter with 'We had tried for hours'?


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

I was wondering if "We were trying hourly" is also correct.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/epac-mcl

No. To do something hourly, is to do a specific thing each and every hour. For example: To take a tablet hourly. (To take one tablet every hour). An hourly weather forecast. (A weather forecast for every hour).

To do something for hours means, to do a specific thing non-stop for a continuous number of hours.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mextex1

why is 'we tried for hours' not correct


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

The joy is in the journey.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/luigi94114

It seems Duo adds "used to" or "would" with English translations for the imperfetto to establish the concept of this as the "storytelling" tense - i.e., things that occured in the past without a definitive time. Is that an accurate assumption? I was wondering of "we tried for hours" would be an accurate translation for this particular sentence with proper context. For something like "I never learned to play the piano, even though Grandma tried many times to teach me. We tried for hours." But if there was a specific point in time as reference, i.e. "This morning, we could not find your house. We tried for hours" then passato prossimo is the appropriate tense?


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

Did they end up having a kid?


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

Used is not there!!!!!!!!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Puzzle36714

Haha my previous sentence was: I was trying not to look.

So I guess we know how it played out :P. So much for "trying"


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

In general, I don't really think it would have been necessary to make 8 (x5) lessons for this relatively easy skill. 4-5 would have been fine. Some more exercise for the clitics on the other hand would have been great.


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

Having read the "Tips" this seems perfectly reasonable as a translation. Context can be important, but here we never have the context, so it's tricky.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Giuseppe60669

I speak Spanish which is very similar to Italian, and I would translate this as "We tried for hours". Saying "used to" is generally used when something happened regularly before but not anymore.


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

If there it would read.. we use to try for hours.


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

We'd tried for hours?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RMR113

We tried for hours. Accepted.

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