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  5. "Come fa a sapere così tanto …

"Come fa a sapere così tanto sui pesci?"

Translation:How can he know so much about fish?

August 21, 2013



Why are we using "fare" in this sentence? I'd think of of this as "Come può a sapere...."


I still don't understand why you mention this construction from that website. It only says that it means "have sth done" as in "I had my car repaired".

What's the relation with "How can he know so much about fish?"

Any help is appreciated.


I think it means 'how come he knows so much about fish', although Duo is not accepting that...


Come fa = What does he/she do
a sapere = to know
cosi tanto = so much
sui pesci = on/about fish


Because its something closer to "How does he do to know so much about fish?"


So couldn't it be "How does he get to know so much about fish"? Or in English we would be more likely to to say "How did he get to know"


I'd say yes, not sure if Duolingo would accept it, but it does look like a good translation.


I said, "How did he get to know..." and was marked wrong. : (


we also say how do you come to know....


The only thing I don't understand is why "così tanto" and not just "tanto", though it can be an equivalent to "so much".


Thank you so much Viaggiatore! Spero che ci sia un tempo che posso ricordare tutto quello che imparo qui.;)


Thank you Viaggiatore. Your reference is exceptionally helpful.


If you run come fa a through Context Reverso, they have over 200 examples where it is used to mean - how does (s)he, how can (s)he .... new to me, but obviously not to people who speak Italian.

Good one. :)


that seems right to me, only I think you should not put "A" here, so it would then be: "Come può sapere..." much easier to understand.


Why is it sui pesci?


"sui" = "su" on + "i" the".


But doesn't that mean "How can he know so much about his fish?


No. There is an adjective "sui" meaning "his". It looks the same as "sui" here, but it's not. The adjective would made nonsense of the sentence.


Thank you, and thank you for your patience. Now I understand.


I think you are mistakenly taking it for "suoi".
"Sui" = on the ("su + i")
"Suoi"= his ("suo/sua/suoi/sue")


Why does it have to be "he"? What is wrong with "How does one know so much . . ."?


Someone please tell me which word indicates that it is HE .


I used "How is it that he knows so much about fish?" DL did not accept that translation. Can anyone tell me what might be wrong with it? I did report it.


"How does he come to know so much about fish." or "How does he happen to know so much about fish."

That would be a natural English translation. I have reported it because it sounds better and is still faithful to the original Italian.

Come in this context is like happen. It's not venire, it's the secondary English meaning of come.


it says: "SUI pesci" yet "about THE fish" was marked wrong. seems unfair to me


You don't always use "the" in English where you see "i" in Italian. Since you're not talking about specific fish, "about fish" is the right English expression.


Thank you so much, now I understand.


“What does he do to know so much about fish?“ or “How does he do to know so much about fish?“
Is either acceptable?


'how does he do to know' = nonsense in English. "What dos he do to know so much" is closer to acceptable, but it takes time to build up a knowledge of something so it would be much better to talk about 'how DID he become so knowledgeable', or 'how did he get to know so much'. I have no idea what the name is for this particuar construction but it makes more sense in English.


'How does he do to know' doesn't make sense in English.


Uff, i would have thought that :"How does he do to know..." is correct, but it is not. And, can we say: "Come sa cosi tanto...."? It seems to be the right translation to : "How can he know so much..."


Wow, this sentence is all kinds of messed up in english. "How he makes to know things so much above the fishes.."


Would this sentence also have the understanding in Italian as "How DOES he know so much about fish"?

And can you simply change come for perchè to get "Why does he know so much about fish"?


Be careful! English has do-support, which doesn't exist in Italian. "Does he know" is just the interrogative version of "he knows". Instead, "fare a" in this and similar Italian expressions means something like "manage to". In this case "fa a sapere" means "(he/she) manages to know". On your second question I think it is fine.

  • Come fa a sapere così tanto sui pesci? = How does he manage to know so much about fish?
  • Perché fa a sapere così tanto sui pesci? = Why does he manage to know so much about fish?


Thanks so much. I always look forward to your comments. They really help. Thank you!


"How does he know so much about fish?" is accepted June 2018.


fa can also be Lei ie "you" formal


why not dei pesci?


Wow! What a confusing sentence for me :o(


Why not, “how does he get to know so much about fish”?”


My lesson said the answer is "How does she know so much about fish?" Which is right, does or can? Can it be he or she? If so, why was my 'one' not accepted?


Where is the 'he' in this sentence, is it in the 'fa'?


How do we know she isn't as correct as he in this sentence?


How is this structure to be used in affirmative sentences? Is it correct to say eg 'Lui fa a sapere tanto sui pesci'?


I wrote .. How does he know so much about fish ... and it was marked wrong ???


bad, bad, bad exercise!!!! The correct translations don't really means the same as the original Italian sentence. Again, one more arbitrary decision from the authors. And they are missing. They never answer the comments.


Care to elaborate? How does the proposed translation not match the original?


how does he know = come sai (which it is not the same as "come fa a sapere") how can he know = come puoi lui sapere (which it is not the same as "come fa a sapere")

The problem is that sometimes DL demand a literal translation, and other times to elaborate it according the the other language. And I find that very confusing. It would help some kind of consistency.


It seems you have troubles with the conjugations.
How does he know = Come fa a sapere. fai is second person singular.

Fare is conjugated as follows: (io) faccio
(tu) fai
(egli/lei) fa
(noi) facciamo
(voi) fate
(essi/esse) fanno

(io) posso
(tu) puoi
(egli/lei) può
(noi) possiamo
(voi) potete
(essi/esse) possono

Come puoi lui sapere is incorrect. Come fa a sapere [...] is one proper and correct translation for "how can he know [...]"


sorry, I made the mistake by changing the 3rd to a 2ond person. But my argument still is alright.

Fare = to do not Can (where "can" in Italian is "potere" and not "fare") Sapere = To know

I am spanish speaker and the Italian sentence is similar in spanish "como haces para saber"

he knows = lui sa,
how does he know? = Come sa?

"Come fa a sapere" literally means, "how does he do to know" which is very different from "how does he know?"


You are playing a dangerous game: Spanish and Italian are different, though they have similarities. For example you cannot say conosco a una ragazza as you would say in Spanish conozco a una niña.
Fare a + infinitive is an expression which means "can". Ex. Come fai a mangiare così tanto? "How can you eat so much?" Come fa a ricordarsi di me? "How can he remember (about) me"?

"Does he know me?" literally translates in Italian as fa lui conosce me: it's a structure that one does need to learn by heart. It's pointless to complain that it doesn't make sense in Italian.


where in the whole material of the course it's explained that "faire a + infinitive" is the translation of "can"?
At the very top of this page. It's the official translation given.


Sorry Mutley71... i see you like Grammar a lot. But keep in mind... to argue is to follow the points of view of a discussion. I have never questioned the right translation on this sentence. But the lack of consistency on DL regarding to translations in this Italian course. learn a language it is not only to learn grammar, but the ability to communicate. I hope you agree with me in this. To complain is recommended if we can help to improve the quality of the course. (Where did I complained on the sense of the sentence?) By the way... where in the whole material of the course it's explained that "faire a + infinitive" is the translation of "can"? or are you defending that to learn a language is a game of guessing? I do look for answers and explanations in other webs to solve problems, since DL doesn't offer explanations a all. But that doesn't mean that I can not criticize the quality of the Italian DL course. Obviously with the intention to help the authors to review an improve the course. I enjoy learning languages to communicate with people, not to be an expert on grammar.


I am not saying that " how can he knows..." is not a proper and correct translation. which it is. But the arbitrarity of DL regarding to them. Where, it sometimes demand a literally one, and sometimes not, like in this case. That doesn't help to learn with consistency. Once more, I find mostly these kind of problems in that Italian course, not in the German or French one.


These are the many alternative translations accepted by Duolingo for this very sentence:

How [it is possible to/can he/can she/does she/does he] know [this/that/so] much [on/about/of] [fish/fishes]? How come [he/she] knows so much [on/about/of] [fish/fishes]?

If you have more (correct) suggestions, please state them here and I will gladly add them to the alternatives.

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