"Lui era la prima persona che leggeva il giornale."

Translation:He was the first person to read the newspaper.

August 22, 2013

27 Comments


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

as an english speaker, wouldn't this sentence translate more naturally as 'he was the first person to read the newspaper' ?

April 7, 2014

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

'he was the first person to read the newspaper' was accepted for me

October 22, 2014

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

"who'd" is an abbreviation of "who had" and therefore "He was the first person who had read the newspaper." should be marked as correct.

August 22, 2013

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

I could be wrong, but I suspect that the "who'd read" (pronounced reed here) was short for "who would read..." The imperfect can be used for something in the past that happened on a regular basis. For "who had read" (pronounced red), it would have used a different tense in Italian, "aveva letto" I think. :)

September 17, 2013

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

That's interesting, plausible and pretty tricky. How about: "Lui era la prima persona che leggerebbe il giornale" for "He was the first person who would read the newspaper"?

September 17, 2013

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

You're getting too advanced for me. I don't know if conditional can be used in the past this way in Italian. Maybe. :)

September 17, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Altair0315

The English is incorrect. In this sentence, it would be "who". "He was the first person WHO was reading the newspaper." "That" is used for objects, not people.

August 21, 2014

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

No, you can use either in English. It sounds a bit strange in this sentence, but it's not wrong. What is wrong is the use of the past continuous in this sentence - "was reading" is like a snapshot in time when something happened. It should be as suggested above - "he was the first person to read this paper"

February 10, 2016

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

We all agree that 'leggeva' is an Italian imperfect form of the verb in the third person singular. The English imperfect can be rendered by 1. He was reading or 2. He used to read or 3. He would read. 2. and 3. mean the same thing and refer to a repeated or habitual action in the past. So, it is not unreasonable, in my opinion, to translate the sentence into English in the following manner: 'He was the first person that would read the newspaper'. You will notice that Koolkaren has hinted at this in previous posts. As usual context is king, and without it it is difficult to know if the English truly reflects the intention of the writer of the Italian. It seems to me a possibility that Duolingo trawl through texts and pick up on likely looking phrases and sentences for translation, but without any consideration to context. We need Duolingo to clarify, otherwise everyone is going around in circles, which counter-productive to the learning process. If you are in agreement with my remarks, Robin (or anyone else), maybe you could cut and paste them as a report to Duolingo. This will bring the debate to their attention and, who knows, they might address the issue.

February 10, 2016

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

I have to say that the DuoLingo preferred version of the English translation is of an English that no English mother-tongue person would use.

September 4, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Keith352848

"He was the first person to have read the paper..."

February 9, 2018

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

No. "Have read" is clearly a finished activity, while "leggeva" is clearly an ongoing activity.

March 12, 2018

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

He was the first person that used to read the newspaper. Marked as wrong.

February 19, 2014

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

have reported

April 15, 2014

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

I lost a heart for that answer just now so it's still not considered correct

July 4, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/roman2095

Now accepted

September 18, 2018

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

Sorry, Tispaccolafaccia, but 'used to' does refer to a repeated or habitual actions in the past. I'll give a an example; When I was young my mother took me to the cinema every week or When I was young my mother used to take me to the cinema every week. I don't know if you are Italian-mother-tongue (as your soubriquet might suggest), but my mother-in-law, who is Italian-mother-tongue confirms to me that she would translate the English sentence 'I used to live in London' by 'Abitavo a Londra'. She comes from Puglia which is in the south of Italy, and it is possible, I suppose, that there may be regional differences in use of the imperfect and the present perfect. I guess that that we could have added to the list of things that may be translated by the imperfect 'a continuous state' eg 'I was living'. Shoot me down if you will.

July 24, 2017

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

Sorry! I should have said DuoLingo's alternative version.

September 4, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/helena222222

Again : leggeva = imperfetto in italiano / to read = infinitivo presente!!!!!

July 24, 2017

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

We could also use 'che legesse', right?

March 3, 2018

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

I'm not sure. Can you quote the rule, please?

March 4, 2018

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

When preceded by a past tense verb, the imperfect subjunctive indicates an action occurring at the same time or after the main verb.

via Subjunctive Imperfect

March 5, 2018

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

Hi Kurzebingo, I read through the rather good guide to the subjunctive for which you provided the link. It does indeed confirm what you say that 'when preceded by a past tense verb, the imperfect subjunctive indicates an action occurring at the same time or after the main verb', but it does not say that the imperfect subjunctive is always to be used. I found a couple of examples which might be relevant to this situation ie 1) 'Cercava il primo che era entrato' and 2) 'Cercava il primo che fosse entrato'. Both examples are grammatically correct, but have a slightly different meaning. Example 1) would translate into English as 'He was looking for the first who had come in' and the second 'He was looking for whoever had come in first'. It could be that examples 1) and 2) are not relevant examples in this case. I'm not sure. I will submit our target sentence 'Lui era la prima persona che leggeva il giornale' together with your 'leggesse' variant to a native Italian speaker for comment, and revert to you.

March 6, 2018

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

Hi Kurzebingo, Further to my reply to you one hour ago, I have received a reply from my native Italian speaker who has provided illustrative examples as follows: 1) '(In quella casa) era la prima persona che leggeva il giornale (ogni mattina)' and 2) 'Era l'unica persona che leggesse il giornale in quella casa'.

I hope you can 'get your head around' example 2). If not I can ask for clarification. ('Unica' bothers me.)

March 6, 2018

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

Thanks, I got it!

March 17, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Laura964337

We would be the first person: also correct.

March 21, 2019

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

If I were writing this (instead of placing the word bubbles) I would have used the infinitive for the second verb i.e. "Lui era la prima persona da leggere il giornale" for "He was the first person to read the newspaper". I'm still on stage 1 of this lesson so still trying to wrap my head around it. TIA for any help!

September 3, 2019
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