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  5. "Oggi non abbiamo potuto."

"Oggi non abbiamo potuto."

Translation:Today we could not.

September 2, 2013



I tried 'have not been able to' - why is this considered wrong?


Seems right to me.


I have a similar question: What about "Today we were not able to do it"? right or wrong?

(as of Nov. 13th 2013 it was not accepted by the Duolingo database)


I think that Today we couldn't do it would be Oggi non abbiamo potuto farlo where farlo is an abbreviation of fare lo (to do it).


I think the 'do it' part is not explicitly in the sentence - it may correctly convey the sense, but I could see why they might not accept it.


I agree to some degree with this point. However, the Italian sentence "Oggi non abbiamo potuto." seems to be a correct and complete sentence to me while the English sentence "Today we could not" is not a correct sentence. I think it is just a fragment, a piece that can be used in a sentence, but should not stand on it's own. Even in spoken English I think this fragment will only very rarely be used on it's own.

I would prefer to translate something that is complete in Italian to something that is complete in English. I am happy to translate fragments as fragments.


What about the following conversation? "Did you pick up the supplies?" "No, today we couldn't." (maybe because it's Sunday and the store is closed?)


Yes, you are right. Thanks.


That's grammatically correct, but it's either "we couldn't" or "we haven't been able to" with were and able to it is little bit strange.


I wrote "today we weren't able" and it was accepted (july 2018)


In answer to AntonyHodgson's first point. Since I've been engaging in Duolingo's site, I've been trying to get them to accept "be able to" as a possible translation for "potere" and they have consistently not allowed it. Also, "may" as in "Posso entrare?" Again, not accepted - at least when I've tried it.


(American English speaker) I think "may" would be a different form of the verb.


It's accepted now. 19/9/14


so, do you mean, today we have not been able to?


'Today we have not been able to.' was accepted 12/2018


He doesn't have "we" either. I think he's just talking about that part of the sentence.


You're right - sorry for not being more clear. I tried 'today we have not been able to', but it was marked wrong.


I don't think it should have been.


It was accepted for me, perhaps things have changed. I'm still doubtful about "Today we could not", is that not the conditional tense? That's why I chose "Today we have not been able to".


'could' is not only conditional - it can also be the simple past tense of 'can'.


Accepted today we have not been able to for me as well.


It should accept "Today we couldn't have"


no it shouldnt...theres another tense for that in italian, similar to english


If Italian present perfect can correspond to both English present perfect and past simple (as it seems to), then "Today we couldn't have" is perfectly valid.

Or am I missing something?


Which tense is it?


could not vs can not? Today we can't and today we cannot weren't accepted, but at least in English they're pretty interchangeable. Is it different for Italian?


"Can't" and "cannot" are both present tense. "Could not" is past tense. "Non abbiamo potuto" is past tense (passato prossimo) so that is why "can't" and "cannot" weren't accepted.


I answered "today we have not been able. " Duo marked it wrong because I didn't add "to" at the end. But I think my answer is correct. The word "to" is not necessary, does not change the meaning, and if I'm not mistaken, it is grammatically incorrect to put a preposition at the end of a sentence.


First of all forget the not putting a prep. at the end of a sentence that has been debunked. But as for the rest you are right. It seems someone forgot to tell the computer program that. What you can do is report it. You won't get your heart back but you will help other users. To see how to report and other helpful ideas see the Guidelines here: https://www.duolingo.com/comment/4821654


I've never heard of a grammar rule being "debunked," though I know acceptable grammar usage changes over time. If there is something that explains or supports what you say about using a prep. at the end of a sentence, I would like to read about it. Do you have any references you could share? Thanks in advance! Also, I know about reporting errors and have done this a few times, but was on my phone app during that lesson and can't report from there. I will do it today. Sometimes, it is helpful when others share their frustrations about answers they thought were correct that were marked wrong. A lot of learning goes on through the discussion boards!


Yes, I am sorry for not having left references. Here are some rather authoritative entries which I think will support my post:

http://blog.oxforddictionaries.com/2011/11/grammar-myths-prepositions/ http://grammar.about.com/od/grammarfaq/f/terminalprepositionmyth.htm


This is from the first page of 194k hits. Now, while the Oxford site says it is "debunked" others say it never was a rule. In any case all say be cool no prob. :)

I totally agree with you about the benefits of sharing views and releasing frustrations on the comment boards . It was really remiss of me not to have included references. Best wishes,


Thanks for the references. Glad for the insight. I agree it usually sounds unnatural to move the prep so it's not at the end, but I thought it was something you were still supposed to do in writing or if talking to an English teacher! :) I learned something new. A lingot for your teaching!


Thank you very much. Actually, I am an English teacher (well retired now). I've learned so much on Duo and not only languages. The idiom section is really absorbing and then so many people weigh in with similar idioms in every possible language.


here are a two links that talk about why some of the old rules based on latin grammar just don't work in English:




My answer should be accepted we couldn't today. That's correct.


what does "Today we could not" mean?


A: I thought you wanted to go to the fair. B: Today we could not


"Today we could not"


isn't possiamo a better choice for we can than abbiamo. i thought abbiamo was we have ?


You are right for present tense sentences but This is in the near past or passato prossimo which is formed from the present tense of avere or essere (dependent on the verb that follows) follows by what is called the past participle of the active verb in this case 'potare' whose past participle is potuto. The participle never changes (apart from agreeing in gender and number when it is a verb that takes essere). only the preceding verb changes depending on who carried out the action. The same sentence in the first person singular would be oggi non ho potuto=Today I have not been able to.

Read more on the passato prossimo here: http://www.unc.edu/~achamble/passatoprossimo.html


The audio tends to fall off to near silence at the end of sentences, so it is almost impossible to hear the final word, especially the final syllable, and without clear enunciation of the final word it is also often impossible to predict from context. I have found this continually in the Italian lessons. Please correct this!


"Oggi non potremmo." Doesn't this fit the bill a lot better than the above, which actually says, "Today we were not able to."???


why not, "Today we cannot"?


It is present tense. The sentence is in the past.


Argh, I keep translating this as "today we don't have potatoes". Learning new things is great, unlearning wrong ones is awful.

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