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"Abbiamo avuto ospiti a cena ieri."

Translation:We had guests at dinner yesterday.

September 2, 2013

32 Comments


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

Why is this not equally well translated 'we have had'?


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

That's not a good use of the perfect tense, since yesterday is a specific time in the past. http://www.englishpage.com/verbpage/presentperfect.html


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

You're right that it makes more sense in English as 'we had'; I guess what I'm trying to figure out is why this same distinction doesn't hold in Italian (ie, they seem to use the present perfect for this situation).


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

The tenses don't line up exactly between the two languages. There are other examples, such as Italians using the future where we use the present, or their using the present where we use the future. It's not surprising.


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

I wonder the same thing


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

You just have to understand that in Italian you use present perfect in a different way than in English.

Italian "ho avuto ospiti ieri" is "I had guests yesterday."

However, "ho avuto ospiti" would be "I have had guests."


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

Would you mind labeling the tenses of the two sentences above? It seems that the first sentence is in Present Perfect (Passato Prossimo) but it does specify a time frame, 'yesterday'. To quote from Hazablad, below, "We use the Present Perfect to say that an action happened at an unspecified time before now. The exact time is not important. You cannot use the Present Perfect with the specific time expressions such as: yesterday, one year ago, last week, when I was a child...etc." Grazie per il tuo aiuto!


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

I think they should have naimed this part, this session, "Passato Prossimo" and not the "Present Perfect". Cause this sentence obviously doesn't have anything to do with Present Perfect.


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

What's your idea of the present perfect?


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

I'm not sure what exactly you are asking me. If you are reffering to the comprehension of the Present Perfect, well I can just write here what I have read in the books. "We use the Present Perfect to say that an action happened at an unspecified time before now. The exact time is not important. You cannot use the Present Perfect with the specific time expressions such as: yesterday, one year ago, last week, when I was a child...etc." Considering that, the sentence "We had guests at dinner yesterday" cannot be in Present Perfect. So, why is it here? Because, I believe, it belongs to the Passato Prossimo in Italian. And, because of that I said that they should have naimed this session "Passato Prossimo". After all, we are learning here Italian, not English. And they should not make parallels between times in English and Italian, cause they are not the same.


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

Actually that's close to what I said above, so we seem to agree.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DavidRoby1

Oh! It's exactly what I am thinking about it, we are learning Italian. Thanks for your comments


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

Now I'm really confused: I thought Present Perfect is Passato Prossimo.


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

Just forget everything you have read here. It makes sense but there will be an easier explanation to understand on the internet.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Pearl2011

You have to use a very Italian part of your brain to be able to translate any of these sentences correctly. It's becoming more Italian minded. Feel like I'm becoming slightly schizofrenic every time I have a sentence wrong, because I'm translating it 'too English'


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ash.Purple

Activates pasta section of brain


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

My italian uncle says 'you can learn a language, but you'll never understand the people' and this is true because i don't understand why italians make their sentences so complicated.


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

Why doesn't one use l'imperfetto here then? Or, in Italian, what is the difference between the passato prossimo and the imperfetto?


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

Imperfetto is used for something that happened over an extended period of time in the past but is no longer happening, or for something that was habitual: "Quando ero giovane, nuotavo ogni domenica." When I was young, I went swimming (I swam) every Sunday. Passato prossimo is for something that happened at a particular point in time: We had guests yesterday: "Abbiamo avuto ospiti ieri".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mamorim1

That would be good to know.


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

Damned if you do, damned if you don't. My instinct was to write 'we had guests', but so often DL has required a more literal than idiomatic translation and so I settled for 'we have had guests'... Only to be marked wrong!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/anas82570

Can't we say " Noi avuto ospiti a cena ieri "?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Kerri298960

I agree with you, I thought the same thing. Why hasn't anyone answered your question.


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

Because "avuto" is the past participle of the verb "to have". It does not stand alone, but needs a helping (auxiliary) verb, e.g., "abbiamo avuto" (we had), "ho avuto" (I had)...There is no such construction as "noi avuto".


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

Why "abbiamo avuto" is not "we have had"?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/David260430

I thought abbiamo = we have. Not we had.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Anne737429

Not convinced that the rule about specific/non specific is rigid. "We've had guests to dinner yesterday and so I'm not having anyone else today" It could be "we had". However the version with the present perfect adds a note of exasperation!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Anne737429

ospiti could in this context be translated as visitors, as well as as guests. I know there is a word visitori but it would work in English.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Tigerlily178448

Why not, 'We had guests to dinner yesterday?' It's better English to my mind!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/0qnJTezk

Guests and visitors are the same here. Visitors should be accepted.


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

"We have had guests to dinner yesterday" is a perfectly acceptable answer!

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