"Non so."

Translation:I don't know.

September 18, 2013



If you ask anyone what 'Non so' means in English, they really either know the answer to your question or they don't. Either way, they will likely answer "I don't know". :-)


It's "non lo so", actually. That "lo" substitutes the thing that you don't know.

Non so a che ora parte il treno. I don't know at what time the train leaves.

Non lo (= at what time the train leaves) so. I don't know.


"Non so" can also be an informal way of saying "Non lo so". :)


All that I know here, is that I finally have an Italian phrase that i will Most definitely be using


Exactly! When someone on our travels in Italy asks me why the elephant is on the plate or do monkeys eat sugar, I will now have an answer lol


It's like when I ask someone "what does idk mean?". They will pretty much do the same thing :-D


Omg thats hallairous. Did I spell that wrong? I hope I didnt.


As far as I've been told by Italians in the past, you need an object here, as in, "Non lo so."

Am I wrong? Does anyone know?


Ok, thanks. Duolingo is a nice enough tool, but it could definitely do with explaining a bit more of the grammar sometimes before or during individual lessons.


Or perhaps by not explaining, you are forced to find out rules on your own, which is another good way to learn. These dialogs are great by the way. AnfriusG, i do agree with you also, just considering the other perspective


Great point... Didn't think of it that way... Good talk, good talk... :)


I couldn't agree more!


You got that right.


So "non lo so" is more like "I don't know (the answer to your question)", where "non so..." should really be before whatever you are saying you don't know (ie "non so che ore sono").

Thanks for the link!


i think youre right thats how i learnt it in italy ive never heard "non so" ...


I believe you are correct. I live in Italy, and my Italian family here say " Non lo so" for I do not know/I don't know.


That is what I was taught, Andrius. "Non lo so" is how you say "I don't know." I'm a little surprised to see this in a lesson. Any native speakers want to weigh in here?


When i took italian in high school, that is how we learned it (non lo so)


Wow. I just can't kick the habit. Such a strong pull for me in my native English to the phrase 'not so!'. I think I have lost a heart on this at least 4-5 times now.

I think I am getting faster at the verbs now, so my practice tempo has really picked up. I'll be moving right along through practice, and then ... blam! I hit this and just type in 'not so' and hit enter. I don't know what else I can do to 'stop' that reflex for this sentence / phrase, except practice practice practice!


Perhaps practice is the problem! People say that practice makes perfect, but the truth is that practice makes consistent. If you practice the wrong thing, then you just get worse.

I don't know how you started translating this as "Not so.", but it's because you've practised that answer that you're stuck in that rut.

Not that I have an idea for a solution! Once you get out of the rut, you can practise the right answer, but I don't know how to get out of the rut in the first place, except that practice alone won't do it.


False cognate x.x


Try to replace not so with the sloppy form of don't know: donno. Seems to be a closer association with not so just from the shortness and sound of it. Once you managed that you will realize immediately when you see it on the screen, that DL will not accept that for sure. So you will notice the mistake and correct it by yourself to I don't know.

I have that with noi, if a sentence starts with noi my silly brain slams a no into the translation and I translate we don't ......

Thanks for reminding me to work on that one ;)


what is the difference between <so> and <conosco> ???


so is used for things like maths, science, news. knowledge in general. conosco is something that is more oftenly used to express recognition and acknowledgment, specially for people.

for instance.

"i know that some white dwarf stars are made of diamonds!" "did you know that snakes have two penises?"

in these cases just above you should use so. on the other hand, you should use conosco in this kind of situation, just below:

"is that him? i know that boy!" "you need to know my teacher, he'll help you"


Person 1: What does "Non so" mean in Italian? Person 2: I don't know. Person 1: Okay, I'll ask someone else.


That reminds me of the old joke, Person 1: what does TAI stand for? Person 2: I don't know. Person 1: think about it ... Person 2: ok, I still don't know Person 1: think about it ...


......."Who's on first?"


I have a feeling I'm gonna be saying this a lot when i go to italy! Lol


All I know, is that 'non so'


If you don't know... then who does?


"dunno" was apparently not correct :(


As far as I know 99.9% of people will get this right without trying. Since "Non so" means I don't know someone who doesn't know that will probably automatically say I don't know and they will get it correct. :) ;) :] ;] :} ;} (; (:


I put "I cannot." Why is this wrong? The first drop down answer is "(I) can."


I learn long ago in an Italien course, that "sapere" surely means "know" (not like knowing someone, this would be 'conoscere'), but might also be used as a modal verb, such as "be able to/know how TO...". It depends on the context: "non so" might be translated as both "i don't know" and "i am not able/I don't know how (to...)".

Consider the following: "Andiamo in montagna! Ma tu, sai sciare?" (which means: "Let's go for the mountains! But do you know how to ski?" Like: Have you ever learned, how to ski?). A possible answer might be: "Sì, certo, so sciare! Ma domenica non posso... perché devo studiare" (means: "Yes, sure, I know how to ski. But sunday I cannot... because I have to study.")

So if you cannot join skiing because you broke your leg or have no time, then you might use "potere" -> non posso, non puoi, non può etc.. But if you cannot join skiing, because you never learned it, you might use "sapere + infinitive" -> non so sciare, non sai sciare, non sa sciare etc..

So I'd prefer here the translation "I don't know", because this meaning is commonly applied in similar sentences like "non so ancora bene" (= I still don't know exactly). If there is an infinitive following sapere, it might be the modal use: "non so sciare" (= I don't know how to ski). But I wouldn't support the translation using "can": Especially since English (can) and German (können) do not distinguish between can=having the opportunity (können=die Möglichkeit haben) and can=know how to do (können=wissen wie/befähigt sein/eine Fertigkeit beherrschen).

All clarities eliminated? ^^


Yes, that helps. Thank you!


Thank you! This was most helpful!


Thanks for the detailed explanation Kjeld - a mini tutorial!


This is wrong since not every drop down is grammatically correct therefore the correct answer is "I don't know" But i can see where u are coming from :)


Thanks for the explanation trick-master.


Even at the slow speech rate it sounded like "No so" and I can usually tell the difference


May I ask, why is sapete writte with one p, while sappiamo with two?


Sapere is an irregular verb to conjugate


In Italy, I only remember people saying "io no sai" to mean "I don't know". Google translate says that both that and "non so" translate to the same thing in English. Do they actually mean the same thing? And why does "sai" become first person instead of meaning "you know" in this context?


should this not be Non lo so in English I do not know


Just ran into "I don't understand why" being marked wrong because I did not use "do not" and now I was marked wrong for putting "I do not know" because they wanted "I don't know". I cannot win!!!! When is the contraction okay and when it is not okay? I cannot tell the difference..


There shouldn't be a difference; report it.


So how would u simply say "don't know"?


As for "don't", or "do not": although there is no rule in English, I have developed a preference for omitting contractions in written English, like these responses. It could hardly be called formal style, but it is a gesture away from being always casual. I do note I have always found that Duo accepts both. Hence, 'I do not know.'


I do not know is as correct as I don't know


This should be "non lo so." It's a slightly idiomatic italian phrase.


Here comes the green slime (if anyone gets the reference)


there was no sound coming from my mobile phone .I am in a hospital waiting room.


The voice did not sound like "non" - it was clearly "no" I agree with the older post - I would say "no lo so" instead. I was just in Italy last week and my cousins (who help me learn by correcting my grammar) never once told me I said that wrong. And believe me, I used it a lot!! lol


It means 'Non lo so'.


Perque? On the "Type what you hear" question, there was NO sound! Why is this?


hey duo... maybe u should accept "idk"


I do not know is wrong? I do not think so! In fact, I know so. Don't is a contraction (lazy way) of saying do not. My answer should be accepted. I am trying to test out of nine lessons and if I am dissed because I choose to say do not rather than don't I shall never test out! Bummer.


My answer is correct. Teresitac


My answer is correct in English "I don't know"Teresitac


My answer is I don't know and they keep saying is wrong. Teresita


I am living in Italy and they all say "no lo so"


The recording almost always leaves off the last word or syllable.


I only heard no so. Not non so.


First you told me 'non so' means 'I don't know why' when i typed it in you say its,wrong abd the ans is 'I don't know, bot the first time you put incorrect for something you told me wss right previously!!!!!


I vote for 'Non lo so' as being the correct answer.


Should accept my answer


i have gotten thi wron often bevcaye to me the voice seems to say fatto not faccio. I relly think the audio could be much better

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