If you know other Latin derived languages it's easier, basically essere is a fundamental state of being, while stare is only for the moment. So "sto allegre" means you're happy now, while "sono allegre" means you are happy in a more general, lifestyle way.
A good site with some guidelines and examples:
It's really easy, stare is used for what you're doing or what's happening right now. Essere is for everything else.
"My mother is getting better" was not accepted, but in the context of health, in English it means the same thing as "doing better". I demand a heart back!
Getting better is a process. At any point in that process you are also doing/being better, but there is a difference. Say that I have completely recovered from a cold. I am no longer getting better, but I am doing better.
I'd be interested whether an Italian would say this sentence when his mother is recovering from an illness. Is "sta" for the process as well or only about the current state?
So why isn't it meglia? Is meglio not an adjective, or does it just not decline in the same way as other adjectives?
You are correct, meglio is an adverb (better modifies is) and so does not adjust its ending.
also note: meglio is the comparitive form of 'much'
From: Italian Verbs and Essentials of Grammar, Carlo Graziano, 1987, p. 147
'Certain adverbs have irregular comparative, relative superlative, and absolute superlative forms.'
well | bene | adverb
better | meglio | comparative
the best | (il) meglio | relative superlative
very well | ottimamente | absolute superlative
- Is this also correct?
Very well = benissimo/molto bene.
- Is it correct to say "molto benissimo" as well?
The first one, benissimo = very well, seems correct to me
I don't know about molto benissimo ..
I guess molto benissimo is wrong. It literally means very really good and you don't say that in any language (do you?). As far as I know, molto has the same meaning as the suffix -issimo, so you don't use them both for one adjective.
I assume the context DL has in mind here is health and when someone recovers from an illness you say they're better, but never the best, therefore it marks it wrong. But if the word meglio can in other contexts mean better=superior=the best, then it should allow it here, as the context isn't obvious.
"My mother is better" is the literal translation, but Is it a correct translation?
I have this exact same question. Duo said "my mother is better" is one correct answer, but based on the discussion here it doesn't seem like it should be considered correct...
When referring to how someone feels, Italian uses the verb stare instead of the verb essere. ;-)
Well, for starters, by using "e" instead of "è" you are saying "my mother and better"!!! Please see comments already made though about the difference between "essere" & "stare".
Error report: "my mother's doing better" was checked as wrong, and "my mother is doing better" was given as the correct answer. Of course these mean the same thing.
I just got marked down for putting "my mum's feeling better" instead instead of "my mum is feeling better". Both are correct English.
You made too many modifications to the original sentence. This is a bad idea when doing a translation, especially for its machine verification.
- madre = mother
- mamma = mum
- presente = present simple
- gerundo = present continuous
- sta = is
- sente = feels
Formality, ambiguity and clitic
- 's could mean several different things and is not as formal as the original
The infinitive "essere" is generally "to be". The infinitive "stare" is generally "to stay" but in a number of idioms it also conveys the meaning "to be".
Sadly, you generally need to memorize when they are used. Here are two websites that helps explain the difference.
http://blogs.transparent.com/italian/essere-o-stare/ They explain better than I could.
I remember from my high school Spanish that estar (to be) is used for health, location, or temporary condition; and ser for everything else. I have not learned enough Italian to be sure but it seems like the Italian stare works like the Spanish estar. And the Italian essere works like the Spanish ser. Is there someone out there who could tell me if I am right or wrong?
For heaven's sake, DL! In the UK people say "getting better". In the USA people say "doing better". You are penalising speakers from the UK.
I agree with you but to get it fixed, you need to submit it as an alternate translation. Most of the writers are American and didn't think of every British English alternative. Your submissions help make the site better. Same thing with alternative spellings. They are not trying to penaliZe you on purpose. Have a lingot for your troubles!
I thought it would be meglia but I guess meglio doesn't change with gender?
Her voice drops off at the end when I am doing these listening exercises. Duolingo-any way to turn it up on your end?