"La bambina non mi lasciava vedere il giocattolo."

Translation:The baby was not letting me see the toy.

September 29, 2013

37 Comments

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https://www.duolingo.com/profile/sonia.clav1

why the correct answer of "non mi lasciava" is "was not letting..." instead "did not let me"?? "was not letting" = "non stava lasciando"

October 27, 2017

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

Nice question. This is one way of translating the imperfetto to English, but it is clumsy and I agree it is not the best and is closer to the gerund. Better are "used not to let" and "would not let", although you'd need surrounding context to know that "would" means 'habitually did not' rather than a conditional voice.

October 27, 2017

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

Yes, I am trying to learn this tense, and it definitely seems distinct from the past continuous. However, I am finding that Duolingo almost NEVER accepts the "used to" form (which would here be "the baby didn't use to let me see her toy"). It makes me very confused, because I'm not sure if I understand it yet or not.

August 31, 2018

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

I find that Duo always accepts the "used to" translation of the imperfetto, and normally also the "would" version.

August 31, 2018

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

What? "The baby used not to let me see the toy"? That sounds nonsensical to me. Perhaps "the baby used to not let me see the toy", but even that sounds less natural that "did not use to". It is rather mindblowing to think that I've been saying that my entire life without realising that it was grammatically incorrect.

But my question really is: is the "used to" form the BEST translation of Italian past imperfect? Or is past continuous or the "would" form more accurate?

August 31, 2018

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

I stand corrected, most references prefer your form, which I find clumsy. Alternatives alter the stress, e.g. "used to not / not to" stresses the negative action over its customary nature.

There's no one best translation. Only the context can decide whether you have continuous (was), accustomed (used to) or repeated (would) action, and even then the last two overlap a bit. See reply under @Olivia252402 below.

August 31, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Penny1945

I am about to stop using the prompts as frequently they bear no resemblance to the expected translation!

April 17, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jeffrey855877

Good idea. Here it is 4 years later, and the prompts/hints are no better and may even be worse, since they got rid of the verb conjugations that used to be available in the exercise sections. Now the hints are so often wrong, misleading, and/or incomplete, that there is no point using them.

November 2, 2018

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

"little girl" should be accepted!

August 22, 2014

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

Da, bellichka, ty prava! I reported it.

September 18, 2014

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

Spasibo! ;)

September 18, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/cabev53

I agree!

November 21, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Olivia252402

So when using 'didn't used to', it said I used the wrong word: 'The baby didn't use to let me see the toy', with 'use' highlighted. Surely my version is more grammatically correct?

March 29, 2018

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

Olivia, no, not only is it not more grammatically correct, it's incorrect. You need the infinitive not a conjugated past tense form; it's like saying "She didn't liked to..." or "She didn't had to..." etc. If you write 'didn't used to' then you have 2 simple past tense conjugated forms together which is what makes it incorrect. Think of it another way, you'd say, "Yes, she DID USE the car!" And: "Yes, she USED the car." But you wouldn't say, "Yes, she DID USED the car." That's essentially what you're saying when you write "didn't used to."

March 29, 2018

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

That's OK for what not to say, but what should you say?

The imperfetto indicates continuous, accustomed or repeated action in the past. Only the context tells you which.

Their positive forms are "was [doing]", "used to [do]" and "would [do]". The last two are mostly interchangeable. Don't confuse the last one with the conditional mood.

Their negative forms are "was not [doing]", "used not to [do]" and "would not [do]".

Simple. Duo should accept all of these; I wish.

March 29, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ShotgunJohnny99

Finds vibrator under the pillow

August 11, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Highwaysta1

"Was not letting"? Surely "would not let"?

December 2, 2018

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

Ok so if it is "mi lasciava vedere" it should technically be "let me to see"

Is there a reason why it is verdere and not vedo?

September 29, 2013

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

Because "lasciare" is an auxiliary verb and "vedere" is an infinitive. You can't have both carry the person and number. You say "posso farlo", "I can do it", not "posso faccio lo." It's very rigid to say that an Italian infinitive always has to be translated with "to.".

September 29, 2013

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

Ho perso per questo maledetto "to"...

June 19, 2014

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

Of course you could also have a subordinate clause: La bambina non lasciava che io veda il giocattolo. Maybe you wre thinking of that.

September 29, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/aldo.f.giu

...non lasciava che io vedessi il giocattolo.

December 21, 2013

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

But I think I should have said "vedessi".

September 29, 2013

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

Yeah. That's the one.

September 29, 2013

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

actually, in English you also say let him see and not let him sees.

February 23, 2014

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

the "little girl" is give as one of the options. Is there really a difference given the lack of a context between a "little girl" and a "baby girl"??????????

June 3, 2014

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

"vedere" is an infinitive verb, isn't it?

September 3, 2014

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

Yes, it'd be like saying "...allowed me TO SEE" in which case "to see" is an infinitive.

September 3, 2014

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

I translated it as "...had not let me see..." -- in past exercises, the traspassato prossiimo has been translated thus -- why not now?

September 20, 2014

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

Perché "lasciava vedere" è l'imperfetto. Il trapassato prossimo sarebbe "aveva lasciato vedere".

August 8, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/denisemelv1

I am getting more and more confused as i go along. Previously lasciava meant left not let. Lasciando- letting.

June 22, 2018

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

Lasciare has what Brits call "a shedload" of meanings - see http://dizionari.repubblica.it/Italiano-Inglese/L/lasciare.php - but probably the two most needed are to let and to leave. You can't remember them all, rather you learn each one as you meet it and solve its mystery.

June 22, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/denisemelv1

Thanks for your help!

June 24, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Doctor151623

"did not use to allow" is incorrect English. The best option would be "used not to allow me"

October 22, 2018

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

Why the word child is marked wrong?

March 10, 2019

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

Isn't vedere an infinitive? if so why the preposition to is deleted?

March 10, 2019

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

I'm sorry, but this sounds like something very sinister. "The baby was not letting me see the toy. That was the moment I snapped..."

May 7, 2019
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