Translation:The baby was not letting me see the toy.
why the correct answer of "non mi lasciava" is "was not letting..." instead "did not let me"?? "was not letting" = "non stava lasciando"
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.
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.
I find that Duo always accepts the "used to" translation of the imperfetto, and normally also the "would" version.
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?
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.
I am about to stop using the prompts as frequently they bear no resemblance to the expected translation!
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.
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?
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."
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.
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?
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.".
Of course you could also have a subordinate clause: La bambina non lasciava che io veda il giocattolo. Maybe you wre thinking of that.
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"??????????
Yes, it'd be like saying "...allowed me TO SEE" in which case "to see" is an infinitive.
I translated it as "...had not let me see..." -- in past exercises, the traspassato prossiimo has been translated thus -- why not now?
Perché "lasciava vedere" è l'imperfetto. Il trapassato prossimo sarebbe "aveva lasciato vedere".
I am getting more and more confused as i go along. Previously lasciava meant left not let. Lasciando- letting.
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.
"did not use to allow" is incorrect English. The best option would be "used not to allow me"