"Non siamo mai vissuti in città."

Translation:We have never lived in the city.

October 14, 2013

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Barron's 501 Italian Verbs conjugates the past participle of vivere as "abbiamo vissuto". Here, we have it rendered as "siamo vissuti". Will someone help this complete novice understand which to use?


Sometimes "vivere" is a transitive verb (i.e., has a direct object) and then the right auxiliary is "avere". When it is intransitive, the right auxiliary is "essere" usually. There are a few controversial cases where "avere" is used with the intransitive also. http://www.wordreference.com/iten/vivere


Thank you. So help me understand. "We have never lived in the city" would use "siamo", as in this sentence, but "We have never lived here" would use "abbiamo", as in "Non abbiamo mai vissuti qui", or am I misunderstanding transitive and intransitive verbs?


Those are both transitive uses of the verb. I would say "non siamo mai vissuti qui (or in citta')". A transitive use would be (according to my reference book) Ha vissuto tante brutte esperienze "He's been through so many nasty experiences".


I expect this will take me a while to get used to. Thank you for your help!


a hint that really helps me to know wether to use avere or essere is to know (that besides reflexives) most of the verbs that describes states, or changes between states, or remaining in state, or movement from one to another are with essere: crescere / diminuire nascere / morire
ingrassare / dimagrire
peggiorare / migliorare
cominciare , iniziare / terminare cambiare , riuscire
diventare, invecchiare (envejecer). sorgere, tramontare

<pre>parere, sembrare piacere / dispiacere costar , valere rimanere, stare partire, andare, venire, arrivare salire, scendere, cadere entrare, uscire </pre>

hope it helps :)


Viaggiatore, didn't you make a mistake in your first sentence? I think you meant to say 'these are both intransitive uses of the verb'. That's very confusing for someone who's not sure what transitive and intransitive mean.


I am completely confused by this translation and the answers given so far. My understanding is that "I have lived here" and "I have lived in the city" are both transitive, so surely should use 'abbiamo'. As kbrimington says, there is another example in Duolingo "Non abbiamo vissuto qui...". So isn't the translation here incorrect? Google Translate also uses 'abbiamo' here.


Looking back on this discussion, I now see that Viaggiatore accidentally wrote 'transitive' in his second posting, when he meant 'intransitive'. I lived here and I lived in the city do not have an object, and so are intransitive, so 'essere' is correct. I have lived a good life does have an object, so is transitive, so uses avere. Simple!

UPDATE 24/5/20: Not quite so simple! Firstly, Vivere can also be translated as "Live through", so "I lived through hard times" is actually transitive and needs avere, even though "through hard times" sounds more like a prepositional phrase. Secondly, for intransitive use, the choice of using essere or avere is "a matter of personal choice, or habit" (i.e. colloquially, many people use avere, and that is fine).

[deactivated user]

    Another sentence in this exercise uses vivere with avere i.e. "Noi abbiamo vissuto in Canada".
    Why avere in that case where as essere in this instance?


    “When this verb is used transitively, its compound tenses are formed with the auxiliary avere. In intransitive usage, compound tenses may be formed with EITHER avere or essere, although essere is more common. The transitive and intransitive usages have similar meanings.” I copied this from one of the many websites discussing the Avere/Essere debate. But knowing that is only marginally useful. Several of the posters have posted websites that shed light on this mystifying concept. Here is yet another one written, apparently, by an Italian teacher: https://blogs.transparent.com/italian/to-be-or-to-have/


    Excuse me, but 'qui or citta' do not make vissuti transitive as you can't ask 'what-question' to these words. They are 'where-words'. But your last example is ok. The verb is transitive: '... vissuti (what?) essperienzi'.


    Besides whether it's ‘abbiamo’ or ‘siamo’, note that you don't decline the participle after ‘abbiamo’, so it would be ‘abbiamo mai vissuto [direct object]’.


    When you're talking about those controversial cases do you mean: camminare, correre, visitare, viaggiare ? (to walk, run, visit, travel)



    I was talking about the one verb vivere, as I said.


    list of verbs that may be transitive and intransitive: http://italian.about.com/library/fare/blfare147b.htm


    that link no longer works


    It is interesting that Barron's 501 uses hanno vissuto on the conjugation page but on the next page an example used is, "Lor sono vissuti in Italia per cinque anni." "They lived in Italy for five years." This is consistent with what Viggiatore says below.


    It s correct abbiamo vissuto.


    without any article, how do you know it is "the city" and not "a city"?


    "a city" would be "in una città". But "in città" is the expression used to mean "in the city", that part of the region, and for example, not in the country.


    However "in a city" is accepted here.


    Well it is not accepted as of now.


    do you think it's hopeless for me to ever learn this (or any) language if I can't understand the concepts of transitive verbs, pronouns etc...? I don't even mean this in jest, I don't understand these concepts at all. Even when I try to read about the comparative concept in english (so I can understand it as it relates to the english language and then apply) I still have no idea.


    The positive thing is most people learn a language as a child though just listening and repeating (without understanding grammar). Keep listening and repeating so you learn what 'feels right'. Repeat repeat repeat. :)


    It is not hopeless! I had a lot of problems with this myself because parts of speech were things I learned when I was much younger and as English speakers we don't necessarily think about how we're using them when speaking/writing. In learning Italian, I've had to relearn these things. Just take it step by step. Sometimes you pick up on rules by seeing how some things work together. The comments here definitely help!


    I have a really good book called; "English Grammar for students of Italian" by Sergio Adorni and Karen Primorac . In the contents it has chapters called, for example ;" What is a noun?' "What are objects?" (this is where transitive and intransitive verbs are explained) right up to "What are positive and negative indefinites? (whatever the hell they are, haven't read that bit yet!) It just explains what is meant in a simple way with examples that are easy to understand. I bought it second hand from Abe Books and it has helped me a lot, I don't sit down and read it, but if I can't understand something I look in the book and find the explanation of how it is in English and how it correlates with Italian. Don't be too discouraged, it takes children years to learn to speak their parents language and you obviously managed that, so it will make sense eventually!


    You learnt English as a baby without understanding any of this stuff. Knowing it is helpful, because then you can have things explained using those concepts. But it's not necessary; you can still practice and practice until the rules are internalized, whether or not you've ever learnt them explicitly. And you have to practice anyway to get fluent!


    I'm with you. This section as well as the Clitics section have me wondering why I even bother.


    you are not alone! I am pleased that I can make myself understood and I shall improve I hope.


    Why does 'mai' go after 'siamo' and not after 'vissuti'? I thought 'mai' is always placed after the verb.


    I translated as: We haven't ever lived in the city. I got it wrong. I don't know why this can't be accepted?


    Your translation is valid, but it'd be more normal in English to say 'we've never' rather than 'we haven't ever'. Mostly because English is lazy


    Also keep in mind that when you abbreviate something, it is given less emphasis. Both are correct, but I would say 'We haven't ever' is more emphatic.


    Me too and I was wondering the same thing. I reported it.


    "We have never lived in city" is not accepted. DL says that i need indefinite article. "In A city". So, there is no difference A or THE ?


    In English, you cannot say "in city". English requires an article here. it depends on the context whether that's a definite or an indefinite article


    To use the word "a" means any city; to use the word "the" means a specific city that probably is nearby which both parties would be able to identify. For example, for locals, New York City is referred to as "the city".


    'città' is used for both town and city -- you can't distinguish in Italian (indeed, the old English distinction, that a city has to have a cathedral, is now obsolete). If, Duolino, you can tell me how to say 'we have never lived in the town', then you are entitled to mark my answer wrong. Until then . . .


    "We haven't ever lived in the city" should be accepted.


    If we are only girls, would we say "visute" instead of visuti (and is this also used for third person plural?)?


    If the verb is "siamo", yes, it would be "vissuti", with two S's, because a single S would make the word sound different(ly).


    why do we need the word non here? can't we say: siamo mai vissuti in citta?


    That would mean: Have we ever lived in the city?


    Double negatives, which are forbidden in English, are a must in Italian.


    But double negative doesn't mean a positive statement?


    No, what I meant is that, in English, using 2 negative words in a sentence is frowned upon and we tell students that they have just said the opposite of what they meant. In Italian and French you must have both words: 'non' and 'mai' like 'ne ---pas' in French.


    You can live a life. You can live a dream. Both are transitive usages. But living "in a city" is intransitive in English, at least. And living "here" is just "in this place". So I would argue that both of the last two are intransitive uses and should take essere, while the first two are transitive. I suspect the duo grading here is not absolute in reality.


    In some comments on a previous lesson, a commenter claimed their Italian wofe told them that you shouldnt split the verb from the participle. Is that not the case here? Are there specific rules?


    My translator app says, Non abbiamo mai vissuto in citta. So which one is right


    The way we form participles is still not clear. How shoul i guess that vivere turns into vissuto?


    You cannot guess with much accuracy. Here is a partial list of some common ones.http://www.oneworlditaliano.com/english/italian-verbs/past_participles_of_italian_irregular_verbs.htm


    We never lived in this particular city or in any city


    "non abbiamo mai vissuto in citta" Is this not also a correct interpretation?


    This same lesson has an example about "having lived in Canada" and there they suggest (based on the bubbles available) we use the transitive helper avere. How is "in citta" different than "in Canada" (except for the Mounties being in the latter, of course).


    Why "we have never lived in city" is wrong, he didn't say nella città


    1.) why can't this be translated without "the"? 2.) we have never lived in city. 3.) how do I know that there is an understood "the"?


    'we have never lived in city' is not how we would say it in English. I have no idea what the grammar is, sorry but we would always say '....... the city' or a city singular. I hope that helps and a lingot to cheer you up


    It s no correct!!!abbiamo visuto e corretto.

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