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  5. "Saranno passati alcuni minut…

"Saranno passati alcuni minuti."

Translation:A few minutes will have passed.

October 22, 2013



I tried 'they will have passed (ie, spent) a few minutes'. I don't see how to tell whether the noun phrase that follows the verb is the subject or a modifier - ie, I can't tell whether this phrase means 'a few minutes will have passed' or '(they) will have passed a few minutes'. Any thoughts?


well it's often indistinguishable, i have to admit, but not this time. here, "passare" has "essere" as its auxiliary verb (even if it's in a third-person plural future form, it's still an "essere" verb), it can't mean "to pass time". that one would take "avere" (avranno passati alcuni minuti) to have that meaning.

(source: http://www.wordreference.com/enit/pass)


Thanks - I also came across http://italian.about.com/library/verb/blverb_passare.htm, which says that the transitive use of the verb uses avere while the intransitive uses essere (this is just another way of saying what you've already said). So, since saranno is used, this means that there's no direct object and the 'alcuni minuti' must be the subject - ie, 'a few minutes will have passed'.


Thorough and correct. I didn't think of that, though it can still be passive voice.


Raging against the wind, I know, but how much simpler would it be to put the subject at the beginning of the sentence?


It is indeed almost always the passive voice when "essere" is used. The exception is the verbs that normally take essere as their auxilary, mostly verbs that have to do with movement.


i think it's better to use the "venire" passive when it comes to verbs with essere. I don't know, it's just a feeling.


Amusingly, Google Translate offered "They will be gone a few minutes."


@AJ, I'm not sure but I believe it's because passati is a predicate adjective, and so subject to the rules of singular and plural. Someone with certain knowledge, please weigh in.

For some reason Duo is not letting me reply to comments, but I can post new ones.


Why is it "passati" instead of "passato"? Do the participles have to math gender and number like adjectives?


Yes, when the auxiliary verb is «essere», as it is here. It follows the same rules as the passato prossimo tense.


When i tried google translate it said "it will take several minutes" ... is this incorrect?


Thanks,v the transitive, intransative explanation is very useful. Grazie mille


why can't you say some minutes?

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