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Question Time

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Questa sezione serve per aprire una discussione su qualsiasi aspetto della lingua inglese
o semplicemente per allenarsi su un argomento qualunque.

Le discussioni vanno avviate direttamente nei commenti qui sotto.


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765 risposte a “Question Time

  1. Carmela

    27/08/2017 at 21:38

    Salve prof. ho tradotto la seguente frase “L’essenziale è avere occhi per vedere la meraviglia delle piccole cose” nei seguenti modi It is essential have eyes to see the beauty of little things;
    The essential is having eyes to see the beauty in the little things.
    Cosa ho sbagliato? Perché so già che qualche errore c’è 🤔

     
    • Tony

      27/08/2017 at 22:32

      “Essential” non va come sostantivo in inglese quindi dovresti dire qualcosa come, “The essential (most important) thing is to have eyes to see the wonder in small (little) things.” Ma si può rendere in diversi altri modi anche. Bisogna vedere quanto vicino vuoi stare all’originale.

       
  2. BernarDino

    13/07/2017 at 14:30

    Dear Prof. Lawson, reading about some english sentences, I’ve found the follow sentence that probably has been taken from a conversation, I suppose, between a house seller and a possible buyer who tells so to the seller: I’ll give you a call in the NEXT COUPLE of days:
    I’D LIKE TO KNOW if this sentence is a “colloquial” sentence or if it is a “particular” answer that I’ve translated like that:
    La chiamerò fra un paio di giorni, MA ANCHE, Le faccio un colpo di telefono “NEI PROSSIMI GIORNI”.
    Could you tell me the main meaning of ” A COUPLE OF days” and if its use is quite or not used? Grazie e se può mi corregga eventuali (legga sicuri) errori presenti nella frase che ho cercato di rappresentarle.
    Grazie per tutta la sua assistenza che mi è davvero preziosa. Buona giornata (effettivamente sarei stato in grado di scrivere tutto in inglese, almeno credo.)

     
  3. Sandro

    31/05/2017 at 01:35

    Dear Prof,
    I’d kindly like you to see these sentences and tell me whether their translation is correct

    1.Se avessi avuto tempo sarei andato al cinema ieri sera
    If I’d had time I would have gone to the cinema yesterday evening

    2.Se non avessi fatto tardi avremmo potuto cenare insieme ieri sera
    If I hadn’t been late we could have had dinner together yesterday evening

    3.Sarei potuto andare al cinema ieri sera ma ho dovuto rinunciare perché ero molto occupato
    I could have gone to the cinema yesterday night, but I had to give in because I was very busy

    4.Se avessi guardato dove stavo camminando non sarei caduto nella buca davanti a me
    If I had been looking where I was walking I wouldn’t have fallen into the hole in front of me

    5.Se fossimo andati in quel ristorante non avremmo trovato posto. Avremmo dovuto prenotare prima.
    If we had gone to that restaurant we wouldn’t have found any table. We should have reserved (booked) a table before

    6.Non trovo i guanti, devo averli persi da qualche parte
    I can’t find my gloves, I must have lost them somewhere (They must have been lost somewhere)

     
    • Tony

      31/05/2017 at 06:38

      Very good, Sandro. Just two small points:

      3) I would use the expression “say no” for “rinunciare”
      4) “we wouldn’t have found a table”

       
      • Sandro

        31/05/2017 at 08:11

        Thanks a lot prof. I wish you a nice day

         
  4. BernarDino

    23/05/2017 at 16:10

    Egregio Professore, vorrei sottoporle una frase con due modalità di traduzione, ma vorrei sapere da lei quale sia il modo migliore di tradurla o se entrambi si possono accettare. Grazie
    La frase è: “Hanno fatto un’eccezione e l’hanno lasciato partire prima”.
    Le due traduzioni sono:
    1) They stretched a point and let him leave early.
    2) They made an exception and left him off before.

     
    • BernarDino

      23/05/2017 at 16:12

      Scusi, volevo solo precisare quel prima. Se ho capito bene dovrebbe significare “in anticipo”.
      Grazie

       
      • Tony

        23/05/2017 at 17:07

        I would use a mix of 1) and 2):

        “They made an exception and let him leave early.”

         
        • BernarDino

          23/05/2017 at 18:02

          Grazie Professore per la sua proverbiale cortesia e …assistenza.

           
          • Tony

            23/05/2017 at 18:16

            It’s my pleasure 😀

             
  5. Sandro

    06/05/2017 at 16:42

    Gentile Professore, queste due traduzioni della frase sono corrette entrambe?
    Andrei volentieri al cinema se non faccio tardi al lavoro.
    I’d really go to the cinema UNLESS I finish late at work
    I’d really go to the cinema IF I don’t finish late at work

     
    • Tony

      06/05/2017 at 16:55

      È fuorviante “really” qui, dovremo usare qualcosa come “willingly” oppure “happily”.
      Inoltre dovresti decidere tra 1° contìditional e 2° conditional. MI sembra che “unless” funziona se scegliamo il 1° conditional (probabile):

      “I’ll happily go to the cinema (with you) unless I finish late at work.”

      (qui l’unica problema quel giorno è che potrebbe finire tardi al lavoro)

      Invece, se scegliamo il 2° conditional (improbabile), è meglio la seconda forma:

      “I’d happily go to the cinema if I didn’t finish late at work.”

      (qui si intuisce che chi parla finisce sempre tardi al lavoro)

      Aiuta?

       
      • Sandro

        07/05/2017 at 19:20

        Ho compreso perfettamente. Grazie

         
  6. Sandro

    04/05/2017 at 23:05

    Dear prof,
    I’d like to submit you the following sentences to text my comprehension:
    1) I would really go to the cinema unless I was late at work
    2) Unless I find a right dress I won’t go masked to Jane’s party
    Could you tell me if the use of “unless” is right?

     
    • Tony

      05/05/2017 at 07:20

      1) Non so cosa stai cercando di dire. “Andrei davvero al cinema se non fossi in ritardo al lavoro.” Cos’è che vuoi dire esattamente?
      2) Qui l’uso di “unless” è corretto ma rifarei la frase così (sempre se ho capito bene):
      “Unless I find a suitable costume, I won’t go to Jane’s fancy dress party.”

       
      • Sandro

        05/05/2017 at 09:04

        Le ho sottoposto le due frasi per verificare se ho ben capito il significato di “condizione implicita” nel periodo ipotetico in cui è possibile l’uso di “unless” in alternativa ad “if”. Infatti la prima frase corrisponde esattamente alla sua traduzione, mentre con la seconda frase volevo dire: ” Se non trovo un abito adeguato non andrò alla festa di Jane mascherato”. Volevo sapere se entrambi i casi corrispondono ad una condizione implicita giustificando l’uso di “unless”.

         
        • Tony

          05/05/2017 at 09:13

          Temo che questo argomento si è complicato tanto!
          Dunque nella prima frase non vedo l’utilità di “unless”. Direi semplicemente, “I would go to the cinema if I didn’t have so much work to do”, o qualcosa del genere.
          Invece nella seconda frase “unless” funziona benissimo.
          Forse non riesco a spiegare la differenza.
          Adesso devo uscire ma ci penserò su…

           
  7. roberta

    03/05/2017 at 07:36

    HI prof

    Will you please translate this sentence for me?

    “Sostengo sia un modello da seguire”

     
    • Tony

      03/05/2017 at 07:39

      “I believe it’s a model to be followed.”

       
      • roberta

        03/05/2017 at 09:44

        ..thank you …..

         
  8. roberta

    29/04/2017 at 14:54

    Prof?
    …If I wanna say “progettare una nave” can I say “to design a ship”?

     
    • Tony

      29/04/2017 at 16:28

      Yes, indeed.

       
      • roberta

        30/04/2017 at 07:37

        ok good ,thanks a lot 😊

         
  9. Carmela

    28/04/2017 at 15:44

    Prof. ancora oggi di fronte ad alcune frasi non riesco a capire l’uso del past simile invece del present perfect. Mi aiuterebbe a capire?
    1.My bus arrived on time; 2. Jim opened the door. Perché non il present perfect?

     
    • Carmela

      28/04/2017 at 16:35

      Ho suonato il campanello cinque volte = I rang the doorbell five times or I’ve rung the doorbell five times?

       
    • Tony

      28/04/2017 at 16:54

      Il problema con questo tipo di esercizio è che non abbiamo un contesto reale per la frase. Il present perfect stabilisce un legame forte con il presente mentre il past simple racconta un semplice fatto passato. Per intenderci, prendiamo l’esempio della seconda frase: “Jim opened the door.” Se sto raccontando una storia di ciò che mi è successo l’altro giorno e in mezzo alla mia storia c’è questo fatto di Jim che ha aperto la porta, devo raccontarlo con il past simple. Se invece siamo in una stanza con un bambino, Jim, che non è mai riuscito ad aprire la porta in quanto troppo piccolo, ma questo volta c’è riuscito, allora dichiaro, “Look! Jim has opened the door!” Vedi il legame con il presente? Noi siamo nella stanza è la porta è aperta…

      È la stessa cosa con “my bus arrived on time”. Normalmente una frase così si troverebbe in un racconto ambientato nel passato (anche se soltanto ieri). Ma anche qui possiamo inventare un contesto dove poytrebbe anche essere present perfect. Siamo alla stazione dell’autobus in attesa dell’autobus che all’improvviso arriva e io dichiaro, “Look! Our bus has arrived on time!” (Del genere, che miracolo!). In questo esempioc’è un foret legame col presente perché è proprio l’autobus che stiamo aspettando.

      Il segreto è sempre “il legame col presente”: c’è o non c’è?

       
      • Tony

        28/04/2017 at 16:56

        Visto la mia spiegazione sopra, ragionaci tu un attimo sulla questione del campanello…

         
  10. roberta

    28/04/2017 at 07:57

    Hi prof,

    can you by chance suggest a phrasal verb site where you can practice?

     
    • Tony

      28/04/2017 at 08:21

      Try putting «phrasal verb practice» into Google and you’ll find lots of suggestions!

       
      • roberta

        28/04/2017 at 12:03

        ok …..

         
        • Tony

          28/04/2017 at 12:05

          Let me know…

           
        • roberta

          28/04/2017 at 12:11

          great prof …I found a lot😃

          I ‘ve used different expressions to get some sites but I haven’t found much..

           
          • Tony

            28/04/2017 at 12:36

            If you find anything sensational, let me have a link…

             
            • roberta

              28/04/2017 at 14:18

              I will ….I’m having a look this eve…

               
  11. roberta

    27/04/2017 at 14:11

    Prof?

    “to do” means “bastare” is that right?

    ex. this can do
    ex this will do for the moment……a.s.o…….

     
    • Tony

      27/04/2017 at 14:53

      Yes. It does tend to be future, I think

       
      • roberta

        27/04/2017 at 21:11

        thank you 😊

         
  12. roberta

    26/04/2017 at 08:44

    Prof?
    The sun’s come out
    The wind’s dropped

    is that correct?

     
    • Tony

      26/04/2017 at 10:38

      Sounds like a nice day where you are. 😀

       
      • roberta

        26/04/2017 at 11:53

        😃not exactly. it’s bucketing down..

         
        • Tony

          26/04/2017 at 12:13

          If it’s raining cats and dogs, make sure you don’t step in a poodle!

           
          • roberta

            26/04/2017 at 12:41

            ‘course I do ..when it POURS down 😉 I stay in…

             
            • Tony

              26/04/2017 at 14:00

              “Pours” as in “paws”?

               
              • roberta

                26/04/2017 at 14:29

                ????? oh oh prof I didn’t get it …

                 
                • Tony

                  27/04/2017 at 14:52

                  Poodle = barboncino / Puddle = pozzanghera

                  Then you said POURS and I tried to understand why and I thought maybe you were playing with the homophones: POURS and PAWS (zampe)

                   
  13. roberta

    20/04/2017 at 17:44

    Prof? how do you pronounce “mustn’t”?

    masen’t or mast(e)n’t la “e” quasi non si sente…..

     
    • Tony

      20/04/2017 at 18:24

      ˈmʌsnt (dove ‘ʌ’ is the sound in cup)

      If you subscribe to Telegram and then join the Ingliando Chat group, I can send you a vocal message with the correct pronunciation! Do you not have Telegram on your PC / smartphone?

       
      • roberta

        21/04/2017 at 07:47

        well I don’t know if my tablet support it ….

         
        • Tony

          21/04/2017 at 07:52

          It works on all platforms, I believe, and it isn’t complicated. You can give it a try and if you don’t like it, dump it!

           
  14. Carmela

    20/04/2017 at 13:26

    Prof. per chiedere il prezzo io conosco queste due formule 1.How much does it cost? 2. How much is it? La scelta è soggettiva o c’è una differenza?
    Grazie mille per il tempo che ci dedica.

     
    • Tony

      20/04/2017 at 13:31

      Soggettiva. Nessuna differenza. “How much does it cost?” è più “articolato” quindi forse anche un po’ più “elegante”, ma nel quotidiano usiamo “How much is it?” continuamente.

       
  15. Carmela

    20/04/2017 at 00:29

    Prof. Nelle due frasi 1. Did you have fun in Paris? 2. Come in and e enjoy yourself.
    Perché nella prima si usa have fun e nella seconda enjoy yourself? Entrambi comunque significano divertirsi. Qual è la differenza?

     
    • Tony

      20/04/2017 at 00:39

      To have fun = to enjoy oneself
      La differenza è molto sottile e del tutto trascurabile.

       
  16. roberta

    15/04/2017 at 13:49

    Prof?

    “Imissed the bus so I…………… (to be late)

    What kind of future would you use here?

    I’d use “will” but I think that “to be going to” can be ok ,too

     
    • Tony

      15/04/2017 at 15:32

      “Will” is a “spontaneous” interpretation.
      “Going to” is an “objective prevision”.

      Both are possible. It’s a personal choice.

       
      • roberta

        15/04/2017 at 17:00

        thank you prof..

         
  17. Valeria

    13/04/2017 at 00:20

    Salve Dott. Lawson, non riesco a tradurre la seguente frase “Others have been suggested similar ideas, like Professor David…”. Se non sbaglio, si tratta della forma passiva del present perfect, tuttavia non riesco a capire ☹️😣😣

     
    • Tony

      13/04/2017 at 08:27

      Ciao Valeria. Fuorio del suo contesto, la frase qui non è facile interpretare e potrebbe anche sembrare sbagliata. Per essere sicuro mi servirebbe un po’ più di contesto, ma così com’è mi sembra che vuole dire, “Ad altri sono state suggerite delle idee simili, come (per esempio) al Professor David…” Puoi fornire un po’ più testo sia prima che dopo la frase in questione?

       
      • Valeria

        13/04/2017 at 10:39

        Sì certo Dott. Lawson. Diversi capi di governo discutono le loro posizioni sul tema dell’immigrazione: how can countries help the refugees?
        “Egyptian billionaire Naguib Sawiris has put forward his own proposal – buying a Mediterranean island to allow refugees a temporary shelter until a longer-term solution is found. <> he wrote in the Telegraph. <>. Others HAVE BEEN SUGGESTED similar ideas, like professor David Laitin, who wrote in the New York Times that refugees could settle in Detroit and revive the ailing city”. Thanks for your patience Dott. Lawson. I would also like to understand how to use this form of present perfect 😣

         
        • Tony

          13/04/2017 at 10:56

          Ok, so it is in fact a mistake! As you said before, it is a passive form but it is out of place here. This is a normal active sentence and should read, “Others have suggested similar ideas…”

          A passive structure would be possible here but it would read like this:
          “Similar ideas have been suggested such as the one proposed by David Laitin who wrote…”

           
          • Valeria

            13/04/2017 at 11:52

            It was driving me crazy 😥 Thank you so much Dott. Lawson 🙂🙏🏻

             
  18. roberta

    12/04/2017 at 14:03

    Prof?😊

    To bump into=incontrare x caso ,imbattersi
    To come across=imbattersi
    To run into=incontrare ,imbattersi

    can they be used both with people and things? or is there a difference?

     
    • Tony

      12/04/2017 at 14:29

      I think perhaps I would only use “come across” for things and not for people.
      “Bump into” and “run into” are both good for people and things although obviously the meaning changes slightly. If you use them for things then you have the idea of a collision. When you use them for people you have more the idea of something unexpected.

       
      • roberta

        12/04/2017 at 14:42

        ohh good thanks a lot lot lot.

         
  19. roberta

    11/04/2017 at 12:37

    Prof?

    Yesterday i came across this sentence: “Hurry up or we’ll be late for class.”

    Why didn’t they put “the ” before class? or at least a posessive adjective?

     
  20. roberta

    10/04/2017 at 13:52

    prof?
    If I wanna say “tira le tende” with the meaning of closing ,shall I say “draw the curtains?
    …and If I mean to open ,,shall I say “draw back the curtains” ?

    or are there two different verbs that I’ve to use?

     
    • Tony

      10/04/2017 at 14:49

      The only specific verb is “to draw” so if it isn’t clear form the context then it’s probably easier just to use “open” and “close”. But you can use “draw back” as well, and also “draw the curtains open” and “draw the curtains closed”.

       
      • roberta

        10/04/2017 at 15:13

        fantastic prof ,thank you!

         
        • Tony

          10/04/2017 at 18:28

          Usually “draw” is used in a context and so if the curtains are open then it means to close and if the curtains are closed then it means to open. 😀

           
  21. Carmela

    06/04/2017 at 19:27

    La frase ” Faccio l’insegnante da vent’anni” posso tradurla in entrambi i modi o una delle due è sbagliata? 1.I’ve been a teacher for twenty years. 2. I’ve worked as a teacher for twenty years.

     
    • Tony

      06/04/2017 at 20:20

      Vanno benissimo entrambi! 😏👍

       
  22. Carmela

    05/04/2017 at 19:55

    Prof., se io dovessi dire 1. Ho questo telefono dal mese scorso; 2. Non vado dal dottore da quando ero giovane sono è giusta la seguente traduzione 1. I’ve got this phone since pasta month; 2. I haven’t gone to the doctor since I was young.
    Mentre è corretta la frase “I didn’t go to the doctor for four years ” ? E la traduzione sarebbe questa? Non sono andata dal dottore per quattro anni?

     
    • Tony

      05/04/2017 at 21:01

      In linea di massima è tutto giusto il tuo ragionamento ma c’è qualcosa che non va (a parte le correzioni automatiche!)

      1. I’ve had this phone since last month. (“I’ve got” sembra presente e non present perfect.)
      2. I haven’t been to the doctor since I was young. (Si usa “been” e non “gone” in questo contesto.)

      L’ultima traduzione è corretta.

       
  23. roberta

    05/04/2017 at 19:15

    Sorry i’ve got another question.

    Quando ci si deve rammaricare circa qualcosa che non si è fatto si deve usare “should” per forza?

    ex.My parents didn’t have money to send me to a dance course.I should have been a good dancer.

    ……mah prof I would use “could” here…

     
    • Tony

      05/04/2017 at 19:22

      “Should” is wrong here. You can use either “could” or “might” or “would”. “Would” is more certain, “could” and “might” are more “possible”.

       
      • roberta

        05/04/2017 at 19:53

        yeah I a definitely agree with you. thank you so much !

         
  24. roberta

    05/04/2017 at 18:57

    Prof can you please help me?

    Joy…………(wash) her hair yesterday but she decided to wash it anyway.

    What would you use?

    1.didn’t need to wash

    2.needn’t have washed

     
    • Tony

      05/04/2017 at 19:20

      I prefer the first in this context but they are both good.

       
      • roberta

        05/04/2017 at 19:54

        me ,too 😊 have a nice relaxing evening..

         
        • Tony

          05/04/2017 at 21:08

          Thanks. You too. 😀

           
  25. roberta

    04/04/2017 at 20:40

    prof can you please check if I translated this sentnce correctly?

    “Per essere il presidente degli Stati U. devi avere 35 anni e devi esere reidente negli Stati U. da 14 anni,”

    “To be the President of the U.S you must be 35 years old and you must have been resident of (in) the U.S for 14 years”

     
    • Tony

      04/04/2017 at 20:47

      “in the US” 😀

       
      • roberta

        04/04/2017 at 21:21

        thank you prof..have a nice evening..

         
  26. Carmela

    03/04/2017 at 16:51

    Prof.,
    nella traduzione delle due frasi ” Ho mangiato due tramezzini al formaggio e bevuto un bicchiere di vino; Abbiamo comprato dei fiori e una bottiglia di vino per la festa di Jane” io ho utilizzato il present perfect, sbagliando. La spiegazione che mi sono data è che le azioni sono già terminate nel passato, cioè ho comprato e quindi pagato. Dunque l’azione del comprare è terminata. Lo stesso vale per il verbo mangiare?

     
    • Tony

      03/04/2017 at 19:30

      Sono frasi prese dal Daily Translation Elementary? Bisogna tenere presente che il livello “elementary” non incude il “present perfect” e quindi l’unica opzione è il past simple. In realtà entrambi queste frasi potrebbero essere sia “present perfect” che “past simple”. Tutto dipende dal contesto.

       
      • Carmela

        03/04/2017 at 22:16

        Sì sì dall’elementary le ho prese!

         
        • Tony

          03/04/2017 at 22:54

          Allora il motivo è questo.

           
  27. roberta

    30/03/2017 at 12:00

    Sorry prof I’ve got another question

    Tomorrow is my birthday
    or
    Tomorrow it’s my birthday

    Tomorrow is a time adverb so the second option should be the good one .isn’t it?

    or Tomorrow must be considered the subject of the sentence (???)

    Sometimes I’ve such silly doubts that I feel ashamed….

     
    • Tony

      30/03/2017 at 13:00

      Tomorrow can be either a time adverb or the subject of the sentence so both formulas are possible.

       
      • roberta

        30/03/2017 at 13:19

        ohhh ok Actually that’s what I thought prof but just wanted to be sure 😊

         
  28. roberta

    30/03/2017 at 08:57

    Prof ….just out of curiosity……

    When they offer you somethng ,if you accept it you say ‘yes please’ can you also say ‘yes thanks’ ? mah I read this on a grammar book…

     
    • Tony

      30/03/2017 at 09:21

      This is a familiar question!
      The “classical” forms are:
      “Yes, please.”
      “No, thank you.”
      However, “Yes, thank you.” is possible.
      BUT “Yes, thank you” should not be said all together like “Yes, please.”
      You need a small break after “yes”.
      So in effect you are saying:
      “Yes. Thank you.” (notice the full stop instead of a comma?)

       
      • roberta

        30/03/2017 at 11:31

        ohhhhh yeah I do. wow extremely satisfying explanation !! thank you.

        p.s prof you lucky I don,t live in Catania or else you’d see me every day at your lessons I think I ‘d become your nightmare lol

         
  29. Valeria

    30/03/2017 at 00:11

    Hello Prof. Lawson, talking about planned actions, which is the difference between future progressive and present continuous? Thank you for helping me 🙏🏻

     
    • Tony

      30/03/2017 at 07:10

      I haven’t actually prepared a lesson on the Future Continuous yet but hope to do so soon. In the meanwhile, to answer your question in short, I would say that when you are talking about future plans, in effect, there is not really any significant difference. So you can say:

      “I’m seeing Bob tomorrow afternoon.”
      “I’ll be seeing Bob tomorow afternoon.”

      As a student of English I would tend to choose the Present Continuous for planned actions until the use of the Future Continuous is really familiar.

      The future continuous really becomes unique when you refer to an action that will take place over a limited period of time at a specific moment in the future. This gives the true sense of the “continuous” action:

      “Don’t call us at 2.00, we’ll be having lunch.”
      “This time next week I’ll be lying on a sunny beach in the Seychelles.”

      I hope that helps! 😀

       
      • Valeria

        30/03/2017 at 13:19

        Yes! 😀 I understood 🙂 Thank you for the explanation! 🙂

         
  30. roberta

    27/03/2017 at 08:11

    prof?
    )
    I …………(not to take) a taxi so I came on the bus.

    what would you use here simple past or present perf?

    Personally,I would use simple past but then I don’t agree with the second part where I ‘d use present perfect.

    the exe wants simple past but I’m puzzled …NO wait I’d write:I haven’t taken…..so I came …..Please if I’m wrong ,help me understand my mistake.

     
    • Tony

      27/03/2017 at 11:36

      I didn’t take a taxi so I came on the bus.

      “Came” is past simple because he has already arrived and the action of taking the bus is no longer connected to the present.
      “Take” is past simple because the decision not to take a taxi happened before coming on the bus.

      What you have here is just two past simple narrative verbs telling a story in chronological order.

       
      • roberta

        27/03/2017 at 12:46

        Perfectly clear prof….yeah actually she or he is just speaking about something which happened in the past and that’s it.

         
  31. roberta

    24/03/2017 at 12:53

    prof? I’m thinking about the sentence I wrote in the version section:
    ‘I wish she woud’
    is it correct?

    I think you must use ‘would’ after a wish when actually you want to change a situation which you don’t like somehow.
    So if this is correct,,since I’m happy with the present situation(because ‘the banana’ is waway) I guess I shouldn’t have used ‘would’…..is that so?

     
    • Tony

      24/03/2017 at 12:57

      “Would/could” are perfectly correct when you are expressing a wish for the future. Your wish in this case does not refer to your being happy with the fact that Chiquita is in Australia. Your wish is a wish that Chiquita WILL decide to stay in Australia.

       
      • roberta

        24/03/2017 at 13:27

        😊😊yes you ‘re right …you know it came natural to me to use would but then ….my usual doubts overhelmed my mind……thank you so so and so much for you patience prof!

         
  32. roberta

    23/03/2017 at 15:35

    ….ma cavolo prof…..I was doing an exe about simple past vs present perfect(you know just for a change lol) and here it goes:

    last year my neighbour……………..(to write) a book about ….

    well I used the simple past …..a piece of cake……..aaaanddddd it said I’m wrong……..ma daiiiiiiii I think ther’re sites and sites ,

     
    • Tony

      23/03/2017 at 15:55

      With “last” (scorso) the past simple is your only choice.
      So, yes, there are sites and sites, indeed! 🙂

       
      • roberta

        23/03/2017 at 16:03

        😊😊😊 you know ..I know that this topic is my sore spot but come on……here it was so easy!

         
  33. Bernardino Orsini

    18/03/2017 at 19:36

    Would you like to explain us the real difference between, the use of IF or WHETHER. Many thanks

     
    • Tony

      18/03/2017 at 21:11

      Excellent suggestion, Bernadino. I’ll get onto it. No promises WHEN, but I’ve put it on my list! 🙂

       
  34. roberta

    11/03/2017 at 11:00

    Prof……

    ability ‘in’ or ‘at’

     
    • Tony

      11/03/2017 at 11:12

      I would avoid both and follow “ability” with an infinitve form! 😀

       
      • roberta

        11/03/2017 at 11:54

        I’m doing an ‘open cloze ‘exe…..here it goes:

        ……..increased ability …………..language learning..

        so I thought about ‘in’ ‘at’ can I put ‘to’ here?

         
        • Tony

          11/03/2017 at 12:21

          in language learning (“to” with verbs in the infinitive form)

           
          • roberta

            11/03/2017 at 13:36

            si si ok ….in fact I put ‘in’ thanks a lot

             
  35. roberta

    10/03/2017 at 08:35

    prof….what future will uou use here?

    1.We………..have dinner at a nice restaurant on Saturday.
    2.I…………….see my sister in april.

     
    • Tony

      10/03/2017 at 08:42

      First of all: “what future WOULD you use here?”

      In both cases “going to” is the most obvious choice but you could create a case for “will”. Remember the future is very difficult in exercise form because context is so important and we don’t have any!

       
      • roberta

        10/03/2017 at 09:17

        ok ……I don’t know why I wrote ‘will’ prof lol ‘would’ conditional of course…..

        isn’i it possible to use the ‘Present Cont’? I mean in the first one where place and time seems to have already been planned and to be sure..

         
        • Tony

          10/03/2017 at 09:44

          Yes, BUT the sentence already gives you “have” in the infinitive form and in that kind of exercise you can’t change the words that have been provided. 🙂

           
          • roberta

            10/03/2017 at 10:17

            eh già ….what a banana I am!!!! 😊

             
  36. roberta

    09/03/2017 at 17:41

    prof help!!

    object:use of to be going to

    Rule:prior plans(to talk about something you have already decided to do)

    …is that correct???😥

     
    • Tony

      09/03/2017 at 19:39

      First of all, it’s difficult to reduce the “rule” to just a few words. I think your definition is pretty good for the main use of “going to”, yes. I think the main idea with “going to” is that it expresses “intention”. The action is neither spontaneous (will) nor fully planned (present continuous). Remember that it is also used for “objective predictions” and for “stare per”.

       
      • roberta

        09/03/2017 at 21:24

        si si ………thank you prof😊

         
  37. roberta

    07/03/2017 at 07:53

    Prof I need your help…..
    1.the English word for ‘verifica’ is (written)test. Isn’t it?
    2. If I wanna say ‘Hai un’interrogazione domani’ What word shall I use ?
    3.I can’t remember how you say ‘vuole’ when you’re tslking about rules .
    i.e ‘alla terza persona singolare vuole la S’ Do you say ‘it takes’?

     
    • Tony

      07/03/2017 at 10:56

      1) Well, “verifica” is just a test or an exam really. If you need to distinguish between written and oral then you need to specify.
      2) “Oral test”
      3) Yes, “it takes an s” is fine.

       
      • roberta

        07/03/2017 at 12:11

        ohh ok prof thanks a lot😊

         
  38. roberta

    23/02/2017 at 17:40

    prof…….
    I have got up at …..or I have gotten at .?

     
    • Tony

      23/02/2017 at 20:25

      I need more context, Roberta, but in any case “gotten” is very AE!

       
      • roberta

        23/02/2017 at 22:17

        you know it was just a question there is no context.
        The teacher of one of the guys I’m helping said that only ‘I’ve gotten up’ is correct.
        Instead I said that it’s not true and that ‘l,ve gotten..’is A E..(as you said)
        So I just wanted your opinion because sometimes I don’t agree with them(they also said that to miss hasn’got the ing form)and I get a bit upset.
        Thank you prof and have a nice evening…

         
        • Tony

          23/02/2017 at 23:24

          I would NEVER say “I’ve gotten up” and “I’m missing you” is fine…
          It’s always good to get a second opinion (just like with health problems!) 🙂

           
  39. Paolo

    19/02/2017 at 18:40

    Hi prof! I was wondering why sometimes I read ” do, does or did” with the main verb also in affermative phrases. I don’t know if this is only common in AE. For example: “She sure does know the way to my heart”

     
  40. roberta

    19/02/2017 at 11:08

    prof…..Do you teach your students the Mixed Conditionals ,too? do you think they are useful? Personally I think they just create confusion ..at least that’s what happens to me.

     
    • Tony

      19/02/2017 at 11:15

      I don’t actually teach them but I do tell students that there are other possibilities. I think if you have a good understanding of the standard conditional constructions, then you can usually understand a mixed conditional when you bump into one. 🙂

       
      • roberta

        19/02/2017 at 13:03

        yeah…😊thanks a lot.

         
  41. roberta

    16/02/2017 at 18:25

    prof…….
    ‘Jones is kicking the ball towards the goal.He……………score.He’s scored.

    will or to be going to?

     
    • Tony

      16/02/2017 at 18:38

      “going to” – previsione obiettiva

       
      • roberta

        16/02/2017 at 22:42

        thank you very much 😊

         
  42. roberta

    16/02/2017 at 08:50

    prof……..’you are next’ ‘you are the next’ I think both are ok but they’ve got a different meaning……isn’t it? I think the former means ‘tu vieni dopo,dopo vieni tu ‘ always speaking about ‘turns’ es.ora tocca a me poi a te’
    the latter ‘tu sei il prossimo’

    I think they’re similar but with a different shade…..Am l right?

     
    • Tony

      16/02/2017 at 13:45

      I can’t see any difference. In a queue I think it is more typical just to say, “You’re next.”

       
      • roberta

        16/02/2017 at 18:17

        ok so they ‘re both correct..

         
  43. roberta

    10/02/2017 at 17:39

    prof……’to miss’ can have the present cont form?actually i’ve always used it in the pres cont form….but now I have a doubt😓

     
    • Tony

      10/02/2017 at 18:57

      It’s fine in the continuous form:

      Bob’s missing the sun.
      Some of Jane’s jewellery was missing.
      I’m missing you.

       
      • roberta

        11/02/2017 at 11:08

        Perfect prof …I’m relieved thsnk you😄

         
  44. roberta

    09/02/2017 at 17:37

    prof….in ITALIAN we say ‘bianco come un lenzuolo’,could you please tell me how you say that?

     
    • Tony

      09/02/2017 at 19:14

      Exactly the same: “white as a sheet”.

       
      • roberta

        10/02/2017 at 14:09

        thank you prof

         
  45. roberta

    03/02/2017 at 19:15

    Prof I’ve this exercise:

    “I’m sure the boys weren’t upset with the result”
    “The boys………………………………………….with the result”

    P.S I have to find the right modal verb.

     
    • Tony

      03/02/2017 at 19:19

      I guess they’re looking for “can’t have been upset”.

      P.S. When you use “have” for possession and you don’t use “got”, you should avoid the contracted form in the affermative: “Prof, I have this exercise:”

       
      • roberta

        03/02/2017 at 21:59

        ohhhhh yeah thank you !!!!

        oh mamma : “I have but I’ve got”” is it a very bad mistake? I guess it is eh..

         
        • Tony

          04/02/2017 at 00:43

          No, it’s not a bad mistake. It just sounds strange because we don’t use it.

           
          • roberta

            04/02/2017 at 10:41

            ok …I will remmember!!!!!

             
  46. roberta

    01/02/2017 at 15:14

    Prof?
    “games console” or “game console”?

     
    • Tony

      01/02/2017 at 16:22

      I think you can use both forms quite freely, Roberta. 🙂

       
      • roberta

        01/02/2017 at 19:04

        🙂 thank you prof!!

         
  47. roberta

    20/01/2017 at 16:15

    prof …..Isaw thiis sentence on a book:she is a horserider for the England team…….is that right??????????????????

     
    • Tony

      20/01/2017 at 16:20

      (in a book)
      Yes, it sounds okay to me.

       
      • roberta

        20/01/2017 at 16:46

        shouldn’t it be “for the English team”? maybe I forgot the rule ….I thought I it was not possible to use “the” with countries except for those like “the USA the UK a,s.o

         
        • Tony

          20/01/2017 at 16:58

          Ah, I see your problem. Well, technically it should be “English” as it is an adjective but we do have a habit of using the name of the country as an adjective at times – especially with “teams”. Regards the use of the article there is no problem as it is the article of “team” and not “England”.

           
          • roberta

            20/01/2017 at 17:43

            ohhhh ok!
            Actually I thought of this possibility (so with THE referred to team) but then I said:how silly why not use the addjective if you have one” lol lol
            Anyway thank you fo your explanation!!!!

             
            • Tony

              20/01/2017 at 17:49

              We Brits can be very silly at times! 😀

               
  48. roberta

    19/01/2017 at 20:36

    Prof could you please tell me if thhese questions are correct?I mean in the use of words(terms)

    1.What probable or boigraphical event or local news were you inspired for your novel by?
    2.What narrative and syntactic techinques did you adopt(use)?

     
    • Tony

      19/01/2017 at 21:19

      The second question is okay but the first one is not great. I don’t understand what “probable” is doing in there and also the “or…or” is Italian and not English. Perhaps it could be, “What biographical event or local news were you inspired for your novel by, if any?”

       
      • roberta

        19/01/2017 at 21:38

        ….

        probable =verosimile (?)

        in Italian it went like this:Quale evento verosimile o biogr….o cronaca …

         
        • Tony

          19/01/2017 at 23:35

          I’m afraid I don’t really understand what “verosimile” is doing in this question.

           
        • roberta

          20/01/2017 at 07:55

          …so do I ..but this is a sentence which “the teacher” gave the guy I help mah….

          what if to translate “verosimile ” we used “real” ? so itwill sound like that:”what real or biorgaphical OR local news……..

           
          • roberta

            20/01/2017 at 08:13

            actually “real ” doesn’t correspond to verosimile but maybe in this context ….

             
            • Tony

              20/01/2017 at 08:34

              Maybe:
              “What real-life biographical event or local news were you inspired for your novel by?”

               
              • roberta

                20/01/2017 at 09:52

                yeah prof with “dash ” you solved my problem with “or” which actually I didn’t like but didn’t know what to do about .GREAT!!!!!!! thank you so much!!!!!!!!!

                 
                • Tony

                  20/01/2017 at 10:03

                  Remember we don’t actually have “or…or” in English. If you really need to repeat then you should use “either…or”.

                   
                • roberta

                  20/01/2017 at 12:45

                  yes yes but that sentenced confused me ” verosimile o biografico o dalla cronaca”for me too many “or” to handle with and I made a mess 😦

                   
                  • Tony

                    20/01/2017 at 13:02

                    I don’t think the Italian original was all that brilliant. 🙂

                     
                    • roberta

                      20/01/2017 at 14:08

                      yeah prof!!!you right!

                       
  49. roberta

    18/01/2017 at 18:34

    Here I am again!

    can I say :”I don’t know if they would let her go out” ?

     
  50. roberta

    18/01/2017 at 15:29

    Hi prof……:
    please,what does ” to meet about ones life” ?

     
    • Tony

      18/01/2017 at 15:31

      I have no idea! Do you have any more context?

       
      • roberta

        18/01/2017 at 16:27

        well ,me ,too prof 🙂 it’s the USUAL teacher who
        writes the exercises on her own….
        This is the whole sentence: “He…………(always to tell) anybody he ……..(to meet) about his lfe”

        p.s do you remmember when you said there are teaachers and teachers?

        well she’s the teacher we were talking about 🙂

         
        • Tony

          19/01/2017 at 05:53

          In this case it’s okay because “anybody he ………(to meet)” is the indirect object of “tell”. Ovvero, lui racconta la sua vita a chiunque incontra.

           
          • roberta

            19/01/2017 at 08:08

            OHHH GOD of course !!!!!! look what a banana I am : I read it in a wrong way !!!! that’s why I didn’t understand it and that’s why I wrote to you “to meet about ….” I can’t believe it!!!!!!!!!!!

             
            • Tony

              19/01/2017 at 08:24

              With this kind of exercise it’s easy to misunderstand the original intention. 🙂

               
              • roberta

                19/01/2017 at 12:23

                :):))…..especially if you’re a Banana ….:)

                 
                • Tony

                  19/01/2017 at 19:39

                  It’s Chiquita time!

                   
  51. roberta

    16/01/2017 at 08:03

    Prof? how do you say “prendere un appuntamento”?

    to make an appointment?

     
    • Tony

      16/01/2017 at 15:24

      Yes. 🙂

       
      • roberta

        17/01/2017 at 08:08

        Thank you!

        Sorrry I’ve got another question:how do you translate this?: “Questo golf è mio ma di chi è quello?”
        I myself would say:”This is my jumper but whose is that one?(whose that one is?)

         
        • Tony

          17/01/2017 at 08:13

          You’re right, Roberta, but the sentence in brackets is not interrogative. You could use it if you said, for example: “I don’t know whose that one is.”

           
          • roberta

            17/01/2017 at 08:27

            si si prof 🙂 thank you!

             
  52. roberta

    12/01/2017 at 17:17

    prof?

    how do you say ” calore umano”
    1.warmth
    2.human heat

    can you say both of them?

     
    • Tony

      12/01/2017 at 19:47

      A bit of context would be useful but I would say “human warmth”, I think.

       
      • roberta

        12/01/2017 at 21:15

        ok 🙂 thank you ever so much!

         
        • Tony

          12/01/2017 at 21:23

          My pleasure, as always. 🙂

           
  53. Santo

    11/01/2017 at 12:55

    Hi prof. I have a doubt:
    Sometime I read on the football commentaries it:
    Welcom to today’s crucial game from Wembley stadium, we are AWAITING THE arrival of both teams…
    So, can we say “we are awaiting”???

     
    • Tony

      11/01/2017 at 12:58

      Yes, Santo, you can use it but I think is is generally only used in formal or semi-formal situations – particularly in written English. I wouldn’t make a habit of it! 🙂

       
      • Santo

        11/01/2017 at 13:18

        Of course sir.
        Thank you.
        About the game on Facebook I’m still thinking….

         
        • Tony

          11/01/2017 at 13:28

          Think carefully! 😀

           
  54. roberta

    20/12/2016 at 11:11

    Please prof ,how do you translate this?”é un’archittettura fra le più moderne del Regno Unito”
    1.It’s one of the most modern architectures in the U.K
    2.It’s one among the most modern architectures in the U.K

     
    • Tony

      20/12/2016 at 19:12

      I would use the first option but you must be careful because “architecture” is uncountable! Try saying “pieces of architecture”.

       
      • roberta

        20/12/2016 at 19:22

        Thank you …I had a doubt also about “architecture”

         
  55. roberta

    15/12/2016 at 09:33

    🙂 prof? I took a look at the “elementary translation” ….
    as regards the yesterday’s version:isn’t possible to use the Present Perfect as well? I imagine the situation where you ask about a noise which has just ocuurred…..
    I would have translated it like this : have you heard that noise? (because we are there in the same room and we can hear a noise which has just been done) What was it?…….I think I’m getting paranoic.lol

     
    • roberta

      15/12/2016 at 09:34

      p.s isn’t IT possible.

       
      • Tony

        15/12/2016 at 09:49

        It’s a good question, Roberta. It APPEARS to be a present perfect because the noise has just happened and there is no time adverb. In these cases, to be sure, you have to hunt for the true time setting. One way of doing this is trying the finora/allora technique. It’s not always good but it can help to distinguish. So, for me the time context here is, “Did you hear that noise WHEN IT HAPPENED (allora).” Once again the meaning is also important: we are talking about a noise which happened and then stopped. There is no real effect of the noise on the present moment. 🙂

         
        • roberta

          15/12/2016 at 10:02

          perfectly clear prof But the problem is and remains that I’m a BANANA head!! 🙂

           
          • Tony

            15/12/2016 at 10:04

            I don’t think so. I think you’re asking important questions in order to get a deeper (and more immediate) understanding of the more subtle and difficult cases regarding this problem. 🙂

             
            • roberta

              15/12/2016 at 10:14

              ohh do you really believe that prof? and don’t you think I’m a Chiquita instead?

              I REALLY THANK YOU !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

               
  56. roberta

    14/12/2016 at 08:25

    Hi prof,

    Can I use “boring” referring to clothes?

     
    • Tony

      14/12/2016 at 13:35

      Of course you can. No problem. 🙂

       
      • roberta

        14/12/2016 at 13:56

        🙂 thank you .

         
  57. roberta

    12/12/2016 at 18:11

    Prof? “already ” is only used in affirm.sentences?
    or can it be used also in int?

     
    • Tony

      12/12/2016 at 19:17

      It’s fine in interrogative sentences, too, but not negative.

      Have you already read this book?

       
      • roberta

        12/12/2016 at 21:37

        in fact …I’ve always used it in inter,too .Today. I’ve read on a grammar that it’s only used in aff.sentences and I’ve been really confused and upset at the same time since I thought I’ve always been wrong.

         
        • Tony

          12/12/2016 at 23:16

          Strange that a grammar book would say something like that…

           
          • roberta

            13/12/2016 at 07:52

            yeah it said that ,that’s why I was confused .As I’ve already said, I’ve always used it with questions.Maybe it’s not such a good grammar prof mah…..

             
            • Tony

              13/12/2016 at 07:53

              That’s the only conclusion possible! 😀

               
              • roberta

                13/12/2016 at 08:07

                …but sad as well because when you learn a language ,if you don’t have a teacher,all that you have and trust is a grammar …..anyway :I’ve got a teacher so …NO PROBLEM :)…….have a nice day!

                 
  58. roberta

    10/12/2016 at 13:08

    Prof if I wanna say ” fammi sapere come è andata”

    “let me know how it’s gone”
    I mean :my son this morning had a test so now I want to text him and ask about it. If I follow the rule ,I think I should use Simple past ( he did it this morning and the morning is over ).I don’t know why but the Present perfect sounds good to me :(……??????? oh God lol

     
    • Tony

      10/12/2016 at 14:00

      “Let me know how it went.” Not so much because the morning is over but because the time/place context of the test is over.

       
      • roberta

        10/12/2016 at 14:25

        eeee si ….thank you 🙂

         
  59. roberta

    09/12/2016 at 12:46

    Prof?
    naso chiuso =stuffy nose
    naso tappato?
    orecchie tappate?
    can you help me?

     
    • Tony

      09/12/2016 at 15:22

      I think the most common adjective is “blocked” both for your nose and for your ears. “Stuffy” is also good for the nose but it is more semi-blocked.

       
      • roberta

        09/12/2016 at 16:48

        ohhhh thank you….Ilooked them up in the dictionary but I didn’t find anything.

         
  60. roberta

    07/12/2016 at 08:08

    Prof? I need your help!!
    Simple past or present perf?
    In these sentences you’re supposed to fill in the gaps.

    1.I ….(to play) football whe I ….(to be) at school but when I ….(to leave) school I…..(to drop)it and ….(to take)up golf.

    I used simple past except for the last one.I ‘ll explain why : I see that the two last sentences are linked by a conjunction (and) so this usually means that you’ve to use the same tense BUT I didn’t because “he took up golf” at a precise moment of the past AND “he is still practicing it “.

    ……mah……Am I right?

     
    • Tony

      07/12/2016 at 11:52

      It is ALL past simple, Roberta. The fact that he is still practicing golf is not relevant. Sometimes you need to look at the actual meaning of the verb. The verb “take up” refers to the actual moment of “starting” to play golf and that happened at the same time as “dropping football” which happened “when he left school”. so everything is tied to the moment when he left school: past simple.

       
      • roberta

        07/12/2016 at 13:10

        si si actually I thought about this prof ….ok ok 🙂 thanks a lot

         
  61. roberta

    25/11/2016 at 16:20

    prof? here I am again!! Did you miss me? lol 🙂
    joking aside let’s get serious: is it correct to say “what colour eyes/ what size shoes”.
    Actually I’ve always said “what eye colour/what shoe size has she got?”

    …..I’m puzzled…. 😦

     
    • Tony

      25/11/2016 at 16:33

      Hi Roberta, yes it is perfectly correct and is in fact the best way to ask that kind of question. “What colour dress are you going to wear to the party?” I suppose the only strange thing really is that there is no “of” whereas in “What kind of cheese do you prefer?” there is the preposition “of”. Maybe there are mpore like “colour” and “size” that don’t use the preposition “of”. I don’t know. I’ll have to think about it. In any case with “colour” and “size” it’s good.

       
      • roberta

        26/11/2016 at 11:17

        thanks a lot !

        so: What colour eyes has she got?/what size shoes has she got?

        but can I say :what’s the colour of her eyes? what’s the size of her shoes?

         
        • Tony

          26/11/2016 at 13:06

          Of course you can. Both forms are equally good and equally used. 🙂

           
          • roberta

            26/11/2016 at 14:22

            ahhh ok…..You know ISometimes have my doubts …I don’t like it but that’s the way it is…

             
            • Tony

              26/11/2016 at 14:30

              Our doubts serve to confirm our certainties. 🙂

               
              • roberta

                26/11/2016 at 14:53

                🙂 🙂

                 
  62. roberta

    24/11/2016 at 08:26

    Prof ? I’ve got a question for you:

    is the adjective “GREGARIOUS” of common use ? or do you usually use “SOCIABLE” ?

     
    • Tony

      24/11/2016 at 08:27

      In spoken English “sociable” is more common, but gregarious is also nice.

       
      • roberta

        24/11/2016 at 09:02

        🙂 thanks and now……..another question : if you want to do the plural for “sisiter in-law”you’ve to add an “S” to “sister” right? and if you want to do the plural for “pick me up” (il dolce) ? I’d would add an “S” to “pick”…is that right?

         
        • Tony

          24/11/2016 at 09:09

          Argh! It’s not even 10 o’clock yet? Lol! 🙂
          Well, definitely “sisters-in-law” yes, but I think I would hyphenate “pick-me-up” and therby convert it into a single noun and so put the ‘s’ on the end. What do you think? Bear in mind also that “pick” is a verb and can’t be made plural!

          es: Jane made two large pick-me-ups for Bob’s party.

           
          • roberta

            24/11/2016 at 09:49

            ehhhh già già you’re right 🙂 !!!! ok prof ,for today I guess it’s enough lol ..you can have a nice break now 🙂 you deserve it!
            anyway……thank you very very very much for your constant help!

             
            • Tony

              24/11/2016 at 10:08

              It’s always a pleasure, Roberta. 🙂

               
  63. roberta

    19/11/2016 at 13:14

    Prof ? just in case you don’t know it ,I want to share this nice expression with you: ” to burn the midnight oil” in Italian ” studiare tutta la notte”

    My aunt who lives in Canada told me that and I like it very much .I think it has to be referred to the fact that once ,when there was no electricity ,students had to study by a candle light /oil lamps at night.
    What do you think?

     
    • Tony

      19/11/2016 at 18:33

      “To burn the midnight oil” is not just about studying but about any activity that keeps you awake most of the night! It could be writing a book or even just going out to parties every evening. It’s a nice expression and yes, it does go back to before electricity!

       
      • roberta

        19/11/2016 at 20:50

        ohh thank you 🙂

         
  64. roberta

    17/11/2016 at 07:58

    Prof?
    “I haven’t seen my sister since she left for Canada”
    if I’ve to restate it using “LAST”
    1.The last time I saw my sister was before she left for ..”
    2.The last time I had seen my sister was before…”

    which one is correct?
    I,myself ,chose the first one.

     
    • Tony

      17/11/2016 at 08:20

      Your choice is correct. 🙂

       
      • roberta

        17/11/2016 at 08:39

        thank you prof !

        just out of curiosity ….is the second choice possible ,too?

         
        • Tony

          17/11/2016 at 08:41

          Only if the original sentence was:
          “I hadn’t seen my sister since she left for Canada.”

           
          • roberta

            17/11/2016 at 09:08

            yes thank you that’s what I said .Iwas discussing this with a teacher and she kept on saying that both are correct …….

             
            • Tony

              17/11/2016 at 10:36

              There are teachers and teachers. 😉

               
              • roberta

                17/11/2016 at 10:50

                quite so ! you know what ?I think that everybody can make mistakes because we’re human …but I think we should be humble and admit it……..mah 🙂

                 
                • Tony

                  17/11/2016 at 10:56

                  Exactly. Unless you’re perfect, you’re always going to make mistakes here and there. Accept it. Learn. We do it all the time! 🙂

                   
                  • roberta

                    17/11/2016 at 12:00

                    🙂 wise words !!!

                     
                    • Tony

                      17/11/2016 at 12:22

                      Great minds think alike! 😉

                       
  65. roberta

    15/11/2016 at 10:39

    Hi ,

    1.to take the rubbish out
    2.to take out the rubbish

    is it a simple personal choice (when you’ve have verbs with prep)) or is there a specific rule?

     
    • Tony

      15/11/2016 at 10:54

      If the phrasal verb is “separable” (as it is here) then:
      1) pronouns ALWAYS go before the preposition;
      2) short objects TEND to go before the preposition (as here, but it’s not a rule);
      3) long objects TEND to go after the preposition (it’s easier to understand the meaning).
      So, the only real “rule” is regarding pronouns.

       
      • roberta

        15/11/2016 at 11:47

        sis si pronous always go before ……thank you prof 🙂

         
  66. roberta

    09/11/2016 at 19:25

    prof here is part of the contest i told you I’d send.

    “I felt frustrated but four months on I…..”

    I guess it’s like “four months later” is it so?

     
    • Tony

      09/11/2016 at 20:05

      Exactly. 🙂

      P.S. 4 mesi più avanti, più in là…

       
      • roberta

        09/11/2016 at 21:37

        thank you prof ! have a nice relaxing sleep ..

         
        • Tony

          09/11/2016 at 23:26

          I’ll be counting sheep very soon….

           
          • roberta

            10/11/2016 at 08:03

            lol …

            does it mean “contare le pecore”?

            if it does as I believe ,then it looks like you were trying to get to sleep sooo I’m sorry to have bothered you..

             
            • Tony

              10/11/2016 at 08:24

              Yes, that’s what it means but I was still up and about at the time; just getting close to bedtime. 🙂

               
              • roberta

                10/11/2016 at 08:56

                🙂

                 
  67. roberta

    03/11/2016 at 19:58

    prof how do you say ” non è sempre possibile piacere a tutti” ?

    oh God ……I was talking to my son and I wanted to say this but I got stuck 😦 mah “it not always possible that people like you ” mahhhh nahhhh

     
    • Tony

      03/11/2016 at 20:18

      Well, I think it would come most naturally to me in English to say:

      Not everyone is always going to like you.

      You could also say:

      It’s not always posible to please everybody

      but that really has a different meaning, I feel.

       
      • roberta

        03/11/2016 at 21:03

        ohhhhhh yeah you great I like it.It really sounds very very good to me 🙂

        as far the second….I like it ,too but you’re right it has a different meaning.

        thank you prof!!!!

         
    • roberta

      06/11/2016 at 11:19

      Prof? how can I translate this ” …but four days on,………

      another thing:” to lose one’s hair ” I know there’s another way to say this but I can’t remember .It’s just one verb . Can you help me,please?klmjini

       
      • Tony

        06/11/2016 at 11:26

        I need more context for the first question.

        to lose one’s hair = to go bald

        Any good?

         
        • roberta

          07/11/2016 at 07:45

          fine!
          I’ll provide more context as soon as I ‘ve the book where I saw it again,

           
          • Tony

            07/11/2016 at 12:53

            OK, but be careful with “have” (statico) in the affermative:

            I’ve got the book ✓
            I have the book ✓
            I’ve the book ✗

             
  68. roberta

    02/11/2016 at 21:09

    Good evening ……

    this five days’ holiday
    this five -day holiday

    aren’t both right?

     
    • Tony

      02/11/2016 at 21:22

      Yes and no. Time expressions are one of the exceptions where you can use the genitive case but these days the tendency is to use the time expression as an adjective and therefore no genitive and no plural s.

      A two-hour break
      A five-day holiday
      A three-week course
      A five-year plan

       
      • roberta

        03/11/2016 at 07:55

        ok prof ,thank you 🙂

         
        • Tony

          03/11/2016 at 08:27

          What I said above is true for that particular kind of time expression (number and period) because, on the other hand, we do use the genitive case with expressions like:

          yesterday’s news
          today’s programme
          next year’s fashion

           
  69. roberta

    28/10/2016 at 19:56

    Prof take your time to answer ok? no problem I know you’re on a break…
    anyway can you say “both of the women” I’ve always said “both women”

     
    • Tony

      30/10/2016 at 09:16

      Both are possible, Roberta.

       
      • roberta

        30/10/2016 at 09:57

        ::) thanks !
        Prof now I ‘ve got a long job for you so no rush …please will you translate these expressions for me ?
        1.to serve time
        2.to bear a grudge
        3.to drive a hard bargain
        4.to take heart
        5.to follow suit
        6.to read music
        7.to cut a tooth
        8.to acquire a taste
        9.to cook the books

        4. avere a cuore?
        6.saper leggere lo spartito)la musica)?
        9. studiare molto?

         
        • Tony

          30/10/2016 at 10:57

          A volo è così:

          1. scontare un periodo di tempo in priigione
          2. nutrire rancore
          3. trattare un affare senza permettere sconti
          4. rincuorarsi
          5. comportarsi nella stessa maniera
          6. seguire un copione musicale
          7. lasciare spuntare un dente (stranamente transitivo)
          8. sviluppare nel tempo un apprezzamento per qualocsa
          9. falsificare i registri (contabilità)

           
          • roberta

            30/10/2016 at 11:43

            thank you so much prof !
            These were expressions which I found on an exercise and I really had difficulyt in doing it…

             
  70. roberta

    22/10/2016 at 14:27

    Hello ,here Iam again 🙂

    well I know that we use the present perfect when we first give news about a fact or something but when we give or they ask for further information we ‘ve to use the simple past ..ok so how would you translate this prof ?

    “L’ho comprato in Bond street” “Quanto l’hai pagato?”

     
    • Tony

      22/10/2016 at 16:57

      Hi Roberta. You have to be careful when the “place adverb” effectively substitutes the “time adverb”. In this sentence what you are really saying (between the lines) is, “I bought this WHEN I WAS in Bond Street”. Consequently everything is in the past simple. If you just give recent news without saying when or where then, as you say, we use the present perfect: “My daffodils have bloomed.”

       
      • roberta

        22/10/2016 at 18:06

        clear!!!!!! thanks a lot

         
  71. roberta

    21/10/2016 at 11:28

    prof?
    how do you say ? ” such many spelling mistakes ” or ” many such spelling mistake”

    It was an exe and I put the first option and it said it’s wrong and I’m upset ‘cause I don’t know this rule ……would you be so kind to explain it to me ,please?

     
    • Tony

      21/10/2016 at 12:51

      “Such many” / “such much” – don’t exist. Only “so many” and “so much”.
      In the second version “such” is being used in a very ‘literate’ way to say, “Molti errori di ortografia di tale genere.”

       
      • roberta

        21/10/2016 at 13:05

        oh mamma mia ……a very very very big big mistake of me

        in fact now that I’m thinking ….I ‘ve never said such many but so many

        the only alternative option was the ” literate one ” and I have never seen it …that’s why I made the wrong choice ok ok lol you would certainly say ” lame excuse Chiquita”.

         
        • Tony

          21/10/2016 at 14:51

          No, it’s an acceptable excuse when you ‘re up against something which you’ve never seen before. A good “classic” example of this kind of “such” is the expression, “No such thing” (niente del genere) or “no such luck” (nessuna fortuna del genere). What complicated things for you was the fact that there was also “many” in the sentence. (By the way, I assume it was “mistakes” in the plural, right?)

           
          • roberta

            21/10/2016 at 19:38

            yes yes it was ! yeah I was very confused indeed.

            and now ….another nice question for you :please can you translate this ? then I’ll explain why.

            “nonostante abbia studiato molto,ho fatto ancora molti errori”

             
            • Tony

              21/10/2016 at 21:43

              Although/Even though I’d studied hard, I made a lot of mistakes again.

               
              • roberta

                22/10/2016 at 09:25

                ok and in case I want to use”still “” please tell me if the rule I’m about tosay it’s right..; in an affermative sentence I can use it if I use the simple past but I can’t with present perfect.

                is that it prof?

                 
                • Tony

                  22/10/2016 at 09:28

                  Sounds good to me, Roberta! 🙂

                   
                  • roberta

                    22/10/2016 at 09:57

                    thank you 🙂

                     
                    • Tony

                      22/10/2016 at 10:15

                      🙂

                       
  72. roberta

    11/10/2016 at 21:53

    Prof ? does the verb TO HOPE take the ING form?

    I thought it didn’t but I saw it did….mah…

     
    • Tony

      11/10/2016 at 23:25

      Well, it CAN take the gerund but it’s not the most typical form. In an expression like, “Spero che vivere qui non sarà un problema per te”, we would say, “I hope living here won’t be a problem for you.” Also, “I hope drinking this will cure my cold.” And so on…
      It’s more “spero che” than “spero di” though.

       
      • roberta

        12/10/2016 at 07:53

        ok and if I wanna say ” spero di trovare un lavoro” wait wait I think I didn’t explain myself:

        I didn’t mean if after “to hope” I shall put the verb with the ing form BUT if I can use “to hope” with the ing form “I’m hoping”…….sorry my question wasn’t clear !

         
        • Tony

          12/10/2016 at 10:59

          Ah, okay. Now I’m with you. Well, “hope” can be used in the simple form and in the continuous form. The continuous form is perhaps more typical when we’re talking about something in the near future. So you can say, “I’m hoping to see Bob tomorrow”, for example. But the simple form does the same job: “I hope to see Bob tomorow.” Sometimes the continuous form sounds a little less formal.

           
          • roberta

            12/10/2016 at 11:33

            ok 🙂 now it’s all clear to me .Thank you ever so much!!!

             
  73. Valeria Lorefice

    06/10/2016 at 20:09

    Buonasera Dott. Lawson. Può chiarirmi un dubbio a proposito del verbo “to be”+ subjet complement? Su un sito ho letto le seguenti frasi: 1) What I hate most is repeating myself; 2) Her job is to assist you; 3) My dream is to open a business. Mi è chiara la questione del subjet complements ma non riesco a capire perchè nell’esempio 1 il verbo “To be” è seguito da un verbo nella forma ing e, invece, negli esempi 2 e 3 è seguito da un infinito.

     
    • Tony

      06/10/2016 at 22:58

      Ciao Valeria. Una domanda interessante. Anzitutto teniamo presente che esistono diverse “formule” in inglese dove ci può stare sia l’infinito che il gerundio, a scelta libera. Questa, probabilmente, è una di queste. Detto questo, però, una possibile spiegazione mi è venuta in mente. Nella frase 2 è come se dicessi, “Il suo compito è QUELLO DI assisterti”. Nella frase 3 è come si dicessi, “Il mio sogno è QUELLO DI aprire un’attività. Mentre nella frase 1 questo inserimento di “QUELLO DI” non ci sta, Giusto? È semplicemente, “Ciò che odio di più è… ripetermi”. Che dici? Potrebbe essere una spiegazione?

       
  74. roberta

    29/09/2016 at 19:40

    Prof can you help me please?

    What’s the worst thing ………………living in your town?
    1about 2 with 3,in.4.of

    which one? about?

    “see the sights” what does it mean?

     
    • Tony

      29/09/2016 at 20:58

      Yes, about.
      “See the sights” = fare turismo (vedere le cose che ci sono da vedere)

       
      • roberta

        30/09/2016 at 08:37

        thank you.

         
        • Tony

          30/09/2016 at 08:41

          You’re welcome. 🙂

           
  75. Santo

    23/09/2016 at 11:36

    Happy birthday🎉🎉🎉🎉
    For the cake???🎂🎂🎂

     
    • Tony

      23/09/2016 at 11:39

      Haven’t you made it yet?

       
  76. roberta

    22/09/2016 at 13:42

    Prof? can I say ” I take a bus home ” ?

     
    • Tony

      22/09/2016 at 13:55

      Do you mean the grammatical construction or the use of the verb “take” with “bus”?
      In English you can certainly “Take a bus, train taxi etc, no probelms there.
      Regards the grammatical construction, you are conjugating with the present simple and this would only work if we are in a context where the “habitual” aspect is already implicit.
      “What do you usually do after work?”
      “Oh, I take a bus home.”

       
      • roberta

        22/09/2016 at 14:53

        yes ,yes my doubt is if I can say ” take a bus HOME ” without any prep before home 🙂

         
        • roberta

          22/09/2016 at 14:56

          I guess i can since i say ” I take you home “

           
          • Tony

            22/09/2016 at 15:58

            The only preposition possible would be “to” (movement) and as you know “home” refuses the preposition “to”.

             
            • roberta

              22/09/2016 at 19:18

              si si I thought you had to say I take a bus to go home — thank you 🙂

               
  77. roberta

    20/09/2016 at 14:10

    Prof?

    1 notizia : a piece of news
    2 notizie two pieces of news ……is that it?

     
    • Tony

      20/09/2016 at 15:19

      If you really need to numerate “news” then that’s the way to do it, yes. You can also use “bit” instead of piece.

       
      • roberta

        20/09/2016 at 21:17

        ok ,thank you 🙂

        good night 🙂

         
  78. roberta

    19/09/2016 at 11:55

    Prof? I’m wondering if I can use the adverbs “certainly, definitely” with the future form “to be going to”.

    In Italian it’s ok but in English ? you know this kind of future expresses “intention” so if I use certainly with it ,to me it doesn’t make much sense ….
    I mean either you have the intention or you’re sure of doing something MAH……..
    p.s I saw it on a grammar.

     
    • Tony

      19/09/2016 at 13:16

      Your intention can be certain. I know it does sound like a bit of a contradiction but we do use it at times. Here are a couple of examples:
      “I’m definitely going to buy the new model when it comes out.”
      “I’m certainly not going to use this bathroom!”

       
      • roberta

        19/09/2016 at 13:56

        si ,of course …actually I came over here to tell you I asked a stupid question!
        thank you and ..sorry for asking this.

         
        • Tony

          19/09/2016 at 16:30

          I don’t think any question is stupid when you’re trying to find the right balance between rules and ussage. 🙂

           
          • roberta

            20/09/2016 at 07:56

            thank you. then 🙂

             
  79. roberta

    16/09/2016 at 08:46

    Here I am 🙂

    the exe goes like that :

    Insert the correct form of “far fare”
    1.Mary’s brother …………………….(to wash her trousers)yesterday and now he …………………..(her to collect)them.
    2.My teachers……………(always to respect)while teaching..
    3.They…….(me to play)the violin twice at their last party.
    4……………(you,ever,this exercise,to do)?Yes, recently I ……(mystudents,to do)it.
    5.What……((you,yoyr parents,topresent)for your birthday?

    My humble opinion: if you have to translate FAR FARE only,insome exercises I think it’s not possible unless you add extra words. mah ,mah

     
    • Tony

      16/09/2016 at 09:04

      Not a very well thought out exercise, definitely. N°s 1, 3, 4 are okay, although not particularly clear examples of typical use. N°s 2 + 5 are actually quite difficult to unravel!
      I think that they should have put less stuff in brackets and givn a clearer sentence structure. For example:

      1. Mary’s brother _____ her _____ his trousers yesterday and now he _____ her _____ them. (wash / collect)
      2. My teachers always _____ us _____ them while teaching. (respect)
      3. They _____ me _____ the violin twice at their last party. (play)
      4. _____ you ever _____ this exercise _____? (do) Yes, recently I _____ my students _____ it. (do)

      I refuse to do N° 5 because it isn’t clear, isn’t useful and we don’t use the verb “to present” (in my opinion)

       
      • roberta

        16/09/2016 at 10:12

        so now I’m happy ‘cause you agree with me !!!! later ,if you don’t mind I’ll do this exe and send it to you on this chat so you can correct it or tell me I did it well 🙂 🙂

         
        • Tony

          16/09/2016 at 15:20

          OK. I’ll be here at some point…

           
  80. roberta

    15/09/2016 at 17:21

    prof? ..please….can I say ” the two twins” ?

     
    • Tony

      15/09/2016 at 19:45

      Oh what fun! “A pair of twins, a set of twins, two twins… How much debate and how little resolution! If you are talking about two people who are brothers/sisters and twins, then the clearest way to refer to them is by saying “a pair of twins” or “a set of twins”. “Two twins” is potentially ambiguous because it could mean that although they are both twins, they are not brothers/sisters. Having said that, I’m quite sure that people happily say “two twins” as an alternative to “a pair of twins” or “a set of twins”. Probably if it’s not immediately clear what you mean then someone will ask for clarification and then everyone will be happy again. 🙂

       
      • roberta

        15/09/2016 at 22:14

        lol got it prof ,Thank you ever so much !!!

         
  81. Giuseppe

    10/09/2016 at 04:20

    Salve,
    esiste un metodo che mi permetta di capire quando usare “rent” e quando “hire” (BE) ? Sul web ci sono tante teorie non sempre concordi. Grazie!

     
    • Tony

      10/09/2016 at 07:54

      Sto per fare un mini-break. Quando riprendo, farò un indagine e vedrò di fare qualche articolo, altrimenti ti risponderò qui. 🙂

       
      • Giuseppe

        10/09/2016 at 14:02

        Gentile come sempre

         
  82. roberta

    09/09/2016 at 21:53

    HI

    suppose you’re eating something and I want to ask you “com’è” I mean if it’s good or not …can I say ” how is it?

     
    • Tony

      09/09/2016 at 23:04

      Yes, you can. The alternative is “What’s it like?”
      Sometimes tyou need to ba a little bit careful with “How…?” because it can sound like a question regarding health: “How are you?” etc. It’s potentially ambiguous. A lot depends on the context and clearness of meaning. With nouns, it’s perhaps a little less ambiguous: “How was your holiday?”, “How’s your lunch?” etc.

       
      • roberta

        10/09/2016 at 11:01

        yeah yeah I know that’s why I asked you …..actually when I ask my son I use “”how is it” ‘cause the other option is too long lol …thank you for your (always super satisfactory answers)

        have a wonderful weekend!!!!!

         
  83. roberta

    07/09/2016 at 18:18

    Prof? Iwas wondering if ,by chance,you can give me (or at least suggest where I can find it) a list of expressions with ON AT IN.
    ex. at the weekend in the mountains at or on the laptop on the outskirts a.s.o…

     
    • Tony

      09/09/2016 at 23:04

      Your guess is as good as mine. Have you reid Google search?

       
      • roberta

        10/09/2016 at 11:06

        reid ?????? don’t answer today ok? you’re on a break so enjoy it !!!!!!!

         
        • Tony

          10/09/2016 at 11:35

          Ahah! Yes, it should have been “tried”, of course. 🙂

           
          • roberta

            10/09/2016 at 15:01

            lol lol ,,,,,Yes,I have …I’ll have another try though 🙂

             
  84. roberta

    02/09/2016 at 18:46

    Prof? I’ve got two questions for you…
    1. the term of comparison in the superlative can be IN or OF..but my grammar says that that with the word EARTH and ISLE it must be ON.well I didn’t understan if just with the word “”ISLE” or if it’s an isle ex. Malta..
    2. my high school English teacher would say that THE PRESENT CONT could be used not only for planned actions in the future but also to express something that I’ll do in a very Immediate ,close future .ex “I’m so hungry so I’m making a sandwich”…is that true?

     
    • Tony

      02/09/2016 at 19:00

      Hi Roberta. In effect the general rule is “in” for “space” and “of” for “time”. So we have:
      The tallest boy IN the class.
      The highest mountain IN the world.
      and:
      The best holiday OF my life.
      The shortest day OF the year.

      However, there are other possibilities and “on” is on of them. I don’t know if these are exceptions are just logical progressions. “Earth” and “island” are two good examples, but also “stage”, “pitch”, “dancefloor”. Let’s look at some examples:

      This is the tallest building ON Earth.
      It’s the most expensive hotel ON the island.
      She was the youngest actress ON the stage.
      He’s the worst player ON the pitch.
      He was the oldest person ON the dancefloor.

      Does that help?

       
      • roberta

        02/09/2016 at 20:59

        yes definitly clear prof ….and ….uhm what about the second question?

         
        • Tony

          02/09/2016 at 21:18

          Oops, there was a second question…
          No, I can’t agree with that one, Roberta. The present continuous is either:

          1. ongoing action in the present
          2. planned future
          3. reference to a habitual action that is not (usually) appreciated

          The third case is dangerous ground for students as it causes a lot of confusion and it’s generally best not to teach it and let students discover it for themselves!

           
          • roberta

            02/09/2016 at 21:48

            thank you …..so it was her mistake !!!! in fact I ‘ve never said that because I didn’t agree at all!
            thank you for confirming my opinion 🙂

             
  85. roberta

    05/08/2016 at 13:59

    prof? 🙂

    what’s the English word for “lettiera” ? bedding?

     
    • Tony

      05/08/2016 at 14:03

      Do you mean where they sleep or where they do their “business”?

       
      • roberta

        05/08/2016 at 17:11

        lol yes Sir lol where cats do all that sort of things…..

        you know we’ll have a kitten very soon

         
        • Tony

          05/08/2016 at 17:22

          In that case it’s called a cat litter.

           
          • roberta

            05/08/2016 at 21:33

            ok thanks a lot,

             
  86. roberta

    13/07/2016 at 09:05

    Prof….i need your help
    If i wanna say ,c,è una salit/discesa,……ramp and slope are correct?

     
    • Tony

      14/07/2016 at 07:26

      “Ramp and slope” gives the idea of something manmade. Is that what you want?

       
      • roberta

        14/07/2016 at 09:24

        Well no…….i mean a road which is naturally like that….

         
        • Tony

          14/07/2016 at 11:46

          Then I would try to do it with verbs rather than nouns:
          “The road rises and falls”

           
          • roberta

            14/07/2016 at 14:28

            Thank you so much ..:)

             
            • Tony

              14/07/2016 at 15:01

              Always a pleasure. 🙂

               
  87. Santo

    12/07/2016 at 17:28

    Prof. I tried to translate this sentence in this way:
    “Men discuss politics more often with friends, family, co-workers, community leaders and election officials, Are more likely to engage in political proselytizing and are more likely indicate that enjoy political discussions than Are woman” in
    ” gli uomini discutono di politica molto spesso con amici, familiari, colleghi di lavoro, leader della comunità e funzionari eletti, sono più propensi a impegnarsi nel proselitismo politico e sono più propensi a indicare che essi godono di discussioni politiche più di quelle che sono delle donne. ”
    It is right?? Or do I have to adjust anything?

     
    • Tony

      14/07/2016 at 07:33

      I would say:
      “Men are more inclined than women to discuss politics with friends, family, co-workers, community leaders and elected officials. They are also more likely than women to engage in political proselytism and to manifest their enjoyment of political discussions.”

      Da-dum! 🙂

       
      • Santo

        14/07/2016 at 20:17

        Thank you prof.
        Your help has been very precious.
        Ma la mia traduzione da inglese a italiano è stata azzeccata?

         
        • Tony

          14/07/2016 at 21:00

          Is the English version original and written by an Englishman? Or have you made mistakes transcribing it?

           
  88. roberta

    28/06/2016 at 14:42

    …and what about ….”On a sunny summer day” is that correct?

     
    • Tony

      28/06/2016 at 17:03

      Fine. You can also say, “On a sunny summer’s day”.

       
  89. roberta

    28/06/2016 at 12:39

    Prof?

    “the day’s first lesson”
    “the Rizzi Cafè coffee is good”

    …are they correct?

     
    • Tony

      28/06/2016 at 17:03

      Both good, although “Café coffee” ia a bit of a tongue-twister. 🙂

       
      • roberta

        28/06/2016 at 21:05

        thank you very much prof 🙂 have a nice evening…

         
  90. Santo

    23/06/2016 at 16:46

    Prof. What Are you thinking about UK referendum ??
    What will happen in the future ?
    It’s a rebus…

     
    • Tony

      23/06/2016 at 16:50

      That’s too big a question for this space, Santo. I don’t really like the way Europe has gone in recent years although the original idea seemd to be okay. However, I’m not sure if pulling out at this point is a good idea. When I read articles like this one – http://www.eu-facts.org/en/whoiswho/architects.html – it makes me wonder…

       
      • Santo

        23/06/2016 at 18:07

        needless to stand here and talk about how to operate the European Union, so I hope that British citizens vote with conscience and not let themselves be caught by the nationalist euphoria.
        (Forse un po di errori ci sono😉)

         
        • Tony

          24/06/2016 at 06:02

          “Needless” doesn’t quite convince me. Perhaps you mean “useless”?
          Alternatively you could start by saying, “There’s no point standing here talking about….”

          Also, “with conscience and don’t let themselves…”

          Also, “nationalistic”.

          Good effort though!

          Well, when I went to bed last night it was starting to look very much in the balance! When I finish here I’ll turn the TV on and see what is happening.

           
  91. roberta

    21/06/2016 at 07:40

    Prof ? I’ve a question for you 🙂

    we say ” to be on honey moon” but if I wanna ask “” dove vai in luna di miele” ” where are you going FOR your …” is the preposition correct ?

     
    • Tony

      21/06/2016 at 12:14

      “For” is corrrect, yes, and I would tend to use the possessive adjective also in “to be on one’s honeymoon”.

       
      • roberta

        21/06/2016 at 12:24

        ok 🙂 thank you

         
  92. Giuseppe

    20/06/2016 at 14:41

    Hi Tony, I usually like watching movies in their original version to exercise my English but I’ve come across a line from titanic which still don’t have clear. It says: Forget it, boyo. You’d as like have angels fly out o’ yer arse as get next to the likes o’ her. The Italian dubbing says something totally different from the original meaning so I was just wondering what it really meant. Thanks

     
    • Tony

      20/06/2016 at 14:55

      Ahah! Dunque, tradotto all’impronta direi:

      “Ci sarebbe la stessa possibilità che angeli ti volano fuori dal c*** di quanto ci sarebbe di avvicinarti ad una come lei.”

       
      • Giuseppe

        20/06/2016 at 15:29

        Thanks, I figured something like that! 😂

         
  93. roberta

    20/06/2016 at 08:42

    HI PROF 🙂

    “to cling to” can also be used in a figurative language?

     
    • Tony

      20/06/2016 at 08:55

      Definitely. You can cling to your beliefs, you can cling to a small hope, you can cling to a last chance and so on…

       
  94. roberta

    14/06/2016 at 13:26

    here I am ,
    please could you tell me if there is any specific word for our Italian ” spaghetti allo scoglio” ?

    Another question: I think there’re different words to describe a piece of furniture such as cupboard ,cabinet, closet ….so are there only cupboards in the kitchen to describe the places where you put dishes,pasta ,glasses and things like that ?

     
    • Tony

      14/06/2016 at 17:40

      Dovresti scelgiere tra “Reef Spaghetti” (che io non ho mai sentito dire) oppure “Seafood Spaghetti” che mi sembra più immediato come significato.

      In cucina credo che chiamiamo tutti i mobili dove si posano le cose “cupboards”; anche “kitchen cupboard” è utile se non ti trovi nella cucina nel momento di parlare.

       
      • roberta

        14/06/2016 at 18:49

        thank you 🙂 🙂

         
  95. Santo

    08/06/2016 at 09:49

    What does mean the Word ” patchwork “???

     
    • Tony

      08/06/2016 at 10:09

      First ask me the question correctly and then I’ll answer. 😛

       
      • Santo

        08/06/2016 at 10:37

        What Is the meaning of the Word: patchwork ?
        Is it right ?

         
        • Tony

          08/06/2016 at 10:51

          It’s fine (but you are avoiding the problem!)

          “Patchwork” is generally used as an adjective to describe a piece of cloth that has been produced by sewing together lots of smaller pieces of cloth (patch = pezza, toppa)). So we have a “patchwork quilt” (piumone) or a “patchwork bedspread” (copriletto) or a “patchwork rug” (coperta).

          P.S. “What does the word “patchwork” mean?”

           
          • Santo

            08/06/2016 at 11:11

            Talking about “patchwork of protection” intendiamo come “toppe/mosaico di protezione “?
            It’s a complicate topic…
            Anyway Thanks

             
            • Tony

              08/06/2016 at 11:20

              Capisco. Comunque il concetto è sempre quello: tanti pezzi piccoli uniti per fare un pezzo grande.

               
  96. roberta

    03/06/2016 at 17:08

    Hi prof …

    is it correct to say : the memorial was built on the water above the wreckage of ……. above or on ? actually I would use on

     
    • roberta

      03/06/2016 at 17:26

      no , I changed my mimd ……it’s ok ABOVE lol

       
      • Tony

        03/06/2016 at 19:26

        It depends.
        “Above” gives the idea that there is no physical contatc between the memorial and the wreckage.
        “On” gives the idea of physical contact between the two.

         
        • roberta

          03/06/2016 at 20:45

          ….like the plane is flying above the clouds…..

          on means sopra
          above means al di sopra

           
          • Tony

            03/06/2016 at 22:09

            Yes. “On” means “su” as well, of course.

             
  97. roberta

    30/05/2016 at 15:21

    prof? is the comparative form (majority) of SHY ,SHYER ?

     
    • Tony

      30/05/2016 at 16:10

      It is indeed, although it is subject to some debate. Some people prefer “shier” (not me) and some prefer “more shy”. So you see, you’ve chosen one of those adjectives that doesn’t fit easily into the standared rule. Take your pick!

       
      • roberta

        30/05/2016 at 16:40

        that’s why I chose it lol …..thanks 🙂

         
        • Tony

          30/05/2016 at 18:38

          Well, if it’s trouble you’re looking for, then English is the right choice! 🙂

           
          • roberta

            30/05/2016 at 19:24

            lol lol I know lol

             
  98. Chiara Stano

    28/05/2016 at 17:22

    salve Tony,
    potreste darmi una delucidazione riguardo la differenza tra past continuous e past perfect continuous
    grazie della disponibilità

     
    • Tony

      28/05/2016 at 23:33

      Hi Chiara.

      La tua domanda non è facile. Principalmente è una questione di “contesto temporale” Il “past continuous è un tempo che lavora mano in mano con il past simple, arricchendo e contestualizzando gli eventi di un racconto. Entrambi i tempi coabitano più o meno lo stesso contesto temporale.

      Il “past perfect continuous”, invece (come anche il past perfect simple), puntualizza che l’azione è cominciato in un periodo di tempo precedente a quello del racconto (past simple). Vediamo se riesco a focalizzarlo con qualche esempio:

      “Bob had been working for three hours when we arrived.”
      → Il lavoro di Bob era cominciato tre ore prima del nostro arrivo.

      “Bob was working when we arrived.”
      → Il lavoro di Bob era in corso quando siamo arrivati.

      In entrambi i casi il lavoro di Bob era in corso quando siamo arrivati, ma nel primo caso tiro l’attenzione sulla durata dell’azione che è avvenuta PRIMA del nostro arrivo. Nel secondo caso descrivo soltanto com’era la situzione nel momento in cui siamo arrivati.

      Chiaro? Adesso è tardi. Eventualmente riprendiamo l’argomento…

       
      • Chiara Stano

        30/05/2016 at 16:38

        sisi mi è già tutto più chiaro
        grazie mille 🙂

         
        • Tony

          30/05/2016 at 18:40

          That’s good to hear! 🙂

           
  99. m.grazia

    23/05/2016 at 17:44

    Salve Tony, seguo molto Ingliando senza partecipare direttamente alla Daily translation per mancanza di tempo. Poi recupero facendomi 40 frasi quando mi ci metto.

    Sto aiutando un’amica ad allestire una mostra di vetri e ceramiche. Non so se sono indiscreta…. potrei chiederle cosa ne pensa di questa piccola traduzione per spiegare il motivo di alcuni bicchieri inclinati.

    Bicchieri del vento (glasses of the wind), also called ‘Bicchieri degli ubriachi’
    (glasses of drunken people). They were offered to tipsy guests during parties since ‘500 to increase their confusion and lack of balance.

    Se questo tipo di richiesta non è contemplata, nessun problema.
    Le sono già tanto grata per tutto ciò che offre su questo meraviglioso sito.

    Buona serata

     
    • Tony

      23/05/2016 at 18:47

      Ciao Maria Grazia.

      Inanzitutto grazie per i tuoi apprezzamenti del sito. Fa sempre piacere sapere che il mio impegno va a buon fine!

      Per quanto riguarda l’aiuto, non c’è problema. Quando posso…

      I due nomi non sono facile perché le traduzioni che hai offerte, pure essendo corrette, suonano proprio di ‘traduzioni’. Si potrebbe evitare questo con questo tipo di impostazione:

      “Wind Glasses”, also known as “Drunk Glasses”, have been offered to guests at parties since the 16th century to add to their sense of confusion and lack of balance.

      In questo caso “drunk glasses” non è esattamente “bicchieri degli ubriachi” ma più “bicchieri ubriachi”, ma credo che il senso rimane e la forma è decisamente più carina.

      What do you think?

       
      • m.grazia

        23/05/2016 at 19:57

        Thanks very much!! With my friend, we discussed to leave the italian name and, in brackets, the
        ‘attempt’ of translation. Your suggestions are perfect!! And even if the meaning is not exactly the same, visitors will read the explanation while they will be looking at the glasses, so……
        I’m sure they will understand.

        Chissà se ci ho preso con l’inglese…..
        Grazie infinite e buona serata

         
        • Tony

          23/05/2016 at 20:16

          Always happy to help. 🙂

           
  100. roberta

    20/05/2016 at 17:27

    Prof? everybody everything everywhere as far as iI know can be used both in affermative,negative an interrogative sentences,

    is it correct?

     
    • Tony

      20/05/2016 at 20:25

      Absolutely. No limits!

       
      • roberta

        20/05/2016 at 20:30

        ohhhhhh THANK YOU PROF!!!!!!!!!

         
  101. roberta

    16/05/2016 at 20:41

    Prof?
    if i wanna say ” questi tre ordini ( nobiltà, clero..) non potevano interferire l’uno con ‘altro” ” these three orders couldn’t interfere in one another”
    …is that correct ?

     
    • Tony

      16/05/2016 at 22:03

      “These three orders couldn’t interfere with one another”
      “These three orders couldn’t interfere with each other”

      Take your pick 🙂

       
      • roberta

        17/05/2016 at 07:10

        Yhank you ! 🙂

         
  102. roberta

    11/05/2016 at 17:57

    Prof?

    if I have to translate this”hanno meno libri di lui”

    I’d say ” they have got fewer books than him”

    Question: is this correct ,too? ” They have got less books than him”

     
    • Tony

      11/05/2016 at 19:50

      This is a HUGE debating point in English.
      Purists say that it should be “fewer” because “books” is a plural countable noun.
      This is generally accepted as the “rule”.
      The problem is that “less” is much easier to use and lots of people use it all the time.
      They are supported by the fact that a lot of great writers in the past also used “less” with countable plural nouns!

      P.S. Here is quite an amusing article on the subject:
      http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/magazine/7591905.stm

       
      • roberta

        11/05/2016 at 20:19

        Thank you prof ! I’ll read it !

        I guess that a perfect Englishman would use the first version . wouldn’t he prof? and which version would you teach your students? I care about your opinion prof 🙂

         
        • Tony

          11/05/2016 at 21:03

          I teach (and prefer) the rule. However, I think we all fall into the trap occasionally, with certain types of sentences, and use “less” with countable plural nouns: “people” is a good example.

          “There were less people at the conference than I expected.”

          It’s wrong, technically, but it’s surprising how often you hear it, even from people with a “good education”.

           
          • roberta

            11/05/2016 at 21:16

            I understand ,thank you very much ! good night and sweet dreams 🙂

             
  103. Santo

    11/05/2016 at 17:12

    Is “to learn” regular or irregular verb ?

     
    • Tony

      11/05/2016 at 19:38

      Hybrid:

      to learn – learnt – learnt
      to learn – learned – learned

      Same thing with “to burn”

      (I prefer the irregular versions 😉 )

       
  104. francesco

    09/05/2016 at 16:20

    Hi tony……

    Per dire un litro di latte io solitamente non uso il genitivo sass. O si può usare?

     
    • Tony

      09/05/2016 at 16:38

      No, Francesco, non si può. Non è un ‘possessivo’. È solo un modo di quantificare un sostantivo non-numerabile come anche “a slice of cake”, oppure “a piece of paper”.

       
      • francesco

        09/05/2016 at 16:54

        Grazie perchè un mio compagno continuava a insistere mi fa piacere sentirtelo dire

         
  105. roberta

    07/05/2016 at 14:15

    prof have you got here any explanation about MUST MUSTN’T HAVE TO AND DON.’T HAVE TO ?

     
    • Tony

      07/05/2016 at 15:53

      Not at the moment but it’s a subject that’s been on my mind for some time. I’ll make it a priority. 🙂

       
      • roberta

        07/05/2016 at 15:57

        🙂 🙂 thank you prof

         
        • Tony

          07/05/2016 at 15:59

          It’s a pleasure. 🙂

           
  106. francesco

    19/04/2016 at 21:56

    Thanks very much prof….

    Good night sweet dreams Zzzzzzzzzzzz

     
    • Tony

      19/04/2016 at 22:11

      And you! 🙂

       
    • Alfredo

      22/04/2016 at 08:37

      good morning…. today is cloudy and i think it is going to rain. when i got up this mornig the ground was just wet….so this means that this night it has been raining. these fast and continous changes of temperatures and weather are not good. in the same day you can stay on a mexican beach and on iceberg. in what a strange word we live!….. how is the weather in your city?
      As I read, Tony teachs in Catania… so I suppose there always the sun shine….and the others? in your city how is the weather?

       
      • Tony

        22/04/2016 at 09:28

        The sun doesn’t always shine here in Catania, Alfredo, but it does most of the time!
        Where do you live? Somewhere up north?

        Your introduction is nice but it has a few small mistakes in it. Would you like me to show you a “corrected” version?

         
        • Alfredo

          22/04/2016 at 10:01

          la sfida è misurarsi con un madrelingua.
          i’ll try again:
          good morning…. today it (mancail soggetto) is cloudy and i think it is going to rain. when i got up this mornig the ground was just wet….so this means that tonight it had been raining (la forma progressiva doveva essere al passato).
          These fast and continous changes of temperatures and weather are not good. In the same day you can stay on a mexican beach and on iceberg. in what strange world we live!….. how is the weather in your city?
          As I read, Tony teachs in Catania… so I suppose there always the sun shines….and the others? in your city how is the weather?

          Tony…. spara!
          BUONA GIORNATA… 🙂

           
          • Tony

            22/04/2016 at 11:36

            Okay! Here’s my version:

            Good morning. Today (it) is cloudy and I think it’s going to rain. When I got up this morning the ground was wet. This means that it rained last night.
            These fast and continuous changes of temperature and weather are not good. In the same day you can find yourself one moment on a mexican beach and the next moment on an iceberg. What a strange world we live in! What is the weather like in your city?
            I have read that Tony teaches in Catania. I suppose the sun always shines there. And the rest of you? What’s the weather like where you live?

            I hope I have interpreted your original meaning well. What you wrote is quite comprehensible but lacks a bit of “naturalness”. Study my version and see if you have any questions…

             
            • Alfredo

              22/04/2016 at 12:18

              Of course…. Only 2 questions:
              1.When I wrote: ..” when i got up this morning the ground was just wet….so this means that last night it had been raining”. Credevo potessi usare il passato progressivo, perchè era bagnato e pensavo avesse piovuto a lungo durante la notte…come se avesse piovuto fino a poco prima che mi svegliassi.
              2.When I wrote: “As I read, Tony teachs in Catania…” ho usato il passato semplice perchè l’azione è passata, nel senso che non l’ho appreso poco fa ma già da tempo, leggendo la home page del sito.
              Gli altri sono chiaramente errori…che mi confermano come sono lontano (l’ho scritto anche ieri) dall’essere un buon parlante inglese. Però riesco a farmi capire…first step…
              thanks Tony

               
              • Tony

                22/04/2016 at 14:16

                1. “Has been raining” would work in this kind of context:

                “Hey, Bob, look how wet the ground is!”
                “Of course it is, it’s been raining all night.”

                In questo caso la pioggia ha cominciato prima e continua a piovere nel presente.

                “Had been raining” would work in this kind of context:

                When I woke up that morning the ground was really wet and I realised that it had been raining all night.

                In questo caso la pioggia aveva cominciato prima e continuava a piovere “that morning”.

                Nel caso tuo il contesto temporale e semplicemente “last night” (non “this night” né “tonight”) quindi racconti qualcosa già concluso e chiuso nel passato = past simple!

                Spero che sia chiaro (anche se l’argomente non è facile affrontare in poche righe).

                2. In questo caso non chiudi il verbo “read” nel passato con un avverbio di tempo quindi lo dici semplicemente come una cosa che hai fatto “a qualche punto nella tua vita” – https://ingliando.net/language/uso-dei-tempi-dei-verbi/present-perfect-simple-indefinite-past-esperienze-di-vita/

                Fai bene ad esprimerti prima di tutto! C’è sempre tempo per migliorare…

                P.S. When you want to start off a new discussion, don’t use the “rispondi” link, use the “Partecipa anche tu!” link at the top. 🙂 🙂 🙂

                 
  107. francesco

    19/04/2016 at 15:42

    Hi prof….. I have a question………

    “it is a park, it is (IN/ AT oppure ON) cipresso street number four

     
    • Tony

      19/04/2016 at 16:23

      HI Francesco. Normally when you have the name of the street and the number, you put the number first in English and the preposition “at” So your sentence would be, “It is a park. It is at number 4, Cypress Street. If, however, you put the street first then you should use “in”: “It is in Cypress Street, at number 4.”

       
  108. santo

    19/04/2016 at 12:18

    sorry, but i’m reading a magazine article and I don’t understand a word, so can you help me, please?
    ….but UKIP will be able to OUTGUN its rivals on promise to keep out foreigners.
    what does OUTGAN mean?

     
    • Tony

      19/04/2016 at 12:43

      OUTGUN simply means to have greater firepower (more guns).
      So UKIP will be stronger than its rivals with regard to keeping out foreigners.

       
      • santo

        19/04/2016 at 12:49

        all clear!!
        but they will never win(maybe)

         
        • Tony

          19/04/2016 at 12:54

          Too radical for the Brits 😉

           
  109. Santo

    14/04/2016 at 12:37

    Prof. What happened today?
    Are you ok?

     
    • Tony

      15/04/2016 at 19:49

      Hi Santo. Yes, I’m okay. I had an unexpected medical problem but I’m back at home now. A bit weak but okay. Thanks. 🙂

       
  110. Santo

    13/04/2016 at 15:49

    Sorry prof. I’ve a question for you:
    To say:” c’è ancora una via di speranza”
    “There still is a way to hope”
    Or
    “There still is a way of hoping”
    What do you think?

     
    • Tony

      13/04/2016 at 16:47

      I don’t think we use this “via di speranza” in English, Santo. What you need is a nice idiomatic English equivalent. How about:
      “There’s still a glimmer of hope.” (glimmer = barlume)

       
      • Santo

        13/04/2016 at 16:56

        Fantastic!!!

         
      • Santo

        13/04/2016 at 16:56

        Fantastic!!!
        That’s sound good!!

         
        • Tony

          13/04/2016 at 16:58

          Problem resolved. 🙂

           
  111. roberta

    13/04/2016 at 07:55

    Hi

    I’ve a question for you prof .It’s still about the posessive case.

    1. il libro della mamma /del papà/ della nonna /dei nonni/dello zio /della zia

    I’d translate : mum’s dad’s grandma’s book etc……all without the article
    I mean it comes natural to me not to use “the”

    If it is correct ,then my question is WHY? is there any specific rule which I don’t know?
    help prof 🙂
    i

     
    • Tony

      13/04/2016 at 11:14

      Very simple: these are nouns that don’t use the article in any case! With uncle and aunt (in the possessive form) we would generally add the name: uncle Bill’s car.

       
      • roberta

        13/04/2016 at 12:00

        it’s true 🙂 so this is the rule!!

         
        • Tony

          13/04/2016 at 12:01

          I guess so! 🙂
          1) the possessed thing loses its article always,
          2) the possessor keeps its article, but only if it has one in the first place.

           
  112. roberta

    11/04/2016 at 13:38

    you know what prof? I’d like you to add to “the Palestra” Daily Translation
    (advanced) 🙂

     
    • Tony

      11/04/2016 at 13:43

      My “advanced” English isn’t good enough! 😛

       
      • roberta

        11/04/2016 at 14:09

        don’t talk nonsense !!!!!!!!lol lol lol

         
        • Tony

          11/04/2016 at 18:07

          The truth is that as English becomes more advanced, it also becomes more complicated and loses a lot of its fun (I think). So I tend to prefer the elementary/intermediate levels which I find more enjoyable and more satisfying! (Also, it’s already quite a challenge coming up with two sentences at two different levels every morning!) 🙂

           
  113. Tony

    08/04/2016 at 18:35

    Do you think there are too many “categories” on Ingliando? Perhaps I should generalise more and have fewer categories? What do you think?

     
  114. roberta

    08/04/2016 at 12:25

    Prof, by the way ,have you ever received my mail ? I sent it to ingliando mail as you suggested

     
    • Tony

      08/04/2016 at 13:06

      No, nothing 😦

       
      • roberta

        08/04/2016 at 13:31

        I can’t believe it !!! 😦 I quit prof….

         
        • Tony

          08/04/2016 at 13:56

          Argh! Try again?

           
          • roberta

            08/04/2016 at 19:11

            Okey …..this will be the last time though ::)

             
            • Tony

              08/04/2016 at 19:21

              (Sigh)
              BTW – have you read my new question here?

               
              • roberta

                08/04/2016 at 20:41

                I’ve just realised so I think …….ok lol give me a little time to think about .then I ‘ll give you my answer 🙂

                 
                • Tony

                  08/04/2016 at 20:59

                  OK. All feedback is useful and any suggestions, too…

                   
  115. Santo

    04/04/2016 at 17:48

    What do you think about it?
    Some friends in the Usa have just had their first baby and you decide to write to them immediatelly
    In your mail, you should:
    -offer them your Congratulations;
    -ask about their baby;
    -say what present you are sending them.

    Hi new mam and dad!
    Congratulations!!! I’m very happy for you, it’s fantastic!!
    How is your son? Is he like his mam or like his dad?
    I sended you a lot of toys, I hope so that your son will like.
    Any reaply?

     
    • Tony

      04/04/2016 at 17:51

      Hi new Mum and Dad!
      Congratulations!!! I’m very happy for you. What fantastic news!!
      How is your son? Is he like his Mum or like his Dad?
      I am sending you some toys. I hope your son will like them.
      I’m looking forward to hearing form you soon.

       
      • Santo

        04/04/2016 at 19:09

        Thank!!

         
  116. roberta

    04/04/2016 at 09:31

    HI prof,please can you tell me if there are grammar mistakes in these sentences?
    1.these two characters can be seen as an allegory about Good and Evil.
    2.The battle between Good and Evil rages within the individual.
    3.one of the main aspects….
    4.something is gloomy in aspect and atmosphere.

     
    • roberta

      04/04/2016 at 09:32

      ….correction lol: if there are ANY grammar mistakes….

       
      • Tony

        04/04/2016 at 10:46

        1) I think I would use “for” after allegory
        2) Okay
        3) Okay
        4) (need more context)

         
        • roberta

          04/04/2016 at 11:34

          thank you for being always so patient and helpful 🙂

           
          • Tony

            04/04/2016 at 12:00

            Always a pleasure. What is the context for 4)?

             
            • roberta

              04/04/2016 at 16:49

              oh ok 🙂
              “wuthering heights” reflects the nature of Heatcliff so it’s severe,brutal and gloomy in aspect and atmoshere……

               
              • Tony

                04/04/2016 at 17:16

                I’m not sure if I like that . I don’t know about “aspect” when talking about a book. Atmosphere is okay. How about: “Wuthering Heights” reflects Heathcliff’s nature by evoking a severe, brutal and gloomy atmosphere…

                 
                • roberta

                  04/04/2016 at 20:47

                  that’s great prof!!!!!! great!!!!! :)))))

                   
  117. roberta

    02/04/2016 at 12:16

    ….prof, yesterday I wrote something to you on the “contact” did you receive it?

     
    • Tony

      02/04/2016 at 12:47

      No 😦

       
      • roberta

        02/04/2016 at 13:19

        nooooooooooooooooooooooo cavolo …..

         
        • Tony

          02/04/2016 at 13:31

          Sorry. “Contact” messages shoudl come through on my email but I didn’t get anything yesterday…

           
          • roberta

            02/04/2016 at 21:21

            IT’s not your fault prof …..it’s ok

            I’ve tried again today maybe you have received it this time 🙂

             
            • Tony

              02/04/2016 at 22:32

              No, nothing. But I tested the system and it is working so the problem must be your end. 😦

               
              • roberta

                03/04/2016 at 10:23

                😦 I’ll write it here then …..later

                 
                • Tony

                  03/04/2016 at 10:33

                  If you want to keep it private just send an email to ingliando@gmail.com 🙂

                   
                  • roberta

                    03/04/2016 at 11:31

                    thank you so much , I will!

                     
                    • Tony

                      03/04/2016 at 12:46

                      🙂

                       
  118. roberta

    29/03/2016 at 13:44

    prof, does AT LENGH mean only “a lungo” ? and if so ,has it got a specific use?

     
    • Tony

      29/03/2016 at 14:29

      I think with “at length” our focus is primarily on the idea of “extensive discussion and detail”. The “amount of time” spent is a sort of secondary inevitable consequence. This is true also in Italian, I think. It tends to be used In expressions such as: “We talked at length about his project”, or, “I thought at length about his proposal”, or again, “We discussed their problem at length”.

       
      • roberta

        29/03/2016 at 18:56

        ooooookkkkkk 🙂 thank you !

         
  119. roberta

    25/03/2016 at 12:59

    Prof 🙂

    In Italian we say” sono nata il 20 settembre del 1964″

    when I translate “del 1964” do I have to use the preposition IN or can I use OF ?

     
    • Tony

      25/03/2016 at 13:14

      No prepositions before the year when you are saying a date: just a small pause. This is the full spoken form:

      “I was born on the twentieth of September, nineteen sixty-four.”

      If you really want to express the year with a preposition then you would use “in” and probably express yourself like this:

      “…in the year 1964.”

       
      • roberta

        25/03/2016 at 13:42

        thank you so much prof 🙂

         
        • Tony

          25/03/2016 at 14:00

          It’s always a pleasure, Roberta. 🙂

           
  120. roberta

    22/03/2016 at 14:28

    Prof,some time ago you posted the synonims (it’s not written correctly,I know) for some adjectives like bad ,angry …which I liked a lot but Now I’m not able to find it again ,,,,,could you help me ,please?

     
    • Tony

      22/03/2016 at 14:51

      Synonyms. Do you perhaps mean “exaggerated” variations? If so, then I think you are referring to this article here:
      ingliando.net/2011/10/07/ingliando-is-absolutely-fabulous/

       
      • roberta

        22/03/2016 at 19:40

        no ……cavolo <i can't remember……there was a list of synonyms of these adjectives happy sad nice good bad pretty and some others….I'll try to check among all the categories..

         
        • Tony

          22/03/2016 at 20:12

          Hmmm… I don’t remember…

           
  121. roberta

    17/03/2016 at 11:47

    lol can you translate also this one ,please?

    Non ho nessuna penna nella mia borsa

     
    • Tony

      17/03/2016 at 14:15

      I haven’t got a pen in my bag.

      You could emphasize the “nessuna” by saying:

      “I haven’t got a sinlge pen in my bag.”

      Or even:

      “I’ve got no pens in my bag.”

      Your choice…

       
      • roberta

        17/03/2016 at 15:00

        ok prof but can’t I say ” I haven’t got any pen in my bag ” ?

        you know ,it beats anything : I feel ashamed to ask you about these simple topics but I don’t know WHY ,this morning I got up with such silly doubts!!!!! I can’t believe it prof!!!!!

        anyway thank you for everything!!!!!!!!!!

         
        • Tony

          17/03/2016 at 15:07

          Technically speaking, yes, because “any” can also mean “qualsiasi” and as such it can be used with a singular countable noun. But we only really use it in the sense of “qualsiasi” when that meaning is really useful. For example, “You’ll find this recipe in any good cook book.” I would be a little careful about using it this way though. In your example with the pen, there’s not really a good reason for using “any” and consequently the sound is a little unnatural.

           
          • roberta

            17/03/2016 at 19:46

            va bene thank you 🙂

             
  122. roberta

    17/03/2016 at 10:04

    Prof ,I know it’s ridiculous of me ,but ,can you please translate this?

    In Egitto ci sono deserti

    I’ll explain why I asked you this ok? 🙂

     
    • Tony

      17/03/2016 at 14:13

      There are deserts in Egypt.

       
  123. roberta

    16/03/2016 at 08:17

    here Iam prof
    this exe goes like that:complete the second sentence keeping the same meaning you must use fron 2 to 5 words and not more,

    1.We have to accept the situation,There is nothing else we can do
    We…………..accept the situation,
    here I put “are to ”
    2.William is excellent at sport and he is very intelligent
    …………………………………William is very intelligent
    here I put “william is good at many things” prof I can’t think of anything else which may work here,,,

    can you help me,please?

     
    • Tony

      16/03/2016 at 10:46

      Nasty exercise!
      1) your “are to” is fine. An alternative would be “are obliged to”, or “are forced to”;
      2) “Besides being excellent at sport”…

       
      • roberta

        16/03/2016 at 12:18

        ohhhhhhhhh si you’re right !!!!!!cavolo now that you have told me ,I can say that I knew it but it didn’t even cross my “little”(lol) mind

        thank you ever so much ,!you are really always helpful prof!

         
        • Tony

          16/03/2016 at 12:46

          The problem with this kind of exercise is that often you know the form that is needed but it doesn’t occur to you in the context that is provided. It didn’t even come to me immediately! 😉
          The only “clue” is the fact that the subject is in the second part so the first part is most likely to be a kind of “inciso”. 🙂

           
          • roberta

            16/03/2016 at 13:58

            si si in fact that was my trouble …the subject in the second part puzzled me ::)

             
  124. roberta

    28/02/2016 at 11:34

    🙂 prof

    ” I’m working AT the computer ”
    ” I’m writing ON the comp”
    and “I’m playing AT (? ) the comp”

     
    • Tony

      28/02/2016 at 12:41

      Help! Lol!
      I think with “work” you can use either “at” or “on”; it doesn’t really matter.
      “Work on” could also mean “trying to repair” though…
      With “play” you should use “on”; “at” sounds weird in that context.
      🙂

       
      • roberta

        28/02/2016 at 17:04

        lol grazie prof ……did I trouble you? lol lol

         
        • Tony

          28/02/2016 at 17:06

          Prepositions are insidious little creatures! :/

           
  125. Santo

    24/02/2016 at 10:47

    It’s right to say: you’re wasting time on unlesses things?

     
    • Tony

      24/02/2016 at 10:54

      First of all: “Is it right to say…?”
      I think “unlesses” is a typo, right?. You meant “useless”, I guess.
      Yes, it’s correct. Perhaps “your time” would also be a good solution. 🙂

       
  126. roberta

    12/02/2016 at 10:33

    Prof
    I’ve got two questions for you 🙂

    1. when they do the weather forcast on tv what tense do they use ? “will” or ” to be going to ”

    es ,domani pioverà.
    2. ” arrivo domenica prossima ” 1. I’ll arrive ON next Sunday ”
    2. “I’ll arrive Next Sunday” Which one is correct?
    dato che è espresso il giorno ,dovrebbe essere la prima?

     
    • Tony Lawson

      12/02/2016 at 10:41

      1. When you predict the future the choice of form normally depends on whether you are speaking from a personal intuition or whether your prediction is based on existing data. In the first case we use “will” and in the second case we use “going to”. So the weather forcast, theoretically, should be done using “going to” because it is based on existing data. BUT, “will” also has a more formal sound than “going to” and so it is possible that a weather forcaster would prefer to use “will”. I don’t think it is a very important issue in this particular sphere of activity.

      2. “Next” takes the place of “on”.
      (I’m not sure about your “I’ll arrive next Sunday”. That seems more of a case for “I arrive next Sunday”. But, I admit, it does depend on the context which, of course, we don’t have in this example).

      🙂

       
      • roberta

        12/02/2016 at 11:11

        thank you very very much ! your explanation has been fully satiffactory as usual 🙂

         
  127. roberta

    01/02/2016 at 17:30

    prof
    come si dice “pensano solo a se stess” “they mind their own sake ” nahhh

     
    • Tony Lawson

      01/02/2016 at 18:23

      The two expressions that first come to my mind are these:

      They only care about themselves
      They’re only interested in themselves

       
  128. roberta

    01/02/2016 at 10:03

    Prof,
    if i wanna say “ieri ho portato mio figlio a pattinare ” “yesterday I took my son skating” is that correct?

     
    • Tony Lawson

      01/02/2016 at 10:03

      Perfect. Maybe I should add “take” to my recent “starman” post…

       
      • roberta

        01/02/2016 at 10:34

        🙂 thank you . if you say so then I ‘ll show off lol lol

         
        • Tony Lawson

          01/02/2016 at 11:07

          In effect the sentence construction isn’t quite the same but you can show off in any case! 🙂

           
          • roberta

            01/02/2016 at 11:31

            lol lol

             
  129. roberta

    29/01/2016 at 14:00

    HI prof 🙂

    to expect and to worry can I use them in the present continuous tense ?

     
    • Tony Lawson

      29/01/2016 at 14:38

      I would say that with “expect” it’s probably not very common but it’s possible. Here are a couple of examples:

      “I’m expecting Bob at any moment now.”
      “Mi aspetto (l’arrivo di) Bob in qualsiasi momento adesso.”

      “Are you expecting company?”
      “Aspetti compagnia?”

      In both cases “expect” is very similar to “wait for”.

      If you have, “Mi aspetto che…” then the continuous form is out.

      With “worry” there are fewer problems:

      “What are you worrying about?”
      “I think you’re worrying too much.”
      “He’s worrying about his future.”

       
      • roberta

        29/01/2016 at 19:24

        ok prof thank you so much 🙂

         
  130. roberta

    28/01/2016 at 09:19

    Prof ,if I wanna say ” uno sopra l’altro” ” one on the top of the other ” ??

     
    • Tony Lawson

      28/01/2016 at 13:14

      Senza il primo articolo è più consueto: one on top of the other

       
      • roberta

        28/01/2016 at 13:49

        grazie!

         
  131. roberta

    25/01/2016 at 07:22

    HI …
    please can you tell me the difference (if there is one) big, large and baggy?

    I saw on a tatoo this “love me for who Iam” I think that it’s technically correct but I don’t like it much what do you think prof? I prefer ” love me as I am ” but maybe it hasn’t got exactly the same meaning….(?) mah!! 🙂

     
    • Tony Lawson

      25/01/2016 at 07:53

      “Big” and “large” are synonyms whereas “baggy” is generally only used for clothes and is a mixture between “big” and “loose” (non aderente, comodo).

      “Love me for who I am”
      “Love me for what I am”
      “Love me as I am”

      The choice is yours! 🙂

       
      • roberta

        25/01/2016 at 08:09

        🙂 thank you 🙂 I like better the last two 🙂

         
  132. roberta

    22/01/2016 at 13:12

    Prof ,please could you tell me what these expressions mean?
    1.don’t split your hairs.
    2.Mum’s the word.
    3.to get the sack.
    4.being sent to Coventry.
    5.to cut one’s teeth.

     
    • Tony Lawson

      22/01/2016 at 14:05

      1. “spaccare il capello in quattro” (“to split hairs” not “your hairs”)
      2. “acqua in bocca”
      3. essere licenziato
      4. essere ostracizzato
      5. farsi le ossa

      🙂

       
  133. roberta

    10/01/2016 at 09:31

    🙂
    if I say: I have worked 1.all day long
    2.the whole day
    3. all day
    4.all the day
    5.the all day
    are these expressions all correct?

    if I wanna say : “peggio di così non può /poteva andare ”

    it couldn’t be worse than this ??????? nahhhhh HELP HELP PROF !!

     
    • Tony Lawson

      10/01/2016 at 10:00

      1. 2. and 3. are all good.
      4. and 5. are not.

      It couldn’t be/have gone worse than this
      It couldn’t be/have gone any worse than this
      It couldn’t be/have gone much worse than this

       
      • roberta

        10/01/2016 at 10:09

        oh tanks a lot …

        I’m studying on this grammar “Grammar in Progress” Laura Bonci /Sarah M. Howell (lingue Zanichelli)

        do you know it? if so , do you think it’s a good one?

        or do you have any suggestions?

         
        • Tony Lawson

          10/01/2016 at 11:22

          “I’m studying with this grammar book”

          No, I don’t know it, but most modern grammar books are good these days! The important thing is clear explanations, not too many exceptions, plenty of examples and student exercises.

           
          • roberta

            10/01/2016 at 11:32

            ok thanks .

             
  134. roberta

    07/01/2016 at 21:18

    Prof ,I’ve another question …..

    some grammar books tell you to put the frequency adverb after the auxiliary verb “to have” some others tells you to treat it like any aother regular verb and put it between subject and verb
    soooooo what shall I do prof?

     
    • Tony Lawson

      08/01/2016 at 06:43

      Generally the frequency adverb comes immediately before the main verb and the only real exception is the verb “to be” where the frequency adverb comes after. “To have” is not an exception whether it is used as a static verb or a dynamic verb.

      STATIC:
      Jane often has a cold. (Jane has often got a cold)
      Jane doesn’t often have a cold. (Jane hasn’t often got a cold)
      Does Jane often have a cold? (Has Jane often got a cold?)

      DYNAMIC:
      Jane usually has breakfast in bed.
      Jane doesn’t usually have breakfast in bed.
      Does Jane usually have breakfast in bed.

       
      • roberta

        08/01/2016 at 11:48

        thank you 🙂

         
  135. roberta

    07/01/2016 at 08:28

    🙂 I have a question :
    example : my son is on the phone with his grandma and I want to talk to her ,in i talian, I’d say ” passamela ” please ,What’s the English expression?
    Actually i can say ” let me talk to her ” but it’s not the same…….
    🙂

     
    • Tony Lawson

      07/01/2016 at 11:11

      “Can I have a word with her when you’ve finished?”
      “Can you let me have a word with her when you’ve finished?”
      “Don’t hang up when you’ve finished, I’d like to have a word with her.”

       
  136. roberta

    05/01/2016 at 10:34

    hellooooo here I am

    “I spent the first day skating on ice ” is it correct ?

     
    • Tony Lawson

      05/01/2016 at 19:33

      Yes, it is. But you could also say, “I spent the first day ice skating” which would sound more typical in English.

       
      • roberta

        05/01/2016 at 20:39

        ok thanks 🙂

         
  137. Santo

    04/01/2016 at 13:36

    Hi prof. Yesterday i did an exercise:
    Nancy is the girl … ……. I spoke yesterday.
    A- to who
    B- to what
    C- to which
    D- to whom
    Can you explain why is ” to whom” right?

     
    • Tony Lawson

      04/01/2016 at 14:54

      Easy.

      In ‘traditional’ English you would say:
      Nancy is the girl to whom I spoke yesterday.

      In ‘modern’ English you would say:
      Nancy is the girl (that) I spoke to yesterday.

      Poiché nella frase originale non hanno messo “to” dopo “spoke” , non hai scelta. Sei obbligato ad usare la forma tradizionale (che non usa più nessuno da parecchi anni tranne in testi ‘formali’).

       
  138. roberta

    28/12/2015 at 12:08

    Prof ,
    please how do you translate this? ho scritto la lettera ma non riesco a trovare un francobollo

     
    • Tony Lawson

      28/12/2015 at 12:39

      Sempre il problema di present perfect vs. past simple?
      Cerca di immaginare il contesto in cui qualcuno direbbe la frase. Cosa sta facendo in quel momento? Cosa vuole fare? Gli importa il momento in cui ha scritto la lettera o qualcos’altro è più importante in quel momento?

       
      • roberta

        28/12/2015 at 13:00

        lol yes you got me there lolol
        penso che in quel momento il problema sia che non riesce a trovare il francobollo per cui …..la lettera l’ha scritta prima punto e basta lol

        soooo I’d write : I wrote the letter ……

         
        • Tony Lawson

          28/12/2015 at 13:24

          Ecco, se il problema è che vuole trovare un francobollo e perché la lettera ce l’ha ancora “in mano” e la vuole ancora spedire, no? Inoltre, non fa nessun riferimento al momento in cui l’ha scritto ma solo al fatto che l’ha scritto e basta. È come quando uno dice, “Ho visto questo film.” Quando? Non mi intertesse quando, solo che l’ho visto. Meglio?

           
  139. Santo

    25/12/2015 at 12:22

    Let it be a joiful christmas and a sparkling 2016

     
    • Tony Lawson

      25/12/2015 at 12:34

      That sounds like a good idea, Santo! Merry Christmas!! 🙂

       
  140. Santo

    24/12/2015 at 14:43

    I would wish a special Christmas everybody!! See you soon!!
    P. S. “Do not take weight and keep light “😉🎄🎁

     
    • Tony Lawson

      24/12/2015 at 15:46

      Thanks Santo! Since it’s Christmas I won’t correct you this time! 😉
      Merry Christmast to you, too! 🙂

       
  141. roberta

    21/12/2015 at 13:26

    Hi prof I need your help 🙂

    If I wanna say :1)è una ballerina brave come sua madre = she is a dancer as good as her mum or she is as good a dancer as or mum?
    2) Questa macchina è 4volte più costosa della mia= this car is four times as expensive as mine or this car is four times as expensive than mine?

    3)I usually say : while I was packing my bags , he was checking the oil

    if the duratation of both the actions is shorter ,can I also say : while i packed …..;he checked the oil ?

    4) why they also write HALLOWEEN in this way HALLOWE’EN ?

    ***I think for today it’s enough eh!!! 🙂

     
    • Tony Lawson

      21/12/2015 at 16:28

      1) the second (but “her” before “mum” and not “or” (typo, lo so).
      2) the first. In the second you COULD say “four times MORE expensive than mine” but I’m not sure if it’s really correct.
      3) it’s unusual to have both verbs in the continuous form although it is possible. Usually we prefer to put the time emphasis on ONE verb only. You can use the simple form for both verbs if you’re just interested in conveying the facts and are not interested in putting any emphasis on the time taken.
      4) originally it was “All hallows’ Even”, i.e. the evening before the day that is dedicated to all the saints. This was corrupted to Hallowe’en and, eventually, the apotrophe dies, especially in American.

      🙂 🙂 🙂

       
      • roberta

        22/12/2015 at 07:50

        Thank you ever so much !!!!

         
  142. roberta

    06/12/2015 at 12:07

    🙂 prof ,does this expression exist ? :I grow my standing In Italian we use it when for ex someone offers you a seat and you refuse it and you say ” rimango in piedi così cresco ” in a witty way (in modo scherzoso )

     
    • Tony Lawson

      06/12/2015 at 12:56

      Did you mean to write “I grow BY standing”? In any case, it’s not an expression I have ever heard in English.

       
      • roberta

        06/12/2015 at 14:41

        ah….ok 🙂 I don’t know I might have seen it somewhwere and I thought it meant this I must have misunderstood its meaning

         
  143. roberta

    03/12/2015 at 10:21

    🙂 prof

    “According to newspapers Italians are always…….” OR “According to newspapers THE Italians are….” ?

     
    • Tony Lawson

      03/12/2015 at 13:04

      Parlando in generale bisognerebbe usare la prima versione: senza articolo. La seconda forma sarebbe possibile se contraponiamo GLI italiani a qualche altra nazionalità o al resto del mondo! Difficile. Direi che entrambi sono possibile è che in questo caso la differenza è trascurabile.

       
      • roberta

        03/12/2015 at 13:46

        ok great 🙂
        I asked you this because I knew the roule which wants “THE ” ex THE Italians or Italian people

        but in some test books they sometimes ,especially in comprehensions, use “Italians”

        so I was a bit well a lot confused about it ..

        thank you 🙂

         
  144. roberta

    02/12/2015 at 10:08

    Hi
    please can you help me with this?

    prendere freddo : to catch a chill ? ex be carefull or you’ll catch a chill

    ride sempre meno : he laughs less and less ?

    you chocke on it : means ti soffochi ?

    did it go in the wrong way ? means : ti è andato per traverso? ( when you are eating something )
    does it have other meanings?

     
    • Tony Lawson

      02/12/2015 at 13:49

      I have to go now. I’ll answer you later…

       
      • roberta

        02/12/2015 at 13:52

        no problem 🙂

         
    • Tony Lawson

      02/12/2015 at 16:35

      prendere freddo : to catch a chill ? ex be carefull or you’ll catch a chill

      YES – but I think it’s more common to use the expression, “to catch a cold”

      ride sempre meno : he laughs less and less ?

      YES

      you chocke on it : means ti soffochi ?

      YES – perhaps, “ti soffoca” (esso ti fa soffocare)

      did it go in the wrong way ? means : ti è andato per traverso? ( when you are eating something )
      does it have other meanings?

      Hmmm… When we’re speaking about food I think we are more likely to say, “Did it go down the wrong way.” However, when talking about food the meaning is as you have said, “ti è andato per traverso”.

      Other meanings? Well, the sentence could be used in a lot of different situations as it is very general and simply means “è entrato in modo sbagliato?”. It could refer to a piece of machinery, part of a puzzle, or more or less anything that has to be inserted in a specific way.

       
      • roberta

        02/12/2015 at 20:41

        thank you so much
        In Italian we say prendere freddo e prendere e prendere il raffreddore so if I have to translate these two sentences I’d say : to catch a chill and to catch a cold but if I got it well you don’t make any difference and you just use to catch a cold for both sentences

         
        • Tony Lawson

          02/12/2015 at 20:49

          Well, I’m not sure really. I don’t think I ever say ‘to catch a chill’. Maybe I’d say ‘I’ve caught a bit of a cold’. We use ‘chilly’ quite a lot: “I’m feeling chilly” but the construction is different…

           
          • roberta

            02/12/2015 at 21:39

            oh ok so now I know how to use them ,too grazie 🙂

             
            • Tony Lawson

              02/12/2015 at 22:06

              With some of these idiomatic expressions, it’s not always easy when they’re examined out of context!

               
              • roberta

                03/12/2015 at 07:00

                yeah but I perfectlu understood what you mean or at least I think I did LOL …..

                your ” I’m feeling chilly ” is kind of ” ,sento molto freddo ” so if it’s correct ,it perfectly translates my ” prendere freddo”

                 
  145. roberta

    29/11/2015 at 09:54

    Hi ,here I am !

    “they expect the new menager to be innovative”
    when I turn it into the “imersonal form” : “it is expected he will be innovative ” or “it is expected he is innovative”? or neither of them? 🙂

    I think the first one is “the right one “

     
    • Tony Lawson

      29/11/2015 at 10:46

      The new manager is expected to be innovative 🙂

       
      • roberta

        29/11/2015 at 11:43

        🙂

         
        • Tony Lawson

          29/11/2015 at 12:13

          The prime minister is said to be….
          The Queen is thought to be…
          The police are believed to be…

          etc etc…

           
          • roberta

            29/11/2015 at 20:30

            thank you for these examples prof BUT ( lol )if I want to use ” it is expected ” can I also write it this way ? : it is expected the new manager will be innovative

             
            • roberta

              29/11/2015 at 21:01

              I’m asking you this because in an exercise ,they ask to use these forms : it is sais ,it is known,it is expected etc…..

               
              • roberta

                29/11/2015 at 21:02

                sorry ..it is said

                 
                • Tony Lawson

                  29/11/2015 at 21:51

                  These are forms that should take the subjunctive so you get expressions like:
                  It is expected that the new manager be innovative.
                  But you can also (more colloquially) use the present indicative or the future depending on the context:
                  It is expected that the new manager is innovative.
                  It is expected that the new manager will be innovative.
                  You can also insert a modal verb if it suits your purposes:
                  It is expected that the new manger should be innovative.

                   
                  • roberta

                    30/11/2015 at 07:00

                    THANK you ever so much prof ,now it’s all clear to me!:)

                     
                    • Tony Lawson

                      30/11/2015 at 07:05

                      🙂 (it’s not my favourite aspect of English!)

                       
  146. Santo

    26/11/2015 at 16:46

    Talk about “embeddedness”😉

     
    • Tony Lawson

      26/11/2015 at 19:52

      Um, what do you mean exactly?

       
      • Santo

        26/11/2015 at 20:21

        What it means, when i can use

         
        • Tony Lawson

          26/11/2015 at 21:16

          Personally, I wouldn’t use it…

          “Embedded” è incorporato, incastrato, incassato: un participio passato che funge da aggettivo.
          “Embeddedness” è il sostantivo derivato da “embedded”. Quando vorresti usarlo???

           
          • santo

            27/11/2015 at 11:23

            well, although i’m studying sociology course, while i was reading a chapter, i didn’t understand what it meant,but then i understood it.
            it is a cognitive and normative approach that studies the independent role of the cultural embeddedness of the economic action in society.
            già è difficile in italiano, poi in inglese…

             
            • Tony Lawson

              27/11/2015 at 12:20

              Quanto è incastrato…

               
              • santo

                27/11/2015 at 12:25

                you have no idea….

                 
                • Tony Lawson

                  27/11/2015 at 12:38

                  I’m trying to imagine the embeddedness of sociology in your brian…

                   
                  • santo

                    27/11/2015 at 12:46

                    well, it’s no difficult like it seems,it takes a bit of patience to undestand the vicious mechanism of sociology…
                    now i’m having lunch and i take fresh air, bye for now!!

                     
                    • Tony Lawson

                      27/11/2015 at 12:54

                      Toodle-pip!

                       
                    • roberta

                      29/11/2015 at 09:39

                      Hi Santo …..

                      may I give you my suggestion about “EMbebeddness” ? it might mean “inserimento ” what do you think?

                       
  147. roberta

    26/11/2015 at 09:45

    🙂 if I wanna say : sei un furbacchione …; you’re an old fox is right ?

    and please can you tell me what does “YOU’RE A SMART ASS” mean?

    I don’t know why but to me it sounds like “SEI UN FURBACCHIONE ” ,too but I don’t think it’s the same ……

     
    • Tony Lawson

      26/11/2015 at 12:20

      “Old fox” is good and you can also say “sly/cunning old fox” (sly/cunning = furbo).
      “Smart ass” is American and is more like “saputello” but could perhaps also be “furbacchione” in some situations.

       
      • roberta

        26/11/2015 at 12:33

        ohhhhh ok

        as a matter of fact my vocabulary is a mix of English /American words

        the problem is that sometimes I don’t know WHAT IS WHAT ….lol What am I saying here?
        In Italian is “CHE COSA é COSA” more or less

         
        • Tony Lawson

          26/11/2015 at 12:34

          Then you should say “which is which” 🙂

           
          • roberta

            26/11/2015 at 13:18

            già già because the choice is between two (things) ….the usual banana has stoken again lol

            anyway,thank you prof!

             
            • roberta

              26/11/2015 at 13:21

              stroken

               
              • Tony Lawson

                26/11/2015 at 13:54

                I think you mean “stricken”, but “struck” is much more common these days especially in this context.

                 
                • roberta

                  26/11/2015 at 13:58

                  🙂 thanks a lot I didn’t know its PARADIGMA

                   
  148. francesco

    25/11/2015 at 15:16

    HI Tony

    domani devo fare un compito di inglese:

    mi potresti dire tutte le parole che iniziano con l’ H ma che non si pronuncia , quindi con davanti l’ articolo indeterminativo AN? per favore.

    Grazie.

     
    • Tony Lawson

      25/11/2015 at 16:26

      Francesco, quelle che iniziano con la “h” muta non sono tante:

      hour = ora (a proposito dell’orario non nel senso di “adesso”)
      honour = onore
      honest = onesto
      heir = erede

      1) We waited for an hour.
      2) It’s an honour to be here this evening.
      3) Bob is an honest man.
      4) They are still looking for an heir to the family fortune.

      Ovviamente anche parole derivate come “honourable”

      STOP.

       
      • francesco

        25/11/2015 at 19:15

        grazie mille ho molto apprezzato il tuo aiuto.

        thank you very much I have apreciated your help much.

         
        • Tony Lawson

          25/11/2015 at 19:27

          My pleasure, Francesco. [always say “very much” at the end or “a lot”]

           
  149. Tony Lawson

    24/11/2015 at 18:15

    You can now LISTEN to the Daily Translation (intermediate) archive sentences for intonation and stress practice!

    Archive 1 (1-50)
    http://wp.me/P1TuTe-1Sp

    Archive 2 (51-100)
    http://wp.me/P1TuTe-1SC

     
  150. Santo

    24/11/2015 at 10:33

    I want you to ask how we can translate in italian it : “political economy”.

     
    • Tony Lawson

      24/11/2015 at 10:52

      Economia politica – anche se non so bene che cosa rappresenta!

       
  151. Tony Lawson

    13/11/2015 at 06:14

    I was just imagining what the result would be if one day a psychiatrist got hold of all my Daily Translation sentences and used them to analyze me!

     
    • Santo

      13/11/2015 at 11:22

      You could say:
      Don’t worry doctor it is a best way to teach english today!!I’m NOT CRAZY!! It takes Saint patience!!!😂😂,anyway about “like + ing form” and “like + infinitive form” can you explain something? Also us can use both.

       
      • Tony Lawson

        13/11/2015 at 11:34

        “Don’t worry, doctor. It’s the best way to teach English today. I’m not crazy. It takes the patience of a saint! Anyway, regarding “like + ing form” and “like + infinitive form” can you explain something? Can we use both?

        Don’t confuse the verb ‘like’ with the preposition! When ‘like’ is a preposition, it is like (ahah) all prepositions and requires the gerund when it is followed by a verb. Stop.

        Es: Waiting for exam results is like waiting for a judge’s sentence.

        With ‘like’ the verb you use the gerund for existing habits, pastimes, hobbies and the infinitive for things you like but don’t actually practice with any great frequency.

        So:

        I like watching the sun go down in the evening.
        (mi piace e lo faccio con una certa frequenza)

        I like to watch the sun go down in the evening.
        (mi piace ma lo faccio solo quando capita)

         
        • Santo

          13/11/2015 at 11:48

          LoL 😉 clear!!
          Non Pensavo ci vuole santa pazienza si traduca ci vuole la pazienza di un santo
          P. S. “Sarba ca servi”
          In Inghilterra dicono così 😉

           
          • Tony Lawson

            13/11/2015 at 12:51

            “Sarba ca servi” is new to me. What does it mean?

             
            • Santo

              13/11/2015 at 13:31

              It means: all that you can learn, a day it can be useful.

               
              • Tony Lawson

                13/11/2015 at 14:17

                Could I say: “Learn what you can because one day it may be useful”?

                 
                • santo

                  14/11/2015 at 09:39

                  yes!!!sarba ca servi

                   
  152. Santo

    11/11/2015 at 15:02

    Good afternoon prof. I come back..so,could you any instructions on how to write a magazine article??
    Track: write an article about a celebration that is important in your country,explaining why the celebration is important and describe what people do.

     
    • Santo

      11/11/2015 at 15:04

      “Give”

       
      • santo

        11/11/2015 at 16:00

        I’ll promise you that after it i’ll drink 2 bottles of red wine and i won’t disturb you😉
        San Martino festival..

         
        • Tony Lawson

          11/11/2015 at 17:05

          Well, it’s similar to what you have already practiced for the PET exam, I think. About 100 words usually. Perhaps four or five paragraphs. Introduction to the celebration, then what people do, then what people eat, then why you think it’s nice, important or whatever, and then a conclusion. Something like that, no?

          Have you already roasted your chestnuts?

           
          • Santo

            11/11/2015 at 19:13

            Thank you, now i try to write something.

            P. S. About the chestnuts i’m eating later😉

             
  153. Tony Lawson

    10/11/2015 at 17:09

    Santo, your brain is burnt because you study too much and don’t have enough FUN!

    What’s all this: “i’m writting some example about time expression…i hope so it is right”?

     
    • santo

      10/11/2015 at 17:23

      lost myself!!!
      you said:Is it somebody just giving examples of time expressions?
      good !! in effect i study too much, i take time!

       
  154. roberta

    10/11/2015 at 12:19

    ….need some information..:)
    1. how do you translate “2 mesi oggi è Natale”
    2. what does this expression mean ? “this day week /month/ fortnight (15 giorni)
    3.two years /months..ago to the day . does it mean :esattamente 2 anni /mesi,,,,,,oggi ?

     
    • Tony Lawson

      10/11/2015 at 12:31

      1) Christmas is exactly two months from today. (my favourite but there are other versions)
      2) I’m not sure what you want to know here…
      3) Si.

       
      • roberta

        10/11/2015 at 12:50

        lolol I don’t know either lol I?ve just seen it and I wondered what it could mean ‘cause to me it doen’t make any sense….
        as far the others….thank you prof

         
        • Tony Lawson

          10/11/2015 at 13:01

          Is it somebody just giving examples of time expressions?

           
          • Santo

            10/11/2015 at 16:17

            And is “in two months is christmas” right ?

             
            • Tony Lawson

              10/11/2015 at 16:18

              Ti manca un soggetto 😉

               
              • Santo

                10/11/2015 at 16:23

                Where?
                When?
                Why?
                How?😩😩

                 
                • Tony Lawson

                  10/11/2015 at 16:27

                  In two months it is Christmas.

                   
                  • santo

                    10/11/2015 at 16:52

                    well done!! thank you
                    the day before yesterday it was very hot!!

                     
                    • Tony Lawson

                      10/11/2015 at 16:58

                      Did you burn your brain?

                       
                    • santo

                      10/11/2015 at 17:06

                      no prof!!! it is already burned…i’m writting some example about time expression…i hope so it is right

                       
          • roberta

            11/11/2015 at 07:46

            noop ….I saw it in the dic and its translation was : oggi a otto ,o oggi a quindici /un mese
            Actually in Italian it doesn’t mean anything that’s why I asked you 🙂

             
            • Tony Lawson

              11/11/2015 at 11:12

              No idea 😯

               
              • roberta

                11/11/2015 at 11:26

                lol…..

                another nice question 🙂

                “penso che visiterò venezia ”

                since there is “I THINK” I would translate ” I think I’ll visit Venice”

                here comes the question 🙂 is it also possible to use the pres cont .form or /and the to be going to form ?

                 
                • Tony Lawson

                  11/11/2015 at 11:45

                  Present continuous no. “Going to” happens sometimes:
                  “I think I’m going to watch TV this evening.” It’s a contradiction in a way because with “I think” we mean that we haven’t really got an idea whereas “going to” indicates that we have got an idea. In effect though, if we use going to it’s because we have got an idea so the “I think” at the beginning is just kind of making the “going to” form even less decided.

                   
                  • roberta

                    11/11/2015 at 11:54

                    thank you sir !

                    i asked you ‘cause in an exercise I was doing there were just the two options pres cont and going to ….and to me it sounded weird ….

                     
  155. Santo

    10/11/2015 at 10:47

    Talk about:
    Carry on and go ahead..
    Similar but different.

     
    • Tony Lawson

      10/11/2015 at 11:11

      Exactly: similar but not always the same.
      Carry on = continuare, not fermarsi
      Go ahead = proseguire, procedere

      “Go ahead” is also used to say “Fai pure”.

       
  156. Santo

    09/11/2015 at 17:38

    I prefer having italian breakfast, or
    I prefer to have italian breakfast?
    Which is the correct form? Or are there other form to say it?

     
    • Tony Lawson

      09/11/2015 at 18:16

      I think in this case I would just say: “I prefer the Italian breakfast.” In this case the definite article gives the idea of the typical Italian breakfast.

       
  157. Santo

    09/11/2015 at 11:30

    Which is the difference between “get out” and “come out”??
    When could i use it ?

     
    • Tony Lawson

      09/11/2015 at 11:47

      Con “come out” e “go out” è una questione di avvicinarsi o allontonarsi dalla persona che parla:

      Come out = uscire (venire fuori)
      Come out here in the garden, the weather is lovely! (chi parla è nel giardino)

      Go out = uscire (andare fuori)
      Why don’t you go out and get some fresh air? (chi parla è in casa)

      Con “get out” è una questione di riuscire ad uscire:

      Get out = uscire (riuscire ad uscire)
      How did you get out? (come sei riuscito ad uscire?)

       
      • Santo

        09/11/2015 at 11:56

        Thank you,now it is so clear that i can’t make a mistake😉

         
        • Tony Lawson

          09/11/2015 at 12:16

          Ahah! We will see…

           
          • Santo

            09/11/2015 at 12:22

            Let’s hope!!
            I’m going out the weather is lovely, it looks the england in summer😂😂

             
            • Tony Lawson

              09/11/2015 at 12:23

              Ahem… It looks like England in the summer. 🙂

               
              • Santo

                09/11/2015 at 12:31

                LoL 😉😉
                Looks like(forgetful)
                A volte,nel parlato,non lo dicono 👍

                 
                • Tony Lawson

                  09/11/2015 at 12:41

                  “Like” serve quando “look” è abbinato ad un sostantivo.

                  She looks like her mother.
                  It looks like an old Roman vase.
                  They look like tourists.

                  Quando “look” è abbinato ad un aggettivo “like” non si usa:

                  Bob looks happy.
                  This book looks interesting.
                  You look tired.

                   
  158. roberta

    08/11/2015 at 11:04

    hi 🙂

    tha adverb “SOON” : is it always used with the future tense of the verb? and is it like a frequency adverb and always placed between subject and verb?

    P:S I’ve always used it this way but I’m not that sure 🙂

     
    • Tony Lawson

      08/11/2015 at 11:24

      I don’t think there are any specific rules about the use of soon. It is a time adverb which you can position before the main verb (for greater effect) or in the normal time adverb postion at the end of the sentence. It has an intrinsic future sense and consequently tends to be used with the verb in the future or, in the case of reported speech, with the verb in the conditional:

      “I’ll be there soon,” he said.
      He said that he would be here soon.

      We will soon know what the public think about it.
      We will know what the public think about it soon.

       
      • roberta

        08/11/2015 at 11:27

        🙂 🙂 now it’s clear prof ,thanks a lot !

         
  159. roberta

    05/11/2015 at 19:23

    hi ….

    I’ve always said : “too much chocolate ” have I always been wrong ?

     
    • Tony Lawson

      05/11/2015 at 19:51

      No, you’ve always been right. ‘Chocolate’ is primarily an uncountable noun but in certain circumstances it can become countable. If you consider ‘chocolate’ in terms of ‘quantity’ then it is uncountable, but if you consider chocolate in terms of small individually wrapped items, then it can, of couse, be countable and consequently also plural. For example: “I ate too many chocolates after lunch.”

       
      • roberta

        05/11/2015 at 21:14

        oh yeah or I can say two bars of chocolate …….

        thank you you always explain wonderfully ….if I went to university I’d like to have you as my professor ………………….sweet dreams 🙂

         
        • Tony Lawson

          05/11/2015 at 21:24

          Yes, two bars of chocolate and also two pieces of chocolate. Remember though that when you do this, the word ‘chocolate’ is still uncountable!

          I’m always happy to know that my contribution here is proving useful! 🙂

           
          • roberta

            05/11/2015 at 21:41

            🙂 well it is!!!! 🙂

             
  160. roberta

    05/11/2015 at 06:45

    Good morning….
    I dreamed (dreamt) of my old boss last night,it has been a nightmare!

     
    • Tony Lawson

      05/11/2015 at 06:52

      Have you had your morning coffee? This is the chatroom, lol!

       
  161. roberta

    04/11/2015 at 21:16

    …..how would you translate : a quei tempi

    goodnight…

     
    • Tony Lawson

      04/11/2015 at 21:18

      Either “in those times” or “in that period”…
      ‘Night 🙂

       
  162. roberta

    04/11/2015 at 11:23

    hey guys what about this one ? it’s so “SWEET” 🙂 you can tell your lovers

    the rose is red the violet is blue the honey’s sweet and so are you “

     
    • Tony Lawson

      04/11/2015 at 11:40

      Nice! I know the “plural” version:

      Roses are red
      Violets are blue
      Honey is sweet
      And so are you

       
      • roberta

        04/11/2015 at 12:36

        lol that’s so sweet eh ?!

        if you like I’ll write more ….at least one a day lol

        shall I?

         
        • Tony Lawson

          04/11/2015 at 12:48

          The Chatroom is here for…chat! So whatever, whenever…

           
          • roberta

            04/11/2015 at 13:09

            😉

             
  163. roberta

    03/11/2015 at 12:09

    hi guys 🙂
    what do you think about this sentence?
    ” on the 31st of October it was Halloween day”

    I don’t think it’s correct what about you?

    I think it should be like this I’m not sure though : “31st October was halloween day ” UHMMMMMM

     
    • Tony Lawson

      03/11/2015 at 12:14

      Dates are a problem because you can leave out the ‘grammar’ when you write them but you must say it when you’re speaking. So it’s okay to write: “31st October was Halloween” (don’t bother with “day”), but you should say: “The 31st of October was Halloween.”

       
      • roberta

        03/11/2015 at 12:32

        thank you prof so you agree with me if i say the first version is wrong?

         
        • Tony Lawson

          03/11/2015 at 12:55

          Not really wrong, but I would take out “day”.

           
          • roberta

            03/11/2015 at 13:32

            ok…

             
  164. roberta

    03/11/2015 at 12:05

    lol they are funny

    what about this ? Betty bought a bit of bitter butter

     
    • Tony Lawson

      03/11/2015 at 12:08

      Nice! Let’s take it a bit further!

      Benny bought a better bit of butter than the bit of butter Betty bought!

       
      • roberta

        03/11/2015 at 12:10

        lolol lolol ehhhhh come on that’s toooooooo difficult !!!!!!lol lol

         
        • Tony Lawson

          03/11/2015 at 12:16

          Give it a try! It might not be so difficult. Sometimes the shorter ones are more difficult, like Santo’s “Red lorry, yellow lorry” (obviously you must keep repeating it). Or also “Red leather, yellow leather”.

           
          • roberta

            03/11/2015 at 12:33

            lol yeah I saw it …very funny ….

             
  165. Aurora

    27/10/2015 at 12:38

    Beautiful this page,
    I have difficulty for english

     
    • Tony Lawson

      27/10/2015 at 12:40

      Hi Aurora! Nice to see you here. You need to practice your English regularly if you want to improve.

      P.S. I have dificulty with English.

       
  166. Santo

    22/10/2015 at 20:04

    Tongue-twister:
    1-She sells sea shells on the sea shore
    2-Red lorry Yellow lorry
    Repeat very quickly..

     
    • Tony Lawson

      22/10/2015 at 20:18

      Both are very difficult!

      How about:
      1) Two toads totally tired tried to trot to Tetbury.
      2) Six silk short-sleeved shirts.

       

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