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I just read the sentence:

Non voglio aspettare così tanto tempo.

Does "così" only emphasize "tanto tempo" in this sentence or can it also refer to the state in which the person is waiting (e.g., a father in pajamas which took his son in the middle of the night to the hospital because of an emergency)? Would the sentence still be correct without "così"?

  • I’d say that, given the sentence without further context, “così” refers to “tanto tempo.” – user519 Aug 25 '19 at 5:19
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    Technically, the sentence could have both interpretations, but since the “così tanto” is the more natural one, the father in pyjamas would express himself in some other way: for instance, Non voglio aspettare tanto tempo in queste condizioni. – DaG Aug 25 '19 at 8:30
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The meaning won't change, but the nuance would. To give you an idea, this is a possible English equivalent.

  • Non voglio aspettare così tanto tempo --> I don't want to wait so much
  • Non voglio aspettare tanto tempo --> I don't want to wait too
    much

As @Charo suggested, "così" might refer to quantity (i.e. too much), or to mode (i.e. in this way). Only context can determine the axact meaning.

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    In addition to that, I think the OP is asking if the sentence reported in the question can have two meanings depending on context: 1) "così" referring to "tanto"; 2) "così" meaning "in this way" (in the example of the question, in pyjama). – Charo Aug 25 '19 at 7:37
  • Yes, it might also be that. – piffy Aug 25 '19 at 7:42
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    Potresti includerlo nella risposta? – Charo Aug 25 '19 at 7:44
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    Actually, tanto means “so much” (not “too much”) even without così. The latter just strengthens that meaning. – DaG Aug 25 '19 at 8:32
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"Così", in this context, generally emphasizes "tanto tempo". It might also refer to the state in which the subject is waiting, but usually that meaning would be expressed in some other way. Using the aforementioned father in pajamas as an example, he could say "Non voglio aspettare tanto tempo in queste condizioni".

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