Word Reference gives the following definitions for nemmeno: even, either, neither, not even.

I have read the following sentence in an Italian learning tool:

Non è amore, ma non è nemmeno amicizia.

The tool translated it as "It is not love, but it is not friendship either". It seems to me that, without the "ma" (Non è amore; non è nemmeno amicizia), the sentence would be ambiguous and could mean one of the following:

  • It is not love; it is not friendship either
  • It is not love; it is not even friendship

Is that right? I am not sure if I should keep the "non" before "è nemmeno" in order to express the second meaning.

  • 2
    I am not sure of the nuances you mean to convey in the two English sentences. Does the first one keep “love” and “friendship” as distinct notions while the second one depicts “friendship” as a step below “love”?
    – DaG
    Sep 5 '19 at 8:41
  • In any case, something like *ma è nemmeno amicizia is not Italian.
    – DaG
    Sep 5 '19 at 8:41
  • I would render it as It is not love, but it is not just friendship.
    – egreg
    Sep 5 '19 at 9:02
  • 1
    @DaG Yes, those are the nuances I meant. Sep 5 '19 at 10:30
  • The main question has not been answered yet: what does "Non è amore; non è nemmeno amicizia" mean? Sep 9 '19 at 16:02

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