When reading the sentences

"Ballavo male, ma mi divertivo. In fondo preferivo stare a casa a leggere, però."

could we then draw the conclusion "Ballava volentieri" or not? Does 'divertirsi' have the connotation of for example 'It was OK' in English, meaning it was a positive experience but not great?

Or, on the other hand - does 'divertirsi' really mean 'I had a really great time' and YES, 'ballava volentieri', it was really very, very enjoyable?

In other languages a word like 'divertirsi' could mean just some superficial fun, enough to drive away the boredom, but not more, so NOT really very positive. I don't know in this case.

  • 1
    *divertirse > divertirsi; *pero > però; *volientieri > volentieri
    – DaG
    Sep 25 '19 at 9:01
  • 4
    Welcome to Italian.SE! It's really hard for me to understand what you are asking. Divertirsi means simply to have fun, without particular connotations about how big was the fun.
    – Denis Nardin
    Sep 25 '19 at 9:11

Well, as Denis said, in Italian the plain verb "divertirsi" can be translated as "have fun", in generic terms. If you want to know "the fun-level" of a person, you can notice it by looking at the phrase. In your case, the person was quite pleased to dance (even if he was bad) but still he/she preferred to read. Many times you can find other terms that help to understand like "divertirsi molto" or "divertirsi poco".

  • Welcome to Italian.SE!
    – Charo
    Sep 25 '19 at 14:21
  • Thank you. Actually, this was a question in a coursebook. The question was whether the person liked dancing ('volentieri') or not, given that (s)he was not good at it and preferred reading (quote from the text), but still felt entertained by it (nasty streak of the author). Perhaps we could say YES, (s)he liked it, then...
    – Charles
    Sep 25 '19 at 22:28

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