In a translation exercise, I was asked to translate

She went to see the doctor

in Italian. I answered sei andata dal dottore; however, it was marked wrong. The correct answer appears to be lei andava dal dottore: why is it so?

  • Alright, I know what is wrong. I use the wrong essere
    – jxhyc
    Feb 7, 2015 at 18:22

1 Answer 1


"Sei andata dal dottore" means "you went to see the doctor" because "sei" is second person singular. The translation of the sentence should be "è andata dal dottore". The sentence "lei andava dal dottore" means "she was going to see the doctor."

  • grrazie!it came to my mind later. but thank you anyway
    – jxhyc
    Feb 7, 2015 at 19:07
  • 3
    "lei andava dal dottore" can also be translated with "she went to the doctor", it depends on the context.
    – persson
    Feb 7, 2015 at 21:51
  • @karoshi: That's true! It's difficult to give a correct translation without a context.
    – Charo
    Feb 8, 2015 at 8:02
  • 1
    Andò dal dottore would be a better choice of tense, according to Italian grammar. However passato remoto is almost never used in certain parts of Italy.
    – egreg
    Feb 8, 2015 at 11:18
  • @egreg: Of course! I thought by the kind of question that the OP is someone who is starting to learn Italian, so that he or she probably hasn't studied the "passato remoto" yet.
    – Charo
    Feb 8, 2015 at 12:05

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