È abbastanza facile tradurre "I learned to play the piano." = "Ho imparato a suonare il piano."

In oltre "I was learning to play the piano." = "Imparavo a suonare il piano."

Però come tradurre "Since I'm between jobs, I have been learning to play the piano."

Forse si usa "sono stato imparando"? "ero imparando"?

And now to spare all of you the trouble of slogging through my Italian, I'll explain my question a little better in English in light of the answer by abarisone. I frequently find myself trying to express the idea that I am currently doing something that I began in the past, but have been working on for a substantial but inexact amount of time, with the intent of implying that I have accomplished a decent amount of it. It is common (in Northeast Corridor American English anyway) to say something like

"I've been making pasta for the party."

This carries the implication that I have already made a considerable amount of pasta. On the other hand if I were to say

"I am making pasta for the party."

I might mean that I just began making pasta and I haven't yet made any, or I might mean that I have a huge pile of pasta already made since I started the process.

My guess is that in Italian, if I want to express that I have already made a substantial amount of pasta, I would simply say so rather than trying to imply it through verb tense/mood.

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    Benvenuto/a su Italian.SE!
    – Charo
    Commented Mar 23, 2018 at 13:08
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    As per abarisone's answer, the basic way to express that you are “currently doing something that [you] began in the past” is the periphrasis with stare and the gerund. To stress what you explain in the question, you might want to use a longer periphrasis, something like è tutto il pomeriggio che preparo la pasta per la festa and dato che non ho un lavoro, mi sono messo a studiare il pianoforte.
    – DaG
    Commented Mar 23, 2018 at 14:59
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    While different from your question, you may find useful hint in the answers to these questions: (italian.stackexchange.com/questions/8464/…) and (italian.stackexchange.com/questions/7244/…).
    – DaG
    Commented Mar 23, 2018 at 15:04
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    Thanks! Actually I intentionally left off the exaggerated periphrasis because I intended to show that they are not needed (and often not used) in English, and that this is the shade of meaning that I am trying to express. Adding the extra context seems to me to be the way that Italian gets around not having quite the same structure. Commented Mar 23, 2018 at 20:58
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    Incidentally this was taken from a real-world example. My wife texted me simply "I've been making pasta for the party" when I asked her "what are you up to?" in order to let me know that she was busy doing it and was past a point-of-no-return in the process. If she had responded, "I'm making pasta for the party," I would have asked if she had time to come get lunch with me first. Commented Mar 23, 2018 at 21:01

1 Answer 1


Si dice sto imparando e non "sono stato imparando" né "ero imparando".

La traduzione può essere:

Siccome non ho un lavoro, sto imparando a suonare il piano.

Su Treccani nella sezione Enciclopedia dell'Italiano per presente puoi trovare:

Dal punto di vista dell’➔aspetto, il presente neutralizza la distinzione che al passato viene codificata dall’opposizione tra forme imperfettive (➔ imperfetto) e perfettive (➔ passato remoto; ➔ tempi composti). Oltre ad essere regolarmente usato per visualizzare imperfettivamente situazioni in corso al momento dell’enunciazione (che cosa fai in questo momento?), il presente ammette infatti anche una visualizzazione perfettiva di azioni momentanee delle quali si focalizza l’intero processo, come dimostrano gli impieghi cronistici (1). In questi casi il presente svolge anche la funzione testuale tipica dei tempi perfettivi, che permettono di far procedere la sequenza narrativa concatenando gli eventi in stretta successione temporale (➔ testi narrativi). L’interpretazione aspettuale del presente viene disambiguata dalla perifrasi progressiva (stare + gerundio; ➔ perifrastiche, strutture), che è ammessa negli impieghi imperfettivi (che cosa stai facendo in questo momento?), ma non potrebbe essere usata nella sequenza perfettiva del testo cronistico (1).

  • Quindi si usa il presente progressivo quando si intende "present perfect continuous". Grazie! Commented Mar 23, 2018 at 13:18
  • Esatto, praticamente indica un'azione che si sta svolgendo nel momento, oppure nel periodo in cui si parla
    – abarisone
    Commented Mar 23, 2018 at 13:27
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    Grazie. Ho modificato il post per spiegare meglio la mia intenzione, però credo che la sua risposta sia ancora valida. Commented Mar 23, 2018 at 13:37

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