Fare qualcosa è una gran bella cosa, certo, ma non dovremmo fare ... ?

I think I just heard the phrase above in conversation, and given its similar construction to the similar expressions in other languages, I'm assuming it means:

Va bene fare qualcosa, ma non dovremmo fare ... ?

And I'm assuming it is an equivalent of:

It's all very well doing A, but shouldn't we do B first?

{or}: It's all well and good/dandy to do ..., but ...

There must be several different ways to convey this idea in Italian, but what about the nuances between them?

For instance, in English you can also say "X is nice and all, but ...". In this specific construction, however, the subject X tends to be a single word or a relatively short, few word-long phrase. In case a subject is rather long, on the other hand, you switch to the construction "It's all very well doing A, but ...", so that you can effectively contain a longer subject in the part "doing A".

I wonder if the construction "X è una gran bella cosa, certo, ma ..." has similar traits to the construction "X is nice and all, but ..." in this very respect?

  • 2
    Collins Dictionary gives the following translation: It is all very well, but: va benissimo, ma..., d'accordo, ma... collinsdictionary.com/dictionary/english-italian/…
    – user519
    Jun 8 '18 at 7:57
  • Yes, these idiomatic expressions are generally used to complain about something that isn't bad, but doesn’t match your tastes or interests. So you may say "It's nice and all, but...", “D’accordo, ma”.
    – user519
    Jun 9 '18 at 6:52

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.