Questions tagged [meaning]

For questions related to definitions and nuances of meaning of an expression or a phrase.

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4
votes
1answer
201 views

"Dentro al rumore di questo treno": perché "dentro"?

Nel testo della canzone "Generale", di Francesco de Gregori, si legge: Generale, queste cinque stelle, queste cinque lacrime sulla mia pelle, che senso hanno dentro al rumore di questo treno [...]? ...
8
votes
1answer
14k views

Origine e significato dell'espressione "Fare il pesce in barile"

Durante una discussione ho sentito una persona usare l'espressione fare il pesce in barile con riferimento a qualcuno che, se ho ben capito, stava facendo di tutto per tenersi fuori da una situazione ...
3
votes
1answer
212 views

Articles with proper names (e.g. la Giulia) [duplicate]

Why do people say "la Giulia", "la Paola" etc. I've been told this is considered incorrect, but everyone seems to say it anyway.
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2answers
2k views

What does the sound "eh" (rising intonation)—as an answer to a question—mean?

What does the sound "eh" mean (with rising intonation)? It's difficult to describe the sound I mean, but I suppose it's a drawn out /œ/ or /ø̞/, with quickly rising intonation. Some speakers rise a ...
6
votes
1answer
109 views

Meaning of a sentence with chiastic structure

Can you please translate the sentence below: non rimpiango le persone che ho perso col tempo, ma rimpiango il tempo che ho perso con certe persone
21
votes
7answers
42k views

What does "figurati" mean?

I understand that one meaning of "figurati" is something like "don't mention it", i.e. in response to "grazie". But I've seen it is used in many more contexts than that, as an expression of surprise, ...
4
votes
3answers
808 views

What is the difference between two gestures ("gesti")

What is the difference between these two gestures: tips of fingers and tip of thumb together on one hand, pointing upwards, often with an up-and-down movement (i.e. the classic "Che vuoi?" gesture) ...
9
votes
1answer
8k views

What does "ci mancherebbe altro" mean?

What does this phrase mean? What is an equivalent expression in English, and could you give some examples of usage?
12
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3answers
2k views

What does "Ma tant'è" mean?

I know that "tant'è che" means "so much that" or "moreover", but this translation doesn't fit in this passage: "[...]E lei invece si chiama Maria, è mia cugina. Ci andavo d'accordo da piccola, ora la ...
4
votes
3answers
309 views

Insegnare/impartire or fare una lezione: which is more commonly used?

Is there a difference when using insegnare, impartire, or fare to say that you are teaching a lesson? If not, which is more commonly used?
10
votes
2answers
3k views

Sapere vs conoscere in "I know a language"

What is the difference between "So l'italiano" and "Conosco l'italiano"? I've seen both used in sentences.
3
votes
3answers
220 views

Vedo l'oceano nei tuoi occhi anche se non sono blu

Vedo l’oceano nei tuoi occhi anche se non sono blu. Sotto l'aspetto sintattico, in che modo, se c'è, nella frase di cui sopra è possibile capire che 'non sono blu' si riferisce agli occhi e non alla ...
9
votes
2answers
296 views

Meaning of 'pate' in 'una nave che pate tempesta'

I've come across the following phrase in a sixteenth century Italian book: Una nave che pate tempesta in un mar tanto orribile I'm struggling with the meaning of 'pate'. Does anybody know the ...
16
votes
3answers
33k views

Differenza tra dispiace e spiace

La mia madrelingua è l'inglese. Mentre imparavo italiano a scuola, avevo sempre sentito "mi dispiace." Un giorno ho visto in un dizionario che "spiace" significa lo stesso che "dispiace." A me "mi ...
4
votes
2answers
333 views

Overuse and overload of "schifo", "fa schifo". Is it a recent thing?

It came to my attention very fast the extensive use of "schifo", "fa schifo" in everyday language and TV, mostly in situations that actually don't cause disgust. I connected immediately to the same ...
18
votes
7answers
61k views

What does "Boh!" mean, precisely?

I often heard people saying "Boh!" especially, but not only, when I stayed in Rome. However, I'm unsure what the intended meaning of "Boh!" is, either in Rome or elsewhere. Does it mean I don't know, ...
12
votes
3answers
4k views

Meaning of "avere la botte piena, la moglie ubriaca e l'uva sulla vigna"

Can anyone explain what avere la botte piena, la moglie ubriaca e l'uva sulla vigna means? Also, are there regional variations of that proverb? If so, what are they?
12
votes
3answers
26k views

Meaning of "magari"

My dictionary translates 'magari' as 'maybe'. However, I know that it can be used as interjection to mean something like "I wish!". My question is, when it's used in a sentence like this: Magari ci ...
6
votes
3answers
2k views

Difference between "con degli amici" and "con amici"

How does adding 'degli' in 2. change the meaning of 1.? Sono stato al ristorante con amici. Sono stato al ristorante con degli amici.

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