It’s very easy to confuse prendere, guidare and portare, three quite different Italian verbs.
If you are an English speaker, you need to have a look and learn the differences.
Prendere, guidare and portare (qualcuno) are sometimes mixed up by English speakers when they want to say I pick you up, drive you, take you somewhere in Italian. We can add to this list the Italian verb accompagnare, to accompany/go with, because it’s a useful verb that students could and should use more often.
The confusion happens because we can’t translate these verbs directly from English into Italian and vice versa. Prendere and portare can both mean “to take”. Let’s see three simple examples.
When we take someone home, the correct verb is portare, or accompagnare (to go with). The second sentence, can also be:
- Ti accompagno all’aeroporto.
Italians use the verb guidare as “to drive” only when we talk about the act of driving a car, a bike, etcetera. We don’t “drive people”. So, for example:
- Non mi piace guidare. It means that I don’t like driving.
- Non ti posso accompagnare stasera (in macchina). I can’t drive you home.
In Italian, the following makes no sense:
- Puoi guidarmi all’ufficio? (as Can you drive me to the office?)
The fact I’m using (or not) a car is implicit in the sentence, saying drive is redundant to Italian speakers. Obviously, Italians make the opposite error in English. I also do…
Let’s try to put things into the right perspective with some examples. I’m going to write Italian sentences with a webcast (Skype students only). Please focus on the different way we build sentences in Italian and English.
I hope this was useful. Leave a comment or get in touch for more info. Ciao!