- ConosciunbuonristoranteaMilano?Iononne conosco.
Don’t worry, you will get there soon. It’s just a matter of time and you won’t make the following mistakes anymore.
It’s hard to sort Sapere and Conoscere since in English they both translate in “to know”. A classic rule of thumb is
Scusi, sa che ore sono?
Non so nuotare
Conosco un ottimo ristorante a Milano
For some reason, Italian grammar books usually don’t include sapere as a modal verb with Potere, Dovere and Volere. It IS a modal verb (verbo servile) and a very important one too. Conoscere is not.
I once heard,”posso prendere una fotografia?” for Can I take a picture? It’s easy to translate take into prendere but it’s not always the case. In Italian we say “fare una fotografia”, make and not take. There are other “take” verbs you shouldn’t translate into “prendere”. Notably:
We already talked about the verb “piacere” , to like, and how Italian sentences are different compared to English. Mi piace doesn’t translate into a straight “I like it”. We can simplify the concept as follows
Let’s take for example:
If i say “mi piace il gelato” the subject is “il gelato”, not me, and “mi” (to me) is an indirect pronoun. “the ice cream is pleasing to me”.
I have to bear in mind that when I like “something plural”, e.g. shoes is the subject and I need conjugate the verb accordingly. “Mi piacciono le scarpe” and not “mi piace”. There are other verbs like “piacere”.
There are other verbs like piacere, and you will come across them eventually. Be prepared!
Sometimes, translating straight from English into Italian, and vice-versa, simply doesn’t work. Be careful when you do that with I know, I take and I like.
I hope this mini lesson was useful. Add your comments if you wish. Alla prossima!