Che cosa fa? vs. Di che cosa si occupa?

Discussion in 'Italian-English' started by fizzyandstill, Dec 7, 2007.

  1. fizzyandstill New Member

    Philippines, Filipino & English
    Hello!

    The language program I'm using tells me that 'Che cosa fa?' is an alternative to 'Di che cosa si occupa?' when asking one's profession.

    Are there rules about when to use which, or social contexts in which one is more appropriate than the other?

    Thanks! :)
     
  2. sam1978

    sam1978 Senior Member

    Genoa/Genova
    italy - italiano
    I think that both the sentences are almost without differences; maybe the former can be more generic than the latter. Wait also for other opinions!
     
  3. fizzyandstill New Member

    Philippines, Filipino & English
    Grazie, Sam!

    Would it be right for me to assume that since 'che cosa fa' is more generic, it's also less formal?

    Thanks again in any case!
     
  4. sam1978

    sam1978 Senior Member

    Genoa/Genova
    italy - italiano
    Yes, a bit!
     
  5. Cassidy's Mom Senior Member

    Houston, Texas
    United States, English
    Can one say "Di che cosa si dedica?" Forse si capisce, ma si dice?

    Grazie.
     
  6. brian

    brian Senior Member

    Montréal
    AmE (New Orleans)
    Hi there, while awaiting native opinions, I'll go ahead and point out that "dedicarsi" needs "a," not "di." :)

    A che cosa si dedica?

    I think maybe this might be a bit *stronger* than "Che cosa fa?" But we'll see what the natives say...
     
  7. Cassidy's Mom Senior Member

    Houston, Texas
    United States, English
    Thanks, Brian!
     
  8. Necsus

    Necsus Senior Member

    Formello (Rome)
    Italian (Italy)
    Anyway in my opinion 'dedicarsi' (to dedicate o devote oneself to) it's no so commonly used speaking of a work, but more speaking of a study or a hobby...
     
  9. brian

    brian Senior Member

    Montréal
    AmE (New Orleans)
    In English one doesn't really "dedicate oneself" in a general sense to a job, study, hobby, etc. "Dedicarsi a qualcosa" is usually translated, as far as I know, with "pursue," which, like in Italian, refers to a study or hobby and not to a job:

    A che cosa si dedica?
    What is he/she pursuing?
     
  10. Necsus

    Necsus Senior Member

    Formello (Rome)
    Italian (Italy)
    Well, I don't know, OP gives this translation:
    dedicarsi a, to dedicate o devote oneself to [studio, passatempo ]...
     
  11. brian

    brian Senior Member

    Montréal
    AmE (New Orleans)
    Hmm... ripensandoci, suppongo che "to devote oneself" venga usato comunemente, ma riguardo all'uso di "dedicate" credo che sia più comune "to dedicate one's time to something." Comunque sia, non credo che nessuno chiederebbe, "What does he dedicate/devote himself to"? Ti do degli esempi che a me suonano abbastanza bene:

    He devotes himself completely to the study of mathematics.
    He devotes his entire life to literature.

    As a judge, he dedicates himself seriously to the full understanding of the law.
    He dedicates most of his free time to gardening.


    Come vedi, quando si usa "devote/dedicate oneself," si tratta di qualcosa di serio/grave/forte. Ma per qualche motivo non mi vengono esempi migliori per "to dedicate oneself to." Può essere che sia solo io a non usarlo! :)
     

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