gli avrebbe strappato i vestiti di dosso (condizionale passato for crime reporting)

Discussion in 'Italian-English' started by Gianni2, Nov 25, 2007.

  1. Gianni2 Senior Member

    USA English
    I'm reading an article in which the writer tells how he allegedly had a sexual encounter with the young American girl involved in the murder of her English roommate.

    Lui e lei sarebbero finiti a letto. Lei non ci avrebbe pensato due volte e gli avrebbe strappato i vestiti di dosso.

    I assume it means she took her clothes off. Using 'strappato', how would you say she took his clothes off.?
    He took his clothes off? He took her clothes off?
     
  2. giovannino

    giovannino Senior Member

    Italy
    Italian
    I must admit I didn't read the opening post carefully. That allegedly is crucial. In the quote the past conditional is used to emphasize that the account is what supposedly, allegedly happened. So a possible translation could be:

    Allegedly/according to the man's testimony/the man claims that they ended up in bed. He also claims that she....

    Maybe native speakers could tell us how something that is only alleged would be reported in a newspaper/on the news.
     
  3. Einstein

    Einstein Senior Member

    Milano, Italia
    UK, English
    I think you've answered your own question correctly, giovannino! Certainly not the conditional, we use adverbs or expressions like "he claims".

    I don't know if there's a difference between "ripped off" and "tore off". Evidently the clothes were not really torn, but just removed quickly and violently. I think of "tore off" as more figurative and "ripped off" as more literal. But maybe it's only me!
     
  4. Paulfromitaly

    Paulfromitaly MODerator

    Brescia (Italy)
    Italian
    I think "rip off" is the best choice here (if I picture sexual intercourse between a horny guy and a sexy girl, what he does is rip her clothes off).
    Could you please pretend to be a journalist and write the whole sentence newspaper-wise?
     
  5. Einstein

    Einstein Senior Member

    Milano, Italia
    UK, English
    According to X's testimony they ended up in bed. She did not think twice and ripped his clothes off.

    There's no need to use any special forms in the second sentence because its credibility depends on the first. However, you could also say:

    According to X's testimony they ended up in bed. He claims/alleges she did not think twice and ripped his clothes off.
    According to X's testimony they ended up in bed. She allegedly did not think twice and ripped his clothes off.
     
  6. giovannino

    giovannino Senior Member

    Italy
    Italian
    Actually this topic might well deserve a separate thread, both because many learners might not know about this particular use of the past conditional in Italian and in order to make future searches easier.

    English, unlike Italian , does not have a tense that conveys the idea that something is only alleged to have taken place. In Italian we can just start an account of alleged events with "secondo la ricostruzione di...", "a detta di..." etc and then use the past conditional in the rest of the account. In English do you have to keep repeating "he/she claims", "allegedly" etc in each sentence?

    EDIT: Einstein, I've just seen your post, in which you answer my question:)
     
  7. calau Senior Member

    naples - madrid
    italy italian
    Lui e lei sarebbero finiti a letto. Lei non ci avrebbe pensato due volte e gli avrebbe strappato i vestiti di dosso.
    I thought this was the sentence, that is only what was expected. Now that I got the meaning I agree with Einstein
     
  8. Gianni2 Senior Member

    USA English
    Credo che è di poco importanza. Per me suona bene i due modi, benchè in Google si vede 'what she did is' = 25,000 colpi (hits?), mentre 'what she did was' = 127,000.

    I would say it this way. This is a story about a young man who allegedly had a sexual encounter.... He states that after they got on the bed she tore his clothes off.

    By the way,I began the initial post saying 'allegedly' because the article I read was in an online newspaper and I couldn't be sure if the paper carefully checked its veracity.
     
  9. giovannino

    giovannino Senior Member

    Italy
    Italian
    By using the past conditional the author of the article was doing exactly what you did by saying "allegedly". In that context using the past conditional achieves exactly the same effect (I am just reporting what the man claimed in his testimony) as using "allegedly" or "X claims that..." in English.
     

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