how am I supposed to do that

Discussion in 'Italian-English' started by CristinaBurke, Apr 21, 2006.

  1. CristinaBurke Senior Member

    Italia
    Ciao, ho bisogno un aiuto:

    "And how am I supposed to do that?"
    "E come io ? farlo? "
     
  2. Necsus

    Necsus Senior Member

    Formello (Rome)
    Italian (Italy)
    I'd say:
    "E io come dovrei farlo?"
     
  3. gaiaam

    gaiaam Senior Member

    Rome
    ITALIAN
    Esatto, perfetta traduzione!


    ciao
     
  4. Necsus

    Necsus Senior Member

    Formello (Rome)
    Italian (Italy)
    Ti ringrazio!
    Ciao.
     
  5. CristinaBurke Senior Member

    Italia
    Ok! grazie.:)
     
  6. TimLA

    TimLA Senior Member

    Los Angeles
    English - US
    Just some comments on the "tone" of the sentence in English. In this case "supposed" can be replaced with "going".

    The "And" at the beginning sets the tone. When someone says this sentence in English, it's a strong sentence almost Smart Alec.

    I'll try in Italian - "Come mai lo posso fare?" (I hope this is strong!)

    An example of this usage would be:

    Father: You need to read "I Promessi Sposi" tonight (impossible task)
    Son: And how am I supposed to do that?

    How would you make it stronger in Italian?
     
  7. Necsus

    Necsus Senior Member

    Formello (Rome)
    Italian (Italy)
    You can say "E come pensi che io possa farlo?"
     
  8. TimLA

    TimLA Senior Member

    Los Angeles
    English - US
    Yes, that sounds stronger.
     
  9. gaiaam

    gaiaam Senior Member

    Rome
    ITALIAN

    E' giusto come dice Necsus; se il tono è molto confidenziale e vuoi essere ancora più incisiva potresti anche dire "E secondo te come posso farlo?" oppure usando il condizionale "E secondo te come potrei farlo?"

    gaia
     
  10. CristinaBurke Senior Member

    Italia
    Ok! Perfetto, tutto chiaro, grazie Timla e grazie a tutti per l'aiuto!
     
  11. Roadcharger New Member

    TORINO
    ITALIA
    HI,
    in effect, "come mai lo posso fare?" is not a stronger way, it has even a different meaning: Why I can do this?
    I' ve got a question: is it rigth sayn' that the form "how am I supposed" imply necessarily that some one oter impose to do something?
    if yes the best translation for "And how am I supposed to do that" is "E come si aspettano che lo faccia?"
     
  12. TimLA

    TimLA Senior Member

    Los Angeles
    English - US
    1. I see. I've seen the phrase "come mai" mean "why" but also in a stronger sense, "WHY?" (incredulous) instead of just "perchè". Do you think that "Come mai" is equal to or stronger than "perchè"?
    2. No, the operative phrase is "supposed to" and the sentence is controlled by the following verb -- "supposed to eat", "supposed to write", supposed to do". It just means "going to", but just slightly stronger -- based on my comments above.
    3. Interesting. Another way of saying it is "And how do you expect me to do that?", "How am I expected to do that?". So you've added an interesting possiblity. Do you think that your Italian sentence is "stronger" than "come posso farlo"?
     
  13. abruzzo Junior Member

    Abruzzo, Italia
    American
    "Supposed to" has an intersting nuance in English. I had a conversation with an Italian teacher and another English teacher about this. In Italian, "supposed to" and "should" are usually translated by the conditional of dovere. The question is whether the two English terms are really the same.

    We eventually agreed that in a statement, they are the same (or so close it's impossible to explain the difference). ie:

    "I should be there at 09:00." and "I'm supposed to be there at 09:00."

    On the other hand, when used in a question, the meanings are not the same:

    "How should I do this?" would generally imply that I just want some help doing it, while "How am I supposed to do this?" implies that I am incredulous about being expected to do it.

    Hope this helps!
     
  14. mgalasso

    mgalasso Senior Member

    San Francisco
    USA English
    In this example, I don't see supposed to and should being equal:

    • Charlie was supposed to take out the trash, but his wife, Cindy, did it instead and she was very upset.
    • Cindy says: Charlie, you were supposed to take out the trash!
    • Charlie says: No, I wasn't supposed to do it. Charlie Jr. was supposed to do it this week. He should of done it, not me, otherwise you wouldn't of had to do it yourself.
    The meaning changes when its regarding a task or a duty. Here Cindy thinks Charlie was supposed to do it, but it turns out that their son should of done it.

    Hope this was not an over-kill !
     
  15. lsp

    lsp Senior Member

    NY
    US, English
    "Should of" and "would of" are wrong. You must say "should have" and "would have."

    I'm also a bit confused. Your example seems to illustrate the opposite of what you first said :confused:
     
  16. mgalasso

    mgalasso Senior Member

    San Francisco
    USA English
    Fair enough.

    Here is a better example:

    1). I am supposed to go out for dinner tonight. ( unless my friends cancel )
    2). I should go out to dinner tonight. ( i am sick of cooking at home )

    Here they both have completely different meanings.
     
  17. lsp

    lsp Senior Member

    NY
    US, English
    Definitely better examples! :)
     
  18. abruzzo Junior Member

    Abruzzo, Italia
    American
    You are absolutely right, so I'll have to resurrect the argument with my teacher friends here! In any case, I see both usually translated to Italian by the conditional of dovere, which is sort of the lazy way out.

    As mentioned earlier, when "supposed to" doesn't just mean "should" it often instead comes closer to "expected to" and therefore should be translated by the reflexive form of aspettare.
     
  19. CristinaBurke Senior Member

    Italia
    E' strano che, visto che in Inglese ci vuole sempre il soggetto a cui ci si sta riferendo, in questa frase il soggetto non c'è mentre in Italiano bisogna metterlo.

    "And how am I supposed to do that?"

    E come (tu) credi che io possa farlo.
     
  20. abruzzo Junior Member

    Abruzzo, Italia
    American
    Non ho capito, Cristina. In suo esempio, il soggetto non è "io"?
     
  21. CristinaBurke Senior Member

    Italia
    Sì, mi sono spiegata male,
    How am I supposed to do that?=Come io devo supporre di farlo?

    Mentre dai messaggi mi è sembrato di capire che, per enfatizzare la frase, bisognerebbe dire "Come (tu) credi che io possa farlo?", ed il soggetto (tu/lui/lei) non c'è nella frase.
    Spero di non stare dicendo una stupidata...:):eek:
     
  22. abruzzo Junior Member

    Abruzzo, Italia
    American
    Non ti preoccupare!:)

    Allora, tu stai dicendo che per enfatizzare la frase, non si inserisce il soggetto. Vero?

    (Scusa mio italiano scarso.)
     
  23. sciarada Senior Member

    Milano; Italy
    Italian; Italy
    Hi all, an other suggestion how about:
    E come pretendi che lo faccia?
    In this way the sentence is really strong.
     
  24. CristinaBurke Senior Member

    Italia
    Sì voglio dire che nella frase scritta in Inglese il soggetto (tu-credi) non c'è mentre per tradurla "bene" in Italiano bisogna metterlo.:)
     
  25. sweet_cate

    sweet_cate Senior Member

    Bologna
    Italia
    Il soggetto è "io" che dovrei supporre di fare una certa cosa.

    O meglio sono io che dovrei essere in grado (si suppone che io ..) faccia quella data cosa.
    Qualcuno pensa che è a me che dovrebbe venire in mente come farla.

    Non funziona con la traduzione letterale in italiano, bisogna invertire la frase mi sa.. (tanto per cambiare..)
     
  26. CristinaBurke Senior Member

    Italia
    Grazie Sweet Kate. :)
     

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