thanks for keeping me informed

Discussion in 'Italian-English' started by berndf, May 8, 2009.

  1. berndf Moderator

    Geneva
    German (Germany)
    Mod note: split from this thread. The discussion about the sentence in the title begins at post #8.

    I think this is not quite the same thing. It translates back into English as "Thank you for having tried to...". Does the more literal translation "Ti ringrazio per tentare di..." sound wrong in Italian?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 8, 2009
  2. Paulfromitaly

    Paulfromitaly MODerator

    Brescia (Italy)
    Italian
    There's a difference between Italian and English here:
    You either have to say "per aver tentato" or you have to use a noun "per il tuo tentativo".
    The infinitive is not correct.
     
  3. brian

    brian Senior Member

    Montréal
    AmE (New Orleans)
    English has just gotten a bit lazy in this department. You can say "Thank you for having done blah..." but it sounds more formal, and sometimes just plain awkward. We use the present infinitive because it's already clear from context (thanking someone for something) that the verb refers to a past action, so we simply remove the redundancy.

    In Italian you still have to use the past infinitive (with avere or essere).
     
    Last edited: May 8, 2009
  4. berndf Moderator

    Geneva
    German (Germany)
    :confused: You are confusing me. You can't be saying you need to use the perfect infinitive even when it is not meant. You just explained that in English you use the infinitive rather than the perfect infinitive for both present and past meanings. If this were true I would have expected you to say that the translation (avere tentato or per il tuo tentativo*) depended on context.
    ---------------
    *As Paul wrote
     
  5. brian

    brian Senior Member

    Montréal
    AmE (New Orleans)
    My point was that thanking someone almost always refers to a past action. You thank them because they have done something for you. English uses the present infinitive here (or more formally, the past infinitive), while Italian always uses the past infinitive.

    Or are you referring to thanking someone in advance for something that has not yet been done? It's possible, but (at least in English) not very common at all.
     
  6. randomfuoco Junior Member

    Amman
    English- US
    The point is that it is meant. As Brian said, English has gotten sloppy and just dropped the perfect infinitive in these cases, whereas Italian still requires it. In the example where you are thanking them for welcoming you, it is clear that they have already welcomed you, so you have to make "tentare" the perfect infinitive. The reason you can use "per il tuo tentativo" for the same meaning is because it is a, (dunno exactly in English what you call it), a nominal phrase I think, so it doesn't have a specific time associated with it where as using a verb does.

    Is that any clearer?
     
  7. Paulfromitaly

    Paulfromitaly MODerator

    Brescia (Italy)
    Italian
    That's correct: "per il tuo tentativo" works regardless of whether the attempt has already been made or not.
     
  8. berndf Moderator

    Geneva
    German (Germany)
    For instance. Like "Thank you for keeping me informed" which is not at all infrequent.
     
  9. randomfuoco Junior Member

    Amman
    English- US
    Isn't this example in the past too though, when you think about it? What you are actually saying is "Thank you for having kept me informed"
    "Ti ringrazio per mi aver tenuto al corrente" Is how I think you would render that in italian.
     
  10. Xophmeister Junior Member

    Cheltenham, England
    English (GB)
    A tutti ringrazio per aver aiutato con questa :) È molto utile.

    To chime-in on the current topic, I can't think of a good (i.e. non-engineered that would never be used in practice) example of thanking someone for something they've yet to do. A politician might say, "Thank you for voting for me in the upcoming election."; but that's just shorthand for "Thank you for your presumed intention to vote for me in the upcoming election."
     
  11. berndf Moderator

    Geneva
    German (Germany)
    I meant as a request (Thank you in advance for...).
     
  12. randomfuoco Junior Member

    Amman
    English- US
    Hmm, well I know that to say thank you in advance you say "Grazie in anticipo", but it would be interesting to hear from an Italian how they would do this.

    Is it "grazie in anticipo per avermi tenuto al corrente"? or "grazie in anticipo per tenermi al corrente?"
     
  13. brian

    brian Senior Member

    Montréal
    AmE (New Orleans)
    Again, not very common, but I think even here you would say Grazie in anticipo per avermi tenuto informato.

    Grazie in anticipo per tenermi informato really sounds weird, but I won't say for sure that it's wrong until a native chimes in.

    Most often, however, I think an Italian would try to find a noun: Grazie (in anticipo) per le informazioni/gli aggiornamenti, ecc.
     
  14. Paulfromitaly

    Paulfromitaly MODerator

    Brescia (Italy)
    Italian
     
    Last edited: May 8, 2009
  15. MünchnerFax

    MünchnerFax Senior Member

    Germany
    Italian, Italy
    Another (very common!) option in Italian is to rephrase the sentence and try desperately to fit in a future tense:
    Vi ringrazio per il voto che vorrete accordarmi, says the politician.

    Grazie per... in Italian is almost only used for the past - and to this regard I must say I find it a bit odd to say Grazie in anticipo per avermi tenuto informato. I'd say something else here, like Ti sono grato se mi terrai informato (also depending on context, obviously).
     
  16. randomfuoco Junior Member

    Amman
    English- US
    MunchnerFax, if I accidently used the conditional in that case (which would seem more natural to me in english) "Ti sarei grato se mi terresti informato", would that sound acceptable also?
     
  17. Paulfromitaly

    Paulfromitaly MODerator

    Brescia (Italy)
    Italian
    You need the subjunctive.
     
  18. MünchnerFax

    MünchnerFax Senior Member

    Germany
    Italian, Italy
    Nope. That's now a hypothetical clause; as such, it requires the subjunctive tense in the if/se part:
    Ti sarei grato se mi tenessi informato.
     
  19. za56pa Junior Member

    Italian
    In Italian it is more correct to say "Vi /La ringrazio anticipatamente per volermi tenere al corrente" . If I thank in advance obviously I haven't received the info yet, so the perfect infinite is incorrect.
     
  20. MünchnerFax

    MünchnerFax Senior Member

    Germany
    Italian, Italy
    Mah, eventualmente con un'altra preposizione: di volermi tenere.
    Col per non mi piace proprio, inutile. :p
     

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