Beh, non dici niente?

Discussion in 'Italian-English' started by redheart88, Sep 23, 2008.

  1. redheart88 Senior Member

    I believe Beh, non dici niente? could be ironic if said by a person who is expecting someone else to have a certain reaction. Would it be better in this case to use the verb to say in the present simple or present continuous tense?
  2. primesea Member

    English - American
    You should definitely use the present simple, but I would rework the sentence in this case and use the verb slightly differently:

    "Well...don't you have anything to say?"

    As I think about this I realize how much a pain it must be for those trying to learn English, because if it were a slightly different question you would use the present continuous:

    "Why aren't you saying anything?"
  3. SuperGaara Senior Member

    Venezia (Italy)
    Is "Nothing to say?!" correct?
  4. primesea Member

    English - American
    As a standalone phrase, "Nothing to say?!" would sound awkward in that context. You might say, however, "You've got nothing to say?!"
  5. SuperGaara Senior Member

    Venezia (Italy)
    Just as I thought! Thanks :)

    Yes, of course ;)
  6. pattyfashiion Senior Member

    So, Don't you say even a word?

    Non so se quest'ultima possa andare

    So, why are you speechless\wordless?
  7. pask46 Senior Member

    Torino, Italy
    What about a brutal...

    "Anything to say?"
  8. primesea Member

    English - American
    "So, don't you say even a word?" would sound awkward.

    "So, why are you speechless?" sounds ok, but in this case it seems too formal to me. I actually don't think I would ever tell someone to his/her face that he/she was "speechless". I often refer to someone else's being "speechless" or might refer to a time in the past when the person with whom I'm speaking was "speechless", however. I've never heard "wordless".
  9. pattyfashiion Senior Member

    Thanks for clarifying the exact meaning of speechless and its usage. Anyway wordless it's a synonym of speechless I've looked up in the dictionary. thanks a lot.
  10. primesea Member

    English - American
    Again, I'd prefer "Don't you have anything to say?" to "Anything to say?" The latter fails to express the sense of surprise communicated in the former.

    The dictionary may provide "wordless" as a synonym of "speechless", but "wordless" is never used in common speech to describe a person's silence, at least in American English.
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 24, 2008
  11. pask46 Senior Member

    Torino, Italy
    Well... I agree.
    The first sentence is more kind and is someway expecting for a reply, while the latter is just a way to shut up the counterpart...
    Thank you:)
  12. redheart88 Senior Member

    Thanks for your help!
  13. You little ripper! Senior Member

    Australian English
    Well, aren't you going to say anything? is the way I would translate that. Just another option. :)

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