figure out

Discussion in 'Italian-English' started by Scrumpals, Oct 19, 2005.

  1. Scrumpals

    Scrumpals Senior Member

    Milwaukee, Wisconsin
    USA - English
    Ciao tutti!

    per dire "I'm trying to figure out how to...", si dice "sto cercando di capire

    Per esempio:
    I'm trying to figure out how to get from the hotel to the airport.
    Si dice:
    Sto cercando di capire come raggiungere l'aeroporto dall'albergo.

    Is this right or no?
  2. silvietta

    silvietta Senior Member

    Hi Steven:thumbsup: perfect translation!
  3. Sil313

    Sil313 Senior Member

    Can anybody sort out the difference between "to figure" and "to figure out"?
    Do they have more or less the same meaning? Perhaps just sometimes...?
  4. Potter John Member

    Birmingham UK
    UK English
    To figure out = to work out = to get to understand as in:-

    Can you figure out how this thing works?

    To figure has many meanings depending on context (including the one above)

    Can you figure how this works? (less usual in British English).

    To make an appearance as in:-
    Falstaff figures in many of Shakespear's plays.

    To mark something with designs as in:-
    The belt was figured with geometric designs.

    To be expected or to follow as a matter of course (colloquial) as in:-

    John: "Aston Villa lost the match again I see".
    Robert: "That figures".

  5. Sil313

    Sil313 Senior Member


    Thanks john!
  6. brian

    brian Senior Member

    AmE (New Orleans)
    Sometimes the "out" will be omitted and "figure" still retains the sense of "understand," "come to a logical conclusion," "think out," etc.

    So you're saying 2 + 2 = 5?! How do you figure? (How did you arrive at that conclusion; notice that we use present tense "do"*)

    Well, I figured that... = The way I figure it, ...

    *I'm having a little trouble explaining when one would use the present tense (how do you figure?, the way I figure it, well I figure...) vs. when one uses the past tense (How'd you figure that?, I was figuring that..., I figured that...). Maybe someone else could help?

  7. moodywop Banned

    Southern Italy
    Italian - Italy
    It's interesting how this use of figure without out was originally AE but has crept into BE usage.

    This very up-to-date dictionary (2003) still marks these uses as AE or mainly AE. I think that sense 5. is still limited to AE.

    3 that figures/(it) figures especially American English
    a) used to say that something that happens is expected or typical, especially something bad: 'It rained the whole weekend.' 'Oh, that figures.'
    b) used to say that something is reasonable or makes sense: It figures that she'd be mad at you, after what you did.
    4 go figure American English said to show that you think something is strange or difficult to explain
    5 American English to calculate an amount: I'm just figuring my expenses.
    (Longman Dictionary)
  8. brian

    brian Senior Member

    AmE (New Orleans)
    Haha. It's interesting that my example above yours used calculation. I suppose the #5 definition crept out of my subconscious and into my example. :)

    Nevertheless, I think the uses are intimately connected. Do you in BE say things like "How do you figure that/so?" and "Well, I was figuring that..."?

    I did forget about "Go figure." It's rather popular here. I guess it stems from the meaning of "Go and figure that out / Go think about that for a while," though sarcastically of course.

    A: Did you know that all tea comes from the same plant, the Camellia sinensis bush?
    B: Huh...go figure! (i.e., let me think about that one for a while because it's hard to believe)
  9. moodywop Banned

    Southern Italy
    Italian - Italy
    We'll have to wait for some BE speakers in order to find out. My English (though originally learnt;) in England) has been influenced by all the American movies I watch(and the American songs I listen to). My English friends are horrified when I slip and say things like I just saw him instead of I've just seen him:D .

    I still can't bring myself to say gotten, though, as you may remember;)
  10. ladybird Senior Member

    English, England
    Ciao a tutti

    I had to think about this one!

    I have used "how do you figure that" or "how do you figure that one out?".
    in the sense of how do you come to a particular conclusion about something.
    I could well be wrong about this but I thought I was guilty of using bad grammar again!
  11. Plodder

    Plodder Member

    England, English
    I would say that "figure" was AE and "figure out" BE. But I think that this american usage is creeping into BE, as indeed are many others.

  12. PattyDù Member

    Figuring out the message is:
    - a satisfying puzzle-solving experience
    - leaves freedom of interpretation
    - takes away responsibility from the advertisers.

    Figuring out, in questo contesto, mi suona male con il significato di "capire/interpretare". Qualche altra idea?
  13. kittykate

    kittykate Senior Member

    Pavia, Italy
    Italy - Italian
    Direi cogliere.


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