I have been trying

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Billy5077

Member
New Jersey USA
Salve Tutti,

How would one conjugate the sentence, I have been trying? Im having difficulty using avere in combination with trying while still indicating that the act of trying had not yet been completed. Also what would the term for this conjugation be?
 
  • shamblesuk

    Senior Member
    England, English
    'I have been' is different in Italian from English. It sounds like something that has been completed, but naturally it is still in progress.

    'I have been living here...' would be 'Vivo qui' in Italian (I am living here still). So, I think you can just use 'Provo' or 'Cerco' for your request.

    I've heard Italians before say 'I live in England since 5 years' as the literal translation in Italian is just that - 'Vivo in inghilterra da cinque anni'

    Happy to be corrected as that's the only way I'll learn from my mistakes.

    Lee
     

    morpho

    Member
    English, USA
    Hello,

    I would translate "I have been trying..." to one of two ways:

    1. If you mention a period of time in the sentence, use cerco di.... da. Example: I have been trying to study for two hours - Cerco di studiare da due ore.

    2. Without any period of time mentioned: sono stato cercando, maybe: Example: Did you do it? -No, but I have been trying to. L'hai fatto? -No, ma sono stato cercando di farlo.

    The verb is referred to as the present perfect progressive.

    Just my humble attempt at this one -- I can'[t say with any authority that what I've written is what a native would say.
     

    Willi

    Senior Member
    Italy - Italian
    morpho said:
    2. Without any period of time mentioned: sono stato cercando, maybe: Example: Did you do it? -No, but I have been trying to. L'hai fatto? -No, ma sono stato cercando di farlo. :thumbsdown:
    I'm sorry but this sentence is wrong. It should be sto cercando di farlo.
    e.g. Hai telefonato al medico? - No, sto cercando di farlo da due ore :)
     

    moodywop

    Banned
    Italian - Italy
    morpho said:
    I would translate "I have been trying..." to one of two ways:

    1. If you mention a period of time in the sentence, use cerco di.... da. Example: I have been trying to study for two hours - Cerco di studiare da due ore.:tick:

    2. Without any period of time mentioned: sono stato cercando, maybe: Example: Did you do it? -No, but I have been trying to. L'hai fatto? -No, ma sono stato cercando di farlo.:cross:

    The verb is referred to as the present perfect progressive.
    .
    The present perfect(and past perfect) progressive(or continuous) is one tense we do not have in Italian(another one being the passive form of the present continuous).

    So in your example 2. one would have to say something like è da un po' che sto cercando di farlo.

    In cases where you are, for instance, telling somebody off, e.g. Oh no, you've been rummaging through my drawers again you can either use the present perfect simple(hai di nuovo frugato nei miei cassetti) or say sei stato di nuovo a frugare nei miei cassetti. The latter probably better conveys the nuance of the English example.

    EDIT: Willi, I've just seen your post. Why does your cat keep looking down on mine?:)
     

    TimLA

    Member Emeritus
    English - US
    This is very interesting. I would have guessed "cercando" to be "looking for", but this is a nice addition to my vocabulary.

    It there any role for "tentavo"?

    tim
     

    Billy5077

    Member
    New Jersey USA
    At first, I also thought tentare or provare would be a better choice for "Try" however, "Cercare di" I believe is better defined in english as "seeking to" e.g. I seek to learn italian. This forum is great because as an english speaker, I would not know that native italians use cercare di as the more common way to say try. Please correct me if im mistaken.
     

    shamblesuk

    Senior Member
    England, English
    'Tentando' is the gerund and can, depending on the context, be used to mean try (more as in to 'attempt to')

    'Tentavo' is the imperfect 1st person tense.
     

    Willi

    Senior Member
    Italy - Italian
    Anyway you can say sto tentando di farlo. It's OK but cercare is more commonly used (although tentare is not rare at all)
     

    CristinaBurke

    Senior Member
    Italiano
    I've been a surgeon longer than you've been breathing.

    Ciao, come tradurreste questa frase?
    Sono stato un chirurgo più a lungo di quando tu stia respirando.

    Ho questi dubbi : in questo contesto il chirurgo lavora ancora, non si è ritirato in pensione, inoltre se "have been" si traduce come "sono stato-sei stato ecc..." non posso tradurre come "stia"...perchè "stia" è tempo presente...?
     

    moodywop

    Banned
    Italian - Italy
    CristinaBurke said:
    I've been a surgeon longer than you've been breathing.

    Ciao, come tradurreste questa frase?
    Sono stato un chirurgo più a lungo di quando tu stia respirando.
    Forse faccio il chirurgo da prima che tu nascessi, non eri neanche nata e già lavoravo come chirurgo, non eri neanche nata quando ho cominciato a fare il chirurgo
     

    Sonogina

    Member
    English USA
    I am not sure which tense I should be using to say I have been trying... Am I correct in saying "Sto provando" or is that simply I am trying?

    What I am trying to say is "I have been trying to write, but it is very time consumming or it takes a lot of time."

    Sto provando scrivere ma ho bisogno di molto tempo.

    Grazie,
    Gina
     

    Paulfromitaly

    MODerator
    Italian
    I am not sure which tense I should be using to say I have been trying... Am I correct in saying "Sto provando" or is that simply I am trying?

    What I am trying to say is "I have been trying to write, but it is very time consumming or it takes a lot of time."

    (è da un pò che) Sto provando a scrivere, ma ho bisogno di molto tempo.:tick:

    Grazie,
    Gina
     

    diddue

    Senior Member
    Italian/Italy
    I am not sure which tense I should be using to say I have been trying... Am I correct in saying "Sto provando" or is that simply I am trying?

    What I am trying to say is "I have been trying to write, but it is very time consumming or it takes a lot of time."

    Sto provando a scrivere ma ho bisogno di molto tempo.:tick:

    Grazie,
    Gina
    Oppure
    Sto provando a scrivere, ma ci metto un sacco di tempo ( informale)
     

    Paulfromitaly

    MODerator
    Italian
    è da un pò che - What does this mean?
    Seen as we don't have the past perfect progressive in Italian, you can add è da un pò che (it's been a while) to distinguish between :

    I'm trying = sto provando

    I've been trying = ho provato da un pò or è da un pò che sto provando.
     

    [ITA]Shank

    Senior Member
    Italiano
    Hi Sonogina, I'm not really sure, but I think the right translation of "I have been trying" is "stavo provando", but for what you wanted to write is better to use the form that Paul suggested to you.
     

    Bookmom

    Senior Member
    è da un pò che - What does this mean?
    A few things, including:

    It's been a while since..as in - e' da un po' che non ti fai sentire .. It's been a while since I've heard from you.

    It's been happening for a while..as in - E' da un po' che fa questo rumore la lavatrice. The washing machine has been making this noise for some time now.

    :)
     

    Alxmrphi

    Senior Member
    UK English
    Bookmom, could you please give another example? possibly easier please, so I can see how this works, the more times I see it in different ways the easier I will find to understand it.
     

    Parergon

    Senior Member
    Italiano, Italia
    I am not sure which tense I should be using to say I have been trying... Am I correct in saying "Sto provando" or is that simply I am trying?

    What I am trying to say is "I have been trying to write, but it is very time consumming or it takes a lot of time."

    Consuming or consumming?
    I thought it was 'consuming'...
     

    ladybird

    Senior Member
    English, England
    I'm a bit confused. I understand about "da" meaning "since" in this instance, so the sentence basically says "I have been trying for a while".
    This suggests to me that I have been trying and I'm still trying to do whatever..and it still ok to use the passato prossimo?

    I thought that the passato prossimo was used to describe a completed action..I need more coffee..and an explanation please!
     

    luke_77

    Senior Member
    Italy - Italian
    I'm a bit confused. I understand about "da" meaning "since" in this instance, so the sentence basically says "I have been trying for a while".
    This suggests to me that I have been trying and I'm still trying to do whatever..and it still ok to use the passato prossimo?

    I thought that the passato prossimo was used to describe a completed action..I need more coffee..and an explanation please!
    Il passato remoto (past tense) sottolinea un'azione che si è conclusa. E' come in inglese, anche se spesso noi italiani sbagliamo ed utlizziamo il passato prossimo al posto del passato remoto.. ...tipico nel nord italia.
     

    Bookmom

    Senior Member
    Bookmom, could you please give another example? possibly easier please, so I can see how this works, the more times I see it in different ways the easier I will find to understand it.
    Sure Alex, I'll try ...

    E' da un po' che non mangio la pizza.

    I haven't had pizza for a while.

    E' da un po' che non guardo la televisione, sto sempre studiando!

    I haven't watched tv in a while, I'm always studying!

    E' da un po' che mi fa male la gamba, dovrei andare dal dottore.

    My leg has been bothering me for a while, I should go to the doctor.

    Easier?:)
     

    ladybird

    Senior Member
    English, England
    Seen as we don't have the past perfect progressive in Italian, you can add è da un pò che (it's been a while) to distinguish between :

    I'm trying = sto provando

    I've been trying = ho provato da un pò or è da un pò che sto provando.
    I think I understood your post Luke but this is what's causing the confusion for me, the use of the passato prossimo to describe an action that is still taking place..
     

    Paulfromitaly

    MODerator
    Italian
    Seen as we don't have the past perfect progressive in Italian, you can add è da un pò che (it's been a while) to distinguish between :

    I'm trying = sto provando

    I've been trying = ho provato da un pò or è da un pò che sto provando.
    I think I understood your post Luke but this is what's causing the confusion for me, the use of the passato prossimo to describe an action that is still taking place..
    Forget about the first example if you find it misleading and just say: è da un pò che sto provando.
     

    Paulfromitaly

    MODerator
    Italian
    E' da un po' che non guardo la televisione, sto sempre studiando!:tick: perfect, I couldn't tell you're not Italian if you say it this way;

    Non guardo la televisione da un pò, sto sempre studiando!:tick: correct, but not altogether natural to my ears, I'd suspect you're a foreigner..;)
     

    luke_77

    Senior Member
    Italy - Italian
    Anyway guys I've been taught this tense is called "duration form" or present perfect continous, and it is used whenever an action started in the past, keep going on today. Example: I've been living here since I was a child. That's the example teachers provide italian students to make them understand the way to use this tense..

    Luke
     

    luke_77

    Senior Member
    Italy - Italian
    And how exactly would you translate the example you gave into italian?
    Literally you would get: Sto vivendo qui da quando ero bambino. But we italian use to say: Vivo qui da quando ero bambino. That's the difference in italian spoken. If you translated it literally, I'd sense you're not italian.

    You gotta use it as it is, no way to catch the undertone. Or better, you should live here in Italy. That's the same for the italians when trying to speak as an american native would do.

    Hope this helps.
    Luke:)
     
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