Non è amore; non è nemmeno amicizia

Alan Evangelista

Senior Member
Brazilian Portuguese
Hi!

What does the following sentence mean?

Non è amore; non è nemmeno amicizia.
I see two possible translations to English:
  • It is not love; it is not friendship either.
  • It is not love; it is not even friendship.

In English, the first sentence presents “love” and “friendship” as distinct notions while the second one depicts “friendship” as a step below “love” in a scale of affection.

Thanks in advance!
 
  • Alan Evangelista

    Senior Member
    Brazilian Portuguese
    Are you sure about that?
    That is how I understand it, but I am not a native speaker. If I am mistaken, some English native speaker will surely correct me soon. A similar sentence:

    MMA is not a olympic sport; in the opinion of some, it is not even a sport.
     

    Moggy

    Member
    Italian
    In italian, the sentence means that you feel somthing more than friendship, but less than love. (In my opinion the Second one.)
    But it depends on the context. Maybe it can be hate, too? Or others....In that case, the first one.

    I do not know if I made it clear
     
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    Alan Evangelista

    Senior Member
    Brazilian Portuguese
    In italian, the sentence means that you feel somthing more than friendship, but less than love. (In my opinion the First one.)
    But it depends on the context. Maybe it can be hate, too? Or others....In that case, the second one.
    If it depends on the context, the feeling is not necessarily something more than friendship and less than love. It could be any feeling (eg. admiration, respect, sorrow, hate, disgust) or even no feeling at all. That is the exact meaning of the first English sentence in my original post. Please, correct me if I have misunderstood.
     

    Moggy

    Member
    Italian
    sorry, I confused the numbers in the sentence...(just corrected)
    So, based on what you said... it is the first sentence.
     

    theartichoke

    Senior Member
    English - Canada
    Alan, do you have the context in Italian for non è amore; non è nemmeno amicizia? Does it appear in a paragraph? Who is speaking to whom, and about what, exactly? I feel that we need to know what comes before and after to tell exactly how to translate it into English.
     

    arowaka

    New Member
    Dutch - Suriname
    To me the translation "It is not love; it is not even friendship" seems correct. Bur as someone remarked earlier: it would help if the context was provided.
     

    Alan Evangelista

    Senior Member
    Brazilian Portuguese
    I'll try to express my main question in another way. I want to know if "nemmeno", when referring to a quantity/quality, just negates it or if it also restricts the possible quantities/qualities.

    Using numbers as an example, instead of feelings:

    I don't have 10 cars, nor 1 car. (= I don't have 10 cars, nor 5, but I can have any other quantity, eg 100 or 0)

    I don't have 10 cars; I don't even have 1 car. (= I don't have 10 cars. In fact, I have less than 1, that is, I have no car)

    Could "nemmeno" be used to translate the 2 ideas above to Italian?
     
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    theartichoke

    Senior Member
    English - Canada
    Ah--the car example is much clearer. I'm not a native speaker, so I'm curious to hear the answer as well, but my guess is that "nemmeno" would be used primarily (maybe exclusively) in the second example:
    Non ho dieci macchine; non ho nemmeno una macchina / non ne ho nemmeno una. (I don't have even one car.)

    For "guess how many cars I've got" version, perhaps non ho né dieci macchine, né una macchina . . . ne ho cinquanta!
     

    Moggy

    Member
    Italian
    Nel primo caso avrei detto (per rendere meglio l’idea):
    “Non ho una macchina, né una moto” (ho un forgone). (Either)

    Nel secondo:
    “Non ho dieci macchine, (in realtà) non ne ho nemmeno Una. (Not even)

    It’s just my opinion.
     

    QuasiTriestino

    Senior Member
    American English
    I read Alan's English examples exactly as he does.... in other words, it's not even is giving levels of affection. So there's that.

    Però, in italiano non può essere scritto "non è neanche l'amicizia"? In quel caso, crederei che l'uso di 'nemmeno' sarebbe più come la seconda opzione, it's not even friendship.
     

    QuasiTriestino

    Senior Member
    American English
    Non so se ci sia una sfumatura qui tra neanche e nemmeno, però in questo contesto sento molto di più nemmeno in questa parte del paese.

    Però, si poteva scrivere: non è né l'amore né l'amicizia. Mi sembra un po' strano... forse non è grammaticalmente corretto. Forse dovrei lasciarlo agli Italiani. :)
     
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