on the edge of my seat

Discussion in 'Italian-English' started by joanvillafane, Mar 21, 2013.

  1. joanvillafane Senior Member

    U.S., New Jersey
    U.S. English
    "to be on the edge of (one's) seat" is a very common idiom that means to be in a state of suspense, waiting with anticipation. It's commonly used when talking about a movie, for example, or a book, that keeps you on the edge of your seat until the end. We say the movie or story keeps you on the edge of your seat. I couldn't find anything in the dictionary when I searched for these terms. What would be the closest in meaning in Italian? is it "sulle spine" - I wasn't sure from the dictionary definitions if it's right. One definition says "on edge," as in nervous, which is different.

    This story had me/kept me on the edge of my seat.
    Questo racconto mi ha tenuta sulle spine??

  2. renminds

    renminds Senior Member

    Puglia - Italy
    Italian - Italy
    Hi, joanvillafane!

    I can suggest you "stare col fiato sospeso".

    The Free Dictionary translates it as "keep somebody in suspense" (see here).

  3. joanvillafane Senior Member

    U.S., New Jersey
    U.S. English
    Grazie, renminds. So it would be "Stavo col fiato sospeso" ? but what about if I wanted to put the story as the subject of the sentence (as in my post #1)
    Il racconto mi teneva col fiato sospeso???
  4. Mary49

    Mary49 Senior Member

    Hi joan,
    I agree with renminds: "tenere con il fiato sospeso". "Tenere sulle spine" means to make someone wait too long before saying something important or pleasant. For example: "Cosa c'è, dimmi, non tenermi sulle spine!"

    Il racconto mi ha tenuto con il fiato sospeso / Il racconto mi ha fatto stare con il fiato sospeso.

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