touch and go

beauxyeux

Senior Member
italian italy
Well, this is a serious one:

My condition really was touch and go at one point

The sentence is of a young boy with a serious illness.

A quel punto la mia situazione era disperata (o forse precaria- o ero in pericolo di vita)... which one is better?
 
  • k_georgiadis

    Senior Member
    English (AE)
    Well, this is a serious one:

    My condition really was touch and go at one point

    The sentence is of a young boy with a serious illness.

    A quel punto la mia situazione era disperata (o forse precaria-:tick: o ero in pericolo di vita)... which one is better?
    "Incerta" is another possibility, but I personally like "precaria" in this context. "Touch and go" has a strong connotation of risk, so that "rischiosa" wouldn't be wrong as such.
     

    Nella88

    Senior Member
    italian
    Ciao, qualcuno potrebbe aiutarmi a cogliere il senso di questo idiom:

    " i thought I was going to win, but it was still touch and go"?

    Potrebbe avvicinarsi a "era tutto da vedersi"?

    Grazie
     

    fitter.happier

    Senior Member
    Italian
    La definizione è nel vocabolario di wordreference.

    touch and go, touch-and-go n informal (precarious situation) situazione delicata, situazione difficile nf
     

    metazoan

    Senior Member
    US English
    From this source:
    This meaning came about as an allusion to ships or stage-coaches giving a glancing blow, to the seabed or to the wheels of other coaches respectively, before continuing their journey. To collide might mean disaster but a mere touch meant a narrow escape and the ship/coach could continue to 'go'.
     

    theartichoke

    Senior Member
    English - Canada
    La definizione è nel vocabolario di wordreference.

    touch and go, touch-and-go n informal (precarious situation) situazione delicata, situazione difficile nf
    The situazione delicata / difficile definition, though, seems a bit more suited to contexts other than playing a game, assuming that's what being referred to in the limited context of "I thought I was going to win, but it was still touch and go." "Era tutto da vedersi" means something like "it was still up in the air" or "it was still anyone's game," right? All of those expressions seem to me to be roughly equivalent to "it was still touch and go" in this context, which is different from, say "The patient now seems likely to recover, but until today it was touch and go" (this would be the situazione delicata).
     

    metazoan

    Senior Member
    US English
    The speaker is still confident of winning, but is describing a period, not so much of uncertainty, as of difficulty. In this period, the speaker faced one or more setbacks, each requiring a readjustment.
     
    In the game situation, perhaps: "Pensavo che avrei vinto, ma in quel momento l'esito era ancora incerto".
    In the medical context, perhaps: "Adesso pare che il paziente si stia riprendendo / ristabilendo, ma fino ad oggi le sue condizioni erano critiche".
     
    Last edited:
    Can't edit it now, but perhaps I should have said: "...ma fino ad oggi le sue condizioni sono state critiche", with the passato prossimo instead of the imperfetto, given the expression which refers to the present.
     
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