andato and andavo

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zollen
Posts: 100
Joined: Sun Jan 03, 2010 3:44 pm
Location: Toronto, Canada

andato and andavo

Post by zollen » Sun Jan 05, 2014 2:29 pm

Sono andato al lavoro
Andavo al lavoro
Are both sentences the same? When would I use one over the other?

For example...
Ho rotto la mia bicicletta quando sono andato al lavoro
Ho rotto la mia bicicletta quando andavo al lavoro
Are both sentences the same?

Geoff
Posts: 251
Joined: Fri Mar 07, 2008 7:55 am
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Re: andato and andavo

Post by Geoff » Sun Jan 05, 2014 9:57 pm

zollen wrote:
Sono andato al lavoro
Andavo al lavoro
Are both sentences the same? When would I use one over the other?

For example...
Ho rotto la mia bicicletta quando sono andato al lavoro
Ho rotto la mia bicicletta quando andavo al lavoro
Are both sentences the same?
"Sono andato al lavoro" means "I went to work" whereas "Andavo al lavoro" means "I was going to work" or "I used to go to work", depending on context.

So, "Ho rotto la mia bicicletta quando sono andato al lavoro" means "I broke my bicycle when I went to work" (when I was at work - although it is a pretty clunky sentence, it would be more natural to just say "I broke my bicycle at work") and "Ho rotto la mia bicicletta quando andavo al lavoro" means "I broke my bicycle when I was going to work" (on the way to work).

zollen
Posts: 100
Joined: Sun Jan 03, 2010 3:44 pm
Location: Toronto, Canada

Re: andato and andavo

Post by zollen » Sun Jan 05, 2014 10:08 pm

Geoff wrote:
"Sono andato al lavoro" means "I went to work" whereas "Andavo al lavoro" means "I was going to work" or "I used to go to work", depending on context.

So, "Ho rotto la mia bicicletta quando sono andato al lavoro" means "I broke my bicycle when I went to work" (when I was at work - although it is a pretty clunky sentence, it would be more natural to just say "I broke my bicycle at work") and "Ho rotto la mia bicicletta quando andavo al lavoro" means "I broke my bicycle when I was going to work" (on the way to work).
Thanks for the explanation. It is much clear now.

However would the following sentence work?
Ho rotto la mia bicicletta quando stavo andando al lavoro

Geoff
Posts: 251
Joined: Fri Mar 07, 2008 7:55 am
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Re: andato and andavo

Post by Geoff » Mon Jan 06, 2014 4:52 am

zollen wrote:
Geoff wrote:
"Sono andato al lavoro" means "I went to work" whereas "Andavo al lavoro" means "I was going to work" or "I used to go to work", depending on context.

So, "Ho rotto la mia bicicletta quando sono andato al lavoro" means "I broke my bicycle when I went to work" (when I was at work - although it is a pretty clunky sentence, it would be more natural to just say "I broke my bicycle at work") and "Ho rotto la mia bicicletta quando andavo al lavoro" means "I broke my bicycle when I was going to work" (on the way to work).
Thanks for the explanation. It is much clear now.

However would the following sentence work?
Ho rotto la mia bicicletta quando stavo andando al lavoro
Yes, that sentence works too. Using it rather than "Ho rotto la mia bicicletta quando andavo al lavoro" emphasises that you were right in the middle of going to work when it happened. I personally wouldn't say that because I can't see how it would need such emphasis but it isn't incorrect.

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calum
Posts: 391
Joined: Sun Oct 29, 2006 8:46 pm
Location: Scozia
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Re: andato and andavo

Post by calum » Mon Jan 06, 2014 10:34 am

zollen wrote:
Sono andato al lavoro
Andavo al lavoro
Are both sentences the same? When would I use one over the other?

For example...
Ho rotto la mia bicicletta quando sono andato al lavoro
Ho rotto la mia bicicletta quando andavo al lavoro
Are both sentences the same?

The passato prossimo (e.g. ho fatto) expresses a fact or completed action that happened in the recent past.
  • "Ho fatto un errore."
The imperfect (e.g. giocavo) is used to describe actions or conditions that lasted an indefinite time in the past, or an habitual action in the past, and to describe time, age, and weather in the past. It can also express the English "used to".
  • "Giocavo a calcio quando ero giovane."

In your example of the bicycle, it reads to me that *you* broke your bike, not that it suffered a mechanical failure during the journey.

If you mean the latter, it would be better to say either:

"La mia bicicletta si è rotta mentre stavo andando al lavoro."

or

"Mentre la usavo per andare al lavoro, la mia bicicletta si è rotta."

(I think 'mentre' sounds better than 'quando' but I'm not a native speaker.)

regards,
Calum

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