Trova means to find, but "si trova" means is?

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Knight
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Trova means to find, but "si trova" means is?

Post by Knight » Thu Feb 12, 2009 2:55 am

Hi,
I tried to translate this sentence word by word, but I can't make sense out of it... then I used Google Translator and it is like as if "trova" is being skipped in the translation... I would like to know how does this work...

The sentence is:
Pippo si trova nel suo ufficio.
si = is
trova = find
I assumed it means, "Pippo is found in his office." (which sounds weird but I guess the meaning is understandable)
Then I used Google Translator and it says, "Pippo is in his office."

To me, it seems like "trova" has been cut out as if... or it seems to be combined with "si trova" together to mean "is".. how does it work? I mean.. can you say, "Pippo si nel suo ufficio." ?

Please help. Thanks.

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coffeecup
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Post by coffeecup » Thu Feb 12, 2009 6:11 am

I am not entirely sure, but every time I see it, I think of it as "is found" or "finds oneself".

I think - and don't quote me on this - it literally translates as:
itself it finds (or 'himself he finds' or 'herself she finds')

Which would make more sense to us english-speakers as:
it finds itself (or the others)

So the sentence 'Pippo si trova nel suo ufficio' is literally translated as:
Pippo himself he finds in his office
OR
Pippo finds himself in his office
OR (but not literally)
Pippo is found in his office

And just for the record, no, I don't think you can say:
Pippo si nel suo ufficio

That's my interpretation. But, I'm not entirely sure and am open to correction. Let's wait and see what others say...

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Davide
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Post by Davide » Thu Feb 12, 2009 10:13 am

As coffeecup says, 'trovarsi' literally means 'to find oneself' and can be used as a synonym for 'essere'. I think it's also likely to be used in a figurative sense; for example 'Paolo si è trovato in un bel guaio' - 'Paolo found himself in a right mess'

Hope this helps.

Davide

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polideuce
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Post by polideuce » Thu Feb 12, 2009 10:24 am

a mio avviso questa: "Pippo finds himself in his office" è la traduzione corretta.

Non si può dire "Pippo si nel suo ufficio" in quanto manca il verbo e quindi la frase è sbagliata, quel "si" sta per "se stesso" e non contiene alcun predicato verbale

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coffeecup
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Post by coffeecup » Thu Feb 12, 2009 10:50 am

Yeah, that's what I thought. 8)

:arrow: Just adding onto that, if I was to say mi trova, would that translate as it/he/she finds me, with the mi referring to me and the trova referring to it finds?

This has really got me thinking. :?

Also, would this structure apply to other verbs? For example, does si sveglio mean I wake it/he/she up, or would that be svelgio lui/lei? Or does that make absolutely no sense at all in Italian? :|

And if you were to put that into the plural, would it be...
ci trova (as in English, it finds us)
OR
ci troviamo (does this mean we find ourselves???)
OR
vi sveglio (I'm trying to say I wake you (plural) up)
OR
mi svegliono (as in they wake me up)

Did any of that make sense in Italian?? :| Help please!

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isablu
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Post by isablu » Thu Feb 12, 2009 10:55 am

this verb is not reflexive, "trovarsi" is used mainly with the meaning of "to be" both physically or figuratively as Davide mentioned, but it doesn't mean that the action goes toward oneself as in "lavarsi", "toccarsi", "vestirsi" etc.
So, "io mi lavo = I wash myself", but NOT "Io mi trovo a Firenze = I find myself in Florence"

For your knowledge, but not for the actual translation you queried, you can consider to translate "trovarsi" as "to be located". In fact we often find it in the descriptions, especially geographical: "Il monte Bianco si trova in Val D'aosta", "il ristorante si trova in riva al lago di Bolsena" "la casa di Giulia si trova a due kilometri dal supermercato" etc.

Anyway, speaking about people, you can intend mainly the figurative sense (is going....)

"Mi trovo in difficoltà a tradurre il greco",
"mio figlio si trova bene con i suoi nuovi compagni di classe"
"Come ti sei trovato a Londra?"

hoping to have helped

isabella[/u]

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cyn
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Re: Trova means to find, but "si trova" means is?

Post by cyn » Thu Feb 12, 2009 1:48 pm

Knight wrote:Hi,
I tried to translate this sentence word by word, but I can't make sense out of it... then I used Google Translator and it is like as if "trova" is being skipped in the translation... I would like to know how does this work...

The sentence is:
Pippo si trova nel suo ufficio.
si = is
trova = find

I assumed it means, "Pippo is found in his office." (which sounds weird but I guess the meaning is understandable)
Then I used Google Translator and it says, "Pippo is in his office."

To me, it seems like "trova" has been cut out as if... or it seems to be combined with "si trova" together to mean "is".. how does it work? I mean.. can you say, "Pippo si nel suo ufficio." ?

Please help. Thanks.
Hi Knight,

as our friends already said,
si trova = is
as si trova (from trovarsi), in this case, is the equivalent of essere fisicamente
in un determinato posto
= to be physically in a certain place.
So, Pippo è nel suo ufficio and Pippo si trova nel suo ufficio mean exactly the
same thing.
Ex:
Il libro è sullo scaffale or Il libro si trova sullo scaffale = The book is on the shelf

bye :)

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cyn
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Post by cyn » Thu Feb 12, 2009 5:43 pm

coffeecup wrote: :arrow: Just adding onto that, if I was to say mi trova, would that translate as it/he/she finds me, with the mi referring to me and the trova referring to it finds?
I think you're now referring to the transitive verb trovare - not trovarsi... am I wrong?

trovare (v. pronom. trans.) as 'to find' or 'to find out', but it can also mean 'to think', 'to meet', 'to visit'... and so on.
Ex:
1) 'My boyfriend will get angry if he finds me here.'
'Il mio ragazzo si arrabbierà se mi trova qui.' (se lui trova me qui)
2) 'I'm going to visit them tomorrow.'
'Vado a trovarli domani.' (io vado a trovare loro)
Also, would this structure apply to other verbs? For example, does si sveglio mean I wake it/he/she up, or would that be svelgio lui/lei? Or does that make absolutely no sense at all in Italian? :|

And if you were to put that into the plural, would it be...
ci trova (as in English, it finds us)
OR
ci troviamo (does this mean we find ourselves???)
OR
vi sveglio (I'm trying to say I wake you (plural) up)
OR
mi svegliono (as in they wake me up)

Did any of that make sense in Italian?? :| Help please!
:roll: I'm afraid I'm not able to explain it in English. However, svegliarsi is the reflexive form of 'svegliare'.
'Io mi sveglio presto tutte le mattine' -> 'I wake up early every morning'
'Vi sveglio domani alle 6' -> 'I'll wake you up tomorrow at 6 a.m.'

I'm quite lost... I have to go and find myself :cry:

bye

Andrew
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Location: Bomaderry, NSW, Australia

Post by Andrew » Fri Feb 13, 2009 1:09 am

coffeecup wrote:Yeah, that's what I thought. 8)

:arrow: Just adding onto that, if I was to say mi trova, would that translate as it/he/she finds me, with the mi referring to me and the trova referring to it finds?

This has really got me thinking. :?

Also, would this structure apply to other verbs? For example, does si sveglio mean I wake it/he/she up, or would that be svelgio lui/lei? Or does that make absolutely no sense at all in Italian? :|

And if you were to put that into the plural, would it be...
ci trova (as in English, it finds us)
OR
ci troviamo (does this mean we find ourselves???)
OR
vi sveglio (I'm trying to say I wake you (plural) up)
OR
mi svegliono (as in they wake me up)

Did any of that make sense in Italian?? :| Help please!
Coffeecup:

'Trovarsi' has to be conjugated with the reflexive pronouns: mi trovo, ti trovi, si trova, ci troviamo, vi trovate, si trovano. These mean 'I find myself/you find yourself/we find ourselves' etc. I think one of the examples in my textbook was of a traveller writing a letter home, and saying 'Mi trovo qui a Verona' (I find myself here in Verona, or simply 'I'm in Verona'). These reflexive pronouns always agree with the conjugation of the verb. You're probably familiar with 'svegliarsi' which translates 'to get up'. 'Mi sveglio' just means 'I get up' - the pronoun is there because the verb is reflexive in Italian and just has to go there.

Unfortunately, in Italian the reflexive pronouns take the same form as direct object pronouns, which is where I think your confusion comes from. You use the direct object pronouns with 'trovare' if you want to give the verb an object (e.g. you want to specify what has been found). So:

Ti trovo - I find (trovo) you (ti)
Mi trova - He/she finds (trova) me (mi)
Ci hanno trovato - They have found (hanno trovato) us (ci)

Normally when you find a pronoun that agrees with its verb, the verb is reflexive. If it doesn't agree, it's a regular verb with a direct or indirect object pronoun. All your examples make sense, but not for the same reason that 'mi sveglio' or 'ti trovi' makes sense. In three out of four examples you're using 'trovare' with a direct object pronoun, and with 'ci troviamo' you're conjugating 'trovarsi' into the 'noi' form. (If memory serves, 'ci troviamo' is used colloqiually to mean 'to meet [each other]'.)

I hope this helps! :) Also, please forgive me if I went over stuff you already know well; I'm not trying to be condescending, just comprehensive :)
Please correct me when I attempt to use Italian, I'm still learning :)

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coffeecup
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Post by coffeecup » Fri Feb 13, 2009 6:50 am

Hey, Andrew, don't worry about being condescending!! 8) I'm here to learn and what you have said makes a lot of sense to me. :) I sort of had some idea of what was going on in the translation but I wasn't sure of the why. We have only touched on this in class and what you've said has helped me a lot! :)

Thanks to everybody who has helped! :D And thanks to Knight for opening this topic!

coffeecup :wink:

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