Let's look at some different ways people say, "I don't think so." In English we have "so" at the end, and we might wonder how to translate it. In some cases, we can add a pronoun, but often, it's left out entirely. As you will see, different verbs work a bit differently from one another, so we need to keep them straight. Of course, it's perfectly OK for you, as you learn, to say it the same way every time, but someone might use one form or another, so you'll want to be prepared to understand them. There's more than one way to skin a cat!
We're talking about responding (in the negative) to questions such as:
*Hai il mio numero di telefono (do you have my phone number)?
Non mi pare (I don't think so).
Non mi sembra (it doesn't seem so to me).
Non credo (I don't believe so).
Non penso (I don't think so).
*Quella donna è sua moglie (is that woman his wife)?
Non mi pare (I don't think so).
Non mi sembra (I don't think so, it doesn't seem so to me).
Non credo (I don't think so, I don't believe so).
Non penso proprio (I really don't think so).
Let's look at these verb choices one by one.
You might remember a lesson where we talked briefly about the verb parere. In addition, let's remember that il parere is also a noun, meaning "the opinion."
So if you want to answer a question in the negative, you can say, Non mi pare (I don't think so).
Non lo so, cambiamenti nell'atteggiamento, nell'umore, nel modo di vestirsi, cose così. -No... no, non mi pare.
I don't know, changes in her behavior, in her mood, in the way she dressed, stuff like that. -No... no, I don't think so.
Captions 15-16, Il Commissario Manara S2EP3 - Delitto tra le lenzuola - Part 5Play Caption
Sembrare (to seem) is a bit tricky because, like parere, it's often used with an indirect object or personal pronoun. In everyday conversation, we often find the construction mi sembra che... or non mi sembra che... (it seems to me that... it doesn't seem to me that...). Or we just find non mi sembra. Here we have to keep in mind that sembra (the third person singular of sembrare) includes the subject pronoun "it" or possibly "he/she." Translating it literally is just a bit awkward. In English, we tend to simplify.
Ma non ti sembra un po' affrettato? -Affrettato?
But doesn't it seem a bit rushed to you? -Rushed?
Captions 10-11, Stai lontana da me Rai Cinema - Part 17Play Caption
We couldn't find an example in Yabla videos with the simple answer non mi sembra, but we can answer the question "Rushed?" in the previous example with it: Affrettato? Non mi sembra (rushed? I don't think so). We can dress up the answer with proprio or, since it is in the negative, with affatto ([not] at all) Non mi sembra affatto (I really don't think so, I don't think so at all).
So with parere and sembrare, we often use the indirect personal pronoun (to me, to him, to them, to you) but with our next words, credere (to believe) and pensare (to think) we don't. They are just "normal" verbs.
Another word that is used a lot in this context is the verb credere (to believe). It goes together nicely with proprio (really). Proprio means lots of things, so see our lesson about it for more information. In English, we often use "think" instead of "believe" out of habit. In many cases, "believe" would be fine, too.
Forse un imprenditore americano non le parlerebbe così. -No, non credo proprio.
Maybe an American industrialist wouldn't talk about it like that. -No, I really don't think so.
Captions 40-41, Adriano Olivetti La forza di un sogno Ep.2 - Part 13Play Caption
We have seen this verb many times before, but we include it here, because it might be the easiest to remember, corresponding to the English verb "to think."
Cos'è, bigiotteria? Non penso. Rubini e filigrana d'oro.
What is it? Costume jewelry? I don't think so. Rubies and gold filigree.
Captions 70-71, Il Commissario Manara S2EP12 - La donna senza volto - Part 4Play Caption
We've provided some quick and easy negative answers to questions asking our opinion or judgment about something. When we use any of these verbs in longer sentences, we might need the subjunctive if the verbs are followed by the conjunction che (that, which). There are other ways to use these verbs without the subjunctive and we will explore these in a future lesson.
Try asking yourself some questions and experiment with the different verbs. Here's a start:
Pioverà (is it going to rain)?
Arriveremo in tempo (will we get there in time)?
Hai abbastanza soldi per pagarlo (do you have enough money to pay for this)?
La pasta è cotta (is the pasta cooked)?
Most folks know that when someone plays a solo, he or she is the main player, also called the soloist. Sometimes a musician plays alone (this is a hint).
You may or may not have realized that solo is an Italian word, 100%. Let's take a look at how it's used in Italian. Because when someone plays a solo in the middle of a song, strangely enough, it's called something else entirely: un assolo (a solo).
Sì. -In un... -Io sono, sono un tenore leggero.
Yes. -In a... -I'm a, I'm a light tenor.
E fai anche dei duetti... -Sì, a volte duetti buffi,
And you also do duets... -Yes, sometimes comic opera duets,
a volte, invece, dei, degli assoli. -Ecco! Ah, no.
sometimes, on the other hand, some, some solos. -There! Ah, no.
Posso sentire prima un assolo e poi, magari, vedo, facciamo un duetto.
Can I first hear a solo, and then, maybe let's see, we'll do a duet.
Captions 101-104, L'Eredità -Quiz TV - La sfida dei sei. Puntata 1Play Caption
Solo has to do with being alone. It can mean "on one's own."
Ulisse era un cane anziano, un cane solo.
Ulisse was an old dog, a lone dog.
Caption 12, Andromeda - La storia di UlissePlay Caption
Solo is often preceded by the preposition da (by), making it function sort of like an adverb, answering the question "how," or "in what way," in which case we can translate it with "by oneself," "on one's own," "by itself," or "alone."
Guarda che al cinema ci posso pure andare da sola.
Look, I can perfectly well go to the movies by myself.Play Caption
Guardi, sta arrivando Olivetti.
Look, here comes Olivetti.
Pensava di venire qui con tanti dei suoi
He thought he'd come here with many of his own,
e invece è da solo.
and instead, he's by himself.
Captions 59-60, Adriano Olivetti - La forza di un sogno Ep.2 - Part 21Play Caption
Vuoi un antidolorifico? Ce l'ho.
Do you want a painkiller? I have some.
-No, no, no. Preferisco che mi passi da solo.
-No, no, no. I prefer for it to go away on its own.
-As you like.
Captions 38-40, La Ladra - Ep. 7 - Il piccolo ladroPlay Caption
Io, la mia strada, me la sono fatta da solo.
I, I've paved my own way [I did it all on my own].Play Caption
But solo is not always preceded by da.
Io... lo... lo conoscevo poco, però,
I... I... I didn't know him very well
nonostante tutte le donne che si vantava di avere,
but despite all the women he bragged about having,
a me sembrava un uomo molto solo.
he seemed like a very lonely man to me.
Captions 40-41, Il Commissario Manara - S2EP5 - Mondo sommersoPlay Caption
In this case, it means "lonely." It's not always clear if someone is lonely or alone. But if we ad da — da solo, then it is clear it means "alone," not "lonely." We can also say "to feel alone" or "to feel lonely." Sentirsi solo.
Solo can be an adjective meaning "only" — which rhymes with "lonely," and in Italian it's the same word.
Non è il solo motivo per cui mi oppongo.
It's not the only reason I object.Play Caption
Vedi, Alessio, quando mio padre venne qui e fondò questa fabbrica,
You see, Alessio, when my father came here and founded this plant,
qui intorno c'erano solo campi di grano.
there were only wheat fields around here.
Captions 17-18, Adriano Olivetti - La forza di un sogno Ep.2 - Part 13Play Caption
Cioè, penso solo al fatto che tu non ci sia più, Martino.
I mean, I can only think about the fact that you're no longer here, Martino.
Caption 3, Chi m'ha visto - filmPlay Caption
In English, we often say "just" to mean the same thing.
Magari! Ma quanto mi costa? Adesso spara la cifra.
If only! But how much will it cost me? Now he'll name the price.
-Io non voglio parlare di danaro, io voglio solo aiutarla.
-I don't want to talk about money. I just want to help you.
Captions 37-38, La Ladra - Ep. 4 - Una magica biondaPlay Caption
It's typical for someone to say, è solo che... (it's just that...) to minimize something, or to say "but."
Eh, è solo che ho bisogno di un prestito.
Huh, it's just that I need a loan.
Caption 10, La Ladra - Ep. 1 - Le cose cambianoPlay Caption
Another context in which we hear solo is when we want to say, "And that's not all!"
E non solo. Nella salina Moranella,
And not only that [and that's not all]. In the Moranella salt pan,
un momento magico, veramente, è la raccolta del fior di sale.
a magical moment, really, is the harvesting of "fleur de sel."
Captions 52-53, La rotta delle spezie di Franco Calafatti - Il salePlay Caption
When you need to keep someone waiting for a moment, or you are passing the phone to someone else, you can say:
Un momento solo (just a moment).
Un instante solo (just a moment).
We hope this lesson has given you some insight into the very common and important word solo. Don't forget that you can do a search of this word (and any other one) and see all the contexts right there on the video page. Look at where solo falls in the sentence and read the sentence to yourself. Get a feel for this word.