> Date:    Fri, 30 Jan 2004 18:13:36 +0100
> From:    Christophe Grandsire <[log in to unmask]>
> Subject: Re: French transitivity etc.
> >Not really knowing what progressive aspect is (I can wager a guess,=20
> >though... "I am eating" is it, at least...), I can at least tell you
> =20
> >in French, "I eat" and "I am eating" (je mange) are the same thing. In
> =20
> >3+ years of studying French (and I'm fairly competent in it...), I've=20
> >never encountered a correctly French way to express "I am eating" that=20
> >differentiates itself from "I eat". It may be confusing, mais c'est la
> Believe me, it's not confusing at all :)) .

Indeed the difference between English "I eat" and "I'm eating" is often
quite confusing for Italians... we have "mangio" and "sto mangiando", but
there is no clear-cut opposition as in English: the meaning of the latter
only stresses the progressive aspect of the action in particular conditions.
Another problem is the use of present continuous for future actions as in
"I'm leaving next Saturday"; we'd use a present simple instead: "Parto
sabato". We'd also use a present for sentences like "it will rain tomorrow"
("domani piove") and also "I'm going to study law next year" can be rendered
with "l'anno prossimo studio legge". Germans should have the same problems,
I think: "Ich esse" both means "I eat" and "I'm eating" (also: "Ich esse
gerade")- "I'm leaving tomorrow" = "Ich fahre morgen ab"...

> Date:    Fri, 30 Jan 2004 13:45:35 -0500
> From:    Roger Mills <[log in to unmask]>
> Subject: Re: French transitivity etc.
> Christophe wrote:
> >Believe me, it's not confusing at all :)) . Also, you seem to forget the
> existence of the expression "tre en train de", which indicates
> aspect. But due to its length, it has quite a strong progressive meaning
> which fits only some cases of use of the English progressive aspect
> when you insist on the idea of an on-going action).

As Italian stare + gerund has...

> That was my impression.  Perhaps as a response to "What were you doing
> the bomb went off? ~What were you doing when the police
> arrived?" --??"J'tais en train de...".whatever

The same applies to Italian.

> Date:    Fri, 30 Jan 2004 13:59:01 -0600
> From:    "Thomas R. Wier" <[log in to unmask]>
> Subject: Re: French <chez>
> From:    Roger Mills <[log in to unmask]>
> > John Quijada wrote:
> > > When I travelled in Italy, I saw several small restaurants and shops
> > > names were the word Ca' followed by a person's name, as in Ca'
> > > I assume it's a colloquial or dialectal shortening of _casa_ used
> > > like French _chez_.
> >
> > My impression has been that that's Venetian, or perhaps just Northern?
> It's the Venetian dialect form of _casa_;

Not only Venetian: Lombard has "c" as well; Genoan has both "casa" and "c"
(or "c"- I can't remember).