L'angolo della lingua - Prendere

L’angolo della lingua – Prendere

The verb prendere is very commonly used in Italian and translates as take/fetch/catch/have/get/eat/drink etc. according to the context.

Here are just a few such examples:

A che ora prendi il treno? = at what time do you catch the train?;

Puoi venire a prendermi alla stazione? = can you come to pick me up at the station?;

Ho preso $100 dal tuo portafogli = I took $100 from your wallet;

[at the bar/café] Cosa prendi? = What [drink/food] will you have?;

Ho preso paura = I got a fright;

Mi ha preso per un’altro = he/she took me for someone else;

Quanto ti ha preso per il manicure? = how much did he/she charge you for the manicure?;

L’hanno presa solo per un mese = they only hired her for a month;

Da bambino ha preso tante botte dal padre che era violento = as a child he copped a lot of hidings from his violent father.

And then there is prendersela con qualcuno – which means to get angry with somebody. The verb is used as a reflexive therefore it requires the auxiliary essere; and la means it, i.e. that thing (quella cosa –  which is feminine).

For example:

Io non ti ho fatto niente: perchè te la sei presa con me? 

I didn’t do anything to you: why were you angry with me?; 

Non devi prendertela con il bambino – è troppo piccolo per capire che sta sbagliando.

You must not get angry at the child – he’s too young to understand that he’s wrong/ that he’s making a mistake.

Finally, don’t confuse prendere with portare as the latter also means take, but look at the difference:

Passo a prenderti alle 10 e poi portiamo i cani a fare una camminata 

I’ll come to fetch you at 10 am and then we take the dogs for a walk;

Puoi venire a prendermi alle 8:00 e portarmi all’aeroporto?

can you pick me up at 8 am and take me to the airport?

Yvette Devlin