How to use how long and since when in Italian?
In Italian, there are different ways to ask about the duration of an action or event.
Two common expressions used for this purpose are da quanto tempo (how long) and da quando (since when).
The first one is used to inquire about the length of time an action has been going on or how long something will last.
On the other hand, the second one is used to ask about the starting point of an action or event.
In today’s grammar lesson we’ll focus on the expression da quanto tempo and its variations.
How to ask da quanto tempo?
In Italian, we use da quanto tempo, da quanto, or da quanto è che + verb when we want to ask How long…? or Since when..?
These are all common expressions you’ll hear when visiting Italy.
As you can see, you don’t always need the word tempo (time) since it’s pretty obvious you’re talking about time. The last option is the more colloquial one.
Here are some examples:
Da quanto tempo parli inglese?
Since when do you speak Italian?
Da quanto abiti in Spagna?
Since when do you live in Spain?
Da quanto è che siete insieme?
How long have you been together?
How to answer da quanto tempo?
In English, we either answer with since or wish for. In Italian, we need the word da followed by either the amount of time or the specific moment in time.
You’ll also notice we use the present tense in both cases.
Let’s now have a look at some possible answers:
Parlo inglese da 3 anni. O Parlo inglese dal 2017.
I’ve spoken English for 3 years. Or I’ve spoken English since 2017.
Abito in Spagna da un anno. O Abito in Spagna dall’anno scorso.
I’ve lived in Spain for a year. O I’ve lived in Spain since last year.
Siamo insieme da 5 anni. O Siamo insieme dal 2015.
We’ve been together for 5 years. Or We’ve been together since 2015.
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