How to say can’t help doing in Italian?
Can’t help doing is a way of saying that we don’t want to do a particular thing because we know it’s not good, but we can’t stop ourselves from doing it.
In Italian, there’s no direct translation for this useful expression. But there are two useful expressions for expressing can’t help doing in Italian.
You’ll understand them better in context, but for now, have a look at them on their own:
Here are some examples:
Non posso non pensare che sarà peggio.
I can’t help thinking it’ll be worse.
Literally: I can not think it’ll be worse.
Non posso fare a meno di pensare a lei.
I can’t help thinking of her.
Literally: I can’t do without thinking of her.
To use these expressions, you need to know how to conjugate the verb potere in the present tense:
Here’s its conjugation:
|lui / lei||può|
How to use non posso non?
Let’s have a look at some examples:
Non posso non pensare che sia colpa mia!
I can’t help thinking it’s my fault!
Non possiamo non venire con te!
We can’t help coming with you!
Non posso non mangiare questa torta!
I can’t help eating this cake!
As we showed you above, the literal translation of non potere non would be “cannot not”, as in I cannot not eat this cake!
Here’s another structure: non + conjugated form of potere + fare a meno di + verb in the infinitive.
Non posso fare a meno di chiedere.
I can’t help asking.
Non possiamo fare a meno di provare pietà per lei.
We can’t help feeling sorry for her
What does fare a meno di mean in Italian?
Fare a meno di means:
- To manage without and accept the lack of
- To do without and accept the lack of
To put it simply, fare a meno di means to do without. We can also say fare a meno di + something or someone.
Also, instead of di, we can say del, della, dell’, dei, delle, and degli depending on what we’re referring to.
Here’re some examples:
Dovresti imparare a fare a meno di lui.
You should learn how to do without him.
Non posso fare a meno dei miei occhiali.
I can’t do without my glasses.
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