How to use sembra di + verb?
In case you don’t know, or don’t remember, we use sembrare when:
- we want to give a personal opinion about something or someone.
- when we want to refer to someone else’s opinion.
The verb sembrare is usually preceded by direct pronouns (mi, ti, gli, le, ci, vi) depending on who we’re referring to. Here is an example: mi sembra bello (it seems nice to me).
In the construction sembra di + verb, what seems to is an action (a verb) so we mainly use the third-person singular of sembra.
What does sembra di + verb mean?
Before we have a look at some examples, keep in mind sometimes literal translations sound very odd.
This is why we’re going to give you not-so-literal translations of mi sembra di (which literally means it seems to me to) for you to understand better.
Here’s a list of possible translations:
- I have the feeling I…
- I have the impression I…
- I think I…
- I don’t think I…
Of course, if we wanted to translate ti sembra di, we would say you instead of I. An example can be you have the feeling you…
Sembra di + verb: examples
We’re now ready to see some more examples.
The following are literal translations (that will sound odd) and more meaningful translations, for you to really grasp the meaning of each sentence.
Non mi sembra di conoscere tua sorella.
It doesn’t seem to me to know your sister.
I don’t think I know your sister.
Non mi sembra di riconoscere questo posto.
It doesn’t seem to me to recognize this place.
I don’t think I recognize this place.
Non ti sembra di esagerare?
Doesn’t it seem to you to exaggerate?
Don’t you think you’re exaggerating?
Non vi sembra di essere un po’ in ritardo?
Doesn’t it seem to you to be a bit late?
Don’t you think you’re a bit late?
Mi sembra di fare tutto male!
It seems to me to do everything wrong!
I have the impression I do everything wrong!
Mi sembra di sognare!
It seems to me to dream!
I have the feeling I’m dreaming!
As you can see, we use this construction mainly in negative sentences.
This is because it conveys the feeling that we’re actually thinking at the same time as we’re saying the sentence, like in the first and second examples.
It might also be because it helps us not to be too direct when we ask a question or because we want our interlocutors to really think about what we’re asking, like in the third and fourth examples.
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