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Italian exact expression of the day: 'Me la cavo'

22:34 CEST+02:00

A good phrase to do practice it in Italy.

"Parli italiano?" (Do you speak Italian)
If you still learn, it can be a pretty complicated question to answer.

Do you give a heart-felt "sì, come no"('yes, of course'), risk overestimating your language skills, or just say "purtroppo, no," and you feel that the English you suspect is no better than your Italian?

Today 's sentence is a wonderful way, though it isn't too much, to mistake on the side of caution. me la cavo, 'I manage'.

It comes from the verb cavare, an curious word from the latin root which has given us an English word "excavate."

It may mean something from "extracting" (such as tooth or details), "getting" or "obtaining" something (such as profit or benefits), "getting out" (whether a pair of shoes or a chore is not comfortable or needs to be done), or "fitting out" (for instance, desire).

Il dentista mi ha cavato un dente.
The dentist took one of my teeth out.

Da questa esperienza non ho cavato niente di utile.
I didn't get anything useful out of that experience.

Voglio cavarmi le scarpe dopo una giornata così lunga.
I want to get out of these shoes after such a long day.

Potete cavare la fame con varie delizie della regione...
You can satisfy your appetite with various regional specialities...

But cavaresela, the same verb with the pronouns se('one') and la('it') added, is the form that most interests us here. They give it a somewhat different significance meaning, the same as farcela.

This edition means something like our own verb "to get by."


Me la cavo a parlare l'italiano.
I speak enough Italian to get by.

Dobbiamo cercare di cavarcela da soli.
We should try to get by on our own.

You can make it a question to check if someone else is handling

Come te la cavi? 
How are you getting on?
..... or reassure them they're doing just fine.

Te la cavi benissimo.
You're managing really well. 

Yes, Of course, when you're not getting by, there will surely be times. You can turn to a captivating language called non care un ragno dal buco, which is a way of saying that you're not getting anything or anything at all.

Non cavo un ragno dal buco.
I'm getting nowhere.

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