What to Study This Week: Farsi vedere

This week’s phrase is:


farsi vedere which means
to show up


Here it is as it appears in our episode of Il Commissario Manara on Yabla:


Luca has just returned to the commissariato and asks Quattroni:


Mia sorella si è vista?
Has my sister been seen?


To which Quattroni responds:


È tutta la mattina che va e viene dal suo ufficio, ma ora come ora…
All morning she has been coming and going from your office, but right now…


To which Luca replies:


Va be’, si farà vedere.
That’s ok, she’ll show up.


More literally:


Si farà vedere
She will make herself seen.


But you really shouldn’t think of this too literally. Think about the phrases we use in English to express this concept. They are even less literal.


She’ll show up.


Show up? What does that really mean? Well, you know what it means, right?


How about this one:


She’ll turn up.


Huh? If you think about it, the English is even crazier than the Italian! Farsi vedere does have a somewhat wider use than to show up as it literally means to make oneself seen. So you will see it in situations where the English to show up doesn’t work as a translation.


What’s going to mess you up

This phrase isn’t too difficult. But it is reflexive, so you will have to remember to use the right pronoun. In the compound past tenses, you will need to remember to use essere, not avere. And you will have to match the past participle, in this case fatto, with the gender of the person who is the subject of the sentence. For example:


Mi sono fatta vedere.
I showed up.


or more literally:


I made myself seen.


Notice fatta agrees with a female subject.



Here are some examples to get you started:


Si fa vedere e causa problemi, solitamente a me.
He shows up and causes problems, usually for me.


Se non si fa vedere entro un’ora, richiamalo.
If he doesn’t show up within an hour, let’s call him again.


Linda non si fa vedere da ieri.
Linda hasn’t been seen since yesterday.


Tom e Eve, dopo tutto quel che è successo, non si fanno nemmeno vedere.
Tom and Eve, after everything that’s happened, don’t even show up.


Non mi sono fatta vedere per pranzo.
I didn’t show up for lunch.


Hanno risposto sì ma non si sono fatti vedere.
They replied yes but they haven’t shown up.


Sono qui al mio lavoro, ma il capo non si è fatto vedere.
I’m here at work, but the boss hasn’t shown up.


Infatti oggi non si è fatto vedere.
In fact, today he didn’t show up.


Quella ragazza si faceva vedere ogni volta che avevamo una festa.
That girl would show up every time we had a party.


È meglio se non ti fai vedere nel mio territorio.
It’s better if you don’t show yourself in my territory.


Ho saputo che ti sei fatto vedere alla festa.
I heard you made an appearance at the party.


Non importa a che ora ti fai vedere.
It doesn’t matter what time you show up.


How will you use this week’s phrase? Let us know on Facebook!


If you feel your Italian is good enough to watch without Italian (or English) subtitles, this episode of Il Commissario Manara is also available for free from RAI. You will need to fast forward to exactly 48 minutes for the start of Un morto di troppo.



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