Asked • 05/24/19

Is ‘cosare’ equivalent to the generic use of ‘do’ in English?

I'm a little bit ahead of my Italian lessons, but I hear people using forms of *cosare*, but don't fully understand it. I'm trying to figure out what it means in English (or even Spanish, although English is my native tongue). The closet thing I could think of was do (when used generically, not as an auxiliary)I understand that it's used in *Che cosa?* to mean *What?*, but I don't understand why it's necessary. I'd always thought that it meant *What happened?*, but my grandfather (born in Abruzzo, but a terrible teacher!) says it just means *What?*I'm not entirely sure whether *cosa* is used as a noun or a verb in that question, but it seems like it would be a verb.It reminds me of the *do* in the English *Let's do lunch*, but my grandfather said that idiom really doesn't translate into Italian very well. He suggested *Facciamo il pranzo*, but said that it would be *Cosiamo il pranzo* if I **insisted** on using *cosare*. Even though he didn't like that, he said I can use it generically for any verb, and he did give me some examples, but I don't understand it semantically.I've tried figuring this out using Google Translate by translating sentences from both English and Spanish, but Google doesn't recognize the word *cosare*.For example, I started with *Possiamo mangiare il pranzo di domani?* I then substitued *cosare* for *mangiare* and got *Can we cosare tomorrow?* I thought that maybe it just doesn't translate well into English, so I tried translating it into Spanish first (in my head, not with the translator). I replaced first *comer* with *cosare* and then *almorzar* as an alternate and got *¿Podemos cosare mañana?* in Spanish for both. I tried using a 3rd phrasing in Spanish with the original question and got *avere* for the verb, but I ended up with another meaningless translation, which you could probably guess.After getting frustrated, I decided maybe I should try something more basic and tried entering *Coso quello* for *Voglio quello*, but it still just gives me the translation of *Coso that* in English, and *CosA ese* in Spanish. That would mean *thing that* in English, but it's nonsense in Spanish too.I tried *Io coso buono* for *Io sono buono* and *Coso bene* for *Sta bene*, and got *good thing I* for **both**, at which point I decided that was about as basic as I could possibly get and gave up.Are there any English phrases, idioms, words, or expressions that can approximate the meaning of *cosare* in Italian? Am I at least attempting to use this verb properly?

1 Expert Answer


Arianna G. answered • 05/31/19

Patient and Fun Ivy League Test Prep, Math, and Italian Tutor

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