How long does it take? : Italian lesson problems #1

I feel like I should find this a lot easier by now, but something I get stuck on every week in my Italian lesson is when I want to talk about how long something takes.

in general, I seem to have a block on anything to do with time. It has taken me 12 years to learn to say how long something has been happening for, using da for example.

“Da quanto tempo studi l’italiano ?”

“Studio l’italiano da 12 anni.”

How long have you been studying Italian?

I’ve been studying Italian for 12 years.

Having finally got the hang of that, I now wrestle every week with how long it takes to do something. A direct translation doesn’t work here. The verb volerci is used to express the need for something or how long something takes.

some examples : degli esempi

ci vuole un’ora : it takes an hour. (Use vuole as an hour is a singular thing )

per arrivare in centro ci vogliono 20 minuti. It takes 20 mins to get to the centre. (Use vogliono as minutes are plural!)

my own example from yesterday, talking about when I was on the phone for half the day trying to buy life insurance. (Assicurazione di vita!)

ci è voluta tutta la mattina. it took all morning!!

Tantissime domande, tipo, Hai mai fumato ?

Ultimo esempio: vi racconto la storia di l’anno scorso quando ho fatto una torta grande a forma di 4, per il mio figlio più piccolo. È stato un incubo perché la torta era così grande, si devono mettere 12 uova. Ho pensato che la torta non si sarebbe MAI cucinata …. alla fine si è cucinata ma ci sono volute tantissime ore!!

final example, I’ll tell you the story of when I made a big birthday cake shaped like a 4 , for my youngest son last year. It was a nightmare because the cake was so big, it needed 12 eggs. And i thought it was never going to cook, it did cook eventually but it took HOURS! I had almost given up 😂

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