Italian Language/to walk

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Question
Dear Lauren,

Can you please tell me the difference between the use of “camminare”  and “andare in piedi”.  

I am trying to understand how to say “to walk” in expressions such as: “I walked to work”,“I walked a lot while on vacation”,  “My wife walks very fast”, “Rich walked his bike up the hill”  etc.

Thank you very much.  

Sincerely,

Rich

Answer
Hi Rich,

Although both “camminare”  and “andare a piedi" mean "to walk", there is a subtle difference in usage. Typically "camminare" will be followed by something else and is unlikely to appear on its own in isolated cases, whereas "andare a piedi" will almost always appear on its own.

"Andare a piedi" is usually also used to refer to the general action of walking in the sense of simply travelling on foot. So if somebody were to ask how you got to the party, for example, you might say "sono andato a piedi". It would sound rather strange to simply say "ho camminato" as this is more likely to refer to a casual stroll without purpose.

So regarding the expressions you mentioned above, I would say:
"Sono andato al lavoro a piedi" for "I walked to work" (here you are referring to a ritual act that you do all the time. To me "camminare" has more of a casual feel to it when you are out simply taking a stroll)

Quando ero in vacanza, camminavo molto (here the action of walking was at a set period in time and was more likely to refer to strolling around casually than walking to get from A to B)

Mia moglie cammina veloce (when talking about the way in which one walks, 'camminare' is typically used. Andare a piedi does not allow for an adverb to come after it so you could not say 'andare veloce a piedi)

Rich ha spinto la bici sulla collina (in this case, it is actually the verb 'to push' that you would use as 'to walk' cannot be used in this sentence in the same way as one would in English)

Hope this helps,
Kind regards,
Lauren

Italian Language

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Lauren O' Hagan

Expertise

Although not my mother tongue, I have spoken Italian fluently for more than 12 years so I am very confident to answer any questions about the Italian language. I am also competent in Roman Dialect if there are any questions relating to this.

Experience

MA Applied Linguistics First Class Honours in Modern Language Studies (Linguistics, Italian, Spanish) Received the top grade in the whole of UK for GCSE Italian, receiving a letter of congratulations from the Italian Consulate Completed my two-year A Level in 1 year with a grade A country. Carried out many translation jobs for a wide range of clients and topics including self-help, literature and exam papers. For personal reference, I have also translated Federico Moccia's Tre Metri Sopra Il Cielo and 2 of Francesco Totti's book.

Publications
El Pensador, University of Bristol

Education/Credentials
See expertise section

Awards and Honors
Letter of recognition from the Italian consulate MA Applied Linguistics BA Hons Modern Language Studies CELTA qualified C1 CILS C2 DELE

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ZigZag Education Ultimate Lifestyle Project Victor Lujan

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