Italian Language/use of "spingere"


Dear Lauren,

Can you please help me to understand why one must use the verb “spingere” in the following sentence instead of using “camminare” or “andare a piedi”

Rich ha spinto la bici sulla collina.
Rich pushed the bike on the hill.  (Rich walked the bike up the hill)

I find this so interesting, and I also think I would remember much better if I understood why this is so.

Thank you very much for your patience with my many questions on this topic.

Very Sincerely,


Hi Rich,

Although we don't tend to think of these things in English, the use of 'walk' in the above sentence is actually metaphorical. Although effectively, one is walking a bike up the hill, the actual action being carried out is the owner pushing the bike.

In Italian, to use either the verbs 'camminare' or 'andare a piedi' would imply that the bike is personified, has its own legs and thus is capable of walking up the hill itself! Therefore, to retain the same meaning as in English, we must change the verb to more literal 'spingere' meaning 'to push' as this is the actual action being carried out.

Hope this helps,
Kind regards,

Italian Language

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Lauren O' Hagan


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.


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.

El Pensador, University of Bristol

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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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