I should be in Italy, drinking wine.

Is the correct translation « Je devrais être en l’Italie, boire du vin. »?

I know that “drinking” is the present participle of drink which makes me believe that maybe my translation is wrong.

  • 2
    I think you incorrectly parsed the English sentence: "I should be drinking wine" [in Italy] is a modal verb and is not "Drinking wine is fun" (gerund noun). Now try it. That explains the mistranslation. Also, it's en Italie.
    – Lambie
    Feb 14, 2022 at 19:53
  • 3
    You didn't get what I said, even though you are a native speaker. Regardless of where you place "in Italy", the grammar of the thing in English is: I should be drinking wine. That is a modal verb. Your translation is the same as the one on Google translate, which is wrong. That said, your sentence is not incorrect in English! You just can't translate it written that way. You have to understand the modal verb in order to translate it. Because in Italy breaks up the phrase, Google Translate translates it as a gerund noun: boire du vin, stuck on the end of the sentence.
    – Lambie
    Feb 14, 2022 at 20:19
  • 1
    No, because the present simple here in this case (not all cases) doesn't provide the flavor of immediacy. The answer given below is right. You need: en train de here because otherwise it could just mean: I just drink wine in Italy, as opposed to drinking win. Don't worry about simple questions. I get it. I was "there" once.
    – Lambie
    Feb 14, 2022 at 20:36
  • 1
    Quick tip: The hard decision to make for an English speaker in French is when the "en train de" is actually needed. In this case it is. Because otherwise it could be understood in French as only meaning: I should drink wine in Italy. :)
    – Lambie
    Feb 14, 2022 at 20:40
  • 2
    Everyone's focused on a literal translation, but what are you trying to say? The context will dictate how this would be translated and you've given none, so there are several options. English sometimes uses "should" to mean something like "I feel by rights that I deserve to", or "I would prefer instead to be". For example, you're on your third overtime job of the evening and sit down to start saying "Ugh... I should be drinking wine in Italy right now". You would not use devrais as this is now idiomatic usage. So what are you actually trying to say?
    – J...
    Feb 15, 2022 at 11:21

1 Answer 1


Je devrais être en Italie en train de boire du vin.

Ou bien

Je devrais être en Italie à boire du vin.

  • 1
    À l'heure qu'il est, je devrais être en Italie à me boire un petit Chianti..
    – jlliagre
    Feb 14, 2022 at 20:57

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