Io non posso rimanere incinta. Sono sterile.

English Translation

I cannot get pregnant. I am sterile.

Would “diventare” work here instead of “rimanere”? Or is it a set expression?


I would say it is an idiomatic expression. using “diventare” is understandable, but a bit weird. As if using “to become pregnant” in English maybe… Isn’t “to get pregnant” the most common way to say it?


Spot-on @mike-lima To get…

What looked odd to me was the word “rimanere” because first things first: you can’t remain or stay pregnant if you did not “get” or “become” pregnant to begin with, because you are sterile.( I think ,medically speaking, I am not very wrong). If it is an idiomatic expression I am totally ok with it.


I’ve only seen rimanere being used like this in a past tense, like “due persone sono rimaste uccise in un incidente”, so it’s good to know it can be used in the present.


Another interesting use of “rimanere” as in “trovarsi”. For example: dove rimane questa strada? Or mi sa dire dove rimane la posta?


Grazie a entrambi per queste utili informazioni. Rimanere has much to offer;-)


“Rimanere”, in addition to its meaning of “to stay”, has another use (Treccani in the link describes it as a “copulative verb”, that is a verb that connects a name with another name or something like an adjective).

We use it often to indicate someone changed to a (kind of permanent) condition because something else happened.

So “sono incinta” means “I am pregnant”, “sono rimasta incinta”, also means that, but it kind of highlights the fact that it is a change that has happened. So in a sense, it implies “I became pregnant”.

Sometimes we use “restare” as well for this meaning, like “restare/rimanere male” (to be disappointed) but other times, only “rimanere” is appropriate, e.g. you cannot change “rimanere” in “rimanere deluso” (again, to be disappointed) with “restare”. Treccani again says that “rimanere” is more frequently used than “restare” when the attribute is a past participle (as in this case), but to my ear “restare” feels wrong.

More examples in the linked article (in Italian):


Grazie mille. Così utile!

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