Is the following not a good translation? "How long does the dinner take?"
I would say that "the dinner" in this case is a bit awkward. Although possible, you would most likely just say dinner in this case.
I think if you ask "how long does the dinner take" it means how long does it take to be ready to eat; but the verb durare is asking for the time the dinner will last. I don't know if I'm being clear enough.
Because quanto in this case is a pronoun, if you used it as an adjective the phrase would have been quanto tempo dura la cena?
Still not clear, and I believe the previous writer wasn't also... as to WHY Not QuantA. We know that a pronoun is a word that takes the place of a noun. ex: Erik is strong, he is very strong. So how is Quanto=When/How Long a pronoun? It's not taking the place of the noun - dinner - or... la cena.
I thought that words like Quanto/a... Quello/a... took the same ending as the noun in the sentence. So la cena...seems like QuantA would take an A.
Can we have it explained a bit more? According to your other example ... quanto tempo dura la cena... It still isn't taking an A ending? That's confusing to us who remember the o/a... ending rules. Grazie
Quanto can have an
-a ending only if it is an adjective or pronoun referring to a feminine noun.
In this sentence (and my example)
quanto refers to
tempo, which is a masculine noun.
"How long does the dinner go [on] [for]" would be fine, but "how goes on for long the dinner" is not English.
Not if you are Yoda. But it is not fluent or elegant to construct it that way in English, no.
While "dura" does mean tough/hard it can also indicate length or duration, as in this case.
I think it is a case of adjective (if that is what it is called) vs. verb (dura= hard, though; durare= taking a certain amount of time).