https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Squalo23

Difference between "roccia" and "pietra"?

Does anyone know the difference between "roccia" and "pietra"?

September 2, 2015

15 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/TheShadowBroker

I think that "roccia" is more like "rock" and "pietra" is more like "stone" (someone correct me if i'm wrong)

September 2, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/CinnamonBoy

Yep, you're correct! :)

September 3, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/yellowfrog88

I've always thought that "rock" and "stone" are more or less the opposite in UK and US English, though. (See the definition of "stone" at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_words_having_different_meanings_in_American_and_British_English:_M%E2%80%93Z). Can you describe the difference in more detail?

September 3, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Tyler_Norman

In British English a stone is a small rock, generally a size that you could throw. In the UK people throw stones. 'Rock' generally refers to a large, effectively fixed, object. People are not said to throw rocks in the UK.

September 3, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Dcarl1

Sure, but this is an incomplete definition. As an architect, I use stone for a finished material and rock for a raw one. We would talk of a stone facade or stone flooring, but not a rock one. A stone wall would be quarried tile probably, while a rock wall might be more rubble.

September 3, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/yellowfrog88

There are lots of exceptions ("Sticks and stones may break my bones" means "rocks" to Americans), but we're trying to understand what the Italian words mean. My understanding of the primary meanings of "rock" and "stone" are exactly the opposite of Tyler_Norman, so I think we have to be very careful here.

September 3, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Susanna35

I am an American, and I disagree with your saying that in that instance stones means "rocks" to Americans. In general, I agree with Tyler_Norman's usage, although we sometimes carelessly say "rocks" when we really mean stones. A rock is something big, stable, hard to move, a stone is something you can pick up easily - and throw. But we exaggerate freely, too, like when we say we have a "boulder" in our shoe.

September 8, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/yellowfrog88

Thank you for the clarification, Susanna35. It may be that this is a dialect or generational issue. I say "skip rocks" and "rock, scissors, paper" (not "scissors, paper, stone" as I hear from British English speakers). What's important to me is to remember to be careful about terms like these when trying to learn a foreign language.

September 8, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mmseiple

For things like this, I sometimes find it useful to do an image search on Google for the two terms. There you can see really clearly the difference that Dcarl points out between stone (pietra) and rock (roccia).

September 3, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/yellowfrog88

This is a great idea. Looking at Google Images, it looks like "roccia" refers to the bigger, more solid object (UK = rock, US = stone) and "pietra" refers to objects that you can throw, with some cross-over.

September 3, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/J.R.Nogal

And 'sassolino' is a pebble!

September 3, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/thenoblesunfish

To add onto this, how about sasso?

September 4, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/juraj.slavik

Sasso is smaller stone, try googling images for sasso.

Or read more about other similar words here: http://forum.wordreference.com/threads/rupestre-ghiaia-sassolino-sasso-pietra-masso.1141297/

September 4, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/yellowfrog88

Hermocrates seems to have good definitions.

September 5, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MrcpiBi

"roccia" is used for concrete that are fixed and you cannot easily move or throw away. "pietra" usually is related to a small object. "Sasso" and "Pietra" indicate the same object, they are sinonimuos and the second one is more common in spoken italian. "Sassolino" is a small "Sasso", -ino is one of the form used for diminutive, but in this case you have also to add the "l".

September 5, 2015
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