"Leggono dei giornali."

Translation:They read some newspapers.

January 3, 2013

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could someone patiently explain how to tell the difference between 'they read from the newspapers' [and] 'they read some newspapers'?

I cannot see how to distinguish the two functions of 'dei' here.


Leggono i giornali = They read the newspapers

Leggono dai (da+i) giornali = They read from the newspapers

Leggono dei (di+i) giornali = They read some newspapers


But the duolingo cheat sheet says "of, from" for dei.


This is confusing. This is the possesive section so all of these ones about "some" are really throwing me off.


It seems that Duolingo often throws in other words with the themed vocabulary in order to expand the number of sentences you can make. I find it to be quite helpful to learn the new vocabulary in this more contextual setting.


I agree especially since they both have the root of del


I'm not an expert but I compiled the following to better understand and explain. In this sentence, dei (or de + i) is a partitive article or articolo partitivo in Italian. IT MEANS "SOME". Below is an explanation if you are interested.

Definite articles: il/i, la/le, lo & l'/gli as in Voglio i libri = I want the books (specific "the")

Indefinite articles: Un, Una, Un', Uno For example I want a book = Vogio un libri (any book); Un'arancia = an orange; Uno psicologo = a psychologist (z, ps, pn, x, y, gn or s + consonant)

There’s no plural, indefinite article in Italian so they use

a) adjectives like qualche, alcune/alcuni as in alcuni libri = some books

b) pronouns like alcune/alcuni, ne, certe/certi as in certi libri = certain books

c) adverb un po' as in Dai un po' di mele = Give some apples


partitive article or articolo partitivi which is, yes, di + article to denote "some" Del/dei as in Mangio del pane = I eat some bread or as in our case Leggono dei giornali = They read SOME newspapers

dell'& dello/degli as in Hai dello zucchero = Do you have some sugar

della, dell'/delle as in Ho visto delle ragazze = I saw some girls

The confusion comes from the preposition Di + article which (a) usually means "of" and the following:

(b) Originis as in "from": Io sono di Venezia or Di dove sei? = where are you from

(c) Topic as in "about": Molti italiani parlano di calcio = Many Italians talk about soccer.

(d) Comparison as in "than": I am bigger than her = Sono più grande di lei.

(e) Possessive as "'s": Caesar's crown = la corona di Cesare

(f) Materials as in made of: Wool sweater = Maglione di lana

(g) Time as "in" or "during": Working in the daytime = Lavorando di giorno.

(h) Movement as "by" or direction: Pass by here = Passa di qui; Go upstairs = Vai di sopra

(g) Some verbs are followed by "di" usually meaning "of", "by", "with", "about" as in Bisogno di = In need of; Innamorarsi di = to fall in love with; Non mi sono dimenticata di lei = I haven't forgotten about her


Italian friends: could this also be translated "they're reading newspapers"? It seems that you have SOME article in Italian- it wouldn't sound right to say "leggono giornali", would it? But in English, "They're reading some newspapers" would not be used in most contexts.


"we read newspapers" I understand is correct according to explanation given on the combination with "di", that can express indefinite quantity


Why not "some of the newspapers"?


What's wrong with "They read from the newspapers?"


Never mind. That would be "Legono dai giornali."

[deactivated user]

    Is this necessary like the french "du"?


    Sometimes pronunciation aren't quite clear


    Could it also mean "They read about the newspapers"? According to my dictionary, 'di' can also be used to refer to the subject of a discussion, though the examples it gives are all without an article.


    The word 'about' does not have a direct translation. The nearest would be 'Leggono su giornali.' - They read up on newspapers - They studied about newspapers.

    My comment above: 'Leggono dei alcuni giornali' should be 'They read some other newspapers.'

    We see lots of people trying to make 'word for word' translations, and often it just doesn't work.


    Could it be 'They read of the newspapers.'?

    (In English, this basically means 'They read about the newspapers.')


    Giornali sounds like donali, dei as de donali


    I'm so confused. There are so many meanings for the same thing. I thought dei meant "of the" in masculine singular.


    duolingo translates giornali as daily newspaper. I had to put it to pass the lesson. Is that corret


    The correction I received is “They read some daily newspapers”


    Yes, as usual that's not how one says it in English. I read of/from the newspaper.


    The hints say dei also means "of the", so why was I wrong when I wrote they read of the newspapers?


    For 'uncountables', like salt or water, or whenever the amount is uncertain, we use 'some' or 'any' in English expressions as e.g. "Here, - have some water". It's called a partitive article and its Italian equivalent is formed using "di", of/from, and the definite article, il/i/la/le, - in this case "dei".

    To instead say "of the" we would have to use da and the definite article instead, - dai giornali.

    If you want to read up on this I think I can recommend using ThoughtCo

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