"Non so se lui ha un cavallo."

Translation:I do not know if he has a horse.

January 3, 2013



Why doesn't this sentence use the congiuntivo? Shouldn't this sentence be "Non so se lui abbia un cavallo" ?

January 3, 2013


I was thinking the same thing. I realize they don't want us using that mood yet, but it is just going to be that much more confusing when they give us a similar sentence in the future and expect us to use it when before they had us not use it.

May 4, 2013


Non so se abbia un cavallo, si

January 6, 2013


Indeed, it would be more correct. Anyway, people sometime say this sentence using the present form. For example, Roman accent doesn't make much use of congiuntive and conditionals, unless it is really necessary :) just FYI anyway

January 22, 2013


Strictly, in "proper" English, 'if' is only used in conditional sentences (e.g. 'I won't go IF it rains') and whether is used if there is no condition at all ('I don't know WHETHER I'll go'). In this sentence, therefore, whether is the strictly correct, formal translation, however, in everyday speech the words are interchangeable and in reality 'if' is dominant.

May 18, 2014


There is no such thing as proper english, there is only "uptight twat" English, which is in no way more correct than the English non-uptight-twat people actually speak, so please stop being a prescriptivist. (coming from a linguistics major)

March 11, 2018


Well Seb, speaking as another linguistics grad,(!?) it is always good to have different registers of language politely pointed out. Anyway, I think you mean no more or less valid - the standard grammar books however will make the difference.

June 16, 2018


Yes, because we all know there's a unanimous anti-prescriptivist consensus in linguistics.

February 25, 2019

[deactivated user]

    Well I wasn’t going to consider what you said, but since you are a linguistics major I think that does change everything, really.

    May 18, 2018


    I feel like a more (or at least equally) correct English translation would be "I do not know WHETHER he has a horse"

    March 5, 2013


    To me that sounds less correct. You might say "I do not know whether he has a horse or not."

    April 8, 2013


    Where did you learn English? Different places have different dialects, so maybe that's just a regional thing. To me, that sounds less correct.

    May 4, 2013


    I'm from Tennessee. The way I would say this type of thing would be "I don't know if he has a horse", "I don't know whether he has a horse or not" or perhaps "I don't know whether or not he has a horse", but that last one would be slightly weirder sounding.

    May 4, 2013


    That's true, if you're going to say "whether" then you have to include both possibilities.

    June 28, 2013


    Nope, you can say "or not" after whether, but it's not necessary, and stylistically often better without it.

    February 25, 2019


    Why does it translate as : I don't know if he's a horse? Lui ha means he has, not he is. He's means he is...

    August 19, 2015


    I think it's either wrong or a really confusing abbreviation from "he has" to "he's".

    September 18, 2015


    Yes that's a really terrible use of that contraction. For anyone who doesn't know, contractions of "to have" should only be used when "to have" is a helping verb, with very few exceptions.

    July 4, 2016


    That is hilarious. While "he's" could be used as a contraction of "he has" in some contexts e.g. "he's made many such errors", this is not one of them.

    January 2, 2017


    Yeah. We've a lot of uses for that style of contraction, and I know that the style "He's/she's/one's/you've/y'all've/they've/we've/it's/I've GOT X." is very common. Also, "He's made many (of) such errors." is perfectly fine as a sentence; I and many other speakers that I have heard, have used that structure before.

    January 18, 2017


    It's a long-standing bug in Duolingo that thinks that "has" can always contract to " 's ". It's something the programmers put in, not something the course editors can control.

    April 18, 2017


    Why is "se" used here, and not "si?"

    June 18, 2015


    Because this is Italian, not Spanish.

    July 12, 2015


    oh, I'm sorry! I thought "si" was also used in Italian... :/ then, out of curiosity, does the accent in "sì" (yes) distinguish it from something else? It does in Spanish... "sí" (yes) and "si" (if).

    July 13, 2015


    Yes. "Si" in Italian is the reflexive pronoun (which in Spanish is "se"). Here are the correspondences: Italian | Spanish Sì Sí Se Si Si Se

    I'm sorry if I sounded rude in my first comment.

    July 13, 2015


    Thanks for your response! Yes, I have to say, I was a little taken aback by that comment at first, but it's OK.

    July 13, 2015


    That moment when you confuse knife with horse... don't know how but o.o.

    March 30, 2017


    I think he does. Probably some elephants too.

    July 8, 2017


    I'm pretty sure I will need this phrase a lot when I am in Rome in a few months. Won't be sure if any of the people there have a horse.

    September 12, 2017


    What's the difference between "Non lo so" and "Non so"?

    January 12, 2015


    Lo = it.

    Then the difference is like "I don't know it" and "I don't know". In other words, there's not much difference.

    March 18, 2015


    There is clearly something wrong here. Correct translation is at the top of these comments but it keeps telling me "I do not know if he's a horse".

    December 24, 2015


    He's had too much too drink. "He has" can also be contracted, but we wouldn't when it could be confused with "he is". Duolingo's program algorithm probably doesn't know when it is okay and when not.

    January 23, 2016


    why is it wrong to omit "I " in translation and say "Don't know if he has a horse". I would omit it in Italian too.

    March 25, 2016

    • 2008

    Because the subject pronouns are optional in Italian but mandatory in English.

    March 25, 2016


    I am confused about why "lo" is not used here.

    January 18, 2017


    Because "lo" is it, and you don't have to say it, because you already say "if he has a horse", it is the substitution of "if he has ..."

    If not, you would say "I do not know it if he has a horse". The it is not necessary.

    February 14, 2018


    Would someone be so nice and explain the structure of this sentence a bit ?!

    January 25, 2017

    • 2008

    In Italian, verbs conjugate uniquely to the subject pronoun. Io, tu, lui/lei, noi, voi, and loro all have their own verb conjugations. So very often, it is not necessary to include the subject pronoun. The conjugation of the verb tells you who the subject is.

    English uses do-support with its verbs for things like emphasis ("I'm telling you, I do know the answer!"), negation ("I do not think this is a good idea."), and questions ("Do you want to go to the movies?").

    Italian does not do this. But like English, it does put the negation before the main part of the verb:
    I do not know
    Non so

    The rest of the sentence is word-for-word how we would say it in English:
    Non so se lui ha un cavallo.
    (I do) not know if/whether he has a horse.

    January 25, 2017


    How do you have time to write all of that stuff

    September 17, 2017

    • 2008

    We have different ideas of what constitutes "all that stuff". It takes me 2 minutes to type it up. Not much time at all.

    September 18, 2017


    The verb conjugation is incorrect. The phrase indicates doubt. It should be 'abbia' instead of 'ha'

    August 6, 2017


    I know that he has a horse. You guys didn't know that. Just like Donald Trump always A catch .....................................................................................................

    September 17, 2017


    I'm so much happy and excited, that have learned so many words (or it only seems to me). Really I'm very-very grateful for the opportunity of studying l'Italiano with such a program. It is cool and gives a lot of motivation.

    February 12, 2018


    Why is "i know not" wrong?

    October 8, 2018

    • 2008

    Because the team didn't code it in. Because it's not mainstream. Because it's archaic.

    October 8, 2018


    Wether instead of if should also be correct.

    October 19, 2018

    • 2008

    Perhaps, but it may have marked you wrong for misspelling "whether".

    October 19, 2018


    Can someone explain this sentence please

    July 16, 2014


    I don't know if he has a horse

    Yea, totally going to use this IRL :P

    August 7, 2015


    Although I'm fairly new to Italian, I'm not sure how this can translate to "is a horse" rather than "has a horse". If there is another translation or mood that creates this new meaning, it should have been clarified prior to this lesson.

    October 13, 2015

    • 2008

    If Duo told you it's "is a horse", then that's wrong. It glitches sometimes.

    October 21, 2015



    March 15, 2017


    At first I read this as Non so si lui è un cavallo (I just woke up, okay?) and all I could think of was Jean

    July 2, 2017


    Completely wrong translation here DL. Please amend it before it causes confusion. Other comments explain the error.

    April 16, 2018


    Y u do this duo??

    November 12, 2015
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