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  5. "Sono gatte."

"Sono gatte."

Translation:They are cats.

January 4, 2013

116 Comments


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

Even though it's somewhat ridiculous shouldn't "I am cats" be an acceptable translation. How else would you tell someone that you are not one human person but actually several cats standing on each other's shoulders in a trench coat?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
Mod
  • 2407

If you want to guarantee that "Sono gatte" is interpreted as "I am cats" instead of the default assumption "They are cats" (because agreement) then you'd have to explicitly say "Io sono gatte."


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

And to make sure you mean "they" - "Loro sono gatte"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jmanu5

I've upvoted your answer as one of the funniest things I've read in my life! Almost peed my pants!


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

I hope your doing this lesson on the toilet then!


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

Why would you wear your pants so high on the toilet?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/missagh2

Oh man, that was the funniest answer possible to the funniest comment ever....


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

lol funniest thing i've read today


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AriW1977

Translating this as "I am cats" is not somewhat, but wholly, utterly ridiculous, to not use other, and still harsher, adjectives.


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

But still technically correct.


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

I think if you wanted to say to someone "I am cats", you probably shouldnt be speaking at all!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rose-Razia

Lol Funniest comment


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

I am cats isnt proper grammar, it would be I am the cats


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
Mod
  • 2407

The presence or absence of the definite article has nothing to do with that statement being grammatical or not. It is a matter of mismatched singular-plural agreement in the subject and predicate: I (singular) am cats (plural).


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

I thought cats were masculine? il gatto, right? How can it change to a feminine plural form?


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

una gatta = a female cat


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

Does the same thing happen with dogs?


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

Do you want me to teach you insults in Italian? ;-) For a female dog there is the word 'una cagna'. The scheme works for a lot of animals, however. E.g. 'il cavallo / la cavalla'. 'la maiala' is indeed used as an insult, BTW.


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

No, 'cagna' is fine. I was referring to the English '❤❤❤❤❤'. To come back to the pork: 'il porco / la porca' does also work.


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

I heard that "cagna" can be an insult in Italian as well...?


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

Thank you! I didn't even think about the fact that it might be an insult. Is it pretty much advised NOT to use the word "cagna" then?


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

No because il cane ends with the letter e. Nouns that end in e only have two forms - ie. il cane and i cani.

Il gatto ends with -o therefore it can change to la gatta (the female cat), i gatto (the cats - could be all male cats, mixed or unknown gender) and le gatte (the female cats).

Il cavallo (or any other animal noun which ends with -o) will also change like il gatto if you are specifically talking about a female of that animal.

This also applies to professions (which we haven't covered yet).


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/pgl3
  • 246

Animals, yes. Professions, yes. But what about other words which can have male and female forms? Il angelo = the angel but would a female angel be l'angela?


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

So, shouldn't the translation of "sono gatte" be "they are female cats" not just "they are cats"? (as given by DL?)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
Mod
  • 2407

No. Not everything translates. Just because they encode the sex in Italian doesn't mean we need to carry it over into English.


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

welcome to Italy and the Italian language! That's the way it is with the noun "cats"


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

I was just imagining a masculine cat... drinking a beer while working on the truck, going to the barbecue with the boys


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

I thought sono means "I am".... how does it all of the sudden translate to they are?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
Mod
  • 2407

essere

io sono
tu sei
lui/lei è
noi siamo
voi siete
loro sono

Just like in English we have "you are" and "we are" and "they are".


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

Like Rae.F posted, you can see there are two sono with two meanings, I am (the first one) and they are (the last one). You just have to work with context, like it would be pretty weird to translate "sono gatte" as "I am cats" when "they are cats" work better. hope this helps as well owo


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mary.gh86

Why is it wrong to say "Sono gatti"??


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

Because the audio says "gatte", feminine, so "gatti" doesn't fit here.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mary.gh86

Well, the audio sucks anyway!


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

If they are going for the audible distinction between gatti and gatte then there needs to be an audible exercise for each contrasting the difference. All i am aware of is a question with a picture of cats that accepts both "le gatte" and "i gatti" as correct answers. So given no other context the expectation would be the same here.


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

It should be fine. Please report it.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/1048030372

It's heard sono "giatte"!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Garp110

Me too. Definitely 3 syllables.


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

Gatte is plural, then "sono" here means they are. If someone wants to say I am a cat. Then use the singular form (gatto or gatta).


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/IhabAL-sabbbah

why we write gatte with E not gatti with I ?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
Mod
  • 2407

il gatto - the cat (masculine)
i gatti - the cats (masculine)
la gatta - the cat (feminine)
le gatte - the cats (feminine)


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

Why not gatti? It's been said gatti or gatte is OK.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
Mod
  • 2407

Hm. Yeah, if there's nothing to specify which gender you should pick, I've found that (at least in Spanish, I haven't tested it yet in Italian) as long as everything you type agrees properly, you have the freedom to choose between he-cat and she-cat.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/IhabAL-sabbbah

why we write gatte not gatti


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ross.h

If you recall, Scylla's lower half was turned not into a dog but dogs, so perhaps (if you read it in the first person) this is a statement from some similar kind of monster.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ShubhamAga2

Sono grazie was also possible


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/bobbi888

why is this gate, when cat is masculine, shouldn't it be soon gatti ? Ok I get that a female cat is gatt a, but how are we to know that you are talking about a female??????????


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

I'm confused here. I get that gatte is plural and that sono is also plural since it can be loro sono.

What bothers me is that the translation gives you also cat singular form, so shouldn't 'Io sono gatte' be correct as in I am a cat ? Or is the singular translation wrong ?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
Mod
  • 2407

By some quirk, "sono" can be both "I am" and "they are". If you want to say "I am a cat," that would be either "io sono un gatto" or "io sono una gatta" (depending on your gender).


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

I got that part, what I'm saying is that when you check "gatte" translation the dictionary gives you cats and cat but cat should be gatto like you said so I'm guessing the translation for gatte as a mistake and shouldn't give cat as one of the possibilities.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
Mod
  • 2407

Oh. Well, I totally mis-read your comment, then! Sorry about that.

I have three thoughts on it:

One, it's an oversight on the part of the programmers.
Two, there's a small glitch due to the fact that "sono" can be either "I am" or "they are" and so because the word in question directly follows "sono", the program thinks, "Well, it could be either, better provide both options."
Three, they're deliberately including the base word and expecting us to use our knowledge of how plurals work to select the right one.


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

This thing totally said Sono piatti, but the real answer was sono gatte. Have the feeling it lies, but just a little.


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

How do I unfollow this discussion?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
Mod
  • 2407

Go to the very top of the page and click the green thing that has a checkmark and says "Following discussion".


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

Why is Gatto masculine and Gatte feminine?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
Mod
  • 2407

Because that's just how Italian works.

gatto - single male cat
gatti - multiple male cats (or multiple cats of indeterminate gender)
gatta - single female cat
gatte - multiple female cats

More generally, 99% of the time, these are how the noun endings work:

-o - singular masculine
-i - plural masculine/mixed
-a - singular feminine
-e - plural feminine


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

Oh, I thought there was only one word for singular cat which is why I got confused. Having both male and female version of a singular thing, thats... pretty weird haha. I'll take some getting used to.

I have another question regarding the second part of your comment... I recently came across "Animali". Is this the same case as cats? is there both male and female singular animal?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
Mod
  • 2407

Very few nouns (only a small handful, really) come in both masculine and feminine versions. The overwhelming majority are either one or the other.

The word for "animal" belongs to the majority of nouns that do not vary in gender, although it is irregular in that although it is masculine, the singular is animale instead of *animalo. The plural is regular, though: animali.


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

Thanks! this really helped me wrap my head around this subject :) Is "pesce" also one of those irregulars? it's masculine and the plural is pesci.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
Mod
  • 2407

Yep. If it does not end with -o or -a in the singular, it's irregular.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/andreaslanguage5

I heard it sono piatte


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
Mod
  • 2407

Which actually makes sense, although it means "They are flat."


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/christian329993

If someone says " I am cats", they would probably also say " Sono matto " ?


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

Should accept either "Sono gatti" or "Sono gatte".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/dave440813

in google "sono gatte" translates to" I'm crazy" !! I put "sono gatti" = "they are cats" which is marked wrong???


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
Mod
  • 2407

Google Translate is unreliable.

If you were given text to translate or a multiple choice question, then "They are cats" is "Sono gatti" or "Sono gatte". If you were given a dictation exercise, then you needed to transcribe what was said, and if it said "gatte" and you wrote "gatti", then that would be wrong.


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

While I agree with you in principle, given the sometimes questionable pronunciation of the audio when using a PC, I believe that "Sono gatti" should not be marked wrong.


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

And that is that. No deep meanings, truths or facts.


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

I typed exactly what I heard and it was marked correct with a typo. You know what I heard, giatte ;-)


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

is the plural for cats "gatte" or "gatti"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
Mod
  • 2407

gatto = masculine singular
gatti = masculine plural
gatta = feminine singular
gatte = feminine plural


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/hcorrea9

Why gatte and not gatti?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
Mod
  • 2407

To teach you that there are two forms.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/meandmyshadow0

I thought the plurel of cats, was gatti, being that one cat is gatto. Is that not right. So why the gatte?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
Mod
  • 2407

This is teaching the feminine form. la gatta/le gatte


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Gilly153492

Thought it was gatti not gatte. Confused


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
Mod
  • 2407

Humans, common pets, and common farm animals get grammatical gender according to their real-world gender.

il gatto = masculine singular
i gatti = masculine plural
la gatta = feminine singular
le gatte = feminine plural


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

Sebastian likes cats. ^u^


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

I thought "sono" was "(I) am". Why "loro sono"? How can I understand which to use?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
Mod
  • 2407

The present tense conjugation of "essere" looks like this:

io sono
tu sei
lui/lei è
noi siamo
voi siete
loro sono

Like the "to be" verb in pretty much all European languages, it is irregular.

The good thing about "sono" being both the "io" and the "loro" conjugation is that "essere/to be" is what's called a stative verb. It describes the state of the subject. And in Italian, there is gender and number agreement. So if "sono" is followed by something singular, then that guarantees the implied subject is "io". If "sono" is followed by something plural, that guarantees the implied subject is "loro".


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

Why is it gatte with an e rather than gatti with an i? The plural of o is i and would usually be i gatti..


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
Mod
  • 2407

Because in this case, they are talking about female cats.

There are a handful of animals (pets and farm animals) that have grammatical gender according to their sex, as opposed to most animals that have one grammatical gender for the whole species.

il gatto = the cat (masculine, singular)
i gatti = the cats (masculine, plural)
la gatta = the cat (feminine, singular)
le gatte = the cats (feminine, plural)


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

Thanks for explaining Rae! That makes sense but very confusing that it's only applicable to some animals!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
Mod
  • 2407

If you think about what categories get sex-based gender and what categories don't (pets and farm animals vs all other animals), it might make sense how that came to be.


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

You did not specify the cats gender. Ie gatti or gatte should be correct.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
Mod
  • 2407

If you type "sono gatte" or "sono gatti" and it marks you wrong, please flag it and report "My answer should be accepted".

If you have a multiple-choice question and both are options, you need to select both, per the instructions at the top of the page.

The course contributors do not monitor these forums for feedback.


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

First time i replied "are cats" and was not accepted..


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
Mod
  • 2407

Of course not. English needs a subject pronoun.


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

What's the difference between "sono gatti" and "sono gatte" ? I was marked incorrect for using gatti.


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

I just saw cats being spelled gatte. What is the difference between gatti and gatte?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
Mod
  • 2407

il gatto - singular masculine
i gatti - plural masculine or mixed
la gatta - singular feminine
le gatte - plural feminine


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mosh294255

I lost it guys pls help. Gatti vs Gatte what is the diferent?


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

What is the difference between gatti and gatte?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
Mod
  • 2407

il gatto - singular male or unknown cat
i gatti - plural male, mixed group, or unknown cats
la gatta - singular female cat
le gatte - plural female cats


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

I guess we have to check the equipment 1st.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Lei-woomy

Yup dat's right!!


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

I wrote 'They are female cats' ... wrong? I'm sure it's right.


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

That's wrong. It's just "They are cats".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ann81488

Cat is masculine. The plural is gatti. I have noticed this mistake a number of times


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

You are missing something important.

La gatta, plural le gatte (feminine)

Il gatto, plural i gatti (masculine)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
Mod
  • 2407

Cats come under the category of people, pets, and common farm animals. Therefore, there are both masculine and feminine forms to indicate whether the cat is male or female.

Gatto is indeed the masculine form, plural gatti.

However, there is also the feminine form gatta, plural gatte.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Kev460254

Is it only women that speak in Italy. Why no male voices???


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Gintoki101

I wrote "They are female cats". :(


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/rookie01

On 23-08-14, I wrote- 'They are (female) cats', and got it wrong! Have reported it; lets see how long it takes for them to accept my version.


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

Well, here I prefer English for the fact that both male and female cats have equal rights and endings


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/betty355655

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