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  5. "Le caramelle sono nel piatto…

"Le caramelle sono nel piatto."

Translation:The candies are on the plate.

January 4, 2013



I'm confused as to how this sentence could be singular?


In English "the candy" is a mass noun - ie. "the candy" can be used for one piece of candy or a group of candy. Typically though it's used for talking about multiple pieces of candy but not always.

Think about it - if someone says to you "The candy is on the plate in the other room", you can't tell from that one sentence exactly what you will find when you go into the other room. Will you find a plate with one piece of candy on it, or a plate with multiple pieces of candy on it?

(You might be able assume from context - but the sentence itself is ambiguous)

Just to be even more confusing, English also has the word "candies". However "the candies" can only be used for multiple pieces of candy.

In Italian though - if you have one piece of candy - you use "la caramella". If you have more than one piece of candy - you use "le caramelle". Nice and simple, unlike English.

The confusion arises when you translate from Italian back to English. You can translate "Le caramelle sono nel piatto" as both "The candies are on the plate" or "The candy is on the plate" because both these sentences are correct English sentences for the situation at hand (The situation is: There is a plate and it has multiple pieces of candy on it).

The first English sentence has a plural noun and plural verb ("the candies are"), whereas the second sentence "the candy is..." has a singular noun and singular verb (thanks to that quirk of English that allows "the candy" (singular) to refer to a plural situation). However both English sentences are correct.

And this is why translating is not always straightforward, and babelfish ear inserts are not yet a reality. :)

Hope that helps.


But I thought "sono" means "are", as in "they are"; wouldn't this sentence only be plural since it implies that the candies are in the plate?


"le caramelle" can be translated to "they" just like le ragazze could do the same. It might help if you think about it in two sentences: "The candies? They're on the plate" - "le caramelle? Loro sono ai piatto" or "The girls? They're reading a book." - "Le ragazze? Leggono un libro."


Yes the word candies should not exist. Just like sheeps


I agree. I got busted for marking this sentence as singular but not plural, but it is /clearly/ not plural, at least not as the course has given me to understand thus far.


Whenever a word ends in "-e", the Italian language is telling you that the subject is plural and of the feminine gender. You have 2 markers here ("lE caramellE") telling you that this a plural (gender: feminine). "-o": singular, masculine "-i": plural, masculine

"-a": singular, feminine "-e": plural, feminine


Plus, in addition to what Muttley said, sono is the plural third person, so you can use that as a hint.


Thank you. My exact problem. This has happened multiple times either during singular/plural or lack of article questions.


La caramella è nel piatto.


This "caramelle" "r" sounds kind of english, doesn' it?


Yeah, i was going to address this because it wouldn't give it to me unless i said it in an English tone


Tom$Fox, I think you have put your finger on it, those of us who speak English English would not say “the candies are on the plate.” because we don't use the word candy or candies. We would say the sweets are on the plate and the sweet is on the plate. The issue here is not with Italian but with American English and our lack of understanding of it. So the issue needs to be raised as a DuoLingo problem not an Italian problem


Why use "NEL" and not "SUL"?

NEL = in + the > IN the plate.

SUL = on + the > ON the plate.

In America, we don't ever say "The candies are IN the plate." We would say "The candies are ON the plate." I know that this is Italian and different from English, but if "IN" mean "in" and "SU" means "on", wouldn't Italian use "SUL?"


the difference is this

la forchetta sul piatto - The fork is on the plate. typically, when you rest the fork and knife, or spoon on the plate, its not in the centre of the plate, because this is where the food is. But, it can rest on the plate, but on the edge.

however food, is always in the middle of the plate, hence why you say in (or in the middle) of the plate. therefore le caramelle nel piatto or il pasto e' nel piatto

the problem here is Duolingo's translation of Nel. so as long as you understand what Nel and Sul mean in this context.


Oh, okay, thanks for the explanation! Many times There are little idiosyncrasies within the Italian language that doesn't necessarily translate the same into English. This makes sense, though!

So, food that would be in the center of the plate = NEL piatto.

Non food items that would be resting on the plate and not necessarily in the middle = SUL piatto.



@aaronwoolley i'll take you're word for it as you are level 16 lol but it still sounds funny to me to use nel instead of sul. especially because i've heard nel to be used to mean in/inside or something. like distinguishing this:

le zucchine sono nel piatto VS le zucchine sono sul piatto

when i want to say that the zucchini is in the dish (as in "in the recipe/food i'm serving") nel piatto would be best

when i want to say it's on the plate sul would be best, no?


The plate creates the most challenges because context applies. as i will try to explain below. Note, i have to confess, that i am being assisted by my Italian wife :-)

Italians use specific plates for each dish, which Duolingo fails to explain.
If the plate is flat then the food will be more on the plate. such as pizza, cake. however , a pasta will go into a plate with a concave (e.g.container), which is still a plate, not a bowl, but it goes into the plate.

a bowl and a glass is very straight forward, and a substance can only go into.


la pizza e' sul piatto La torta e' sul piatto Fetta di torta e' sul piatto

ON THE PLATE (CONCAVE) la Pasta e' nel piatto


l'acqua e' nel bicchiere - why, because water can only be in the glass


La Zuppa e' nella ciotola

hope this adds some clarity :-)


yeah, so in this case that's why i am saying sul is better than nel for il pane because it isn't normally in a plate that is concave.


Italian is latin so in Spanish its "en el plato" ON "dentro or adentro" as in IN being inside something.


Could this work if we write lollies instead of candies? Just wondering :3


It accepts "sweets", though I think "lollies" isn't used everywhere in the world. Agree though!


It accepted 'lollies' from me.


lollies is a commonplace word for 'sweets' or 'candy' here in Australia.


Problem is there are many Americanisms in the Italian course in particular and not all are interchangeable with UK English equivalents. I've lost hearts because I happen to have forgotten to be American for a second. A particular favourite is Biscuits. I just lost a heart because I forgot to type cookies. Thats annoying. But on balance unless its really easy for duolingo to introduce dialects to their languages I'd rather be American and have more smaller languages added.


It wouldn't accept 'sweets' from me... But then, you should never take sweets from a stranger


I think it is quite difficult for English people to see "the candy" as plural. It is not a word we use so I assumed it was singular.


Candy can be plural. For instance, someone might rightfully say, "look at all your Halloween candy spread out on the floor!" That's plural.


In American English, candy can be singular or plural.


But le caramelle is clearly plural. If they want us to use the word ''chickens'', so that plural still looks like plural, they should also accept here only the candies.


For English speakers, the issue is our use of collective nouns. If I put candy on a plate, and someone asks me where it is, I would say, "the candy is on the plate." We are more likely to say "the candy is" than "the candies are." So, it can be either translation, I believe.


Why not nello piatto???


simply, nello is derived from joining nel + Lo. e.g. the article Lo as in Lo Zucchero.

The article for piatto is iL, as in iL Piatto and therefore combining nel + il you get Nel. Nel Piatto


Can you especify when to use lo or il? May you share a page with this information? Thanks a lot.


Lo is used with nouns starting with s, z and gn


Not completely true. Masculine nouns 'S'+ vowel require il. Es. il sole, il seme.
But 's' + consonant: lo. Es.: lo scolaro, lo scivolo, lo stivale, lo sport, lo sgarro.


the slow audio prounces Nella


I struggle with the singular and plural in this, does this mean that candy is both singular and plural, well sweet is not so are we fighting here with an issue in American English does candy mean both sweets and a sweet?


"Candy" is a singular noun - that means you use the singular form of the verb with it.

However "candy" is a mass noun which means you can use it for both: a) one piece of candy, or b) multiple pieces of candy - so in that sense it is both singular and plural.

Or in shorter words "does candy mean both sweets and a sweet?" - Yes, it can. I'd say it more commonly it means "sweets", but it can also be used for "a sweet".


the sentence is in plural ¨caramelle- candies¨ not singular ¨caramella-candy¨ I answered correctly why was it not accepted.


Isn't the word for on "su"? This sentence seems to say that the candies are "in" the plate.


Candy, yes.. Sweet, no.. Thanks usa.. Candy..never ever say that..


why not caramels? well, in Greek caramelle are called "carameles"


Exactly. Why doesn't it accept caramels? Is it because in English "caramels" are just one type of candy/sweets? In Finnish one would say "karamelli" (or short "karkki")


I'm annoyed because it sounded like the narrator said "nello" not "nel." So I ended up getting it wrong.


It didn't accept sweets from me. I wanted to learn Italian, without American as a non-optional extra.


This is just plain wrong...


It's not wrong at all. In English, if there are ten pieces of candy on a plate, can we not say, "the candy is on the plate," as well as "the candies are on the plate"? It's a collective noun. Therefore, if you say, "le caramelle sono nel piatto," you can translate it, in English, as "candies are" or "candy is."


It is plural in italian, and one of "true" answers is singular


The candies are on the plate but all the sentences are wrong


caramelle can also mean sweets, candies is American, so all possibilities should be correct.


yep. 'Candy' just isn't used in Britain. It's an Americanism. End of. So please adapt if you want to stop aggravating us.


On the plate/ in the plate Both right? ?


Even though I got it correct, nel sounded like una to me.


I translated this sentence as "the candy are on the plate" it gave me an error saying "the candy IS on the table" sono is third person plural as in "they ARE". if "is" was to be used it should "la caramella e ...... " Can someone help?


If im syudying italian it shouldn't count if i have a typo in english for it it is not my first language


Is nel- on the and nello- in the? Or they r same?


Both mean "in the".
The difference is the article used for the noun that follows them.
nel is 'in+il' whereas nello is 'in+lo'


It gave me 'candy' not 'candies' so I lost a heart


Can you not say "the candy are" since candy can be plural? I said that and it marked it wrong...


The words in english are wrong, because they are in singular, and the right should be plural (for candy)


Thats funny i thought it was caramel


The answer is shown as "The candies are on the plate" which is what I wanted to answer but the word "are" was not available to select. Also, when my answer was marked wrong the reason given was that I should have used the singular but when I click through to the comments the correct answer is given as the plural. I think the wrong question and answer have been linked here.


The is no singular 'candy' to select here


I am not an American, the translation is therefore...sweets.


why can´t I write " the candy are on the plate " if "le caramelle" is plural ?... Candy should be plural too idk ......


Se sono caramelle sono candies e non candy.


Candies is an Americanism and a British English alternative - sweets or caramels - shouldn't be marked wrong


I pressed plate and it didnt count it. WTF


We don't tend to use 'candy' in English English except eg in the description candied peel.


"sweet" should be accepted as a translation of "caramella".


Why not sweets instead of candie?


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In italy la gatti or i gatti what is diffrence


Nel means on or in?


In English we say "on the plate" but in Italian they use "in", therefore "nel piatto".


Sweets are the British word for caramel le... 'candies' is an American word..


Could this mean "The candies are IN the plate" as well?


In English you don't say "in the plate", it is normal to use "on the plate". Unlike Italian where they consider it is "in" the plate.


Thanks, acqualinda :)


She said nella. I played it 6 times.


This question asks us to type what we hear in Italian. Ive typed it oit a dozen times and keep gettinf marked wrong with the answer "translation is.." in English. Very frustrating! Anyone else?


why is it "nel"and not "nello"?


This sentence means "in the plate" so stupid!! The correct way to say on the plate would be "su il piatto"


nel piatto is also fine.


Candies are sweets in england


does "nel" not mean "in the"...the candies are in the plate...Should it not be "sul" piatto...ON the plate


Please add lollies to the options @duolingo


I think in english we can write without the for plural


So I can't say "sweets"?


In England we call candies 'sweets' or 'sweeties' It has taken me a bit of a brain jump to remember this is American so I have to think of them as candies! (I'm not complaining, btw, just musing on it!


Sweets = British English, Candies= American English


Candies and sweets = caramelle

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