"What do you read?"
"In questions beginning with an interrogative word, the subject is usually placed at the end of the sentence."
Therefore "Cosa leggi tu?" should be accepted as correct (but not "Cosa tu leggi?"). I haven't tried it to see if they accepted it though.
Cosa leggi= What do you read? Cosa leggi TU?= (I usually read novels, and you?) What do YOU read?
Yes, you only use the words "io", "tu", "lui/lei" etc. if you want to highlight them
the subject should be expressed only when required. Here "Cosa leggi" is all that's required. Using explicit subjects when they can be inferred from the sentence (Italian is a very redundant language) sounds very unnatural.
Also, sometimes placing the subject at the end of the sentence is used for stress/emphasis. ie, "che dici tu!?" vs. "cosa mangi?"
I wanted to know the difference between "cosa' and "che" when using both in questons
Someone can correct me here, but usually "che" is not used as "what", at least when I use it or my husband and his family are speaking. (They're Italian). "Cosa"? Is "What?", and sometimes they use "Che cosa?" to mean "What is it?" So "che" is used as an emphasis. But no one ever says "Che legge?" to mean "What are you reading?" or "Che fai?" to mean "What are you doing?" It's always "Cosa legge?", "Cosa fai?", "Cosa mangi?" etc.
Actually "che leggi", "che fai" are a very common way to say "what do you read?","what do you do/are you doing?". I am not 100% sure but i think it is just a short form for "che cosa". It also sounds less formal, if anything.
Muttley, 'che fai?' or 'che leggi?' is very common only in some Italian regions (mainly central Italy), it is informal and I don't think it can be considered 'standard' Italian.
L'Accademia Della Crusca seems to disagree with you ☺ http://www.accademiadellacrusca.it/it/lingua-italiana/consulenza-linguistica/domande-risposte/cosa-cosa-pensa-crusca
Ok. You are right, this is not as easy as i tried to describe. As you can read from "L'Accademia della Crusca": ... L'oscillazione tra che, che cosa e cosa (per eliminazione di che, indotta dal fastidioso ripetersi del suono iniziale) è di antica data: dall'inizio del '600 si attesta l'uso del semplice cosa. I live in the north of Italy and we use only cosa/che cosa when we ask questions, never 'che'. Thank you for the link, it was very interesting.
You're welcome :-)
The issue is what we perceive as correct and what is actually grammatically correct. Italian is quite a new language as, up to 50-60 years ago, it was confined to the literary milieu, with dialects being widely used. Then TV came and spread it nationwide. Yet the local dialects did not die and amalgamated with it to form the many forms of "italiano regionale" (Ex. Italians form the northen part of the country never use the passato remoto; Italians from the southern part use tenere for avere or uscire as transitive. Ever tried to speak with someone from Tuscany? ;-) ).
It is this "italiano regionale" and its peculiarities that we have to deal with and must take into consideration (possibly tone down) when teaching the language to foreigners.
it isn't incorrect, in fact they do this often in Italy (place the subject at the end). I don't know why they didn't accept it.
Because the pronoun is not required. In facts, it would incorrect in this sentence. Please check other comments on this page about the use of pronouns for emphasis.
"Cosa tu leggi?" should be accepted. It is more formal, and Italians are pretty relaxed with their language (they hardly ever use pronouns to be honest), but "Cosa tu leggi" is absolutely correct. There is NO reason for that answer to be rejected. And it would be "Cosa leggi tu?" also. ("Cosa leggi" already means "What do you read?" But there's no reason you can't invert the word order....)
Subject pronouns are not used in italian unless there is a reason to. So if you say "cosa tu leggi" (by the way, if it is a question, the pronoun should go after the verb) then there is a strong emphasis on the "tu" and should be conveyed in English by putting more focus on the "you", such as "What is that you read?". "Cosa tu leggi" would be used in a sentence like "Cosa tu leggi non mi interessa" (strong emphasis on the "tu").
Why is "Che legge?" translated by Duolingo as one alternative for "What do you read?" (this question is given as "tick all the correct answers"). Why is it not "Che leggi?"?
In English "you" is used for both formal and informal sentences (i.e. questions), while in Italian we use the third person (singular) when speaking to someone we want to pay respect to (a professor at Uni, a potential customer/supplier, etc.). Therefore, I think in this case Duo means, for example: "Cosa leggE (professor)?" instead of: "Cosa leggI (my friend)?" I hope this helped! :)
Muttley71 what I meant by my comment = The program Duolingo translates the sentence "What do you read?" as "Cosa legge?" and "Cosa leggete?". I think one of the answers is incorrect. The only correct answers are in my opinion "Cosa leggete?" or "Cosa leggi?" Am I wrong?
Well, you have a third option, which is the polite form. In that case the verb would be in the third person singular.
Without a context, it is impossible to say if 'you read' is to be rendered in Italian as second person singular informal (tu leggi) second person plural (voi leggete) or second personal singular polite (lei legge).
I did'n't know that. Thanks for the answer! I see that you have also a dutch flag in the row of language-lessons you've done. That's nice! My motherlanguage, haha.
You don't need the verb "fare". What you're saying is, "What to do you read?".
It makes sense, it just isn't the correct answer to what they are asking. You used "where" instead of "what".
Isn't "Cosa legge?" a formal way of 'what do you read?'? If not, what is the right formal form of this question?
cosa legge = what does HE read. That's not the same. The ONLY correct answer is "Chosa leggete" and NOT "cosa legge"! So my answer was correct!
E se fosse una domanda fatta ad una persona a cui si dà del lei? In inglese sarebbe what do you read? in ogni caso
"What do you read?" is translated as "Cosa legge?" or "Che cosa legge?". But both translations mean "What does s/he read?". The correct third option "Che cos' leggi tu?" is said to be wrong. I'm lost here.
Whenever you see 'you' in English, you need to keep in mind that it can represent 3 different things in Italian:
1) 'you' second person singular as in 'Mark: you are reading a book'. In Italian: tu (Mark: (tu) leggi un libro).
2) 'you' second person plural as in 'Mark and Mary: you are reading a book' (also, "y'all"). In Italian: voi (Mark e Mary: (voi) leggete un libro).
3) 'you' used when addressing a person in a formal/courtesy way as in 'Mr Smith: you are reading a book'. In Italian: Lei (Signor Smith: lei legge un libro).
English makes no distinction among these 3 kinds of 'you' but Italian does. The context will tell you which one applies.
Re. Che cos' leggi tu?: Italian doesn't really use pronouns with verbs as the subject is already expressed by the verb conjugation (I put them in brackets for clarity in the sentences above. In real life you would not use them). Therefore the correct sentence would be Che cosa leggi? (also: cos' is not correct in front of leggi)
Che leggete? è una frase che non direi mai, è una "slang". Io direi "Che cosa leggete?" che è italiano, oppure confidenzialmente "Cosa leggete?".
In order for the °Cosa legge?° answer to be correct, the °you° in the original sentence would have to be capitalized.
"You" is never capitalized in English unless, like any other word, it starts a sentence.