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"La famiglia manda i biscotti."

Translation:The family sends the cookies.

November 10, 2013

109 Comments


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

Why is sends the biscuits wrong? British English does not use cookies!


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

It accepted my use of biscuits, but wouldn't accept 'the family send'. I suppose 'the family sends" is grammatically correct.


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

Exactly. Family is singular, even that implies at least two persons.


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

"Family" can be either singular or plural in Britain and Australia, and it's perfectly correct.


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

Yes, please report it. For some reason DL seem to persistently refuse to accept that many collective nouns can be treated as plurals in British English.

Those not familiar with this fact might like to read: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of_American_and_British_English#Formal_and_notional_agreement


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/amala-la

That's what I thought too.


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

Please report it. See below.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Erated8

Depends If You're Referring To The Entire Family As One Unit, Or As Each Individual Member As A Group.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Brandy746104

british english is incorrect and wrong, as americans invented the english language /s


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ViolaM9d

Skating on thin ice, Brandy...! In America SOME say, "Speak American!" I've been told by Brits that we do NOT speak [proper] English. Tut tut. Perhaps the only thing Americans can claim is a sort of language 'reinvention.' Humility is warranted.


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

Clue is in the name


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

If anyone is interested, there is a discussion on the word "family" in American and Commonwealth English here: http://forum.wordreference.com/showthread.php?t=1105624

TLDR - British English considers "the family" a plural noun (the family, they, send), but American English considers it only as a singular noun (the family, it, sends).


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

Bravo @MrMacbeth! Either use is acceptable in British English. I've reported the error. Hopefully the Duolingo moderators will accept the alternative usage


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Erated8

In My Dialect, Or Idiolect Atleast, It Could Be Either Plural Or Singular, Depending On How It's Used. For Example, "The Family (Singular Unit) Lives Next Door", Or "The Family (All) Live In Winchester".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jeffrey855877

Just for the sake of some relevant trivia, in English there is an archaic verb "to manumit" which means "to hand over" or "to transfer in person". It seems obvious that "mandare" and "manumit" come from the same source, but the meaning of "mandare" has been widely expanded while "manumit" is no longer used.


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

It does not seem obvious to me. Manumission refers to the freeing of slaves, and come from the Latin verb 'mittere', to send, and the noun 'manus', meaning 'hand'. I would have thought that 'mandare', on the other hand, derived from the Latin verb 'mando', which gives us such English words as 'command' and 'mandatory'.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jeffrey855877

In Latin, "mando" is the 1st person singular indicative of "mandare", literally "to give into hand", which is the root of both Mandate/mandatory and command. Thus, it's not a different verb at all, but the same verb which is the root for the Italian "mandare" (to send).

At the root level, "Transmit" means "to send across". At the root level, "manumit" means "to send by hand", and "mandare" means "to give by hand".

"Manumit" comes from Latin "manus" (hand) and "mittere" (to send OR to set free).

"Mandare" comes from Latin "manus" (hand) and "dare" (to give).

So, "to send by hand" and "to give by hand", both with the root "manus". Seems like an obvious connection to me, but you have to look at the precise roots to make that assessment.

Also, I have seen usages of "manumit" other than in reference to slavery, such as "the manumission of documents of lading (shipping)", which means the handing over of documents by hand from one person to the next and nothing else.

While "manumission" came to be synonymous with "the freeing of slave(s)", it is not etymologically limited to that definition, but has become so interconnected with it that the original other meaning is lost and clearly not worth using because of the evil connotation. But then, we're discussion word roots, not current or recent meaning.

I believe, but am not certain, that the "manu" part of manumitting of slaves had to do with the signing of a document given into hand by the slaver to the freeman as evidence of freedom. Literally, the sending by hand of a document of freedom.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Terence544359

an excellent exposition


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

Duolinguo usually accepts the present and the present continuous tenses, but not in this case. Both sentences would be right. In my opinion, the present continuous would even be more appropriate than the present tense.


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

Thank you! Just what I was looking for.


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

family is used in the singular and plural, both can be correct


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

Jane Austin would write "The family were at dinner" and this remains a perfectly correct English usage to this day. But possibly not a correct American english usage...anybody out there know literary american english?


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

All American usage I've seen, literary or otherwise, seems to treat "family" as singular.


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

On collective nouns in British English: They can be considered as either singular or plural, according to the meaning and context. If acting as a single body, then the verb should be singular (eg "The government has decided"); if acting as individuals, then the verb should be plural (eg "Parliament are debating . . .").


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

I have reported this many times but, for some reason, DL refuse to accept the standard BE usage.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Treis7

The family can take the singular or plural verb in British English. So "the family send" or the "family sends" are both correct and should be accepted :)


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

Please report this. Maybe we can get DL to change.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Erated8

The Verbs Aren't Really "Singular" Or "Plural", Rather "Sends" Is A Unique Version Only Used In The Third-Person Singular.


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

why is "the family sends" conjugated as he/she/it and not they? I would have thought it should be mandano.


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

The family is considered as a unit, a singular thing, thus sends.


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

Thank you John Doe, I think I asked this a while ago and had eventually worked it out! sometimes it's hard to understand the way the Italian language works…..


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

Wait 'til you try out French...I literally run away from it.


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

It's the same in English - "family" is singular there, too.


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

As a native English speaker (from UK) I think this is a bit debatable. In English the family can be considered as both a unit (singluar) and as a collection of individuals (plural). Therefore the translation 'the family send' would be acceptable.... However, I accept that, in Italian, it is singular and that the only truly correct translation is 'send'. I've fallen foul of this one before. Case of not learning very fast from my mistakes. Ho hum!


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

Absolutely right. I put 'the family send' and got it marked wrong. They were correcting my English not my Italian and I'm a native speaker. I don't care if someone can quote a rule from a grammar book, 'family'' can be treated as plural or singular and to my English ear plural sounds way more natural


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

The only true translation is NOT send. Just because Italian does it in a certain way that does not mean that the English has to follow it!


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

It always killed me why "family" is singular and "police" is plural


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

That is not correct. As you will see from the discussion above, collective nouns can be treated as singular or plural in English. In American English it is more common to treat them as singular and in British/Commonwealth English it is more common to treat them as plural but there are exceptions in both dialects, often depending on the context. To be consistent with their general policy of accepting both British and American answers DL should therefore accept both.

For some reason they refuse to do this, which is really annoying for native BE speakers, who regularly find their, perfectly correct, answers marked wrong.


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

Why do you insist on "sends" when "is sending" can also be correct? In other lessons gerunds are accepted, but not this one?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jeffrey855877

"is sending" is not a gerund and does not contain a gerund, but rather it is a form or mood of the present tense.

Gerunds are essentially verbs which are turned into nouns by adding "-ing" to the verb, and are distinguish by the context of the sentence. A gerund does not have an actual or implied "subject" - it's a noun, and thus grammatically can't have a subject.

Verb example: "I am sending cookies to him" Gerund: "Sending him cookies is a good idea." Here, "sending" is the "good idea".

Languages other than English seem to use the infinitive where English speakers usually but not always use gerunds. There is an English phrase, "To give is better than to receive." In gerund form, that would be "Giving is better than receiving."

Use of the infinitive in English is a more formal way of speaking/writing, so that thoughts which are deemed more important or more profound sometimes use the infinitive to give the phrase a greater sense of significance.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Erated8

The Use Of The Gerund In English (Or So I've Heard) Actually Comes From Celtic, Having Been Shortened From "On ing". In Fact In Welsh The General Way You'd Say You Do Something Would Be "Yn [Verb-noun]", Which Would Be Literally Translated As "Yn ing".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SeanBaker1973

"The family is sending cookies." certainly should be an acceptable translation.


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

But in english, you'd say "the family send their love", and not the family sends its love. Or, the family were all asking after you, and not the family was asking after you. You might say: the whole family was up in arms, but you've qualified "family" with a singular word, "whole".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MikeHughes714

why is "the family is sending" not accepted?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SeanBaker1973

It should be accepted.


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

My translation of the above was "The family send the cookies" and DL rejected it giving the "correct" answer "The family mails the cookies". It is true postal services can offer this "sending" but they are not unique in this. There are other methods of "sending". The importance of the action is the "sending" not the means of doing it in my view. Any suggestions?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jd12386

This sounds like bad English to me, I translated this sentence (the family sends back the cookies) based on what is highlighted when you place the mouse over the word. I do not know why that would be wrong.


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

I wrote the same and it was also marked wrong.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/FrankAtkin1

Only for Americans


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RishabhPal1

Sounds like a mafia related euphemism!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/63Hermanus

all previous discussion gives sends as the correct verb... suddenly DL gives me the correct answer as "mails" ????? where did this come from.


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

Strengthening the stranglehold of American English?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/CarolineDe300655

In English, the family posts the biscuits or sends them. Please don't let American expressions dominate.


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

Don't know why I can't say "the family is sending the biscuits"???


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SeanBaker1973

You can, and it should be accepted.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/nVt34h8S

"The family send the biscuits" is perfectly acceptable British English


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

If you're going to run a language course, then do some basic research when students tell you there's an error. The word 'family' can be plural or singular - no argument.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Michelle85230

Why is "The family mails the biscuits" accepted & not, "The family posts the biscuits"? The answers should not just be tailored to an American audience, but the British as well.


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

Questo è quello che le famiglie sono per!


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

Does anybody else have a problem w/ the recordings? I often get unaccepted and I KNOW they sound good.


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

Yes indeed; I have had this many times. I have an Italian friend and German relatives who regularly visit - they have ALL spoken into the voice bot and sometimes been told they are wrong!!


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

The answer that cam up for me is "The family ships the biscuits." "ships" isn't even one of the options in the hints.


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

It also would not accept sends away the cookies even though listed as a meaning of mandare


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

Can you tell me exactly where they sent the cookies?..... So I can steal them :D


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/italian90-

the new word definitions include 'sends away' for manda . . . (:>(


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/NikolaosGe1

Lannisters send their regards...


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

I used 'sends' but the correct solution wanted 'ships'. I thought 'to ship' was 'spedire' and not 'mandare' (to send). What gives?


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

"ships" ????? !!!! thats never a direct translation from "mandare"! rubbish!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/chrisbrown2013

My Italian English dictionary gives the translation of mandare as first " to send" then "send something through the post" So why is " send" wrong. What's a cookie?. Sorry, l speak English. This translation isn't English.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Erated8

A Cookie Is What Americans Call What's Known As A Biscuit In Britain.


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

La famiglia Corleone manda i saluti xD


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Cate899590

The family is singular. Therefore would one, In English English at any rate, say “send”. The family send the cookies, (biscuits).


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/IanHale0

In British English "family" can be singular or plural. "The family send biscuits" would be quite natural and acceptable


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

for some reason ''...is sending...'' is not accepted. it should be


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/John242575

So what exactly is a "cookie" Does it translate as "cake" or "biscuit" in English?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/CatherineK153278

My understanding is that a cookie is similar to a biscuit but does not have the same texture. A biscuit being firm to the bite where as a cookie has a softer chewy middle made with more butter in it to get the difference in the texture.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Erated8

As Far As I Can Tell, "Cookie" And "Biscuit" Are Just Different Words For The Same Thing, Although "Biscuit" Could Also Refer To Something Different, Atleast Here.


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

Biscuits!!!!!! British English.


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

Note this from https://www.lexico.com/en/definition/collective_noun A collective noun can be used with either a singular verb (my family was always hard-working) or a plural verb (his family were disappointed in him). Generally speaking, in Britain it is more usual for collective nouns to be followed by a plural verb, while in the US the opposite is true. I have reported "The family send the biscuits" as a correct translation


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/endian675

I'm looking forward to using this phrase approximately... Never


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Michelle85230

I second this! We (the British) use the word biscuits & not the word cookies! It should be accepted.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/endian675

Hints are wrong. Doesn't accept "sends out" even when that is listed as a hint. Don't get me started on biscuits vs "cookies", whatever the hell THEY are.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Erated8

I'm Confused, They're Sending The Cookies, Like In An Envelope? I Saw "Sends Out" As An Alternate Translation And Figured It Must Be Idiomatic, And Mean "Give Out".


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

Hey DL, we in the UK speak english differently but with the same meanings sometimes. So why is biscuits wrong? We use that word far more than cookies, so please allow biscuits. They are often less fattening as well!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Michelle85230

Unfortunately, I find Duolingo caters to American ways of spelling etc.. Why does it first opt for this? Us Britons spell or say things differently & this should be respected & always allowed. If I spell or say things the way British people do & it is accepted (it is sometimes not) it gives another correct solution spelt the way Americans do, this is completely unnecessary. It does not do the same if I spell it the American way. America is not the only place on planet earth.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Enz0g0rl0mi

This sounds like a Mafia code


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DawnMarieV1

In more than one occasion, I have written a phrase or sentence where it marks an error and the right answer is given to me and it is exactly the same as I have written it.


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

I don't get it... help! When clicking on the underlined word "manda", DL shows definitions as 'sends' or 'sends back'. So I translated this as "The family sends back the cookies' and was marked as wrong. Can anyone tell me why?


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

Why is '...sends back the cookies' wrong? DL SHOWS A DEFINITION OF MANDA AS 'SENDS BACK'.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BrianB_117

How do I say "their regards" instead lol


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

An alternative that sounds more like English is The family sends away the biscuits. This was marked incorrect. I disagree.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AndyP11

since when did mandare mean to ship! Grrrr


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

I think Americans commonly use "to ship" instead of "to send". In BE, if you used "ship", it would refer to a large-scale, business operation. You wouldn't talk about a family shipping biscuits; we would just "send" them.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AndyP11

Yes indeed, hardly appropriate for two packets of Oreos or similar.

PS I am singularly impressed by your progress in Welsh. I am really struggling with it as not being a Romantic or Germanic based language I can find nothing to hook the new vocabulary onto. I am also not spending enough time which is entirely my and my Italian tutor's fault.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Erated8

Welsh Isn't A Romance Language, But There Are Lots Of Cognates With Them (And English), Such As "Ceffyl" For Horse, A Cognate Of Cavallo, Or "Cinio" For Dinner/Lunch, Possibly A Cognate Of "Cena".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Heather163006

Surely family is singular and families is plural?


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

No. Please look at other posts here on the subject. In British English collective nouns, such as 'family' are often treated as plural. This is a well-documented difference between the two dialects of English that Duolongo seems to consistently ignore. See for example: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_and_British_English_grammatical_differences#Subject-verb_agreement

'Families' is, of course, plural.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Heather163006

As a British born english speaking person. I should perhaps have said that 'the family' is more likely to be treated as singular in spoken english and as you say 'the families' you agree is plural. This in itself differentiates between the two otherwise we would only need the word family if it is the same singular and plural. So my answer treating it as singular was correct 'send'. I have reported it.


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

I said, 'are often treated as plural'. In British English both the plural and singular treatment are correct. I am not trying to say that the singular treatment is wrong.

I am sure you will have heard things like, 'The family ARE coming to stay', where 'family' is treated as a plural. You might well also hear, 'My family IS well respected', where 'family' is treated as a singular. Both treatments are correct in BrE.

The in Italian, 'famiglia' is always treated as a singular and in AmE the plural treatment of most collective nouns is considered incorrect.

The problem is that DL marks the plural treatment of collective nouns, like 'family' as incorrect English. This is extremely annoying to BrE speakers.


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

his trump taken over the english language too


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

the family is singular therefore it should read send


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

the family is singular therefore it should read sends


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/CatherineK153278

I will send it to you, not I will sends it to you. So, the family (singular) will send it to you.


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

Well, strictly the noun is just "singular", but the verb is third person singular, which requires -s or -es ending in present simple:

Singular

  1. I send
  2. you send
  3. he/she/it sends

Plural

  1. we send
  2. you send
  3. they send

This is the general rule. For collective nouns like "family", some varieties of English and some contexts require/allow third person plural verbs. For this reason it might also be used as "The family send". But this is contrary to the general rule, as collective nouns also have plural forms such as "families".

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