Translation:What is it?
I wonder, would "che cos'è" be the formal way to ask "what is it/this" and "cos'è" is the informal way?
Perhaps a little, but it wouldn't feel out of place using "cos'è" in an informal context or the other way around.
Can this be used in a way similar to English, as in,
"Hey, do you have a minute?"
"Yeah, what is it?"
Or is it strictly for inquiring about an object that you don't know the nature of?
it would be helpful to have an explanation of what this is and when it's used
It is the short form of "cosa é" just like "it's" is a short form of "it is" An even longer form is "che cos'é" means the same You use it when you want to ask "what it is". You have used it in you own question, too so it should be very clear for you when to use it :)
Is there a difference between Cos'è and Che cos'è? Are they completely interchangeable?
The accent is the other wau around: "Cos'è" "cos'è" In Italian, thus verb always uses the grave accent, not the acute one.
What is the difference between "cosa" and "che"? When do I use each? Also, when (and why) do I use the phrase "che cosa"? I've seen it in some sentences but I have no clue as to why I use it, or why it wouldn't just be "che" or "cosa" alone.
Can you use this to ask "what's wrong?" Like in English how if you notice someone seems upset you say "what is it?" to ask what the matter is?
No, you would just use this to ask what something is. To say "What's wrong?" you could say "Cosa c'è?" It looks similar, but the meaning is different.
Out of context, could this also be translated as "What are you?" if the subject of the preceding sentences was already established as "Lei"? I know that's really hypothetical, I'm just kind of curious.
I think so.
è can be: it is, he is, she is and (formal) you are
You have to guess the best option from the context. Obviously in lack of other context; "Cos'è?" is most likely to mean "What is it?" rather than the other options.
Could this also be used to mean "what is?" as in the answer to, for instance, "It isn't fair!"
No, but the reason is that in Italian that exchange would be "Non è giusto!" "Cosa?", i.e. the verb isn't repeated in the reply.
Could it also be something we say the same we we would say ''what's up'' in english?
No. It's just for asking 'what a thing (this/it) is?'. Sorry, but I don't know yet the 'Wassap' question...
As a native English speaker I have never used the phrase "what it's" my answer was "what is it" and this was marked as incorrect?
Cos'è is simply "what is it". It's also a shorten version of it's proper form"Che cos'è".
"Che cosa" means "what". As far as I know you don't have to use the "che" in both phrases but it's more proper to use. Sort of the difference between "is not" and "ain't". Hope this helps
Yes there is a difference between "cos'è" and "che cosa". That difference is: "che cosa" is more akin to "what (is) that" while "cos'è" means "what is (it)" (or the more proper form, "che cos'è"). Example "Che cosa fa" essentially means "what he/she make/what he/she do". "Che cos'è sulla mela" which means "what is on the apple?".
Hope this helps
Perry: If you wrote "What is it?" then yes, it's correct. But I wonder if it could have involved a typo: In your post you have three: its 2x and sayong. Maybe that's the reason your answer was marked incorrect? Just a thought.
I’m not getting any sound when I’m asked to type what I hear!! Frustrating!