Translation:What is it?

January 6, 2013

This discussion is locked.


Cos' gives itself as hint.


Hover over Cos'. It defines it as "what-d'yer-call-it". O_0


It's an interesting usage of cosa, yes; it's slang of course, and in that usage it can even change gender according to the thing or person it stands for, as in "coso, lì" (whats-his-name).


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.


thanks for the explanation


It didn't let me write that! I lost a heart for it.


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?


The latter; in your example it would normally be "che c'è?".


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 :)


Cosa is like "thing/it" in english. "Cos'e" is like "what thing is it"


Everything's perfect, except for "cos'È" (correct) instead of "cos'É" (wrong).


Is there a difference between Cos'è and Che cos'è? Are they completely interchangeable?


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.


Cos'è? L'orologio nel vino!


Could it also be something we say the same we we would say ''what's up'' in english?


Does anyone know the difference between "Cos'è?" and "Che cosa?"


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


It's nothing but learning :)


I'm a bit confused with the grave and acute accents, on the "e"...and if there is an easy rule for when to use which one ! Usually the sound is an indication but using that method doesn't seem to be foolproof... help anyone?


The voice says what it was, not what is it!


Why is cosa e (with accent) incorrect?


because "cos'è" is " cosa + è" and also saying 2 vowels behind each others is a big no no in italian


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.


I might be way off, dear and helpful F.F, in which case please ignore this comment, but it seems to me you may have misinterpreted Cahoots' usage of "what is". From your reply it seems you have taken it to be an inquiry into the speaker's intention as to what the "it" in his sentence refers to; while I sense that Cahoots referred to the idiomatic usage which conveys the notion that nothing is fair. "THIS isn't fair!"; "Well, what IS?". In which case, I'd still be interested to know what would be an Italian equivalent.


That would be "(che) cosa lo è?"; contrary to English predicates and direct objects are very rarely omitted in Italian. But I don't think I've heard it all that much; in my family the standard comeback is "life is unfair".


COSE + É / COS-E + É = COS'É


Actually, if you divide COSE + É by COS-E + É you get the integral of É NOI.


The accent is the other wau around: "Cos'è" "cos'è" In Italian, thus verb always uses the grave accent, not the acute one.


Is there a difference between cos'è and che cosa?

I heard it on family guy: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9JhuOicPFZY


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


Yes, thank you very much! :)


What is it? Is correct but its sayong its wrong


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.


Can this also mean "What's that?"? Say you're pointing at something.


I don't like it when there is like two options to choose from and one of them is capitalized. Should all be lowercase


So could you use this as a reply to "Hey can I talk to you", like "Yeah sure, what is it?"


No, you would need “Cosa c’è?” for that.


cose' I said means what, why is it incorrect? Does it always mean " what is it when it stands alone as a question?


I wish they would stop using the drunk woman's voice. It's painful to try to figure out what she is saying.


I wrote, "What is?" going by the translations given but this isn't right.


Can this be translated as "What?" I often hear this used by my friends in Italy and they are simply replying "What"?


It got so hard it took 3 tries to complete it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


My answer was correct but marked wrong. Identical to the one that came up.


I wrote cosa é which is the exact same thing as cos'é. It should be accepted


I put cos e with the accent, it said it was wrong, but gave the answer as the exact same as mine.


Why can't it accept just the word "What" ?


At times my answer is EXACTLY correct but Duo will tell me I have a typo

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