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"I do not have anything in my pocket."

Translation:Non ho niente in tasca.

January 16, 2013

41 Comments


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

we are dropping the 'mia' now? when did that happen?


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

AFAIK, it's a special thing that happens with "pocket". It might be the case with a few other words, too. However, with the word "pocket," the "my" is often dropped. The explanation by an Italian speaker somewhere else on this site was that with the word "pocket," it's just kind of assumed that a person is talking about their own pocket unless otherwise specified.


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

It is the same with pocket as it is with common familiar places, such as rooms of a house (cucina, bagno, etc) and even (as someone else said earlier) a cellar or swimming pool. The word "the" is left out, because in such familiar places, it is implied.

In cucina = in the kitchen. In bagno = in the bathroom. In tasca = in the pocket.

If you are talking about yourself, such as "non ho niente in tasca" it is implied that you are speaking about your own pocket, and you could translate to "I do not have anything in my pocket".

I believe the same goes if you are talking about someone else. For example, if I was telling someone "Non hai un serpente nello stivale, Woody." It could easily be understood as "You do not have a snake in your boot, Woody."


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

Hi, just wanted to specify that your example should be "Non hai un serpente nello stivale, Woody", because stivale is the correct singular form and the determinative article "lo" (in "nello") is required here, since I am talking about your boot specifically. You explained very well though. Hope that helps :)


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

Thank you! I just started going back through all the old posts I'm "following" and looking back, I can't believe I missed those lol. It's great proof of how much I've learned since then, though! I appreciate your correction and I've edited it. ^_^


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SchubertNo21

And yet, Non ho niente nella mia borsa. was an acceptable answer to ' I do not have anything in my bag'. These contradictions are confusing to the learner, leaving them guessing. And that is not good.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/maz1269

Same happens in Russian. And by the way, I just had an example with "borsa" where the possessive was there in full. It seems, dropping it is optional, which makes sense.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Aleema-Imran

Would "nella mia tasca" be wrong?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Chel451498

You'd get your point across, but it wouldn't be speaking correct Italian.


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

Yeah, same with "kitchen" and most clothing and body parts.


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

Interesting enough, the case is very similar in Hebrew.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/dotan760301

No it doesn't... In hebrew the pocket is informed. You may not need to say "in my pocket" but you will say "in the pocket" (ba-kis instea of be-kis)


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

I don't think that it should be marked wrong for including "mia"


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

Did you put 'la mia' (which is correct) or only 'mia' (which is incorrect).


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

I included 'la mia'. Marked incorrect.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
Mod
Plus
  • 2519

If you said "nella la mia" then that's why it marked you wrong. "Nella" already includes "la". You said "the" twice.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/gerry11111

What distinguishes these two constructions, wataya?


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

Except for close relatives in singular (mia sorella) you normally have to use the definite article with possessives in front of the noun: 'Ho trovato la mia chiave' and not 'Ho travato mia chiave'. The latter is ungrammatical.


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

I put 'Ho niente...' instead of 'Non ho niente' and it marked it as incorrect. Is the latter not a double negative? As in, 'I don't have nothing'?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
Mod
Plus
  • 2519

It's called negative concord. Many languages have it, including English until relatively recently.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Vinnie347077

Why is it in tasca and not nella tasca?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/maz1269

sometimes you can drop the definite article. this is one such case. another such example is "in cucina" and other types of rooms


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

Almost got me, Tasche is a german word, pronounced like Tasca meaning the same thing.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DanielStim1

How does niente mean both nothing and anything?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
Mod
Plus
  • 2519

It doesn't. It means "nothing". But Italian has negative concord, which is similar in principle to adjectives agreeing with nouns. English used to have negative concord, but somewhere along the line it got stigmatized as a "double negative." (Pro tip: language is not math.) So when we translate the whole sentence into English, we don't just word-swap (because that's not how it works). We translate it as how we would say it in English, which is "I don't have anything in my purse."


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/sanan22

So "I have nothing in my pocket" becomes "ho niente in tasca" or am i missing something?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
Mod
Plus
  • 2519

No. In English, "I have nothing in my pocket" is just another way to say "I do not have anything in my pocket". The two sentences are synonymous.

In Italian, they say "Non ho niente in tasca". It's called negative concord and it's mandatory in many languages. It is comparable to adjective-noun agreement.


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

The previous explanation in the lesson said that we use nella when talking about possessions!??!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
Mod
Plus
  • 2519

Italian does not use explicit possessive constructions as often as English does, and it does not use articles the same way English does. Also, in this case it would not simply be "nella tasca" but "nella mia tasca".

Think of how we say "I hit myself on the head in English, rather than the usually expected "my head". It's similar in Italian, only it's much more widespread.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Melvin329401

What are the differences between: -Tasca -Borsa -Tasche ?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Chel451498

Tasca is 'pocket, while tasche is 'pockets' (le tasche - plural).

Borsa is bag, as in a purse or shopping bag. Backpack is zaino and suitcase is valigia.

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