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  5. "Le gatte bevono latte."

"Le gatte bevono latte."

Translation:The cats drink milk.

January 17, 2013



The point is, in english, we do not differ the genders of most words. While in most latin languages, like Italian, that's always done (with few exceptions). In eng. "the cat" can either mean a male or female cat, but in italian we have different words for those. "Il gatto" for the male cat, "la gatta" for the female cat. Same for plurals: i gatti and le gatte. We just gotta get used to always define the genders of what we are talking about, it's an exercise to be done.


So how do you correctly translate this without sounding clunky? "The female cats" is clunky and presumably the gender of the cats is important or it would not have been chosen.


Just as "the cats". Its important in italian, not emglish, so you learn the different gendre conjugations.


I really have a problem with the insistence that we translate "le gatte" with the definite article in English because they simply don't have the same meaning/usage in English and Italian. "Le gatte" means "cats in general" and "the cats" indicates that we refer to a specific group of cats. Correct me if I'm wrong.


In Italian as in Spanish, we make a difference between a male and female animal. Gatto is for a male cat and Gatta for a female cat. The plural of Gatto is Gatti and the plural of Gatta is Gatte. English is not my language so I hope you can understand my explanation.


Italian, Spanish, French, Portuguese and the others Latin Languages.


mjnrstc: You may be indignant for no reason. I think you are "comparing apples and oranges" in this case - in English, like you mentioned, we sometimes use "the cats" to talk about specific cats. In this example "The cats drink milk" , could be discussing the cats in a group that are drinking their milk, as apposed to a group of cats that are not drinking their milk, like in an experiment. (So I know that scientist might use this sentence "as is".) Because it can be a logical and correct English sentence under the right context. I know we don't have context to prove our points one way or another. I just find it easier [and faster] to make up content to do the lessons. Like the lesson about "two women alone", making up that these women were trapped as a group of two on an island alone for example - this imaginary scenario made this a proper English sentence. I can usually find a scenario that can :"justify" the proper use of the translated sentence. I know sometimes we really have to stretch our imagination coming up with "the proper content". Sometimes lessons let you "not have to add an awkward article", such as in the English translation of "Fruit" for the French Lesson: Elle mange des fruits -I wrote as an answer: "She eats fruit." This answer was accepted. I didn't have to write: "She eats the fruit" to get it right. But even when Duolingo is not perfect, I don't mind because I am getting a "free" language tree - that has been very well thought out and is "gifted" to us that can appreciate it! :-)


I've used both of those answers and gotten it wrong several times. If there were actual tips and notes for the sections like the app reminds us to check then I think a lot of the questions would answer themselves. I've had to use theitalianexperiment.com to answer a lot of questions because most times the comments confuse me even further.


Thanks for the link - I like it! Yeah, I know what you mean. I think there used to be more notes in the beginning of lessons and at least in the Spanish Tree 2.0 they seem to be removed.


I'd just like to thank you for posting the link. I thought that reading childrens stories in Italian would be good for me and thanks to you now i have a link. Grazie


Good point about 'the right context'. Natural language use always has context. One of the problems with language teaching is that words and sentences are presented out of context and as a result are confusing or ambiguous (see Duolingo comments for numerous examples)


when i first saw this is i thought 'the cats drink lattes' XD


I wrote "the female cats" and it worked! :)


"la" or "le", what's the difference? Is one masculine and the other feminine?


I think that 'la' and 'le' are both feminine. The difference is that we use 'la' for singulars and 'le' for plurals.

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Good answer.


la and le are both used before feminine. La is for singular and Le is for plural form. One particular woman would be La donna and a group of women in particular would le donne. So one particular cat is La gatta and group of female cats would be le gatte


Isn't it okay to use the article "the"?


isnt it suppose 2 be i gatti bevono latte


It's not 'i gatti', since in the sentence we apparently know the gender of the cats. Like most romantic languages, we revert to the masculine if the gender is unknown, or if it's a mixed group. However, 'le gatte' is perfectly accurate.


Romance languages, not "Romantic".


I'll have you know, the Latin derived languages are very Romantic. ;)


I remember reading it somewhere, they are called Romantic languages as well.


Erroneously for sure, and I've never read that name in a linguistic context. Either "Latin", "Neo-Latin", or "Romanic" languages, and in every Romance language they are called with many different adjectives (romàniques, romances, romanze, romanes...), but never "romantic".


I stand corrected. I erroneously read it as Romantic whereas it was Romanic. My bad. Thanks for clearing it up for me @Qathar


that's ridiculous .... cat in italian is 'il gatto' .... I have never ever heard of anyone using 'la gatta' ... and when speaking about a cat how do you know whether it's a male cat or a female cat without examining its genitals


Well for starters male cats are bigger in size compared to female cats. But that is not the point here. It is just an exercise, where the app is trying to tell us different kinds of plural forms, so we don't actually need to examine the genitals.


In the realm of possibilities, the author could be talking about a group of female cats. The compact way the lessons are presented preclude the accompaniment of lengthly or compact context. We need to imagine a context where the English equivalent could indeed be correct, so we can learn the lesson quickly and efficiently and choosing the most simplistic explanation of context is I feel counter productive to learning a language in the shortest amount of time.


Why don't you put "il latte" why do you just put latte?


Because it would of said the in front of it


'Il' is basically the gendered equivalent of 'the' in english. So, if we don't want to be specific about what milk they're drinking, you don't have to put the article in front of it.


I'm not sure this answers Giovanna's question to tell the truth since there are surely lots of instances where the definite article has to be used in Italian where it is not specific and where it definitely would not be used in English.


What happens when it's more than one but they mixed? Gatti, gatte or third?


That would be i gatti. Same if they were all male. If the group consist only of female cats the we would use le gatte.


Avranno mal di stomaco.


Le gatte is singilar? Gatti plural for cats?


Sono gatti....they are cats correct in exercise. Le gatte in exercise was the cats plural. Confused


What is wrong with my answer? Le gatte bevono latte


Le gatte = the cat , i gatti = the cats ...you take as correct le gatte = the cats???


Normally Italians would use the masculine word gatti and not the feminine gatte if the gender of the animals is unknown. You use gatte only if you know the gender and if all the cats in the group are females. So essentially it's quite rare to hear about gatte, usually you use gatti. Also if there's a male cat in a group of female cats... it's still gatti and not gatte since gatti is considered to be more general, like neutral.


I thougt its a male word. Il gatto and plural is i gatti..why do you make it feminine?


How do we know if they are male or female when asked to write from English to Italian??


Ya mostly dl always uses masc as cat is masc so shouldnt pl always be i gatti why fem pl sounds wrong does dl mean momma cats tit feeding her kitties? Theres no indication why its conjufated wrong no la. Ou sua. Im upset


that's ridiculous .... cat in italian is 'il gatto' .... I have never ever heard of anyone using 'la gatta' ... and when speaking about a cat how do you know whether it's a male cat or a female cat without examining its genitals


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Not only that, but adult cats do not drink milk.


Yes they do. they shouldn't (especially cows milk) but they drink it when offered.


they could be kittens! also, adult cats do drink milk.


They keep givenig the plural of il gatto as le gatte. But it's masculine so should be i gatti.


"Cat" can be male or female, depending on the gender of the animal itself. In Italian you can have "il gatto" (male cat) or "la gatta" (female cat). When there's more than one, these become "i gatti" and "le gatte," respectively.

[deactivated user]

    What if you are talking about a group of male and female cats or don't know the gender of them?


    In that case, you use the masculine.

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