Thanks for the explanation. I asked not to criticize the Italian sentence, but to clarify in my own head how the grammar might work. Rules of grammar vary among languages - one reason I'm having some trouble wrapping my mind around Italian conjugations - and I was curious about how this might work in Italian.
Actually, no, that is not what's clear at all. It doesn't matter how many hands each person is using. If there is more than one person, i.e., "they", then the word would be "hands." "They are going to put their HANDS here." The context would tell you whether each person is putting one hand or two HANDS.
Let's rephrase in this way what a native italian understands from these two sentences:
1) "Metteranno le loro mani qua". This in italian could be equivocal because italians themselves are not always clear. The preferred interpretation though is that they *could * use both their hands.
2) "Metteranno la loro mano qua". This is not equivocal. Each one of them will use one hand only.
I understand that you don't find logical that a plural it's followed by a singular, but this is the way we speak. Very often it's illogical (the worst is when we use "niente". "Non c'è niente" is logically odd, but italians use it).
I don't know why you have been marked down for your comment. Duo has used in their translation 'hands'. when the word they are translating is 'hand' Now the reasoning by PaoloArman2 above is valid. However, It is a cause for confusion. and you are right to point it out. I believe the English translation is incorrect. It should be '...their hand here'. It is Duo's translation that is at fault and causing the confusion.
Ich weiß es auch nicht genau. Ein Versuch Revilo's Aussage etwas Leben einzuhauchen, ein faule Art "jeder von ihnen wird seine Hand dort hinlegen" zu sagen, ein Statement, dass sich die Grammatik nicht um jeden Vogelschiß kümmern soll. Auf jeden Fall kann ich mit dem Singular leben, auch wenn mir der Plural besser gefällt. Und wahrscheinlich hätte ich besser meine zehn Tippfingerchen in Zaum halten sollen.
Sie werden ihre Hände hierhin legen is correct and ambiguous, each one might put one or both hands. Sie werden ihre Hand hierhin legen sounds slightly unnatural to me but not wrong. Jeder wird seine Hand hierhin legen is one hand per person, jeder wird seine Hände hierhin legen is two hands per person.
What a long discussion! So what have we learned?
Italians put their hand up, Brits put up their hands.
Soglio is an editorial weasel, and Paolo has the patience of a saint.
The PC debate continues - HIS hand (meaning his or her) is sexist/it isn't, and anybody who says so is a makebate; - we can use 'their hand' to mean his or her/we HAVE to use his/his or her
... and that even the English can't agree on how to speak English.
Wow. What a lot of energy you chaps* have. :)
*[chaps/chapesses, I should say.]
LindaB_Duolingo: I've got to hand it to you; your summary is hands down the clearest so far and definitely deserves a hand - or if that's more than just one user's opinion, namely mine, then of course you're deserving of hands. Question: If two or more blackjack dealers are dealing out cards to a group of players are they dealing a hand of cards or hands of cards? If everyone in the audience is clapping do the performers receive a hand of applause or hands of applause? Seriously, thanks for your post.
People have been arguing this point since the first creature crawled out of the primeval sea and began to speak. Grammar isn't written on the walls of the universe; nevertheless, at least in In my line of work, it's as bad to have people think you're ungrammatical as it is to be ungrammatical.
Thus, we have strategies that I call "editorial weasel maneuvers." In this case, casting the entire sentence into the plural - "They are going to put their hands here" - which in this case also makes more sense than suggesting all of them share one hand - avoids protracted arguments such as we find ourselves embroiled in here.
Editorial weasel maneuvers. Love it.
I often do the same thing when I am unsure of a spelling, and don't have time to check - I use another word. And when I'm not happy about a point of grammar or punctuation, and too tired to climb into the web - I just cheat and say it another way. Sigh. There, I've admitted it. I'm a fellow weasel. :)
Mikeforbes didn't say people were trying to be sexist in using "his." A lot has been written about whether or not it's advisable to use gendered pronouns in English when the sex of the person is unknown; in-depth discussions about this subject are easily found via Google. "They" as a nongendered singular pronoun has been used for centuries in English. It is no less correct than "he."
don't be ridiculous - I am english and in english if you use a plural part of the verb then the accompanying noun must also be in the plural - it's supposed to be a correct translation into english - and unless there really is just 1 hand between 'them' - maybe all but 1 hand is amputated - then the translation 'hand' is incorrect
just to learn English here, I am italian. What about these sentences:
1) The soldiers in the firing squad were ready to pull the trigger with their finger.
2) The soldiers in the firing squad were ready to pull the trigger with their fingers.
If I got what you say, only the 2) is correct. Right ?
In italian the 1) with the singular "finger" is preferable.
1) I soldati del plotone d'esecuzione erano pronti a premere il grilletto con il loro dito
As a general rule 'their' is plural and if it's plural unless there really is only 1 finger - eg every single finger but 1 in the scenario has been chopped off, and 1 trigger - then you use the plural to match the plural 'their'. eg you have 10 soldiers so 10 triggers & 100 fingers, the soldiers pull the triggers with their fingers. If you were to prefix the sentence with eg EVERY soldier then it would all become singular - every soldier was ready to pull the trigger with his finger Hope this is helpful
Yep. I got it, very clear. Thanks. Take into account that in Italian you can use the singular. The hypothesis of a firing squad in which 9 members out of 10 have a chopped off finger is deemed odd and should have been made clear. Without such a specification, it's implied that each one of them pulls the trigger with his own finger. Hence in italian you can use the singular.
Maybe that English duolingo's sentence has been conceived by an italian under the influence of their (*) own language.
(*) this "their" here is a singular their like this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Singular_they
I looked at the wikipedia link - singular 'they' It's the sort of thing that you don't notice if it's your native tongue!
1.Everyone returned to their seats - Everyone (in this case a single noun like la gente') but there is more than 1 seat involved so 'seats' 2.Somebody left their umbrella - just 1 single umbrella left not an umbrella per person - so 'collect it' not 'collect them' 1, 3&4 current UK usage to be honest as many people would use 'his' as would use 'their' tho 'they may be grammatically incorrect 5.A journalist with many sources - if there were just 1 single source then it would be 'source' but there's more than 1 source so plural 'sources'
Actually, the best English sentence would be (3) The soldiers in the firing squad were ready to pull the triggers with their fingers.
More than one soldier, therefore more than one finger. Unless they share a single gun, more than one trigger. Thus, "soldiers," "triggers," and "fingers" are all plural.
There is a difference in English between "They are going to" and "they will". Duo doesn't seem to realize that, and is using phrasal future when the exercises are simple future.
"They are going to put their hands here" or "They are about to put their hands here".
Stanno per mettere la loro mano qua
There is a difference between those two tenses in English, but there isn't a difference in Italian. The 'going to' future of 'mettere' is in fact translated into Italian as 'metteranno' in this sentence (as I'm sure your level-25 self knows!). So when we're translating from Italian to English, Duo has to accept either English translation, as the use of one or the other would have to depend on the context (which we don't have here).
As a native English speaker, i might be going against the grain but there isn't a huge difference in reality. While it might not be perfect grammar, a phrase such as "when the teacher asked a question they put their hand up" would be perfectly understandable as meaning that several (if not all) of the students raised one hand to answer the question. Similarly, if someone said "when the teacher asked a question they put their hands up" most people would assume that it meant the same thing rather than several (if not all all) of the students put both their hands up. Contexts are important, but I'm trying to learn Italian and not trying to speak the Queen's English.
“Tutti alzano la loro mano” can be translated either “Everyone raises his hand” or “They all raise their hands.” To me, as an English speaker (both U.S. and British) the interesting thing to notice is that, while the English focuses strictly on a logical agreement of grammatical number, the Italian focuses differently, always painting a clear and definitive picture of individuals here each raising one and only one hand. Rather nice!
As opposed to...? Are you thinking qui for 'here'? Both qua and qui mean 'here"; like la and li mean 'there'. It's been explained to me, that qua & la are used more for 'around here/there' and qui & li are are more for 'right here/there', but they tend to be interchangable and speakers use the one that sounds better in their situation.
Why qua in this sentence, versus qui? No idea. Maybe someone else can explain?