"Cosa sono?"

Translation:What am I?

February 7, 2013

122 Comments
This discussion is locked.


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

I actually started wondering to myself - Isn't life mysterious?


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

When I was younger I believed there was a higher power outside of the universe; in a "Horton Hears A Who" sense. After that I always questioned our being. Afraid that one day I would wake up grown-up or not being, maybe life was all a dream...


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

In Italy when using the form"SONO"you absolutely must express the corect i.e.the right question will be:Cosa SONO IO? or Cosa SONO LORO? because in italian language exists-IO SONO+LORO SONO


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

No way... you can say "cosa sono?" without adding anything else and it means... "what am I or what are they?". If you want to specify, it's OK, but there's no "absolutely must".


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

I think in the context of learning a new language, being explicit would be more suitable. Once you get more fluent you can then start to remove the "io" or "loro"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Tomas258654

There is certainly a must if you want to be clear. If you want to be vague, then Io or Loro not needed.


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

you're right, it's exactly the same with spanish


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

Great commemt!!!! I was going to say the same thing, but you explied it much better.


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

I think it can be left out given the context of a situation.


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

Thanks a lot. Was confused myself here.


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

Thanks for the tip


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

Yes, I was wondering if cosa sono also means what are they


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

I was thinking just that! How do I know this is not: What are they... and had a sense that it should include io or loro. Thanks for clarifying


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

that's right (y)


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

The question I've been waiting for. Sono batman.


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

So deep that I can see adele rolling in there


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/alexros83

That was definitely a good joke!!! Poor Adele. I swear I saw and image of her literally rolling on the floor.


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

What am I? Your mother? Do your own laundry!!!!

Is this the sort of context this question would be used?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Daniel120763

Oh, that's one of the ways it can be used, but there are more.

Without any context, it's a deep philosophical question. But when talking about membership to some sort of cateogry or group, it can be used either to genuinely ask which category one is in, or for the speaker to rhetorically imply that the established categories are not enough for them.

Asking a question like this in the first person is also sometimes seen in riddles.


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

could it be: What are ( these, those)?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/matin484

i wrote "what are they" and it was correct.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Noa562432

What are those - wasn't accepted


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/alexros83

That was my first thought. What are they?


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

I've got more problems with english here :D [i.e. also wrote 'these'] those are quelli/e?


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

What are these? why would that not be considered acceptable? would that be cose?


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

That should be right. The full sentence would be 'cosa sono questi/e' for 'what are these' and 'cosa sono quelli/e' for 'what are those'; however, Italians often drop the subject... 'cosa sono' can also be 'what are they'.


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

"What are they?" is accepted. But unless they use questi, these wouldn't be accepted


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Oddgod22

Duolingo is gaining sentience!


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

Could this also be translated as, "What are they?"


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

Un insetto, most likely.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Torstein88052

The context will probably help you understanding whether "sono" applies to "I" or "they". But as a context-free statement, "Cosa sono?" could logically, in my mind, be understood as "What am I?" or "What are they?". Would Duolingo accept both answers? If not, why not?


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

"What am I?" is infinitely more common for "cosa sono?", because (1) when fielding insults or being slighted is part of the culture, one is constantly defending one's self with these 2 words in an indignant tone; (2) the curiosity behind asking "what are they?" is less likely and, in truth, would more probably be "what are these?", which would be accompanied by 'questi', (3) cosa sono? = natural/common "What am I?" than "What are they?" (4) more natural for 3rd pp: "che cosa sono questi?" or "che sono questi?".

So, relying on grammar, yes, both are possible.

However, there is more ambiguity when using Lei and lei. Part of conversational Italian is clearing up ambiguities, advice to a beginner? get used to it (remember: un casino is not for gambling!!)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Robert485433

excellent!! hey, did you live in Italy? sounds like it.

"grammatical vs common usage"? is that a thing?


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

"What I'm?" also doesn't make sense in english


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

You could say "I'm what?" though. I.e., someone calls you a whale. In disbelief, you respond, "I'm what?"


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

You say What am I, as in: What am I, your maid?


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

Penso dunque sono.


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

much appreciated reference. However, this says that you are, but not what... Descartes: cogito ergo sum, a proof of existence


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JudithStei2

I wrote "what am I?" and it said it was wrong and that it was "what are they." Given that "sono" is used both for "I" and "they" either answer should have been accepted.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/pizza7

'What I am' (given as a correct answer) might work in a subordinate clause [I don't know, what I am.] but i don't think it is usual or right to ask: "What I am?"


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

It's definitely not right to ask "What I am?" in English. :)


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

WHO AM I? (a self-searching philosophical treatise) [also called: nan yar? and Koham?]

multi-media presentation: https://ramana-maharshi.weebly.com/who-am-i.html

original texts (including manuscripts) https://www.sriramanamaharshi.org/downloadbooks/whoami_all_languages/who_am_I_Sanskrit.pdf


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ismail.H

Is the sentence "Sono tartaruga" the right answer for a question like this? Some respect doulingo, please.


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

@Ismail.H You have to put an article "una or la". "Sono una tartaruga", sono la tartaruga", unless tartaruga is your name... "sono Tartaruga" :D


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

Hillel in Italian. (If I am not for myself, then who will be for me? And if I am only for myself, then WHAT AM I? And if not now, when?)


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

Why focus on who I am when I can focus on who they are? OH WAIT! It's the same question!... obviously!


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

Oh! I absolutely agree with so many people,, there is not much sense in this translation if there is no previous context!!!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/kaykay626057

Im worried about the person who wrote this for Duolingo. Are they okay?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/alisher2805

Duolingo should really update Italian. I see the posts with negative feedback from six years ago but there was no action... It is not funny guys as far as you are not providing these courses free...


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Dr.Moir1

The pronunciation of the male speaker often drops ending sounds and/or syllables. Having been an NPR Radio announcer, I listened to this three times, and STILL could not hear 'soon' from 'suono'- not good.


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

I am Italian. In italiano per "cosa sono?" si intende "cosa sono QUELLI?" e non "cosa sono IO?"!


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

Un insetto, most likely.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Cameron412978

What is anything really


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Katto248439

Dude. Duolingo is getting real.


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

I listened it many times and I always heard "Posa sono" and only in slow pronunciation it is really "Cosa sono". Of course, bt meaning of the phrase I understood it, but I really listened it many times - "Posa" ))


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

When you're in italy and lose your memory


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

I am a Quale Whale! Quale Whale fam where you at!


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

Am I a man? Am I a woman? Am I batman? I am batman.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/I-AM-THE-STAR

Do you know that batman is also a city's name somewhere in the world?!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Erated8

In Turkey, To Be Exact. I've Heard It Was Also Used As A Unit Of Measurement In The Ottoman Empire.


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

Io sono una farfalla


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SofieJones798

Another philosophical question... which takes a lifetime to explore.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Michaelwah20

I wrote "what are they?"..it was right !


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Pat769088

If the question had been; 'Cosa sono io?' I'm sure I would've translated it correctly.


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

It can mean more than only who am i.. for example... what are those/they


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Nick524550

This is the last question before Duolingo becomes self-aware and takes over the internet.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/valyo8

I answered "What are?". How I could determine is that "Cosa sono loro?" or "Cosa sono io?" that sounds super non sense...


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

Cosa sono loro would be "what are they?" not just what are


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/valyo8

Yes, I agree. Thanks. Unfortunately I have no choice but to study Italian through English, that is far from my mother tongue either...


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

What is the difference between "Cosa sono?" and "Chi cosa sono?"


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

@katerinasiap "Cosa sono?" is correct (what are they?, what am I?), "chi sono?" is correct (who are they?, who am I?), "chi cosa sono?" just like that, it's not possible to say, but "chi e cosa sono?" is correct (who and what are they?, who and what am I?). Obviously it depends on the context. Hope it's helpful.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Robert485433

@Doc0048 maybe didn't see the problem of "the difference between "Cosa sono?" and "Chi cosa sono?" as "CHE"cosa sono? and not "chi"... now answer: 'no diff'


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ruzanna385140

Everyday asking myself.. while that "philosophical" thinking right after waking up xd


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

I wrote the plural sono response and it wasn't accepted.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Hector290697

So can "cosa" be used for multiple meanings in context?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/I-AM-THE-STAR

All I know that I'm a DL student not an alien...


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

This also can be translated as "What do they are?", right?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/arul78444

Million dollar question


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/skkimo23

Next question: Perché sono?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Stian88

Could this mean, "Which group do I belong to?", if a teacher or coach divide people into groups 1, 2, 3 and 4?

I remember this from when we had gymnastics at school :)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Robert485433

"dove sono?" seems better for this.


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

The man said sunu, not sono


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

What are these questions?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Tom419655

Male voice is saying "sunu" not "sono."


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ChieuT
  • 1854

Context-dependent, I suppose.


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

What am I? … Barrel rider, spider slayer,... Ring bearer.


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

'Cosa sono' can also be translated as 'what are they' or 'what are these'


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Piotr139789

Oh shit the owl is sapient now


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

I'm having an existential crisis right now due to this question. What am I? Are we here? Is life an illusion? Are we real? Is this a dream? How did we evolve from a one celled organism that used to photosynthesize, to being humans that use technology in everyday lives (for example to learn languages)? What is the meaning of life? Is there lore in mc?


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

This speaker is totally saying "cosa sunuo." Neither fast nor slow can I make myself hear "cosa sono" out of that recording.


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

It's a door to the outdoor ...


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

Checking on Google Translate this seems to be incomplete, what am? Reading the comments I see it needs io or loro to finish the sentence


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/amulya-ammu

I never asked this question to anyone...or even myself


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Erated8

Note that "Sono" can mean both "(I) Am" or "(They) Are", So this sentence could also be translated as "What are they?", Which would likely be used more often.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/amulya-ammu

I never asked this question to anyone...not even myself


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Nadya714998

Why it wasn't previously accepted as the correct answer but instead "che cosa sono io"?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Reyfagundes58

What am I? I would like to make this question to some one, because I don't know the answer lol


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

This has me wondering how you would differentiate it from "What are they"?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Mayita340

Is What am I?, NOT "what I am? I just one heart because duolingo got wrong


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PikachuRules521

An app. Unless you mean philosophically, I don't know. XD


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

I understand cosa sono can mean "what am I" or "what are they". In the second case does it apply to people, animals and things?


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

This goes in the list with Are your shoes electric and Why do people die. I know! I'm dead because my electric shoes malfunctioned.


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

Cosa sono permette due risposte : Cosa sono (io)?


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

What are they or what am i cosa sono ( loro, o quelle cose ) // cosa sono ( Io )


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

Come on duo,ask some actual questions


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/iOuE9vkG

could that be what are they? yup i got the answer by scrolling down good question


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Yana583086

Well, according to Dutch you, you're either a banana, an orange, or an apple


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

An idiot sandwich


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

Ok what am i actually...

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