"He understands women."

Translation:Lui capisce le donne.

February 9, 2013

95 Comments
This discussion is locked.


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

I wrote "Lui capisce donne" (it was marked wrong) because often the article is left out, and in English this seemed to mean "he understands women in general", rather than "he understands these particular women". Can anyone enlighten me here?


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

Like you, I continue to be baffled about when to use the article or not. Sometimes yes. Sometimes no. If there's a rule out there ... I'd like to know it. It is NOT true that the article in Italian is almost always used. It's often left out. The issue is WHEN?


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

I think this is a problem with duolingo. In Italian, including the article is less formal but not incorrect, but there is no rule. Often when you include the article, duolingo accepts it and offers an alternate translation without the article as also correct, so I think this is their error.


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

It is correct to include the definite article here. There are only a few instances where the definite article is omitted. It is necessary with nouns used in a general sense, as in this example 'women' . The problem is that DuoLingo does not seem to be always consistent with this rule.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AoDes216

It seems quite regular that the green correction bubble is telling me to drop the article. To be clear, you're clarifying that the app isn't being consistent, not the language itself, correct?


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

Brianhb, the problems that arise when you claim that it is "correct to include the definite article here" are that your rule calls for an article exactly when you do NOT intend to particularize the verb's object, and that it seems not to allow for any succinct way to express "he understands women in general". Is it then necessary to say "lui capisce donne in generale"? Before I propose a more sensible rule than this one, please hear me out.

Why did the Italian speaker decide to supply the definite article (not there in English)? You say that "It is necessary with nouns used in a general sense" but when you use a noun in a general sense this is exactly the condition in which you do not want to particularize by inserting a definite article. Is Italian grammar really THAT CRAZY to mandate a particularizing article when a generalization is meant, or was this rule that you propose dreamed up by some source that you don't identify?

You admit that DL is inconsistent "with this rule". How is a rule, applied inconsistently, a rule at all? My suggestion to avoid a nightmare of confusion is to use the definite article IF AND ONLY IF you mean a particularization like, in this case, certain women identified in context. Then if DL rejects it, make a report. Hopefully enough reports will cause DL to clarify an empirical rule in a "tip".


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

I am learning Italian so don't know precisely but it feels to me to work in a similar way to French (ane i would think to romance languages in general) and using a definite pronoun like in this case means that you're talking about women as a group, i.e. not just several random women, but "the Women" as a group which is translated through using the definite article. Different language have different rules and what makes no sense to you in this particular case makes perfect sense to me who is native of a different language. Some people have said that the definite article could be dropped if the language used is informal and that it was Duolingo's fault for not accepting it.


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

Sorry, NOT including the article is less formal.


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

Can you please say again what you mean here?


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

including the article makes the sentence more formal.


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

This is not an explanation but a repetition regarding alleged "formality". What does that mean?

Clearly, the translator thinks that "he understands women" refers to specific women. Huh, really???

Well, OK, if so, then exactly which women are they? This is the real unexplained issue and has nothing to do with "formality".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ilfalco42

I agree and have complained before about the arbitrariness of DL's use of articles. A me è un problema che è non vale la pena.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Bernice517352

same here, so I tried delle and it was also wrong. Also wat is the difference between comprendere and capire?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Theo639847

It's like in politics, you are never sure of what you can expect. We have to live with this, I am afraid.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jill592252

Agree. If we had translated their Italian to English and left out "the


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

The definite article is used when describing a category as a whole (as above, women in general, not some specific group of women) and for abstract nouns (such as art, poetry, philosophy, etc.). So 'Capisce le donne' because 'He understands women (in general, as a whole)'.


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

in italian to include the group as a whole you use the article in plural form


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/thi-fcr

Me as a Portuguese native speaker, it felt for me that there would be something missing if I left out the article "le", because in Portuguese it would also be weird to leave it out. And when you use "le donne" or "as mulheres" (in PT) in this case, it does not refer to specific women, but to women in general.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/INFJ_1

I think when your actual sentence starts with one of these pronouns[ lei,lui,essa,esso] , you add a to the end of the verb


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

Its italian, it does not need to make sense in english when literally translated. Also I wanna know this guy's secret.


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

Lucky him...


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/WillOBrien16

Who is this gentleman?


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

I don't get it, I put "He completed the impossible" and got marked wrong. Would "He lost his sanity" be a more accurate translation?


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

No, the first one you put was correct. You should report this to Duolingo


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/laxa88

I got it wrong when I used comprende. is there a difference in usage?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MichaelVel128259

What is wrong with "lui comprende le donne"?


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

nothing, many reported, but it's still not being accepted by duo. So reported again.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Andres86421

Yeah, more likely - he understands that he doesn't understand women! ;)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Andres86421

Lui pensa che capisce le donne, ma in realtà non lo fa...!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KateMcCabe4

Comprendere also means to understand. But Comprende le donne was marked incorrect. It should be accepted.


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

No he does not. It's not possible


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/wyqtor
  • 2947

Lui è Giacomo Casanova.


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

I wrote "Lui comprende le donne" and DL said i'm wrong. I don't thing the women speak their own language, that the men has to learn and understand, but the women require understanding, that for me is translated by the second option "comprendere" rather than "capire".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ilfalco42

As I have said before, DL is arbitrary with "the". With this sentence they insist on the "le" and did not accept my "Lui capisce donne." When they offer "Io capisco donne" they accept "I understand women." What is the difference??


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Kevin345500

The fact that this was commented on seven years ago and never fixed is ridiculous. As the initial commenter described "he understands women" is a lot different than "he understands the women" (a specific group of women).


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

I'm having a real hard time on when to use articles. In the example of "They are butterflies", I was not allowed to write "Sono le farfalle". Only "Sono farfalle" was accepted (no article). So, using that as an example, I used "Lui capisce donne." and it says in this case it needed the article. I read some of the responses below, but I'm reposting in case Duolingo is reading this.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/rachelvaug285797

Eh? I wrote "he understands women" because that's what the Italian says. It's one thing for him to understand women - how he understands our funny little ways and propensity to buy handbags - but quite another to understand THE women, because they speak slowly and clearly using short words of one syllable.


[deactivated user]

    So "They are chocolate bananas." doesn't translate to "Sono le banane al cioccolato." because "the" is not in the sentence, which is fine. But "He understands women." doesn't translate to "Lui capisce donne." How does this make sense?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jade969834

    Why not : Lui comprende le donne ??


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

    Does all this mean that it's best to leave the article in all the time, just to be on the safe side?


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

    Yes it's usually safer to assume the use of the article, at least in Italian. I put an article into a sentence (translating from English to German) but lost a heart for assuming an article was necessary. So depends on the language....you won't be penalised for using an article in Italian (unless, of course, it's wrong!), even if no article is used in the English sentence.....


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Doctor.Boom

    Well now I KNOW Duolingo is lying to me. Like, have they ever met a woman before?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jae633849

    Certo, come no. Questo lo pensi lui, ma io non ci credo per nulla!


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

    "Capisce donne" is a perfectly fine answer, but DuoLingo refuses to mark it correct after 6 years.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/D4rkCl0ud

    "comprende" gets marked as wrong. Can someone give some insight into that?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Teresa330622

    So . . . How do you differentiate between “He understands the women” (Meaning a specific group of women within a group. In other words, he understands their concerns) vs He understands women (Meaning he knows and understands about women in general). Especially if you didn’t have context for the sentence.


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

    I'm a Italian language learner like you, but my guess would be "Lui capisce quelle donne" if you want to refer to a specific group of women.


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

    Why not lui comprende le donne


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/d-AK-b

    Nowhere does it say "the women" the fact I didn't put a le before donne shouldn't have been wrong because that isn't what you asked for. Screw off with these trick questions made to suck out hearts.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SrebrenkaB2

    why is "comprende" wrong


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/m1y5Z

    What's the difference between "capisce" and "comprende"?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BarbaraLee12

    Why is 'le' required?


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

    i put , lui capisci le donne. ? marked wrong .


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/GU7P

    "capisci" is second person singular; you need third person singular here. "tu capisci", "lui capisce".


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/heyo77

    "capisci" is for tu (you). "capisce" is for lui/lei (he/she)


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/pam79949

    I put competence - it is one of the suggestions when you press 'understands' but was marked wrong ??


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Mr.Quatra

    Lui mente -)


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MarieBarto3

    It gives comprende as an option then tells you it's wrong? Non comprendo!


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

    capisce donne

    is marked wrong.


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

    It's really annoying sometimes they want to hear le donne sometimes only donne. But this case le donne but the englisch Version was only women.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/meandmyshadow0

    Why does it need le, its not called for.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/meandmyshadow0

    Why is, le there, when its mot in the sentance


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/nosola1

    So I may finally understand .... He understands women(kind) MUST have definite article Le Donne...


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

    It makes him the only one...


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Anne609994

    I thought that the definite article was necessary with plural nouns, not always with singular.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Steffi220319

    I do not like some of the subtly sexist sentences I find on duolingo. "He understands Women" - well, women are not a "group" but indivuals. Also I found cliches like "mother is in the kitchen" and "the men think"/ "who thinks like him?" which I did not like - cause there was never a sentence the other way round :/


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Aidian5

    I do not believe this was intended to be sexist. Simply stating that person X understands a group of people is not sexist. And yes, no matter how you see it the facts suggest that women are a group, otherwise, we would not need to differentiate between women and woman. Women, no matter how independent they may appear are still women, and the same goes for men. That is anatomy and can be altered through scientific process, but until then you are either part of the group of women or the group of men. Also, the manner of these sentences is intended to teach you a language not appeal to your fancy. Duolingo is using a long-tested technique of using sentences that seem off basis or odd to teach you. As you have proven by remembering several sentences from Duolingo's repository, the idea is to make you remember the sentence and apply it to novel sentences. The fact that you remembered. "The men think," and "Who thinks like him," shows that these sentences are doing their job.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/John146Chri

    Is it possible to learn this power?


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

    It does not say le fonne, so why should I put the in English?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Eyad1980

    How to know when I should use the article?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Eyad1980

    How to know when to use the article?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Louis879699

    This question should have been "He understands the women."


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/r0jnm0l

    I never knew I was a monster until I read this comment section.


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

    Why can't the verb conoscere be used in this case?


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

    Why can't the verb conoscere be used instead?


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

    Messed the hints up again duolingo. Crap product.


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

    It's great if some men understand women but went do you focus on this? These phrases seem very male (and zoo) focussed.


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

    L'uomo che capisce le donne non è ancora nato.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jennifer299745

    yes, I also did nit include the article as the question had not made note of particular women ...it was 'women' in general. This seems similar to a few other problematic questions : electric shoes 1 and the National book week! i am surprised Duolingo still has them in use.


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

    It should be then "he understands the women"


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

    I wrote "Lui comprende le donne", but it marked it wrong and wrote "Lui capisce le donne". Can anyone tell me where the mistake is? I even cliked on understands and there was comprendre included. Is it irregular and I didn't know?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/masterbeta1

    There once was a man from Venus, Who had a rather cumbersome...

    ... I forget the rest.


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

    Comprende Why is it wrong?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jorgie2009

    Why is Lui comprende le donne wrong?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BarbaraLee12

    why is 'le' required?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ana23332

    I speak spanish too, i am mexican and i can say, in spanish we put too the article in these kinds of sentence and also use "a"(él entiende a las mujeres), if we don't put that preposition and the article it just sounds stupid ,It may not seem to make much sense to native English speakers but open your minds you are learning another language ;) an apology if I made mistakes writting I'm still learning English


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

    Urgh, what a vile thing to say. Funnily enough, just like men, women are all different people!


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Camille1is0.999

    I used "comprende" instead of "capisce" and I was wrong; could someone tell me why please?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DanielPodo0000

    "lui capisce donne" still not accepted Jan 2022


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Kevin938352

    And quantum physics too!!


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/INFJ_1

    no one understands women ;)

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