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Thanks a lot! Massive biologeek (biologist + geek!) here. The science behind the learning process itself really fascinates me! I've completed a MOOC from coursera recently, "learning how to learn" and I've learned tons of techniques and tricks for effective learning. Ciao my fellow duolingeek and thanks again for the lingot love!
No problem! Ah, I see! I think it's pretty fascinating too, I didn't really think of the science aspect of it all until I saw your comment, but it's definitely handy and incorporating it will definitely benefit everyone. But the course sounds cool, I'd love to take such a course! But that's wonderful :D~. Ciao ciao fellow Duolingeek! No problem! You deserved it~, I like handing them out whenever I see a cool comment/post because I never use 'em and even if I did I just like to naturally hand out things or applaud someone, it's fun for some reason lol. ^^ And people usually deserve a little recognition, y'know?
My english teacher does that a lot, though it's mostly to fit as much new vocab into a sentence as possible. It does however lighten the mood during a test when you have to translate a sentence like "You're not allowed to chew gum here, but it'll be better if you scratch you kidney." (We actually had that one by the way.)
If you wanted to use a possessive, you'd have to say "nel mio stivale" or "nello stivale mio" because the use of nel/nello depends not on the object the knife is in, but on the first letter of the word. This is a general rule for the two masculine articles: when the first letter after the article (or article+prep) is s (+consonant), z, gn... use lo, not il. Here are some examples with just the article:
lo zucchero bianco/il bianco zucchero
lo stivale rosso/il rosso stivale
lo squalo bianco/il bianco squalo
Ah, you almost opened up a long linguistics discussion :) Prepositions are confusing because each language and speaker applies them subjectively. As you've already seen, they don't always translate direction from one language to the next. Do you say in or on a plate? Sul piatto or nel piatto? Both work in either language, one is just more common than the other. A plate is flat, but it is also a type of container.
Here nello is the correct answer because you put feet in shoes, not on shoes, and that's a little harder to argue than whether food is in or on a plate.
I hope that made a bit of sense!
I'm no linguist so anyone should feel free to correct me on this but it seems to me that in English there are, well, rules might be too strong but at least conventions about which prepositions can be used when. For instance I think usage of "in a plate" would be very, well, unusual. (It would be understood, but strike people as odd.) One complication here, of course, is regional/national differences. British usage seems to endorse "different to" whereas in American it's "different from" or maybe "different than." "Different to" always sounds wrong to my ears but I hear it all the time on the BBC. And the conventions are somewhat arbitrary, as shown by the 'different to'/'different from' question. One just has to learn which is used when. So I'm wondering if it's the same way in Italian - that at least in some cases which preposition to use is both somewhat arbitrary but also governed by conventions, so that it's a thing that one just has to learn, without really asking why.
you use the article "il" for singular masculine nouns (those usually end with "-o") yet when the noun is masculine but begins with "s"+ other consonant then you use "lo" (as in lo S+T+ivale). The article "la" is reserved for nouns that are feminine and singular (usually end with "-a" or "-e"). The article " l' " is for both masculine and feminine nouns that being with a vowel (e.g. l'amore). The plural forms of the above mentioned articles are: il --> i // lo --> gli // l' --> gli // la --> le //
I wanted to know if this sentence could mean the boot of a car (U.S. trunk), but the Italian word for that is 'bagagliaio'. If this comment was mentioned already, then I apologise. There were already over 240 comments on this question alone at the time of my post, but from an Android 'fone app', I have no search feature to find a particular post. Unless someone knows of an app or search feature within Duolingo.
Nel = in + il, while nello = in + lo. So it depends on which article should be used with the noun originally. In detail, check this out: http://www.oneworlditaliano.com/english/italian-grammar/italian-definite-articles.htm
I will never understand, after establishing O as masculine with I as the plural, and A as feminine with E as the respective plural, why they would start making nouns that end in E as singular which can be either masculine or feminine.
Is there some pattern or method to the madness I'm just missing?
The real answer to that lies in Latin. Masculine -o words come from second declension -us words in Latin, feminine -a words come from 1st declension -a words in Latin, and other endings tend to come from third declension Latin words (which can have all kinds of endings …). But I might have confused you even more now … Just keep exposing yourself to the sound of each word and it will grow on you! :)