"The chicken is on the plate."
Translation:Il pollo è nel piatto.
It isn't logical. It depends on the language. Sometimes there is no logic and sometimes there are different logics / concept behind using different preposition. In French you say "à la mur" for "on the wall" and you say "à la maison" for "at home" and you say "à la discotéque" for "in the disco". So no logic at all in my opinion.
The difference is whether you are talking about composition or location. "Sul" refers to the location of something: the chicken is (located) on/upon the plate. "Nel" refers to both a location and a composition. If you were to use it in this context above, the significance would render a meaning like: chicken is (used) in this plate/dish/meal/food. It might be the reply to the question: which dishes have chicken in them? The chicken is nel (this) dish.
Because there are two forms of 'in the' that are used for the masculine singular. 'nel' and 'nello'. The latter is only used when the word following it begins with s+consonant, z, and maybe a couple of other rare things that I can't remember off the top of my head. Since 'piatto' doesn't fall under this it's 'nel piatto'
OK, possibly three nell' if the following word begins with a vowel sound (late edit)
Something that bothers me about Duolingo is that it doesn't teach you which words are masculine, feminine or neutral, and which words are changed by the gender and how. We're forced to learn it by ourselves, which is sometimes impossible. What I could never tell is what word is changed by what. I thought that the verb is conjugated based on the gender of the subject, but that was disproved when I saw mangia go with a masculine word. Can someone explain to me how this all works? I'm needlessly lost.
ejh, you seem really lost. did you sleep through the previous 10 or so lessons? mangia is a verb. verbs change by the person (i, you, she, ... -> io mangio, tu mangi, lei mangia, ...), and not by the gender (and it is like this in other languages too). the gender thing is for nouns, when they get prepositions and adjectives and these kind of things. e.g. la ragazza, il ragazzo, la camicia grigia, la gonna rosa, il pinguino azzurro, ... maybe it is an old comment and you already found out, hopefully, just don't want this to confuse someone else too. and actually it teaches the gender by putting there la/il/... before the nouns quite often
In English I'm pretty sure we use "chicken" as meaning "chicken meat" rather than "one chicken"; in Italian would you ever use "i polli" for a sentence like this? (I noticed that it is okay to say "le caramelle" for "candy" even though it technically directly translates as "the candies" [I think].)
Sorry, but ALL of my translations showed.... nel... None showed sul as shown in the answer at top of this page???? Anybody else see "nel" on their choices? I do know that to use -nel- means the chicken is IN the plate. -sul- means ON the plate. Wonder what happened with the switch?
Discussing idioms like "nel piatto" instead of "sul piatto" and how different languages treat the basic concept behind them, especially when different, is educational and interesting.
Discussing why idioms don't make sense in translation is interesting sometimes, but often not, and definitely not educational. Idioms may come from the same root as "idiots" - no amount of talking is going to change them, and they often are not logical.
Why? Italians tend to use 'nel' for food on plates. It is important to remember that prepositions especially do not always map one to one across languages. Italians talk about food being in plates, rather than on them. English tends to use in for deep plates like bowls, but on for flat plates like normal dinner plates or platters. But that's just a convention. Best to use what the Italians use. And word of advice. Read the comments before posting. You may find your concern addressed.
Yup, which is the reason Italians get prepositions wrong when they speak English. Either way is equally logical.
E.g. we use "on" for plate and "in" for bowl. In both cases the food is both "in" the center of the item but "on" the surface of the item.
When we say something is "in" a bowl, we don't mean that it is somewhere inside the porceline making up the bowl, but just within the space in the middle of its structure. The thing that's "in" the bowl is still external to the bowl. Now try imagine extending that idea to the plate. There is probably also another language that would go the opposite way and say "on" the bowl.
I find it remarkable how when i read this chat thread all i "feel" are a bunch of people trying to be heard by ripping each other apart. All your voices are fueled from your egos. Just calm down...relax...we're all here to learn italian and jabe some fun. Lets help each other and hear each other. When someone offers an answer to your question...they are trying to help you. No one is forcing you to agree with the rationale offered. Why get so defensive when someone else doesnt provide you with an answer to your satisfaction? I wish more people could see the good in others as the human default. When did our 'default' become so ruthless? To all those that made an attempt to explain, thank you! I personally get what you're trying to convey...:) cheers!