I would argue with this translation. The turtle is certainly not ours. Should be: La tartaruga certamente non è nostra. While: La tartaruga non è certo nostra. Should be: It's not sure that the turtle is ours.
I see what you mean, but in this case "certo" is used to strengthen the negation, even though it's not close to non; it delivers a "you certainly can't believe that" meaning, sometimes used sarcastically ("Non è mia" "Non è certo mia" - "It's not mine" "Well it can't be mine either"). It could also have been "non è affatto nostra", to the effect of a "no way it's like that". "It's not sure that the turtle is ours" would be "Non è certo che la tartaruga sia nostra".
When the possessive is in predicate position, i.e. subject+be+possessive, the article is optional; it has a subtle difference in meaning, "la nostra" is close to "our one" rather than a simple "ours", but in cases such as this it's basically the same.
I did a context search on certo non and came up with a ton of Italian sentences which would validate re-ordering this sentence to La tartaruga certo non è (la) nostra
Ciao Formica: could you please direct us, the people leaning here, to the rule which indicates that an adjective is use in Italian to strengthen a negation? As far as I know, it is an adverb that modifies the verb and not and adjective. Here the verb is è follow by an adjective certo.
To Gabor: This is a big difference between Italian and English. The given translation is correct in spite of the word order. A word-by-word translation would be quite wrong.
So how would you say "the turtle is not certainly ours" or as Gabor put it - "It's not sure that the turtle is ours" ?
"Non è certo che la tartaruga sia nostra" (It would require the subjunctive tense of essere - sia. If you don't know what that means, you'll get to it later. Sentences with an inflection of doubt use a different tense in Italian, and in proper English grammar for that matter)
correct. the subjunctive (or the conjunctive -- congiuntivo, as its known in italian) is a mood, and is in contrast to the indicative mood.
Why not "The turtle is not certainly ours"? This is the kind of chronic issue that will drive me (and others?) off Duolingo.
Is it also correct if we translate this sentence like this?
La tartaruga non è certo nostra. = The turtle isn't certainly ours.
It's very unusual word order for English. I can't even figure out how to write what it means. Something like "it's not certain that...", as in "Non é certo...". But this means "it's definitely not ours." (I came here because i didn't understsnd the Italuan word order. This is how i understand the meaning of the Italian.) We have to get used to the fact that different languages use different word order, and adverb placement is one of the really difficult things for English learners. (I used to be a teacher of English for foreigners.)
So - "the turtle is not definitely ours" was marked wrong. Is there a subtlety here about "not definitely" and "definitely not" that I haven't caught?
Duolingo needs to check word order in this sentence if it wants a clear translation. And by the way, is this my turtle or yours? I knew i should have bought mine in a different colour.
By Collins, certo can be an adjective or a an adverb, as an adjective it changes by the gender of the subject, but as an adverb it doesn't. Here, as f.formica explained - it is an adverb - therefore it can only be certo, no matter what is the gender.
There is also an adverb 'certamente', but I don't know if the two are interchangeable fully, or depend by the context.