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  5. "La famiglia lavora nei campi…

"La famiglia lavora nei campi."

Translation:The family works in the fields.

February 21, 2013

109 Comments


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

why not "ON the fields"?


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

Actually, I'm going to throw something in here. I know a family who own a medium-size farm on the edge of the Midlands and as they were re-sizing fields and updating fences for financial reasons, and constructing a stable IN one, they frequently spoke about having to 'work ON the fields' longer than they anticipated. So, although most of the good people here who rightly say to 'work in the fields' is much more common, there still exists a small contextual element here.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/duogra
  • 1089

Differences in languages. Why aren't you IN the bus in English? ON the bus is senseless unless you are on the roof. Languages differ. Also it's IN in Italian (and French) because you are inside the boundaries of the field.


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

Because they're working inside the fields, no one said the they work on the fields


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

:) In ukrainian language we say on the field(s), because people are standing ON the ground, not inside the ground. Thanks anyway.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DeanG6

In English, "ground" and "fields" are not the same. We "stand on the ground" but we "work in the fields". Fields includes the ground plus whatever grows above the ground. So if the grass, corn, etc were tall enough, you would in a sense be working "inside" the fields. But we say "in" the fields.


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

In Czech (and probably all Slavic languages) you also work ON the field, ON the garden... and when you describe a picture in Czech, you say that something is ON the picture :)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Dian.Ashes

In Russian you work IN the field and IN the garden. But you can be only ON the picture ;)


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

It's really interesting how different languages handle prepositions. In German we say “ON the field/ picture/ street/ island (like Mallorca/ Madagascar et al.) “ but “I am IN England/ Australia/ Italy/ Greenland“ etc., and although I'm a native speaker I couldn't explain when to use which.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/duogra
  • 1089

ON the photo/island but IN the street/plate/field/bus in French


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

І think its more logic to be IN the room (closed space), in the city, in the country (closed border), but On the air, on the field, on the planet (open space). Its just a difference of abstract thinking :). But sometimes we also say "in the fields" when we mean the field of somebody, or some concrete field (has border), also when somebody goes from the city or villages - In the field (from closed border to other space). It`s interesting, but no need to change somthing on DL.


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

I think they meant that the translation goes to "in", not "on".


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

yes in UK we would more commonly use the plural


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

And in Ireland


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Micah40988

so you guys are ALL saying that we commonly say, "the family WORK." ?????? THAT'S ABSURD!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/amanda185

no in North America, family is singular, so we say "the family works" not "the family work"


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

Yeah, and that's totally WRONG. It's an issue with North American English comprehension. You cannot have a group of ONE (1).

e.g. A Crowd

A Family

A Sports team

All of those are plural. Period. In a sentence, it should be properly stated as "My family ARE coming for dinner tonight." or "The crowd ARE going wild about the great play." or "Chicago ARE a great baseball team."

This confusion is further exasperated by sports commentators who will change from singular to plural, mid sentence.

e.g. "The Alabama defense is tough and they will make a goal-line stand."

???

Again, this is simply a misunderstanding of plural and singular. The Alabama defense is ALWAYS PLURAL since you cannot have a defense of 1 (on a team). it makes no sense.

It takes a long time to get people to see this error, but yes, it's an error. I'm an American (USA) and I started changing the way I state these sentences to mirror correct English... you know, from ENGLAND!


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

How about words like "the state", "the senate" or "the army". They are all words for groups of people. Would you still say "The senate are acting on legislation."?


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

Yes. They're still plural. "The state" would depend on what you're talking about though. If you're talking about the state of AZ, then it's singular, as there's only one Arizona. However, if you're talking about the state as in a governing body, then it's plural.

Basically, just change "the [ whatever ]" to "they" and if the sentence still makes sense for how you're using it, then you know it's correct.

As another example, there are sports team with "singular" mascots. For instance, the Miami Heat or Tampa Bay Lightning. They aren't all of a sudden singular just because there's no "s" at the end of their name.

If one can say "The Bears are going to win the Super Bowl" then surely "Chicago are going to win the Super Bowl" is the exact same thing. I've not actually changed the subject, it's still the same team (group). Why people can't seem to understand this is pretty strange.


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

Almighty science, this seems a big issue for you. I am not sure why. In the UK both singular and plural are frequently used. In Italy no. Family is a singular I am told. Following the posts on here it would seem entirely regional. No wrong or right. UK US and Canada. A minor point surely?


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

it's only a minor point if you are ok with plurals being singular. I got the correct answer to this question either way... but it's still incorrect to think a group is singular. You can't have a group of 1 anything. it makes no sense from the off...


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Dan878472

Different languages and indeed different groups of the same language handle collective nouns differently; it is not an error. If you wish to be rigid in this approach then What about, “My hair is brown”? Almost no one pictures a single brown hair sprouting from an otherwise bald head. “Hair” refers to the entire group of hairs...So you are welcome to, “My hair are brown”.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/amanda185

In Canadian and American English, it's singular, but in British English, it's plural, I believe.


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

The real issue here is: does DL accept "The family work in the fields."? To be absolutely correct the 3rd person singular should be used, but in UK English both "The family work" and "The family works" are commonly used and as such the translation "The family work" is correct .


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

It doesn't, no, I've had this issue on later lessons. Technically, duo is correct, because family is singular, but it seems unfair!


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

The family is 3rd person singular and as such only 'works' is correct.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/amanda185

Yes but for people in the UK, family is plural so 'work' is right in their case


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Micah40988

family is a collective noun no matter if you're canadian, american or british... family is a singular collective noun... like group, class, family, ect...


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

For people in the U.K. 'family' is singular, 'families' is the plural.


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

I am not a native English speaker and the fact makes me curious. Then I do research on it...: http://www.usingenglish.com/forum/threads/3053-My-family-are-(or-is)

mmm...that's interesting:D!!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sremac67

Can somebody explain why "The family is working in the fields." is wrong?


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

that would be la famiglia sta lavorando nei campi


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

Yes, but this does not appear to be a "hard and fast" Duo rule. They frequently give "I am + gerund" as an alternative translation of the present tense. Or is there an exception involved that I'm not seeing?


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

English often use the "ing" form when it is the present tense. Not quite the same thing in Italian


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

Why isn't the present progressive form accepted here?


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

Do you mean the family is working in the fields? La famiglia sta lavorando?


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

Something like that. Can the Italian sentence mean that they usually work in the fields (i.e. that's their workplace), or does it mean that they are working there right now? If it's the latter, it should be possible to translate the Italian sentence as "The family is working in the fields". Compare to another sentence. "I work at the library" would mean that I'm employed by or usually work at the library, but "I'm working at the library" means I'm there right now.


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

Why isn't present continuous accepted here? As in "The family is working in the fields."


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

This question has come up several times, see other comments


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

the family WORK in the fields??


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

"the family" is singular. It takes 3rd person singular conjugation of the verb, ie "works"


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

or at least I'm canadian, 'the family' is singular here


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

You may be right, but this is a test of Italian not English, I think that should be allowed


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/solangefer236443

Your right 3 pers sing


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Axeman01

Exactly - work is perfectly correct!


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

I guess the family is singular - it is in italian at least :P


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

The hint for campi = camps. Not fields :/


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

the hints often seem to be misleading


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

Hmm, my hint said fields...?


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

I think 'works' is probably more accurate since 'family' is singular but it seems a bit predantic to reject 'work'.


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

I am told by my italian teacher that although uk would say family is plural, in Italy it is singular


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/perb1948

Why is 'is working'not correct. They could be doing right now


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

It could be, but if we were being pedantic, if they were in the process of doing it right now it would be Sta lavorando


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

Couldn't they get a woman who can speak properly to record this? She puts L's in where there are none and doesn't put them in where there are. Fizzzzz!


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

I too hope, Duolingo will invest in better audio. The Italian voice as of now (2013, October) is not a woman. It is a computer, a synthesized voice.


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

Amen brother.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/2learnitaliano

so WHY did you fault my "the family work in the fields" when you have precisely this sentence as one of the two correct answers that you yourself ordained?


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

This sentence has caused a lot of discussion about English interpretation, and everyone has a good point. However I do sometimes think we get too hung up about English translation when we actually should be focussing on how it would be said in Italian. The family is singular in Italian, no question, although it can be singular or plural in English. Quite probably In the fields is correct in Italian. although in English it could be on or in. These fine translations can waste our energy. Translations are frequently an elastic interpretation. Lets just try to say it like an Italian would. Sometimes I make translations that are clumsy in English, just to focus on the Italian format


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/grege2

Great reply beetle. Most people are missing the point .. what's important here is the Italian usage, which it seems is 99.9% singular for "famiglia". As for in vs. on, well, the briefest of Italian courses will tell you that prepositions are completely idiomatic for each language. The food can be "in" the plate, or "on" the plate, and you must just "do as the Romans do" !


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

Thank you kindly grege2, have a lingot


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/2learnitaliano

bravo! well done. still, however, if that is the case, you and/or duolingo should not then mount the high horse and fault our English, si?


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

sorry to have given that impression, I have no intention of criticising anyone's English


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

Family is a singular collective noun. So, usually, the singular form of verbs is used with it.


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

Maybe it was the singular of work needed ie the family works. See other posts


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

Weird sentence to learn


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

Why not in the country


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

I would say that means something different. Working in the country is just a vague location, worling on/in the fields is agricultural, the way I read it


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

I don't know if this is local, but in Venice they call their squares "campo."


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

Is it pronounce famig-lia or famiYa?

Thank you in advance,


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/grege2

It's close to fam-eel-ya. Try the speaker button in http://www.wordreference.com/iten/famiglia


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

Because la famiglia is a singular noun, see other posts


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

put a family is made up of multiple individuals so 'they work' the fields. Whether one family or many would it be not be lavorano? If work is a verb then should it be lavorare?


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

Nope, doesnt work like that in Italy although we use both in UK . In Italy THE family is singular, 3rd pers Lavora


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

Why cant i say the family labors in the fields?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/grege2

I think that's fine myself, seems 99% same meaning as the other. It's just not in the list of accepted words for this question. I guess more context would help .. is it a modern family driving machinery, harvesting fruit etc, or is it an old-time family hand-cutting hay etc, which would definitely be more a "laboring" meaning.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/TUlE972663

It also speaks"work in the field" in Chinese.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Stergi3

The family is working in the fields, not accepted. Why?


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

Why not "nel i campi" or "nelli campi" and rather excluding the L to make it "nei"


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

Nel i or nelli are just wrong. In the fields is nei campi. Nel+i = nei


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

This should be "la famiglia lavorano..." You cannot have a family of ONE. Family, and every other group of people, is PLURAL... Always!


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

Almighty science. If you are translating into Italian, family is singular. Whatever pedantics may be present in English. You cannot logically argue. It is just so. Accept and walk on


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

Ohhh yess, in the nature. how cool that is. :)))


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KennethHar876579

i wrote, the family is working in the fields. how can that be wrong???


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

Not wrong but if you were being literal that would be sta lavorando


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

Why is it not lavorano?


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

Many posts like this. In Italian la famiglia is always singular


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/WalterZAMB4

So on Italian "the family" is "it" and not "they" because we used lavora and not lavorano!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rudi748976

It would be nice if I could speak more then a single word into the mike before duo decides that the whole sentence is wrong. Beginners don't speak that fast!!!!


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

I think it should be "---------------work-----------" A family even singular means more than one person hence the plural should be used.


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

If you scan the many posts above on this you will see in Italian the family is always singular. Can be either or both in english


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Diana127141

Spiacente! Typo error


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AngelaBrown18

Why is it not lavorano?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Zsuzsa653663

'Nei' can be 'in' and 'on'. Why 'ON the fields' not acceptable?????


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MarianneVe661978

ON the fields. Never heard it otherwise.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MarianneVe661978

In Flanders Fields...


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/2learnitaliano

for goodness sake! you can't seriously fault my "the family works ON the fields". man! get a grip!

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