When you make a question in italian you reverse the word order.
In the normal word order (ie for a statement) the verb follows the subject, but in questions this is swapped around so instead you have the order:
(question word) (verb) (subject)
ie. Cosa bevono gli uomini?
Cosa mangi tu?
If the subject is a pronoun (io, tu, lui/lei, etc) it can be omitted like usual. ie. "Cosa mangi?"
Maybe it's just because it's what i'm used to but English just seems to make way more practical sense than Italian. We read left to right...why the hell would it make sense to jumble the order in this way?
English makes more sense because you're used to it. We always have a bias for our native language. But English jumbles the word order too at times - you just don't notice because you learnt English implicitly (as a child) rather than trying to learn it as a second language as an adult.
For example take a look at these English sentences:
"The men are drinking." becomes "What are the men drinking?" when made into a question. Here the word "are" has switched positions with "the men".
On the other hand, the sentence "The men drink" becomes "What do the men drink?" as a question - in this one we haven't changed the word order but we have added the word "do".
Why does Italian swap the word order? is just like asking as Why does English have two different rules for making statements into questions? If the situation was reversed you would be saying something like "the Italian way of doing things is so simple, why is English so weird?"
you just proved you are full of ignorance, instead of saying thank you and changing your way of thinking
I dont know if those are great examples considering you are moving minor words around and not the subject and verb which really give sentences structure and what is happening in this instance with the Italian.
JakeSalway, it is exactly the same thing. The only difference is that English uses auxiliary verbs, and it's the auxiliary that gets moved around.
Consider how we would say it in archaic English. Rather than "What do you say?" it would be "What say you?" Or in Baa-Baa Black Sheep, it's not "Do you have any wool?", it's "Have you any wool?"
Jesslc - Your two examples, both failed to state that more than a simple word order mixup/change was involved. We did more than switch words as you stated. English also added a brand new Question word... WHAT.. .which immediately alerts you to the fact that a ?? is following. I think that's so helpful and insightful in any language. So just moving the same words around does not apply in those examples - as it might in a foreign language.
The "what" stands in for the direct object, which is sometimes implied in declarative statements:
You say [something].
You say [what].
What say you?
What do you say?
But that is not a grammatically correct sentence, so why are you asking?
Or do you mean to ask what 'What does the man drink?' is in Italian? Then it's '(Che) cosa beve l'uomo?'
See the following useful page on this: http://www.bbc.co.uk/languages/italian/language_notes/il.html
I always put the 'Que' in front of cosa; I notice the course does not use 'Que.'
'Que' is French, in Italian it's 'che'. You can say 'che cosa bevono gli uomini' or just 'cosa bevono gli uomini'. I seem to recall that saying the full thing adds more emphasis like saying 'WHAT are the men drinking'.
Noi italiani mettiamo le cose in un certo ordine,purtroppo la lingua inglese ha un altro modo, devo farmi una ragione perchè ho scritto: what drink the men? invece di what do the men drink?
is important to write ( che cosa ) always when we ask or just sufficed to ask ( cosa)
Hi Rosana, it's bevono not bevano. Bere is an -ere verb and the stem changes to -ono for 3rd person plural.