"I biscotti al cioccolato, i quali sono vecchi, sono nella scatola."

Translation:The chocolate cookies, which are old, are in the box.

March 15, 2014



Hi everyone! Native speaker here. In everyday, informal Italian we hardly ever use the pronoun "il/la/i/le quale/i", as we tend to use "che" instead. This sentence isn't 'embarassing', but my advice is to NOT use it with a native speaker, because you would sound really serious (and a bit odd, too.) An equal sentence would be: "I biscotti al cioccolato, CHE sono vecchi, sono nella scatola." However, learning to make a sentence with "il/la/i/le quale/e" is VERY important to fully understand the grammar, so don't give up! Hope this was useful :)

July 16, 2016


Grazie mille!

February 27, 2017



April 17, 2018


Not reporting a mistake as such in translation as I'm not questioning the English. But would a native Italian speaker care to comment on this sentence for finesse? It looks like a very awkward construction to me. Is there no smoother way of saying the same thing?

March 15, 2014


I was wondering the same thing. I suppose this is for practice only.

I might be totally wrong, but I suppose the "modern/every-day" Italian person would just say something like "i vecchi biscotti al cioccolato sono nella scatola", much like the "modern/every-day" English person would rather say "the old chocolate cookies are in the box" instead of "the chocolate cookies, which are old.........".

Maybe an Italian native speaker might care to comment? ;))

March 31, 2014


From a point of view of a non-native English speaker: when they teach you about defining and non-defining relative clauses they make a point of distinguishing between them. So, in the sentence The chocolate cookies, which are old, are in the box the fact that the cookies are old is just en extra bit of information, whereas in the sentence The chocolate cookies which are old are in the box the fact that they are old is their key characteristic by which you distinguish them from other potential cookies. Wouldn't the old chocolate cookies... fall under the latter category?

I suppose that this sentence is just for the sake of teaching us how to use i quali and maybe it's not the best one. But I'm sure that the grammatical structure of this sentence might come in handy in some more complex sentences.

June 26, 2014


It's called a parenthetical phrase, at least in English, and they are very useful. ;-)

They seem pretty common in speech, when people make clarifications while talking, so I think it's a pretty realistic way that something could be said.

September 22, 2014


I agree. A more realistic sentence could be: Chi ha preso i miei biscotti al cioccolato? I biscotti al cioccolato, che, tra l'altro, non sono buoni, sono nella scatola.

June 27, 2014


As a native English speaker I'd definitely say 'the old chocolate cookies' - id say we use relative clauses less commonly than other languages such as French and German

July 9, 2014


A question, I should say, of nationality. I, too, am a native speaker, and would use such clauses. However, I would write, "The chocolate biscuits that are old..." (without the comma), meaning the old biscuits as opposed to the new ones; or I would write, "The chocolate biscuits, which are old..." (with the comma), meaning the chocolate biscuits, which, incidentally, are also old.

August 24, 2015


I agree. I get this question wrong every time, the construction of the English sentence is very odd and unnatural from my American point of view. I would either say "The old chocolate cookies are in the box" or "The chocolate cookies, those old ones, are in the box". I guess they don't fit the Italian sentence well enough to be accepted as correct, though.

January 9, 2015


yes you are right. Also they are very common in Spanish and Italian. It is what we call in spanish " "una oracion subordinada" (subordinated clause??) Grammatically, the Italian sentence is completely correct, though perhaps a little bit difficult for the moment of the course we are on.

October 11, 2014


I'd say, as I believe most Americans would; The chocolate cookies in the box are old.-It said this was wrong :(

May 11, 2016


Maybe it's just me, but this sentence doesn't seem awkward (in English) at all. Someone might easily say "which are old" simply for emphasis .. to draw particular attention to the fact that the biscuits (or whatever else) are old .. as in, these are old so beware, you may not want to eat them.

August 15, 2015


(native English speaker) When speaking, you would emphasise 'old' because you're differentiating them from some other biscuits. In writing you would need to choose - use italics or something, or, to be strictly grammatical, use a subordinate clause - as in the Italian sentence.

November 15, 2014


This is the correct use of the word "which" as it is demonstrated here. It needs to be surrounded by commas otherwise the correct sentence would be "The chocolate cookies that are old are in the box".

August 20, 2015


It is absolutely the word which that's throwing everyone off. "Which" supplies extra, optional information. "That" defines. So "the chocolate cookies, which are old, are in the box" = letting someone know midsentence that the cookies are old. "The chocolate cookies that are old are in the box" = maybe there are also new chocolate cookies in a different container and its important to know the difference. So its entirely possible that an English speaker would naturally say this, but almost as a slip of the tongue, or an improvisational aside.

July 28, 2017


Scatola also means a tin, and scatola per biscotti means biscuit tin, according to the Collins dictionary. (Biscuits are better kept in a closed tin than in a box, to stop them picking up moisture from the air).

So "tin" should be accepted, and non-natives should remember "biscuit tin" if they like biscuits :-)


December 21, 2015


Makes sense!

December 21, 2015


Thanks for this which answers the question I had. You can also have a biscuit barrel, but I wouldn't risk trying that on DL!

May 26, 2019


Native English speaker here. I was marked wrong for answering "The chocolate cookies, the old ones, are in the box." Although I was marked incorrect, I felt a sense of accomplishment in that I felt that my translation (without using hints) was a good one.

December 22, 2018


Will someone be able to enlighten me on the usage of "in cui" v.s. "che" v.s. "il quale" etc.? Can't seem to find a digestible answer around.. Thanks a lot!

July 14, 2019


Puzzled - I got a notification that Francesco N41 replied to me on this question - but cannot see it here.

March 24, 2014


Sometimes people delete the comments before you get around to seeing them.

July 24, 2014


ok - thanks - he must have thought better of it :)

July 25, 2014


But he did reply, check above! After yuoiyuoi's comment?

August 7, 2014


oh thanks - must be going blind/too long on DL :(

August 7, 2014


Does anyone know why is it not '......i cui sono vecchi...' instead of '....i quali sono vecchi...'?

July 23, 2014


Why is the English translation ''the chocolate biscuits, which are the old ones, are in the box'' marked incorrect ?

August 21, 2014


Presumably because when they were making up the answers database nobody thought of that particular combination. That's why they have the 'report' button.

August 21, 2014


Seriously, I lost the will to live replaying this phrase over and over. Shorter phrases please.

April 12, 2015


hear ye hear ye... whats with these archaic phrase constructions?

September 30, 2015


And what pray is wrong with saying: the chocolate biscuits, the old ones, are in the box? Who in English would ever say 'which are old'?

March 2, 2019


I cannot access all the words....very frustrating!

June 8, 2019


I say the same as Leonardo artist.

July 9, 2019
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