"Che cos'è lui?"

Translation:What is he?

March 4, 2013



Isn't the 'che' superfluous? "Cos'è lui?" would already mean 'What is he?'

March 4, 2013


"Che cosa" = "Cosa", both versions should be accepted.

When I was at elementary school my teacher wanted me to write every time "Che cosa", but I think that was a bit too strict. Italian is a very flexible language, if the version "Cos'è lui?" is not accepted, you should try to report it. :)

March 4, 2013


i also think 'che' is not needed

April 8, 2013


You are correct, that "che cosa?" is the same as "che?" and "cosa?". The choice over which one comes down to euphony, or which one sounds better in the ear. Unfortunately it is best learned by speaking with native Italian speakers.

August 3, 2013


the literal translation is 'what thing is he' lol

April 12, 2013


This makes sense to me. I think I prefer to think of it in this way.

July 15, 2013


That's what I said and got it wrong. I guess literal translations are eschewed.

April 23, 2014


That's what I put and lost a heart.

June 2, 2014


As a general note, the suggested translations of "cos'" on this page suggest "what-d'yer-call-it" which is colloquial British. This should not be a valid translation option since the goal is to teach proper translation and grammar.

August 3, 2013


I was taught that "Cos'è" is a contraction of "Cosa" and "è", because it would otherwise sound weird transitioning between the two vowels. If you're talking at a normal conversation speed, it'd blend together anyways. It's less lazy that English contraction that seem to be caused by "I don't feel like pronouncing this vowel".

April 21, 2014


I found this sentence really confusing to translate...I got as far as "What what is he?" which made no sense at all!! In the end I gave up and asked for the answer. Very frustrating.

January 12, 2014


Che cos' è ? means What is it? So Che cos' è lui? is What is he?

February 5, 2014


Why would the translation for this one be "what is he?" when "who" is listed as a valid translation option for "che"?

April 12, 2013

  • 2048

It is a valid translation, but not in this context: "è lui che mi ha chiamato" (it was he who called me) but "chi è lui?" (who is he). I think 'who' becomes 'che' only when joining sentences, but I might be wrong.

April 12, 2013


This might be helpful if you're also familiar with Spanish or French: I think of the Italian "che" the way I think of the Spanish "que" blended with properties of the French "qui" and can mean "what/that/which/who" depending on the context.

Anyone else have input on this? (Because I just made it up...)

July 15, 2013


I think "What is it?" should be acceptable.

May 11, 2013


Lui means "he" as far as I know, not "it".

July 13, 2013


I may be wrong, but I think "lui" can refer to anything that in Italian has a masculine noun: uomo, ragazzo, orso, pesce, cane, gatto, libro and so on. Since "he" refers only to males, sometimes the proper translation of "lui" is "it".

August 3, 2013


"What is it?" would be "Cos'è?" or "Che cos'è?"

August 3, 2013


Can't "Cos'è" be translated as "what is he" as well depending on the context?

October 4, 2013


Another example of a bad example to be used for translation. Perhaps an explanation of usage might be appropriate. However, perhaps the example should be " Che cos'è lui? Un dottore"

November 26, 2013


Why is "what-d'yer-call-him?" Wrong? It is in the definition they gave us.

December 23, 2013


I think it isn't considered proper english by most standards.

February 13, 2014


This translation is strange. Can someone explain that?

December 28, 2013


confusing sentence

March 17, 2014
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