1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Italian
  4. >
  5. "Che cos'è lui?"

"Che cos'è lui?"

Translation:What is he?

March 4, 2013

25 Comments


[deactivated user]

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


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

    "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. :)


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/cen3petal

    i also think 'che' is not needed


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

    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.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/cen3petal

    the literal translation is 'what thing is he' lol


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

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


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

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


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sparkie46

    That's what I put and lost a heart.


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

    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.


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

    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".


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

    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.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/NigelChubb1

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


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

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


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/f.formica
    Mod
    • 2612

    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.


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

    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...)


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

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


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

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


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

    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".


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

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


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/4sily

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


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

    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"


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

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


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

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


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/nadjalench2011

    This translation is strange. Can someone explain that?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/alisonfiel1

    confusing sentence

    Learn Italian in just 5 minutes a day. For free.