"Che cos'è lui?"

Translation:What is he?

March 4, 2013

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[deactivated user]

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


    "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. :)

    [deactivated user]

      i also think 'che' is not needed


      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.

      [deactivated user]

        the literal translation is 'what thing is he' lol


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


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


        That's what I put and lost a heart.


        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.


        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".


        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.


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


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


        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.


        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...)


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


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


        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".


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


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


        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"


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


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


        This translation is strange. Can someone explain that?


        confusing sentence

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