"I neither read nor write."

Translation:Né leggo né scrivo.

March 6, 2013

This discussion is locked.


Wait, with the sentence with the girl that doesn't drink either milk or water did I have to use "lei non beve né acqua né latte", but with this sentence that's a mistake?


I'm not positive, but I think it is because the nés are directly modifying the verbs in this sentence "né leggo né scrivo." But in the other sentence the nés are modifying nouns so the "non" is added to modify the verb.


Sounds right. Thanks


Thanks Jeffrey. That sounds a useful hint.


It would be an even more useful hint if it were in the tips orienting to these lessons. In the tips were instructed that we always need to "non" with neither nor. I hope they consider revising the orientation.


I agree. There should have been two sentences showing when and why one needs non. Often things appear in the lesson which haven't been introduced in the tips which isn't very helpful.


Absolutely agree, the tips are misleading


Exactly! They tell us to be sure to remember to put non. Then the first example, it's not needed? Sometimes I think they're trying to be frustrating. February 21, 2021


With a hey and a ho and a noun-non-né-né...No? (and just né-né with a verb, but Shakespeare had nothing to say on that topic). Anyhow, that's how I remember whether I need the "non" or not


As I understand it, you shouldn't use 'non' when there's no verb before the first 'né' On the internet I found the following example sentences: "Né a te né a me interessa" and "Non interessa né a te né a me". "Non né …" would apparently be too much.

I understand that Duolingo tries to teach by example rather than stuffing rules down your throat, but sometimes it would be really helpful if things like these would be explained. I'm sure that this confusion could be solved with just a few sentences of explanation. I think that would apply to other situations as well.


Non leggo né scrivo would be correct, you can report it if it is not accepted.


The other option was actually, "Non né leggo né scrivo." Why is that wrong?


It doesn't make sense, sorry.

You can choose one of these only:

-Non leggo né scrivo.

-Né leggo né scrivo. (more emphasis)


Because (lat. nec) literally means e non, so you can't write non né (=non e non)...


So if it were to be written like that without the use of a verb behind né it wouldn't make much sense in the first place because it would act like a double negative, which is unnecessary.


First there are some langages *( such as French) where the double negative is compulsory, and second because even in italian other sentences where propose with two negatives: non ne mangia ne pollo ne pesce.


Because it would say 'not neither reading neither writing'


Correct! (ignore the downvotes)



non + verb=negative action


verb only=affirmative action


(+subject/object/verb) + (+s/o/b)


I am very confused now about the use of the word non. As the previous user indicates, it should be correct. Earlier duolingo tested me on this:

"Non è né tè né caffè nero." -Translation: It is neither tea nor black coffee.

So why is "Non né leggo né scrivo" now incorrect? Can someone please explain the use or non-use of the work 'Non' at the beggining of sentences with né ___né ...


It's wrong just because you can't put two negations in a row (even if you can put them in the same sentence). For example, "non faccio niente" is right, but "faccio non niente" is wrong (two negations in a row). In this case, "non né" in a row is wrong


Thank you, this is the only logical explanation in this discussion.


Ehy grazie Riccardo, ero un po' confusa ma hai spiegato bene.


Non has to stick to the verb it negates ( non è né tè né caffè nero in your example) so in Italian litterally – it is not neighter tea nor black coffee which is translated into – it is neither tea nor black coffee after dropping the double negation, unnatural in English.


according to the following site
non ... nè ... nè ... = neither ... nor



E.g. "Non voglio né questo né quello" = I want neither this nor that / I do not want either this or that.


non + verb=negative action


verb only=affirmative action


+ (subject/object/verb)
+ (subject/object/verb)


I am confused by this as well. I thought you could use non without the subject as the subject is implied by the verb endings. At least Duolingo has accepted that before...


Can someone please explain this? When "né" was introduced, the hints said it could mean "neither/nor" or "either/or". Since the correct answer "Io né leggo né scrivo" has no "non" in it, why wouldn't it mean "I either read or write"? Is "né" always used in a negative sense?


Né is always negative.

I don't read or write = (io) non leggo né scrivo.

I neither read nor write = (io) né leggo né scrivo.


In English, because of the taboo of the double negative, if the negative is already expressed (I don't have), then "either" and "or" are used to TRANSLATE "né...né". (I don't have either meat o fish.) The meaning is always negative.


So ignorant of dl to teach a rule, give an example. "Non....né.....né then with no explanation, drop the "non"

Would a native speaker understand it either way?


Can someone please explain this? When "né" was introduced, the hints said it could mean "neither/nor" or "either/or". Since the correct answer "Io né leggo né scrivo" has no "non" in it, why wouldn't it mean "I either read or write"? Is "né" always used in a negative sense?


Yes, it is. "I either read or write" in Italian is "O leggo o scrivo": "o...o" (never "né... né"). "Né leggo né scrivo" can only mean "I neither read nor write".


Is "neanche" wrong in this context? I tried "Non leggo neanche scrivo".


Yes, that sounds wrong. But "Non leggo, e non scrivo neanche" would work. (remember that in modern Italian, double negations are very often used; like "non... neanche")


If you say non leggo e neanche/nemmeno scrivo it sounds good.


Although I do appreciate all the suggestions coming from students, I do believe that it is Duolingo's responsibility to enlighten us on all cases which cause confusion. After all, they explain our incorrect spelling even when it is absolutely unnecessary.


I don't get it. Use né twice or not????


"Non... né... " and "né... né..." are both right


How do I see wether someone tried to say "either or" or "neither nor"? :(


they are apples or oranges
loro sono mele od arancie

they are neither apples nor oranges
loro non sono nè mele nè arancie


Please note:
f. s. (l')arancia
f. pl. (le) arance


Thanks, SheTuti, I did not catch that detail...


I prefer "Nè leggo nè scrivo," but I wanted to see if "Non leggo nè scrivo" was acceptable. It was. It is.


Concerning the hint I thought I have always to use "non" before neither ... nor. Pls add the correct explanation to the hint.



Con accento grafico, (dal latino nec) è una congiunzione copulativa con il significato di e non.

Può essere usato

➔per la coordinazione di due o più proposizioni negative (coordinates two or more negative sentences), ad es.:

Non me lo ha mai detto né scritto ergo first negative non me lo ha mai detto (he never told it to me) and second negative né = e non (implied: me lo ha mai) scritto (nor wrote)

Ha raccomandato di non fiatare muoversi per nessuna ragione (he asked me not to say a word, nor to move)

In una proposizione negativa, per unire due o più elementi che hanno nella frase la stessa funzione sintattica; in questo caso, né si ripete davanti a ciascun elemento (in order to join elements of same syntax value in a negative sentence by adding né before each element):

Non ho saputo rispondere né sì né no (I couldn't answer neither yes nor no)

Non ha voluto mangiare né il primo né il secondo piatto (he won't eat neither the first nor the second course)

NON here simply apply to the introductory action (VERB) it then negates with the following non + né or né + né !

And as @zimtladen perfectly explained above, you also can encounter a né + né construction

in a positive sentence like in:

Né io né tu sapevamo dove andare (neither I nor you, we knew where to go)

Né io né lei siamo arrivati in tempo (neither she nor I, we arrived in time)

In this case, you mostly invert the position of the verb / né + né and begin your sentence with neither + nor / verb.


Nė..Nė....means..... Neither....Nor. The DL sentence ( Io nė leggo nė scrivo ) clearly means I neither read nor write. The problem is the previous question you mentioned. You would think that it should translate as ........Lei beve nė acqua nė latte. ...BUT

The Italians do like a double negative and this is just one example of it. I know it seems wrong to English ears but that's the way it is.

She doesn't drink neither water or milk. Lei non beve nė acqua nė latte


@German4me22 perfectly explained the struggle here and I wish I could stick his comment with those of @zimtladen on top!


Duolingo is barely teaching us, it's those of you who explain their BS that's teaching us. And I thank you all.


Placeholder response because I want to hear responses to this thread.


If you click the green button "Follow discussion" in the top right it subscribes you to responses as well (so you don't need to leave a placeholder comment).


Ah, that's an awesome feature. It will be great when it's available for the android app.


There is a workaround for the android app.

On your phone, open chrome (or whatever browser) separately from duo, and go to your duo hompage in chrome. Then you will be able to go to the discussion tab, click on 'Italian' on the right and search for this sentence to bring up the discussion of it, then you will be able to click on follow.

You can do all that while 'pausing' your session in duo, so practice is not disrupted.


... and a special tip ... search for a unique word in someone's comment, like if you search for thkis you will probably only find thkis discussion ... ;-)


Wait the infintive of "to read" is leggare, not leggiare?


Could I Potentially Say "Io Non Leggo E Io Non Scrivo" If I Wanted To Take Much Longer To Say It?


Yes, in this case you just say that you don't read and you don't write, but you definitely miss the aimed exercise.


what is the difference between apostrophes in italian? (é and È etc.)


Martharegg - You mean the accents? I think they show subtle differences in pronunciation - for example between è and e. When it comes to an accent on the final letter as in the Italian for "coffee" and "city" it shows that the accent is on that syllable. (I used the English words there as I don't have an accent facility on this keyboard and I didn't want to be confusing!)


I believe some accents also sometimes represent different things, Like '-à' usually means the word doesn't change in the plural, I.E. La Città, Le Città, Et Cetera.


according to maiden and robustelli, in a sentence like this, "I neither read nor write.", both verbs can be negated by a preceding 'né'. but it also could be, "Io non leggo né scrivo."

in a sentence that shares a verb with two or more noun phrases, pronouns, adjectives, adverbs; the verb must be negated with 'non' and the options are each negated by their own 'né'. "Io non leggo né giornali né libri."


The info prior to the lesson says that when using "ne....ne", "non" must still be used. However, the "correct" answer to this question does not follow that rule....???


See eg my replies to AlexanderK218814 just below.


I thought non..had to accompany ne..ne....for 'neither ...nor'


See eg my replies to AlexanderK218814 just below.


I left out the "io" and it was marked as wrong even though the verb forms were in the correct 1st person form. Why should the pronoun be necessary in this instance?


The "io" is unnecessary, and a number of posters here have said that their answers (without "io") were accepted. You may have had something else wrong. If you were to provide your answer, people would be more able to help you identify the error, or else commiserate with you that your entirely correct answer was rejected.


I've read all the comments and I'm still confused, I'll just have to accept il get some of these wrong.


You might look at CivisRomanus' reply in https://forum.duolingo.com/comment/26132373. But be aware this will disappear on March 22 2022!

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