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  5. "They are wives."

"They are wives."

Translation:Loro sono mogli.

March 12, 2013

50 Comments


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

Mogli like the kid from the jungle book


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

:-) Won't forget the plural of "moglie" anymore... Thank you for this beautiful mnemonic!


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

Mowgli, actually.


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

Is "mogli" a masculine word? Or the plural form is "mogli" but it still takes the feminine article "le mogli"?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/federico.m48

Singular is "la moglie", plural is "le mogli". It's always feminine.


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

Do they sound the same?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
Mod
  • 2474

No. One is "lah mo-lee-eh" and the other is "leh mo-lee".


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

Lah mo-lee-eh would be 'la molie' (if that exists), and leh mo-lee would be 'le moli'. You need a liquid 'l' sound, giving "lah mol'y-eh" and "leh mol'yee".


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

Until I got to the family module I was thinking that Italian was globally rational and logical compared to other languages aaaaand here comes things like this "la moglie" and "le mogli" :(


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
Mod
  • 2474

I was thinking that Italian was globally rational and logical

That's not how language works. Language is a natural phenomenon. Rationality and logic have nothing to do with it. Some languages are more regular than others, but no natural language is perfectly regular.

Yes, for the most part, native Italian nouns tend to follow the pattern
MASCULINE
-o singular
-i plural
FEMININE
-a singular
-e plural

But as you have discovered, this is not always the case. Sometimes nouns will be
-e singular
-i plural
and you need to memorize on a case-by-case basis whether they are masculine or feminine.

Foreign loan words often end with different sounds (often consonants) and tend to be masculine.


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

Italian has taken the '-us' ending of a good many masculine Latin nouns (nominative case), replacing it with '-o' in the singular, but kept the '-i' ending of these nouns in the plural. Likewise, it has kept the '-a' ending of many feminine nouns in the singular, and deleted the 'a' from the '-ae' ending of these nouns in the plural. It has also scrapped the neuter gender but subsumed most of these nouns into the masculine gender.

This is somewhat of an over-simplification, but basically correct.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
Mod
  • 2474

Pretty much, yes. I wouldn't say the endings got "replaced", though. Sound change over the centuries turned the "us" sound (at least terminally) into the "o" sound, etc.


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

Actually, the accusative became the standard form in Romance languages. The 'm' in all um (by this time -om), am, em forms became nasal (õ, ã, ~e) and then o, a, e.

However, confusingly, the nominative was taken in the plural (ae>e, ī>i, es got replaced by ī>i).

Wikipedia has a great explanation, step by step:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vulgar_Latin


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
Mod
  • 2474

thedodosaurus

Thanks for that catch of nominative vs accusative. It was still a gradual development vs outright replacement, though, and that was my primary point.


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

Does this mean they are married to each other? Or rather that two or more women are married to unspecified third persons? It seems an odd sentence - like saying "they are uncles" of unrelated men.


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

I just interpreted it as they are married to each other.


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

I can imagine it as a category. Like "Loro sono mogli" because they behave like wives, more than women, more than mothers, more than whatever other "women category".

It sounds a bit strange, but that's the best interpretation I have.

Anyway, if you find sentences whose context is unclear, it could be worth reporting it to Duolingo, but I don't think they will change their data base. Maybe you can suggest a similar pair "English sentence-Italian sentence" which makes more sense.


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

It can be a pro-gay wedding sentence!


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

Thanks for your reply, Marziotta! I don't particularly mind the odd sentences you get every now and again, in fact such destabilization of the common sense effectively undermines auto-pilot translation. Good to know this is not Italian idiom, though.


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

Could be lesbians


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/leandra959477

You do know that lesbians exist, right?


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

Duo said gay rights


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Leigh8724

Why is the article omitted before "mogli"?


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

Because they are unspecified, they are just 'wives', nothing defines them more than that. For instance, we have not been told who they are wives to, etc.


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

I was wondering this too. Grazie per il chiarimento!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Douglas381466

I just read minutes ago on another posting that "loro" takes the article. SO, why not "Loro sono le mogli?"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
Mod
  • 2474

There might be some confusion because "loro" is both the personal and the possessive form. Only the possessive form would ever take "the" -- il loro x; i loro x; la loro x; le loro x. Loro as the subject of the sentence has nothing to do with whether a separate noun phrase would take "the" or not.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
Mod
  • 2474

Could you link to that discussion? I'm pretty sure there's context you're overlooking.


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

I think you are referring to the discussion where you don't omit "the" with family member, "If you use loro (la loro madre, i loro fratelli...).". Notice that refer to belonging -> la loro madre. This is not the case here


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

Why does moglie not remain moglie in the plural?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
Mod
  • 2474

It's one of those irregular nouns.
la moglie
le mogli


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

Well, not really irregular. Nouns ending with -e when singular end in -i when plural, whether they are masculine or feminine :

"il fiore, i fiori*

la notte, le notti, la fine, le fini, la madre, le madri...


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
Mod
  • 2474

Yes, that's what makes them irregular. They don't follow the -o/-i; -a/-e pattern.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AnthonyDiNome0

why not i mogli


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
Mod
  • 2474

Because despite the word endings, la moglie/le mogli is feminine. It's one of those irregular nouns.


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

Why can't I leave 'loro' behind? Sono moglie is wrong according to Duolingo


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
Mod
  • 2474

The subject pronoun is optional in Italian. But "wives" is "mogli", not "moglie". It's irregular.

la moglie (singular)
le mogli (plural)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Anne609994

seems strange that wives should have a masculine plural ending ie "i"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
Mod
  • 2474

It's true that most of the time, this pattern holds:

-o masculine singular
-i masculine plural
-a feminine singular
-e feminine plural

But some nouns are irregular. They are -e in the singular and -i in the plural and you need to memorize each individually whether they are masculine or feminine. This is the case here:

la moglie (singular)
le mogli (plural)


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

I thought wives was mobile from yesterday but today it says mogli


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
Mod
  • 2474

"Mobile" is "furniture". It's cognate with the English word "mobile", which means "movable". It would help if you could tell us what sentence you're thinking of.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Treasure577734

Why is " sono i mogli " incorrect?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
Mod
  • 2474

Because "mogli" is feminine and "i" is masculine.
la moglie
le mogli

Rules for the definite article:


https://i.imgur.com/aJ7Qlgb.jpg

Rules for the indefinite article:

Masculine

https://i.imgur.com/ioiRcSS.png

Feminine

https://i.imgur.com/7WZMfoO.png


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Treasure577734

Why is " sono i mogli" incorrect?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
Mod
  • 2474

It would need to be "Sono le mogli" since it's a feminine noun.

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