"They are chocolate bananas."

Translation:Sono banane al cioccolato.

March 14, 2013

128 Comments
This discussion is locked.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Christina709521

Why is "sono le banane al cioccolato" wrong??? I have a hard time knowing when le, la, il, i is required and when it is not.. so i err on the side of putting it.


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

Same here. Can't figure out when it's necessary and when it's not.


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

The reason so many have questioned the seemingly arbitrary use of the definite article, le, is because there are several cases where it is equally correct with or without the definite article. In the sentence above, using le would change the meaning of the sentence, from identifying what the items are, bananas, to saying "those are the bananas (that i was telling you about)".

The most common place where THE is optional is when speaking of a category of items, such as "mangio le banane", which means "i eat bananas", and could also be said as "mangio banane", although i believe this is less grammatically correct.


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

Here, took a bit of searching but i found a full description. Just search for "when to use definite article", about half way down the page. Btw, this is also true if Spanish, and possibly other or all Romance languages.

Thinkitalian.com/definite-articles-italian-grammar/


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

That would be translated as "They are THE chocolate bananas."


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Charlotte920554

Please could someone tell me why ' le' is not needed here?


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

I think because the sentence is "They are chocolate bananas" and not "They are THE chocolate bananas"


[deactivated user]

    But the use of article seems so arbitrary, sometimes it's okay to have it (for example, water can be both acqua and l'acqua) but other times it's downright forbidden.


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

    because it isn't 'the' specific bananas, it is general bananas x


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SusanCoope312550

    But how are we to know that. It could be the ones sitting on a plate in front of you, which would make them very specific. The omission of the article seems to be a constant problem with Duolingo and even if you read an Italian grammar which gives you the rules, Duolingo doesn't always seem to follow them.


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

    Why is "le banane" wrong? Many people have asked this but i don't see an answer.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SusanCoope312550

    I got it wrong too! But I think if you use the definite article you are talking about specific chocolate bananas and if you leave it out you are talking about chocolate bananas generally. If that is correct, then I think it should be right either way.


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

    The problem is that this does not seem to apply to other uses of the definite article. For example, one of the exercises has "Io mangio lo zucchero" as the given translation for "I eat sugar," and it will mark your answer as incorrect if you put down "Io mangio zucchero" instead.


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

    Lo is the article you use before zucchero( and other consonant groups) lo mangio does not mean anything; it should be io mangio!


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

    I was saying "io mangio." It was a capital "I" that I was using in quotes.


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

    I'm sure it is fine. I have reported it.


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

    Is this a common food?


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

    It is in Duolingo!


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

    In Slovenia too


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/elguille980

    In El Salvador they are called choco-bananas, and they are frozen


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/luiz.calheiros

    It is delicious, look for on google!


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BilboBaggins0135

    I live in the U.S. and I don't think I've ever heard of those...


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

    Look harder because they exist in the US.


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

    Very common in many countries. I'm in the US and it's very common.


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

    Why not: loro sono banane al cioccolato


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sofia6200

    Loro is only used for people (it means "they"). In English, "they" can refer to objects, too, but not in Italian.


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

    Chocolate bananas are very popular at fairs and amusement parks in the U.S.


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

    Also in japan.childrens favorite.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SusanCoope312550

    All through this section the article has been optional. Why now is it not correct?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/lauren757qt

    is "di" and "al" interchangeable?


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

    For food stuf use:
    di - when it's the main ingredient e.g. purè di patate
    con - when it's a substantial ingredient or a side dish, e.g. Arrosto con patate
    a/al - when it's a flavour, e.g. una bevanda al limone (probably no lemon in it)


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

    Why is putting the article " le" before banane considered incorrect! When to use or not use the article is very confusing!


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

    Cioccolate vs cioccolato, help?


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

    cioccolato is the version in solid food. Cioccolata is the hot drink. For example, i can say the hot chocolate is a drink made of chocolate and milk (la cioccolata calda e una bevanda che si prepara con cioccolato e latte)


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

    Never read cioccolate before


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/XaviAlvara9

    Great stuff but its ridiculous to have this one wrong for using "Loro sono" instead of just "Sono", should be correct ether way.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sofia6200

    "Loro" is only for people. In English, we use "they" interchangeably for objects and people, but it's different in Italian.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MilaR1

    Thank you. I used Loro :(


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

    As the pronoun (they) is embedded in the conjugation of the verb Italians do normally not add it, - unless they really want to stress or clarify who is doing something.

    Some examples:
    Camminare - (to) walk
    cammino = I walk
    cammini = you walk
    cammina = he/she/it walks
    camminiamo = we walk
    camminate = you (all) walk
    camminano = they walk

    Essere - (to) be/exist is a bit special:
    sono = I am
    sei = you are
    è = he/she/it is
    siamo = we are
    siete = you (all) are
    sono = they are


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sofia6200

    Since so many people have never heard of these... Usually they're called "chocolate-covered bananas" - where you dip them in chocolate sauce and freeze them.


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

    Second time I have seen it, but why "al cioccolato" is he "al" to indicate how he banana is served, like pasta "al" dente?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
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    • 3042

    In English, we say "flavor food" and "ingredient food", like "chocolate ice cream" and "strawberry pie".

    In Italian, they say "food to the flavor" and "food of ingredient", like "gelato al cioccolato" and "torta alle fragole".


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Skittles1120

    What is the difference between essi and esse


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ahmed64712

    ESSO(male) single, ESSI(male) plural ESSA(female)single,ESSE(female)plural


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

    Why is al there? I thought al was to the


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

    Words don't always have only one translation. Al can also mean "with" or something like that. Chocolate bananas is banane al cioccolato, because they are bananas with chocolate.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ahmed64712

    But why not "con" ?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Erated8

    I Think "Banane Al Cioccolato" Doesn't Really Translate As "Bananas With Chocolate", But More "Chocolate Flavoured Bananas".


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ali912881

    What is the difference between cioccolatO & ciocclatE ?


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

    It's kind of as with the Italian cat - it is called 'il gatto' . . . unless it is definitely female in wich case it called 'la gatta'.

    Il cioccolato is the normal form for the chocolate in Italy . . . unless it is female, like hot chocolate, in wich case it is called la (tazza) cioccolata . . . and if there are more of them le cioccolate


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
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    • 3042

    When inanimate objects seem to come in both masculine and feminine, there is a difference between the two.

    https://hinative.com/en-US/questions/1554217
    https://lang-8.com/950725/journals/170456075982228343794536695091114018848

    "Cioccolato" is solid chocolate.
    "Cioccolata" is liquid chocolate.


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

    . . and 'cioccolata' is also used e.g. for coccolate pralines (la pralina) and cakes (la torta).


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
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    • 3042

    The point being, it's quite contextual and they are not interchangeable.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Luis23592

    Cioccolato is masculin gender and the plural form cioccolati. Cioaccolate doesn't exist in italian.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LynneHarri11

    Im confused by "io sono" as in am and then "sono farfalle" as in they are butterflies. Can someone please explain why sono is used to mean both am and they are.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
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    • 3042

    "Essere" is irregular. As far as I know it's the only verb that does not have entirely unique conjugations. So just like in English we use "are" with "we", "you", and "they", in Italian "sono" is used with "io" and "loro".

    Since "essere" is used when you're describing the subject, the predicate must agree with the subject, even when it's unstated (because the subject pronoun is optional in Italian). Since "banane al cioccolato" is plural, the subject can only be "they" and not "I".


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

    Singular:it is a chocolate banana; plural they are chocolate bananas!


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JackDoucet3

    They are: Sono but why not also Loro sono?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
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    • 3042

    "Loro" is only for people. And the subject pronoun is generally optional anyway. In this sentence, "sono" is all you need. It can't be "I am" because "banane al cioccolato" is plural.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/elizabeth509469

    when you use in plural gli, i , le


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
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    • 3042

    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/jasmin407919

    Why can't i say 'loro sono banane di cioccolato'?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
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    • 3042

    For one, "loro" is only for people, not for things. Subject pronouns are optional, but if you absolutely needed a subject pronoun here you would use "esse".

    Also, the idiom here is "banane al cioccolato". Over time you'll get a feel for when it's "to the" and when it's "of". This is explained in the top comment thread on this page.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/julie220746

    I'm confused to why "loro sono banane al cioccolato" is incorrect. I get that you can drop "loro" but why does including the word make it wrong?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
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    • 3042

    This has been asked and answered multiple times on this page. Please read the comments.


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

    I wrote le banane! Why is that incorrect?


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

    I think because that makes them very specific, - and they are not ". . the chocolate bananas" in the English sentence.


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

    I did the same and puff wrong... Is writing the pronoun wrong?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Hans142566

    Why is an article not necessary here? Sometimes the article for plurals is mandatory and some no one cares.


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

    I think the word "they" kind of already pointed them out making an article superfluous . . . unless we really want to point to a very specific group of bananas.

    They are bananas ~ They are the bananas


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DanielPodo0000

    "le banane" should be accepted.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Maria788601

    'loro sono banane al cioccolato' is marked as wrong


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

    I believe that loro, like lui and lei, is added only to refer to people (they/he/she) and only when there is some need to emphasise their role in the sentence, as eg io sono inglese; loro sono italiani. If the "they" does not refer to people but to things, then the third person plural ending of the verb is sufficient indication of the subject.

    Thus loro sono banane al cioccolato might be said eg if you wanted to insult a group of people by calling them (but not to their face!) chocolate bananas: presumably not what DL had in mind.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Silvi471537

    I put LORO in the beginning of the sentence. Why is it wrong??


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

    Why not try looking to see if your question has already been answered before asking it?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Positana1

    Why is loro sono wrong


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

    Why is "Loro sono" not accepted, only "sono"?


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

    See my reply to davidRuggi1 above.


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

    Thank you! I figured I wasn't the only one with this question.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/VictoriaHo207980

    Why "al" and not "nel"?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sofia6200

    "Nel" means in something, like "Nel piatto" for "in the plate." "Al" is just for connecting words.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RosabelleM3

    Duolingo haven't teach me about saying 'banane' he teach me banana' so how come he give a question?


    [deactivated user]

      You are just beginning; banana=single, banane=plural gatta=single, gatte=plural


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

      And gatti...is it to indicate a group od male cats (gatti) and female cats (gatte)?


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

      Why not : Loro sono banane al ciocollato.


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sofia6200

      Loro is only for people. In English, we use "they" interchangeably for people and objects, but it's different in Italian.


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
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      • 3042

      Ci sono = there are.


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JNJT1610

      YOU SHOULD PUT LORO IN FRONT OF SONO SO THEN PEOPLE DON'T GET MIXED UP WITH I AM A CHOCOLATE BANANA FOR GOD SAKE!!!


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
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      • 3042

      Please don't shout.

      Quoting myself above:

      For one, "loro" is only for people, not for things. Subject pronouns are optional, but if you absolutely needed a subject pronoun here you would use "esse".

       

      "Loro" is only for people. And the subject pronoun is generally optional anyway. In this sentence, "sono" is all you need. It can't be "I am" because "banane al cioccolato" is plural.


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JNJT1610

      Why can't it be siano for inanimate objects so we dont get mixed up with loro sono and io sono?


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
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      • 3042

      Verbs don't work that way. Animate vs inanimate objects don't get their own verb conjugations. Also, "siamo" is for "noi" -- "we".


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/copichi1

      I wrote right and it says wrong!


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JamesCruis5

      Would someone describe a chocolate banana: is it a banana covered in chocolate, a piece of chocolate candy that looks like a banana, or a regular banana studded with pieces of chocolate. If it is true that one uses "a" to indicate a flavoring ingredient, then how does one do that to a poor banana--better yet, why?


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

      All good questions! I would guess that it's a chocolate covered banana!


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JamesCruis5

      Though we may never know! Thanks for responding.


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

      Banane al cioccolato was popular for a time in Italy. Follow the recipe and you can taste them yourself.


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

      So is banane feminine? Does cioccolato have to agree?

      I am trying to type sono banane al cioccolata rather than cioccolato.

      When do i use the o and when do i use the a?

      Grazie.


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JamesCruis5

      I think the only time you would see it with an -a ending would be with a cup of hot chocolate--that according to my Oxford Paravia Italian Dictionary. The banana referred to in the question, as I've learned from the kind Marninger, is a chocolate-dipped or -covered banana: ricoperto di cioccolato. The other thing is that the al cioccolato construction calls for a noun (cioccolato), not an adjective, even if Italian were more flexible with its use of chocolate. In English we think of the use of chocolate in the question as an adjective. I think in Italian closer to the truth is banana + chocolate. But we need a native speaker to settle this matter for us. In the meantime, I'd go with the -o ending.


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

      Le banane( plural of la banana) both feminine nouns don't have to agree with cioccolato( il cioccolato is a masculine noun)!


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jimmy653384

      You asked me again to translate they which is loro. I can't take this anymore. Duolingo stinks!!! Good night.


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

      Sorry . . . don't give up!

      They = loro
      They are = sono

      Essere = (to) be
      Conjugations of Essere in the present tense:

      sono = I am
      sei = you are
      è = he/she/it is
      siamo = we are
      siete = you (all) are
      sono = they are

      (Essere is a tricky irregular verb, - most verbs are not this complicated)

      There is an introduction on verbs for beginners at ThoughCo and an article on how to conjugate verbs like an Italian here

      I often use WordRef to look up conjugations.


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jae633849

      Ci sono davvero banane che sono fatte di cioccolato?


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/davidRuggi1

      Wish duolingo was consistent with or without pronouns. It is likethey enjoy telling you ur wrong.


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

      Third person subject pronouns (lui, lei, loro) are used only for people, not things.


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

      Hey ther i just missed an i in my dictation that's not fair !!:(


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/63jSkQoL

      If Duolingo keep changing the answer it becomes a pointless exercise


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

      "Loro sono" is wrong?!?


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

      Yes. See above.


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

      The commenys above about THE are misleading. In this very same lesson, there was an example theu are chocolate cookies. I pur i biscotti, and it was accepted and marked correct. Are we learning plurals hete, or esoteric exceprions?

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