"Io scrivo ai ragazzi."

Translation:I write to the children.

March 16, 2013

This discussion is locked.


Apparently it is also incorrect to say, "I am writing to the boys"


no, I think "ragazzi" can mean either "boys" or "children".


if there's any group with mixed gender, you always use the male form. like 'ci sono una gatta e un gatto' -> 'ci sono due gatti'


Thank you for this generalizable tip - curses upon the patriarchy, though!


Io scrivo ai ragazzi is in present simple. What you wrote is in present progressive.


I am writing = sto scrivendo
I write = scrivo
ai (a+i) ragazzi = to the boys/children


Literally every single other exercise Duolingo has uses these interchangeably though.

You can always enter "I write" or "I am writing" to translate into English from another language's present tense.


No, "always" is not correct. It depends on the language.

Some languages have a distinction between present simple and present progressive that is similar to English; Irish and Turkish come to mind. In such a case, the correct tense has to be chosen, in general.

Many of the languages taught on Duolingo do not make a distinction, and then the present tense could correspond to either in English, that is true.


Okay, it ALWAYS does in Italian. The relevant one...


In French as well. I suspect this may (might) be true of the Roman language category (Romance languages).


Yes I agree with you.


Since there is a huge difference between 'I am eating' and 'I eat', I think it is important that each tense is translated to the proper, corresponding tense, or people will be taught that the difference is neglectable. Learn to spot the difference instead and stop trying to find shortcuts. Every aspect of the languages deserves​ to be preserved and used.


the problem is those tenses outright don't exist in romantic languages, english sort of has it but it is classified under one single tense. you wouldn't say je suis manger in french or io sono mangiare in italian it's just je mange and io mangio. the difference IS negligible in the context of these languages nut it isn't in others, you can't teach a distinction that grammatically doesn't exist in a language, it isn't in the three romance languages nor english so it wouldn't make sense for duolingo to teach it just because it exists in other languages. the story is obviously different if the language makes that distinction.


Okay but I wrote "i write to the boys" and was also flagged as incorrect. This sentence has 2 meanings and both should be accepted


Okay but I wrote "i write to the boys" and was also flagged as incorrect


Why is ragazzi now children as well as boys? Since when did that come in?


In latin languages, when there are both males and females in a group, since there isn't a gender neutral suffix, the male suffix is preferred.


Thank you for clarifying. i was also wondering why ragazzi has translated to children and not boys.


ragazzo = boy ; ragazza = girl ; ragazzi = (plurale of ragazzo) boys, children you should search up how to build the italian plural(e?) form. I'd give you a link but my internet is too lame


It just came in. I totally agree with you


I think this is because you put 'am writing', if you put 'I write to the boys' it would be right, as 'scrivo' is write not writing and there is no 'sono' in the sentance


You are right. Children stands for bambini... boys for ragazzi (un ragazzo is older than a bambino...)


Sto scrivendo = I a writing (Io) scrivo = I write
ai *(a+i) = to the
bambini ~ baby boys / a mixed group of young children
bambine ~ baby girls
ragazzi ~ boys / a mixed group of children
ragazze ~ girls


This shouldnt be a mistake to be honest


Yes, happened to me as well! Argh


What is the difference between 'al and ai?


thank you so much :)


This will help me a lot, thank you!


Grazie mille! I carry this prepositions chart in my wallet, very helpful!


Haha thank you, Owen.


Fantastic clear resource, thank you for the recommendation.


al= a+il eg.: al cinema=to the cinema; ai= a+i eg.: ai ragazzi=to the children. You can learn the prepositions if you search 'le preposizioni' ;)

And an interesting fact: italians use the masculine noun even if there are many girls and only one boy. So I think that's why ragazzi can mean children and boys also.


How am I supposed to tell "boys" from "children" in a sentence like this?


I said "I write to the boys" why is that wrong???


It should be correct as that's what I put and it was OK Ragazzi = boys and children (a mixture of boys and girls) in general


Hmm. I thought "i write on children" sounded too odd. Even for duolingo


Apparently it is incorrect to say, "I write to the guys."


Guys suggests adults


Yea i had that too, i realized that it is because it said raggazi as in children, therefore we dont know the sex of the children-it could be girls


So, ragazzi and bambini both mean children?


bambini and ragazzi can both mean children. However, bambini almost always refers exclusively to young children. Ragazzi typically refers to teenagers or youths, in the sense of "children". Therefore, if you have to translate bambini, use the word "children". If you have to translate ragazzi or ragazze, "children" might or might not work, depending on the context. It is safer to stick to "boys" or "girls".

In a more colloquial sense, ragazzi (mixed group or m.pl) and ragazze (f. pl) can be used to talk to / about close adult friends, just as "girls", "boys" or "guys" can be used in English.

il mio ragazzo can also be used to mean "my boyfriend"

il bimbo / la bimba are words that you may also find used in reference to very young children

When parents say that they have 2 children, they generally use the term filgi (boys or mixed) or figlie (just girls), e.g. abbiamo due figli. These nouns are il figlio and la figlia in the singular.

(Warning for Italian native speakers: be very careful about using the word "bimbo" in English - it has a very different meaning! http://www.collinsdictionary.com/dictionary/english-italian/bimbo )

These may help:






I hope this helps.


Ragazzi is boys or guys, bambini is children. But, in the common language when a parent talk about his sons (or a grandparent about his grandchildren), he says "ragazzi" even if they are children.


'Ragazzi' could be also a group of boy(s) AND girls (or even just one girl). Then you could translate it 'children' as 'bambini' but I suggest the better 'boy(s) and girl(s) '. If the group consist only of girls then it's imperative to use 'ragazzE'.


I feel like i am never going to work out when to write 'the' appropriately.


It's certainly weirdly complicated compared to the other three Romance languages I know.


'I write the boys' wasn't correct, while it's a clear dative where you can omit the 'to'. Compare with I write him our I write to him.


are "children" and "boys " interchangable?


In italian everything is either female or male, - there is no neutrum.

Un bambino = a baby boy - / - una bambina = a baby girl
Due bambini = two baby boys - / - due bambine = two baby girls

Un ragazzo = a boy - / - una ragazza = a girl
Due ragazzi = two boys - / - due ragazze = two girls

But if you want to refer to a mixed group of children, e.g. 2 girls and 2 boys, you use the male plural form. Depending on their age it's either "i bambini" (if they are small children) or "i ragazzi" (if they are a bit older children).

So without more context there is really no way to know if ". .ai ragzzi." is referring to a group of boys or a mixed group of children.


Are children not called bambini instead of ragazzi?


It depends on how old they are.

  • Babys and young children are called bambino/a/i/e, (ending depends on sex and number)
  • When they grow a bit older they are usually called ragazzo/a/i/e.

  • And for mixed groups, you normally use the male plural form.


How is ai different from nel or al?


ai = to the (masculine plural)
nel = in the (masculine singular)
al = to the (masculine singular

They are from a + i, in + il , a + il, respectively.


Ragazzi means a group of boys, or a group of boys and girls. So boys or children are both correct. Ragazze is just a group of girls.


I guess this can mean either boys or children. This is the same as Spanish.


So if "to the" translates to "al" then the plural "the" is to "i" for masculine. It merges and becomes "ai" ? Did I get this right?


The basic preposition is "a" (to, at).

"al" is already a merged form of "a + il" (with the masculine singular definite article), and "ai" is a merged form of "a + i" (with the masculine plural definite article).

See https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/a#Italian for a list of more merged forms of "a" with other forms of the definite article.


How do you know if ragazzi means boys or children?


Only by context


It is not a mistake - you can say boys also


"I write the kids" is wrong too... Sometimes this app lacks fluidity for me.


I think it is acceptable to translate: I write the boys (a letter), without "to"


I put "I write the children" and it was marked wrong?? Is it because it's technically an incomplete sentence or something? "Quick, write the children a letter." But don't people say things like "I wrote my grandmother yesterday to ask whether or not she likes her new yoga class"?


Io scrivo, ai (a+i), ragazzi. =
I write, to the, boys/children

Quick, write the children a letter! =
Svelto, scrivi una lettera ai ragazzi!

I wrote (to) my grandmother yesterday to ask whether or not she likes her new yoga class. =

Ieri ho scritto a mia nonna per chiedere se le piace la sua nuova lezione di yoga.


how would you say, " I wrote to the children" in italian?


Why is the translation: "I write to the boys and girls" wrong??


Why isn't this correct at I write to the boys?


For a second i thought it was "i write on the boys" haha


Ragazzi is boys, whereas bambini is children. Your sentence reads "I write to the boys", not "children"


Can somaone tell me what is the difference between "ai" and "al"???


ai is a kind of contraction of al i "to the".


My partner who is italian said if it is 'I write to children' then it should be bambini.


Why is "I write to children." wrong? Couldn't it be talking about children in general?


I think it's the "ai (a+il) ragazzi" that mess things up for you as a il = to the.


I wrote the same as the answer and got it wrong x 3


Doesn't ragazzi means boys can someone explain why in this one it means children


When do I use 'Ai' and 'Al'?

[deactivated user]

    But ragazzi means "boys", not "children". Children is "bambini".


    How can, "I write to the boys" be wrong?


    I understand "children", but why is "I write to the boys" an incorrect translation?


    Ragazzi - sometimes boys oan sometimes children?


    How do I know if he means boys or kids by ragazzi??


    Ragazzo = a boy or a young person of unknown gender
    Ragazzi = a group of young people of male or mixed/unknown gender
    Ragazza = a girl
    Ragazze = a group of only girls

    Bambino = a baby of male or unknown gender
    Bambini = a group of babies of male or mixed/unknown gender
    Bambina = a baby girl
    Bambine = group of only baby girls

    This may seem discriminating . . . . . . . . to the boys, - as there are no separate forms for boys only.


    Or - I write to the boys


    Questo è un errore. Ragazzi è boys, mentre bambini è children


    I typed " i write the boys " and what!!! Its right..literally does it make any sense!! I think its...." i write to the boys"....i didnt understand y it mentioned mine is correct....


    Why does duolingo sometimes allow you to ommit "io" and penalise you other times?


    ❤❤❤? boys or children are tje same


    Ragazzi means boys or children, so don't know why boys was marked wrong


    Why i wrte to the boys is not correct?


    So how are we supposed to know if Duolingo is referring to children or boys? Besides tapping on the word and picking the first definition.


    I think there is no way we can known if "ragazzi" is refering tog a group of boys only or a mixed group of children, but I assume either is acepted . . . if the rest also is correct.

    Io scrivo = I write
    ai (a+i) = to the
    ragazzi = boys/children


    They should have put a picture with the sentence it would have solved a lot of confusion.


    Its confusing because they let you learn that ragazzi can mean both boys and children. So you need to guess and thats incorrect. Now I made a mistake that wasnt my fault.


    when to use al and ai?


    al = a + il

    ai = a + i

    So al before masculine singular, ai before masculine plural.


    Molto bene per il maschile. Invece, per il femminile =: alla a + la _ per il femminile plurale: alle = a + le


    Grazie per l’aiuto!

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