1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Italian
  4. >
  5. "The duck is on the plate."

"The duck is on the plate."

Translation:L'anatra è nel piatto.

March 18, 2013

26 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/silverwolf.moon

I'm having a hard time distinguishing when I should use "nel" and when I should use "nello". May someone please explain it to me???


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
Mod
Plus
  • 2560

It's the same rules as when to use "il" and "lo", because "nel" is the contraction of "in"+"il" and "nello" is the contraction of "in"+"lo".


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


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


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/silverwolf.moon

I'm sorry I'm still not understanding. I don't even know how Italian contractions work.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
Mod
Plus
  • 2560

With regard to prepositions and definite articles, that chart tells you everything. It is mandatory to contract them like that. In other words, to native Italian speakers, "in il" sounds very strange and "nel" sounds right.


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

Why is it not 'sul piatto' as su means 'on'?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
Mod
Plus
  • 2560

Because different languages encode spatial relations differently. Prepositions never translate directly one-to-one.

In Italian, something like a plate is conceived of as a vessel-type thing that conveys your food, thus they say that something is "in" the plate. In English, we care more about the shape of the dish: It's "in" a bowl but "on" a plate.

Are you really "in" your bed, or are you actually "on" it, just "under" the covers, even though if you're all wrapped up you're more "in" the covers.


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

why is this under animals and not food?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sally-Helen

I had a typo, missed a "t" out of piatto, marked down, lost a heart, thought this was a bit harsh, nothing for effort!


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

Yeah, I think if it's just one character off, it should be accepted, but with a warning, even if it makes a new unintended word.


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

can we say "sta nel piatto"?


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

No, because essere is used for locations (which are temporal) and stare is for more permanent qualities or characteristics.


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

could you please explain that in a little more detail using loro instead of essere? Thank you


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

Why is "il piatto" wrong here?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JakeCollier2626

"Il" is already included in "sul" or "nel", just like "la" would be included in "sulla" or "nella".


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

Do not know how to put accents on letters with my phone


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
Mod
Plus
  • 2560

Try long-pressing on a letter and see what comes up.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
Mod
Plus
  • 2560

Different languages use prepositions differently.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PATRICKPIZ1

piatto isn't necessarily a flat plate. it could be. picture instead a shallow bowl that you might serve pasta in.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
Mod
Plus
  • 2560

Ultimately, that's irrelevant. In English we frame a plate as a surface that something is on. In Italian, they frame a plate as a vessel that something is in.

Even then, why are we "in" bed when clearly we're on top of it? Why are we "on" a train when clearly we're inside of it? Different languages use prepositions in their own quirky ways.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AldoChavez641889

I wrote right.Why is wrong?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
Mod
Plus
  • 2560

We can't know what you wrote if you don't tell us, and we need to know what you wrote so we can advise you. From now on, please either copy and paste or take a screenshot of your full, exact answer so we can help you see why you were marked wrong.

Learn Italian in just 5 minutes a day. For free.