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  5. "Quanto è grosso il tuo gatto…

"Quanto è grosso il tuo gatto?"

Translation:How big is your cat?

March 18, 2013



Why does the verb "è" come before "gross"? "How is big your cat?" is very awkward construction in English. I would love to hear an explanation for this Italian construction. Thanks.


I would say that English is awkward, with its inversions and the need to use an auxiliary verb to make negations. ;) Every language is awkward, is you compare it word by word to another and expect it to be the same. :)

You should think at "Quanto" as "How much" instead of "how" alone, I think. In this case "How" express quantity, but needs big next to it to make understand that it's speaking about quantity, dimension, whatever.

Italian's "Quanto" already imply that we are speaking of a volume/amount and not about a procedure.

"How" alone is "Come".

I have looked for some stuff on the net but cannot find anything useful.

I think this is the structure to use with "quanto" + essere + adjective.

Quanto è grande il tuo appartamento? How big is your flat?

Quanto è alto tuo padre? How tall is your father?


Quanti anni ha tua madre? How old is your mother - because here "anni" is a noun, not an adjective! we don't say "Quanto è vecchia tua madre?" it would sound SOOOOOO rude!


Grazie Molto marziotta


Nice explanation I would say that English is awkward, too Using "how" to ask for a value seems weird for me...


All languages have their strange & seemingly illogical elements - just like regional variations in the same country!!


Would it be grammatically incorrect to replace "quanto" with "come", given that size is implied by grosso?


In English, the word order changes completely when you ask a question, but this is not the case in Italian at all. There are no auxiliaries such as do or does to mark a phrase as interrogative. In fact, you could change this question mark into a period and it would still be grammatically correct, with a meaning similar to "My, how big your cat is." Here are other examples:

  • Do you have a car? Hai una macchina?
  • You have a car. Hai una macchina.
  • Abbiamo un piatto? Do we have a plate?
  • Abbiamo un piatto. We have a plate.

Interrogative pronouns, adverbs and adjectives (such as dove/where, chi/who) generally go at the beginning, but on special occasions these can be moved around for the sake of emphasis.

  • Chi è lui? Who is he?
  • Lui chi è? Who is he?
  • Dove sono i ragazzi? Where are the boys?
  • I ragazzi dove sono? Where are the boys?


Is this referring to weight or size?


size. if you were referring to weight you should say grasso.


So is it grasso for both size and weight?


Grosso for size, grasso for weight. Must make it hard in a noisy room.


But I answered "how fat..." and it was accepted. I dont get it


Thanks mukkapazza and marziotta. Helpful, as always.


A big DITTO! Grateful as always for your excellent explanations and help!


How can we tell the difference between "How fat is your cat" and "How big is your cat"? Grazie


Big is not equal to Fat. Big is all about the size(how much space it takes up), it doesn't matter if that space is made of fat. The cat could just be bigger in size.


"Your cat is too big" ... "It's actually a little tiger"

"Your cat is too fat" ... "Yeah you're right, I should put it on a diet"


But I wrote "How large is your cat?" and DL replied that it was wrong and that I should have typed "How fat is your cat?" yet at the top of this page it says "How big is your cat?" - what is the difference between "large" and "big"?


Casually breaking the ice in a conversation


@AntonMies, it's something you really want to ask before you end up like this poor guy.



What's the difference between: "Grosso" & "grande"? And can I use either in this sentence?


Is it acceptable to say: "Quanto è grande il tuo gatto?" ?


La lingua italiana è molto strana. Hahaha!


Sad cat noises


Can anyone link a webpage that explains when to use the è (is) before the adjective?


marziota has a great explaination about this above.

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