1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Italian
  4. >
  5. "La formica è sullo zucchero."

"La formica è sullo zucchero."

Translation:The ant is on the sugar.

March 20, 2013


Sorted by top thread


Wait a minute, didn't the ant already meet an untimely end in said sugar?

March 20, 2013


It's the highly anticipated sequel about the former ant's son. La Formica Oscuro: Un Gioco di Zucchero. This time the ant means business.

November 21, 2013


It's got four Oscars already!

November 8, 2014


Lol thats what I was going to say! Not exact words obviously but same thing XD

April 5, 2017


and i hope we're gonna meet the bee very soon. the bee hasn't shown up since the ant's death

April 8, 2014


Neither has the fly

June 19, 2015


Now it is not in the sugar anymore, but its body lies on it =)

May 26, 2013


It's the prequel explaining what the ant was doing there.

October 21, 2014


And it died there

January 6, 2014


Yeah I think the ant's time ended >.>

September 22, 2015


Funny you say that because i remember 'Formica:' by thinking that ant's are a "Formidable" enemy. They seem to always come back no matter hiw hard you try to kill them.

May 10, 2019


I remember formica because the formic acid it has in it's body.

June 15, 2019


The forms of Su:

Sul - Used for masculine singular nouns: (La camicia è sul ragazzo)

Sui - Used for masculine plural nouns: (Il cibo è sui panini)

Sulla - Used for feminine singular nouns: (L'insetto è sulla finestra)

Sulle - Used for feminine plural nouns: (Il cane è sulle camicie)

Sullo - Used for singular nouns that begin with a "z" sound, or with a "s + consonant" (La formica è sullo zucchero)

Sugli - Same as "sullo", except this one is plural and also used for masculine words that start with a vowel. (L'acqua è sugli uomini)

Sull' - Used for any singular word that starts with a vowel. (Il ragno è sull'acqua)

All of these mean: "On the."

You can also check out this website for the other prepositions too!

Hope that helped!

May 16, 2015


What is the site? The link does not work.

June 19, 2015


June 19, 2015


UneJamKuqEZi, you saved my Italian life. This should have been given as Lesson ONE befor trying to tackle the sentences, Thank you

June 20, 2015


You're so very welcome! :)

June 20, 2015


Man, I love you!

July 30, 2015


Incredible thanks. Finally this makes sense.

August 18, 2015


Excellent illustration, it enabled me to see still more similarities to French apparent when you listen, but often obscured by the spelling and I still have the ghost of a memory of school French. If you observe closely you can find close connections between languages.

Di = of = just like de in French Su = on = just like sur in French

I think a for at is still common to both languages, not sure and of course in is blatantly common to English and Italian.

It is a good step to being able to combine them with the various forms of the, which I must look up. I can appreciate though that they are just there to make it possible to join up the words which feature inconvenient consonants or vowels at the beginning (in the word following)

September 25, 2016


I just printed this out. So helpful. Thanks!

October 16, 2016


how are the sul words different from the nel words?

September 29, 2015


The Sul words mean On and the Nel words mean In.

October 4, 2015


thank you. are the al words "to" or "at"?

October 4, 2015



February 25, 2018


Thank you thank you thank you

August 18, 2015


Would it be weird for an Italian to hear "La formica e nello zucchero," just as it is weird for an American to hear "The ant is on the sugar?"

February 15, 2014


I'm glad you brought this up. As a Native American English (pun intended) speaker, I've never heard of anything "on" the sugar. I completely understand, but it sounds incredibly awkward, unless it were on a container of sugar or something.

March 13, 2017


It is not weird for an American. The ant could be on or in the sugar, and possibly both.

April 2, 2016


??? what do you mean "stop the clutter" ??? I've read the comments below and would like to agree... there is no situation in english where one would say "the ant is on the sugar".

March 8, 2014


maybe if it were sugar a cube, then you would probably say on the sugar :)

March 12, 2014


maybe the ant's a junkie

January 25, 2018


agreed, unless the ant is on a cube or a bag of sugar. But let's face it, the ant isn't on the sugar when it's spilled on the table, or in the sugar. The ant is stealing the sugar.

August 21, 2015


There is an ant and a bag of sugar. The ant is crawling on the bag of sugar. I would say "the ant is on the sugar".

January 16, 2015


You spill sugar on the table. The ant comes, and now the ant is on the sugar. There you have it. A situation in english where one would say the ant is on the sugar. Sugar does not always exist in a bowl.

May 15, 2014


No, the ant would still be "In" the sugar, in the sense that it is "among the grains of sugar". But since sugar is an uncountable noun, it is more correct to say "in" in English, even in a situation where the sugar is spilled on a table, etc. The only possible situation where an aunt would be "on" the sugar is like someone else mentioned, if it was a sugar cube. Is there not a different word for sugar cube (a countable noun) vs. sugar (an uncountable noun) in Italian as there is in English?

June 20, 2014


True very true. lol

September 22, 2015


Think of it this way: In Italian the same word is sometimes used for either in or on.

December 20, 2014


If this is the case then the English translation should allow both.

March 13, 2017


again (like in the previous sentence) 'the new" world translation says "on" instead of "on the", so perhaps it is worth to give learners the correct hint

December 20, 2014


You must be new awlazel, or kidding, Duo is still in the stone age of English BRT translation, has not jet entered the UK translation, forget American English ( Internet English), World translation will hopefully be the next step. Than my dear friends we will have to pay big times, than they also wake up to have "native audio speakers, so grin and smile just call blunders Duodingo, and go on with the next chapter, but write it down to answer Dudingo next time around. Duo is still the best for learning languages free of charge my friends love it, got soooo many hooked on it.

June 20, 2015


Word soup or word salad?

April 2, 2016


Word lasagne!

April 13, 2019


Why are their so many bugs in the sugar!?!

December 1, 2016


Bad ant!

January 3, 2015


The sugar shall be on the ant

October 26, 2015


I want to use this phrase right now. How useful.

February 20, 2016


I thought that meant the ant was on sugar... some kind of drug to ants maybe? lol

May 22, 2016


Why!? The similar one before you had to write in not on but now you have to write on but not in.

September 18, 2015


You need to go to a different cafe then son

February 25, 2016


Pero, perche not "nello"? why "sullo"?

April 13, 2016


"The ant is on sugar" is marked as wrong even though no "il" was given? Are we just supposed to know when and when not to add 'the'?

December 17, 2014


No "il", but did you notice "sullo" in p[lace of "su"?

December 17, 2014


does 'sullo' include the 'the'? it's my first time coming across it and none of the dictionary hints show it as such

December 18, 2014


Yes, sullo is a contraction of su and lo. You will find similar contractions with other prepositions.

Congratulations on your new learning. This is how DL teaches. A bit rough, but effective!

December 18, 2014


Where is the 'the' is is question? Or does sullo imply 'the'?

May 14, 2015


See answer to TreacherousGnome above

May 20, 2015


Wait, just one ant? Really? Because usually, ants come in groups.

May 19, 2015


Reminds me of Ant-Man. :D

July 22, 2015


That's what happened in my house.

September 2, 2015


The dictionary hints did not list "sullo" with the meaning "on the".

March 11, 2016



May 1, 2017


Thank you!

February 16, 2018


I don't think a native English speaker would say "on the sugar" for an ant walking across the sugar bowl, or even posing on it. We would say the ant "is in the sugar". Given the relative size of an ant's legs and the grains of sugar, it really is IN the sugar, not just "on" it.

May 22, 2018


Seriously. ..I am overwhelmed by these juvenile responses!

July 15, 2018


However in English I tgink the ant would in the sugar rather than on it....

October 4, 2018


I will always remember formica means ant because of enders game

January 6, 2019


Come Nerevar, friend or traitor. Come and look upon the heart.

April 3, 2019


When do we use "su" and "in"?

August 12, 2019


I've never in my life seen an ant "on" the sugar! I've seen quite a few "in" the sugar, however, and I think that Duolingo should correct this.

October 11, 2019
Learn Italian in just 5 minutes a day. For free.