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

81 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/balber123

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


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

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.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LlamaNation01

It's got four Oscars already!


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

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


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/cseverin80

Neither has the fly


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

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


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/a-muktar

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


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

And it died there


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

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


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Robert423232

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.


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

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


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

I remember formica because it's the type of kitchen counter tops that we had when I was a kid. You're way makes much more sense and sounds much smarter. But thinking Italian formica (not that out countertops were Italian) does help me remember that the Italian word is formica. I had already learned that Spanish was hormiga, Portuguese was formiga and French was fourmi. Even if I thought about formic acid, that trick would have played out.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ricardo356686

Ant in Spanish is HORMIGA. H is mute


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

You're right. Thank you. I don't know why I did that. Spanish is the language I speak most often except for English. But I guess I don't talk about ants much. I had noticed the similarity across the four languages for the words ant, fly and bee. For some reason that has always seemed to make me wonder about why butterfly is so unique in each language. But obviously I blurred the lines too much. I am correcting my post.


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

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!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/cseverin80

What is the site? The link does not work.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Schatzie14

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


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

You're so very welcome! :)


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

Man, I love you!


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

Incredible thanks. Finally this makes sense.


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

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)


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

I just printed this out. So helpful. Thanks!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Esther226144

I would love to have this chart! Can you send the website? I cant seem to access from here.


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

how are the sul words different from the nel words?


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

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


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

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


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

Thank you thank you thank you


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

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?"


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

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.


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

??? 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".


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

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


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/pete439507

maybe the ant's a junkie


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

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.


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

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".


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

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.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LINBUR0100

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?


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

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


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

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


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

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


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Schatzie14

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.


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

Word soup or word salad?


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

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


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

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


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

The sugar shall be on the ant


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

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


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

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


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

You need to go to a different cafe then son


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

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


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mamimi18

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


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

"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'?


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

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


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

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


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

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!


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

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


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

See answer to TreacherousGnome above


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

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


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

Reminds me of Ant-Man. :D


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JeanZhang44

That's what happened in my house.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Cangurina777

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


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DamlaDinc7

please tell me where is the "the" ?!!!!


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

it's included in "sullo," which means "on the".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DamlaDinc7

well thank you. it doesn' t write on explanation so I' m confused.


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

AGAIN?!?!?!?!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Dr.Foran01

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.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/1951K

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


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Giovanna282584

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


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jmanjosh23

I will always remember formica means ant because of enders game


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

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


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ssd81

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.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/HugoPerez336937

Is it "for-MI-ca" or "FOR-mica? It sounds different when I hear it in the sentence vs when I hear the word on its own.


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

It's for-MI-ca. Italian isn't quite as consistent with their stress patterns as Spanish, but that would be the expected pronunciation as well.


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

The more proper way to say this in English would have the ant in the sugar, not on it.


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

It depends on whether the ant is in or on the sugar. I've seen both.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/idub115031

The ant is in superposition. In and on the sugar. A bit like schrödinger's cat


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LDP371682

I also had formica countertops as a child. I remember it with ants on the countertop.


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

That's exactly like I do. I think that means you're older, like me. I haven't heard of formica counters in a while.

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