"Le gatte"

Translation:The cats

March 20, 2013

82 Comments


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

What's the difference between "Le gatte" and "I gatti"? Is the form with the "gatte" female cats, exclusively?


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

Exactly! "Gendered" languages often have different words for a male and female animal, such as gatto and gatta. If you know you're only referring to female cats, use gatte. Otherwise, gatto/gatti is fine.


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

Great! And what about the words "Fish" and "Fishes", the translations are "Pesce" and "Pesci"? One form used for singular and the other for plural? Had this problem in the previous exercise.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
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The singular of "fish" (which is grammatically masculine) is "pesce" and the plural of fish is "pesci". It's one of those exceptions where the singular doesn't follow the usual o/a rule.


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

Thank you! Searched it now and realized that in english they do not say "fishes" for plural, only for he/she/it cases!


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

I think you are confusing the noun fish and the verb to fish here. ie. I fish, you fish, s/he or it fishes etc


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

My how complicated! Thanlks for the explanation... I woulda been lost.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/meandmyshadow0

You can say" he fishes around, meaning to search.


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

That's the verb - to fish.


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

Is it just me or did that sound a lot like "legate"?


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

You are right! Normaly an Italian says "le gatttte" and here I listen "le gate or legate" To me, the person who speaks here is not Italian


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

So I will sound like an awkward tourist when I talk to native Italians.


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

Depends where you are. Listen for a bit to the speakers, and adjust where needed. Biggest differences are from far north to the south, or sicily.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jen0205

they won't care. they'll be impressed with your vocab and they will help you with your accents/enunciation. the effort is what they're impressed with.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/CH3-COOH

the fact is that in English they don't pronounce the double that they do write ( the ts of letter or later have almost the same length). In Italian they pronounce what they write (lieto/let-to, agio/ag-gio, pago/pag-gio, amare/am-maliare...)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
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In linguistics, holding a sound for extra time is called "gemination" (or in the case of stop consonants that can't actually be continued like that, "delayed release"). It's not actually being pronounced twice.

If anyone is interested, I can explain why Italian has geminate consonants. :)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/dlung1

Thank you so much for your explanation. It is simple, clear, and quite understandable, even for a crazy mathematician like me. I have always thought that languages were fascinating, and I am learning a lot about my own language through the comments on duo lingo.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
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I have a degree in linguistics with a minor in math. And I completely agree about languages being fascinating. :)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/dlung1

I would love to read your explanation. Italian will be my third latin language, but the first one to have gemination. And as another person already noted, in English we are taught that doubling consonants is only a spelling issue. (At least that is what I was taught as a child 5 years ago in California).


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
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In English, writing double letters usually indicates a difference in the pronunciation of the previous vowel. Later vs latter. Biter vs bitter.

Syllables can have an onset, a nucleus, and/or a coda. For example, the syllable "can" has all three, the syllable "ma" has just an onset and a nucleus, and the syllable "if" has just a nucleus and a coda. Some syllables have consonant clusters, which give them extra weight: "its" for example has a nucleus and a complex coda. (As a side note, the nucleus does not have to be a vowel. It just has to be the sonorant peak of the syllable. But that's beyond the scope of this discussion.)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mora_(linguistics)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Syllable
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sonority_hierarchy

To see where Italian gemination comes from, we need to look at how Latin evolved into Italian. But since this is not a dissertation, we'll just look at one illustrative example.

The Latin word for "eight" is "octo". It's where we get our prefix from: octopus, octagon, etc. The Italian word for "eight" is "otto".

As Italian grew out of Latin, the phonotactics became such that certain consonant clusters stopped being clusters. When one sound changes to become like another sound, that's called assimilation.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phonotactics
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Assimilation_(linguistics)

But the phonotactics wanted the syllables to keep the same moraic weight. And this is why we say that assimilation happened and not outright dropping. And that is the quick and simple explanation of gemination in Italian.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/benton.1

Thanks Rae! This gave me an understanding of Italian pronunciation that Duo did not supply. It's going to help my pronunciation a lot since I was pronouncing it without the pause.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Dujmi5

Yes, it sounded legate to me also


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/CH3-COOH

"legate" in Italian means "tied": "My hands are tied" = ho le mani legate...


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
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It's a cognate with "ligature".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/an114

could this not also be "i gatti" i thought that cat was gatto so why does it suddenly become feminine


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

il gatto = i gatti and la gatta = le gatte


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

Great explanation; simple and clear. Thank you!


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

Yes, male cats are gatti and female ones are gatte. I gatti and le gatte.


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

why is it le? isnt that used for only le donne or something


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

"Le" is feminine plural article, "la" is singular. The noun is feminine plural "gatte" (sing. gatta), so that's why.


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

Gatte is feminine plural, so le should be used.


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

so LE, is the article that defines gender. In this case fem,? thanks in advance


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

"Le" is feminine plural article, "la" is singular. The noun is feminine plural "gatte" (sing. gatta), so that's why.


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

I'd like to know if there's actually someone or something listening to my pronunciation and deciding if it is or isn't correct...


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
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No, it's just a speech recognition program. You can turn off that option if it's too much of a bother. Just go into your account settings.


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

(il) gatto is a mas. noun. it covers all male cats and all cats of unknown sex. (la) gatta is a feminization when you know the cat is female. le gatte is a feminization for a group of cats known to ALL be female. i gatti is for a group of cats of unknown sex or a group with a ANY male.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Erin83756

What is the difference between "le" and "i" ?


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

Why on earth does this app use 'gatta' to teach people how to say 'cat'? This is technically correct, but it is quite uncommon to hear the feminine form of an animal pronounced unless it is naturally a feminine word, such as sheep (pecora)


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

Shouldn't this be "i gatti?" "Cat" in Italian is "gatto," which is masculine.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
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Humans, common farm animals, and common pets have different forms for masculine and feminine. All other animals have just the one grammatical gender for the whole species. "Le gatte" refers specifically to female cats.


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

so the gender here refers to the animal not the speaker, right? i mean if the speaker is men, he could say i gatti and le gatte both. right??


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
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Nouns are always their own gender, regardless of anything else. It's the articles and other adjectives that describe it that must modify to agree.

La donna (feminine, singular) ha i gatti (masculine, plural).

Gli uomini (masculine, plural) hanno la gatta (feminine, singular).


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jannet773140

Still in the process of understanding the differences of words used for man and woman


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
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Don't think of it as man vs woman. The labels are "masculine" and "feminine". And 99.99% of the time, grammatical gender has absolutely nothing to do with biological sex. It's why linguists prefer to call them noun classes. Some languages have systems where the labels are not "masculine/feminine" at all.

Italian is fairly regular when it comes to how word forms reflect noun class. With very few exceptions, if a noun ends in:
-o then it's singular masculine
-i then it's plural masculine
-a then it's singular feminine
-e then it's plural feminine

The rules for what definite article to use are regular, although slightly complicated. This link should explain it: http://www.oneworlditaliano.com/english/italian-grammar/italian-definite-articles.htm


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

Confused ... what is the meaning of le gatte? And the cat?!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
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il gatto = the cat (singular, masculine or unknown)
i gatti = the cats (plural, masculine, mixed, or unknown)
la gatta = the cat (singular, feminine)
le gatte = the cats (plural, feminine)


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

Il gatto-the cat, masculine singular/ unknown

I gatti-the cats, masculine plural

La gatta-the cat, feminine singular

Le gatte-the cats, feminine plural


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JFK.co.uk

I'm sure it is spelt el gato with one t ?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
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el gato is Spanish. This is Italian. Here, it's il gatto.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MiaRose_3

Some times it says cats and some times it say feline... in the same sentence but when i pull down to see the word it says cat... if someone could help me out with this that be great


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
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gatto is "cat"
felino is "feline"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/VALP09

"Le gatte" Is kind of like "gatto" in spanish


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
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Italian and Spanish are related to each other, so no surprise there.

In Italian, the singular masculine is "il gatto", plural masculine is "i gatti", singular feminine "la gatta" and plural feminine "le gatte".

In Spanish, it's just "el gato" and "los gatos".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AnthonyDiNome0

whan is le gatte used as opposed to i gatti


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
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il gatto = the (male) cat
la gatta = the (female) cat
i gatti = the (male/mixed/unknown) cats
le gatte = the (female) cats


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

Does this apply to all animals?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
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I'm guessing that you're asking about grammatical gender? "This" is pretty vague.

Only common farm animals and pets get individual masculine-feminine distinction. All other animals have one grammatical gender for the species, regardless of the biological sex of the individual.


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

Why not the FEMALE cats ???


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
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Not every nuance translates.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Joe82908

Which is correct for"the cats"? I get a correct response for both "i gatti" and "le gatte".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
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i gatti is masculine plural
le gatte is feminine plural


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Kat462646

Isnt I gatti = the cats And le gatte = the cat?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
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il gatto = the cat (masculine)
i gatti = the cats (masculine/mixed/unknown)
la gatta = the cat (feminine)
le gatte = the cats (feminine)


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

When hearing it how do i know it is Le and Lei?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
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"Le" is more like "lay" or "leh" and "lei" is more like "lay-ee". Also, it's very unlikely that anyone will say "lei gatte" (she cats).


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Wendy405797

Is this the first noun introduced in this course that can be either M of F? All others (la balena, il cane) seem to be exclusively M (regardless of the sex of the individual animal).


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
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Common pets and farm animals get grammatical gender according to their biological sex.

il gatto - the cat (masc, sing)
i gatti - the cats (masc, pl)
la gatta - the cat (fem, sing)
le gatte - the cats (fem, pl)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Wendy405797

So far in learning Italian with Duolingo, I've only seen cats given this courtesy, strangely enough. I was wondering if they were the exception.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
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Nope, not the exception by far. However, please note that the word for a female dog means the same thing in Italian as it does in English, so be careful where you use it.


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

I'm pretty sure I got it wrong - I put, "Legate." It counted it as correct, but then said it's, "the cats," so I was like...


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
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The correction algorithm glitched. Next time something like that happens, take a screenshot and file a bug report.
https://support.duolingo.com/hc/en-us/articles/204728264-How-do-I-report-a-bug-

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