What's the difference between "Le gatte" and "I gatti"? Is the form with the "gatte" female cats, exclusively?
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.
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.
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.
Perhaps is useful to add that all the names and adjectives (masc. and fem.) ending at the singular in "e" have the plural in "i": il pesce/i pesci, la pace/le paci, il/la grande, i/le grandi; l'/l' importante, gli/le importanti ( there are very few exceptions)
Thank you! Searched it now and realized that in english they do not say "fishes" for plural, only for he/she/it cases!
"Fishes" can sometimes be used for the plural of "fish".
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
No, that's not how "gli" is used.
This link should help explain when to use what article. Bear in mind, though, that the rules for
gli are similar to the rules for the English "a/an" -- it's the very next word that matters. So while it would be "l'ape" and "gli aerei", it would be "la mia ape" and "i miei aerei".
That's incorrect Raquel because gli is masculine plural and gatte is feminine plural. It should be le gatte.
could this not also be "i gatti" i thought that cat was gatto so why does it suddenly become feminine
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
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.
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...)
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. :)
I have a degree in linguistics with a minor in math. And I completely agree about languages being fascinating. :)
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).
In Engish, 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.)
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, octogon, 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.
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.
"legate" in Italian means "tied": "My hands are tied" = ho le mani legate...
Cognate just means they have the same etymological origin and carry similar meanings. It doesn't matter if the parts of speech have diverged.
that's because duolingo is just suggesting one of many possible answers. You got it wrong because "le gatte" means "the cats", not "the cat".
so LE, is the article that defines gender. In this case fem,? thanks in advance
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...
I can tell you that the way Duolingo pronounces this is really really awkward for a native speaker.
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.
In my recent experience, it MAY be on the android app, On the PC web version it is clearly not listening at all - I can spout any nonsense at it in any language and it congratulates me. I think the software must have been modelled on Berlusconi's mum.
(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.
You don't. Either you made a different error that got your answer flagged as wrong, like not having agreement with the article, or if this was multiple choice you failed to select all correct answers, which would be both i gatti and le gatte.
This should explain the definite articles in Italian:
The app allowed me to say "The cats" but on the website I have to say "Felines"
Don't confuse your students.
Felines is a family of animals to whom the cat belongs (scientific name Felis catus), but also the lynx, for instance., is a "feline". So all the cats are felines, but not all felines are cats. The same happens with equines: horses, asses, zebras are equines, but not all equines are horses. And so on.
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??
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).
Still in the process of understanding the differences of words used for man and woman
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
This seriously confused me. I said 'the cats' and I was mistaken for 'the felines'?!
The answer just told me that Le Gatte is not 'the cats' that i gave, but is 'the felines'. Very weird.
They're not saying it should be "the felines". They're saying Duo glitched and incorrectly set the answer to "the felines".
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)
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
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)
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
As I wrote months ago:"Felines is a family of animals to whom the cat belongs (scientific name Felis catus), but also the lynx, for instance., is a "feline". So all the cats are felines, but not all felines are cats. The same happens with equines (equus in Latin means "horse"): horses, asses, zebras are equines, but not all equines are horses. And so on.
I translated le gatte with the cat and it didn't accept this translation. Why?
Because cat is singular gatte is plural. Cat is either gatto and gatta, but not gatti or gatte...
Why does the program first say "cat" or "cats" when using the word and then switch to "feline"? Does it mean both cat and feline? Or...?
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".
Gatto and gato come both from Latin "cattus", and they are only masculine. Latin had also the feminine "catta", the Italian gatta. Spanish has lost the difference between the genders.
Why was this the first question for me its like you didnt even teach it to ke how was i supposed to it was "the cats"
il gatto = the (male) cat
la gatta = the (female) cat
i gatti = the (male/mixed/unknown) cats
le gatte = the (female) cats
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.