Why can't "donna" mean both woman and lady ? Apparently, according to Duolingo, only "woman" is a valid translation...
Is that synonymous with the Italian translation for "Mrs?" Since "signore" means "mister," I assumed that's how you would say "Mrs," like the Spanish "Señora"
You can translate "Mrs" as signora. It's the same in Spanish with señora.
It is the same reason why uomo cannot mean both man and gentleman. Do you blame Duolingo for this? Should it accept both?
I had the same problem and I was pretty certain that "donna" is "lady." (It is in opera.)
Yes, the Italian expression prima donna is translated into English as "leading lady" in an opera, but donna does not mean "lady". It seems that what we call the leading lady, the Italians call the first woman (prima donna), giving the impression that donna translates as "lady" but this does not generally extend to other uses of donna. http://www.wordreference.com/iten/donna
"Grande" is one of the exceptions. It has only "Grande" for singular, and "Grandi" for plural.
Loosely "huge" should be correct but DL prefers the word enorme for huge or enormous.
According to Duolingo it is. Me personally i've only heard grande used for large/big, while vecchio is used for old.
"Grande" means "old" only when referred to people.
Typical sentence you can hear from a distant relative: "Come sei diventato grande!"
No, it can mean old as well. For example - Lui è più grande di me=He is older than me.
It also can mean "great" as in "Tu facesti un grande lavoro" = You did a great job. Similar to the English word "grand" which nominally means large but has related meanings of wonderful, lovely, etc. For that reason I wrote "The woman's shirt is great". I thought "big" might sound like a criticism of the shirt not fitting well. But "great" wasn't accepted. So could a native please explain if the sentence is simply commenting on the size of the shirt? Or is there some idiomatic meaning of a woman's shirt being large? My guess is that perhaps this comes from the image of a large breasted woman wielding authority?
@BrucePlumb The sentence doesn't explain anything more than that woman has a big, large shirt. It doesn't mean that she's wearing that and not even whether or not belongs to her, really no explanation at all. If you want to talk about the size, you should use the word "taglia"... taglia extra grande (size XL), taglia grande (size L), taglia media (size M), taglia piccola (size S), taglia extra piccola (size XS). Ex. "la camicia della donna è di taglia grande" (the woman's shirt is size L). Maybe in English you don't say like that.
Is there always an inflection on the vowel that comes before a double consonant? Such as "dell", "piccolo", "cavalli", etc.
I'm not sure if inflection is the right word to describe it, but double consonants do generally change the sound of the vowel that precedes them compared to if there was just a single consonant.
Compare "rosa" (pink) and "rossa" (red - singular feminine) which are identical except for a single consonant vs double consonant. Rosa sounds like "rose + ah" whereas rossa sounds more like "ross + sah" .
Added some more:
I describe the pattern as "Double consonants make the preceding vowel into a shorter more closed vowel sound than it would be if there was just a single consonant" ie. Normally in Italian the letter 'i' makes a sound like 'ee' (as in "meet") but in "piccolo" the first vowel sounds like the 'i' in the word "hit". (Shorter, your mouth is more closed)
Double consonants are pronounced with a little break between them or just as a single consonant with a little break before it.
Can camicia mean "top" as well as "shirt"? If not, how would you say "top"? (a shirt has a collar and buttons, a top can be just a singlet or whatever)
"Camicia" is specifically a shirt with collar and buttons. A top in Italian is called... "un top" ;)
While this doesn't answer your question, a shirt in the U.S. doesn't necessarily mean a collar and/or buttons. It's interesting how English meanings can change from country to country.