"Sono alte?"

Translation:Are they tall?

March 23, 2013

64 Comments
This discussion is locked.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/nattys422

So when we don't know the gender the adjective is modifying as in this case, they, then it doesn't matter, and 'alte' or 'alti' is acceptable?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/pablogc2000

but this is impling it is talking about females, or am I wrong?


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

Hi pablo,

I think you make a good point. In this example, the use of alte seems to imply that the speaker of the sentence knows that the people in question are female.


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

So, actually, the only plausible option is that the speaker is talking to some women


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

Well, not necessarily. The speaker could be talking to a man (or some men, or both men and women) about the tall women. Hope this clarifies a bit. :)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Dalingo8

Hi Amanda, It's NOT - to some women It's - about some women or - of specific women

To whom is the speaker taking about we don't, he could be talking to one or more person, male or female, even to himself. And maybe even his not talking about women at all. He could be talking about female animals... who knows, ok ;)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Orsacchiot10

It is more the case that they are talking 'about' women rather than 'to' women


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

I think you are right because of the e ending of alte


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

But I got it wrong when I put alti instead of alte.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/CatherineK153278

So did I, it is hard for me to tell the difference when listening to it


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

Same for me. The final vowel on (what turns out to be) 'alte' is an intermediate sound between '-i' and '-e', making it a 50:50 guess.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KatieMacK13

So did I. How do we know which it should be? Or is this a case where we didn't listen carefully enough to the spoken Italian?


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

No, I think we do listen carefully enough. It's just that our anglophonic ears are not attuned to the nuances of similar vowel sounds used to form plurals.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/trent241

Which is why the overall context of a conversation becomes important


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/denisemelv1

Sorry but context is useless in this instance.


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

Why is 'Am I tall' incorrect?


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

Because it is alte (plural) in this case female subjects


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jadegriffin399

How do you know if sono means I am or they are?


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

In Italian, the adjective has to agree with the subject of the sentence in gender and number, so if the adjective is singular it means it is one person (I am), and if the adjective is plural it means it is more than one person (they are).

Sono alto. I am tall. (alto tells us it is one male person)

Sono alti. They are tall. (alti tells us it is more than one person and at least one is male)

Sono alta. I am tall. (alta tells us there is one female person)

Sono alte. They are tall. (alte tells us that there is more than one person and all of them are female)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JaniceQuinn0

When listening to the male voice it definitely sounded like alti, not alte


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

I'm not sure if you had a different audio, but the voice at the top of this thread is the male voice, and he definitely says "alte". I do feel like the emphasis is a bit strange (he is saying alte, but I think it should be alte).


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jana334469

Exactly! That makes it sound more like 'sono al tè' instead of 'sono alte'. Bad audio, as often...


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/EliYoung2

What would you say if you wanted to ask "Are they high (on drugs)?"?


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

"Sono fatti?" for males and "Sono fatte?" for females.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Nathan173901

Very strange oxytone in both recordings, male and female.


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

So how would one say "Am I tall"?


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

"Sono alto" if you are male and "sono alta" if you are female.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/nattys422

I'm not sure I understand why 'alte' ends in an 'e' and not 'i' or 'o' in this case...


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

Adjectives can match the nouns they modify in gender and number:

  • L'uomo alto
  • La donna alta
  • Gli uomini alti
  • Le donne alte

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/julia.s.h

Grazie mukkapazza :)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/haydee14p

Still don't understand how you determine you need to use they.


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

It depends on the adjective that is behind it. If it would've been 'sono alto' or 'sono alta', it would've been 'I am tall', because alto and alta are singular. 'Alte' is feminine plural, so you must translate it with 'they are tall' in the case of 'sono alte.'


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/WaynK8
  • 1070

IMO the inflection should be more pronounced. I translated it as "They are tall" thinking it was a declarative statement.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Radek_249573_

"Are they high?" has been accepted. :) Not sure if it shoul be... /March 2019


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Guido903943

It's impossible to hear the voice inflection that makes this a question. To mark this wrong because a question mark was not inserted is ridiculous.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Dalingo8

Sono alte = they are tall, but Sono alte? = Are they tall?

you don't need to put question mark as an answer in Duo, you just need to put correct sentence, so it's making it easier, ok :)


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

I typed "Are they high?" without thinking...


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

I wrote "sono alti?" and it was not accepted. I wanted to report it, but there was no "this answer should be accepted" option available.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SuzInAZ1950

Well and "sono" can be either singular "io sono" or plural "loro sono" or just Sono as in this case. I keyed it as "I" and got it wrong, and it's not!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SuzInAZ1950

I just realized where I made my mistake.


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

why not "am i tall" but "are they tall" isnt it "(io) sono" also..


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/susan189

Can't the phrase be statement? "Sono alte" = "They are tall" or does it need the "loro" to make it a statement?


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

Is alti plural somehow? I used alti and it was wrong.


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

If it was a listening exercise, then the correct answer is "sono alte?", but if you were translating "are they tall?" into Italian, both "sono alte?" and "sono alti?" should be correct.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KatieMacK13

Thanks. So it is a case of careful listening.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/julia.s.h

''Alte'' is feminine plural and ''Alti'' is masculine plural


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Andrew459924

not accepting the correct reply typed correctly!!


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

It infers females..."Are they (the women) tall?"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JosephT.Madawela

Isn't this sentence referring to a group of women?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/michaelkor53895

Why was I marked as wrong to write Alti when we don't know the gender?


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

If alti or alte both accepted ...why you put it wrong


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

Sorry!!i put alti you put it wrong...then i put it alte and you put it wrong


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jake103238

I did not skip this


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/susanne587815

Could it not also mean 'Am I tall?'


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Nathan173901

No, because the adjective is here in plural (feminine).

Sono alto? - Am I tall? (masculine)

Sono alta? - Am I tall? (feminine)

Sono alti? - Are they tall? (masculine or mixed)

Sono alte? - Are they tall? (feminine)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/susanne587815

Thank you for replying. Actually, I worked it out after I posted and didn't get round to cancelling it (if that's possible). But again, thank you


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ali823280

How do you know when something is a question in Italian, if there is no question word? Is it just intonation/inflexion?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Nathan173901

Yes, the intonation suffices.

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