"What do the five men read?"
Translation:Cosa leggono i cinque uomini?
How come that the article that in principle belongs to 'uomini' has changed from 'gli' to 'i' here? Is this just because the number has come in between?
because it is "gli uomini" , the noun begins with a vowel. "i cinque uomini" cinque bigins with a consonant, so you have to use "i". This rule goes also with singular words. I am not english, so I hope I explained clearly. :-)
What about "the eight men"? Given the vowel in "eight" I presume "gli" remains: gli otto uomini. More generally: any adjective comes in between the noun and the article, the article changes in accordance with the starting vocal of the adjective? (i belli uomini?, gli aperti uomini? etc.)
It is exactly as in English: "a man", but "an old man". The article is determined by the word immediately following it (although masculine/feminine is still determined by the noune).
yes, and if you have singular like in: Lo stesso libro, you use "lo" before a vowel (l') (l'altro giorno), "z", "s+consonant"
I'm confused - again! "Qual è....." is not allowed. Only "Cose......" Are there any simple rules to help differentiate when to use one or the other of these terms?
Qual/quale/quali = which
Cosa/che cosa/che = what
Keep in mind that these may not always translate one to one: What is the name of the book/Qual è il nome del libro (but also) cos'è il nome del libro
Che cosa is not a mistake, at least not as of today, 6/27. The form I used was "Che cosa leggono i cinque uomini" and it was accepted without issue.
it is not always, but since the sentence begins with "what" it is. but: Gli uomini leggono! = the men read and: Gli uomini leggono? = do the men read? Here it depends on the question mark.
What's wrong with "Che cose leggono gli cinque uomini?" Seems like it would translate the same in plural?
Your sentence looks good except for the 'gli'. The cinque changes gli uomini to i cinque uomini. The article matches the noun in gender & number, but grammar rules say it also fits the word that follows.