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  5. "What do the children read?"

"What do the children read?"

Translation:Cosa leggono i ragazzi?

March 23, 2013

98 Comments


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

I'd like to know why the order words of the sentence has to be as the two given answers and not Cosa I ragazzi leggono the answer I gave which was marked incorrect?


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

I am new to Italian and wrote the sentence as you did 3 years ago. Now that you are Level 25, are you able to explain to me why the word order is "Cosa leggono i ragazzi"? Grazie


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
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  • 2534

A lot of European languages invert the subject and verb to ask a question, as well as bring the question word into the subject. English does, too, although we frequently use an auxiliary verb.

I am here.
Where am I?

The children (do) read a book.
What do the children read?

It's the same thing in Italian:

I ragazzi leggono un libro.
Cosa leggono i ragazzi?


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

That is not correct. Italian doesn’t invert subject and verb to mark a question, but for emphasis. It is entirely possible to ask, “I ragazzi cosa leggono?”


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ThomasRyde8

It's not the same! Last english line has the order: Cosa i ragazzi leggono?


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

As IsolaCiao pointed out below:

For questions in Italian, the word order is typically:

[question word] [verb] [subject]

[Cosa] [leggono] [i ragazzi]?


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

Grazie mille! I am used to question inversion in French which always includes a hyphen. It didn't occur to me that this was being written in the same fashion.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
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  • 2534

Different language, different orthography rules.

But writing is merely a way to record speech. There are no hyphens in spoken French.


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

The subject has to come before the interrogative pronoun:

I ragazzi cosa leggono?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/webMan1

I'm confused. When should I use "Cosa" and when should I use "Che"? The two correct answers it showed me were "i ragazzi che leggono" and "Cosa leggono i ragazzi". What's the difference?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Yu-Jie

I read somewhere that "Che" means "what (kind of)" and can be used in front of a noun, "Cosa" means "what kind of thing" and is never used in front of another noun. Hope that helps.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RodolfoRod969975

So can i say che leggono i raggazzi?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/zenno.corn

Why is this wrong: Cosa i ragazzi legono?


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

For questions in Italian, the word order is typically:

[question word] [verb] [subject]

[Cosa] [leggono] [i ragazzi]?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Anita388049

The options in the drop down for "children" includes "figli" i don't understand why that was marked wrong. I can see no context in this exercise for knowing whether "children" are "ragazzi", "figli" or "bambini".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JIS9E

And now (Nov.2019) "figli" is not in the pull-down. I checked because it is what I used based up previous lessons where "figli" was used for children. The pull-down now gives "ragazzi" which I knew was another alternative and "bambini" which has never been introduced. So confusing


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
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  • 2534

"Ragazzo" and "bambino" are more generically "child/boy" as in young people. A ragazzo is a little older than a bambino.

Figlio is "child/son" as in specifically someone's offspring.


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

But bambini could still read


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
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  • 2534

Yeah, that sounds like a bad setup on Duolingo's end.


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

Cant i say i bambini instead of ragazzi?


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

Yes, but It will be marked incorrect for whatever reason.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
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  • 2534

"Bambino" means "baby", or at any rate indicates an age younger than "ragazzo," which means they're not really synonyms.


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

I see, but younger than ragazzo still may indicate a child (bambino). Bambini can also mean babies, as you mentioned.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Kevin968039

@Rae.F thanks for clarifying that.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/TimWilson282300

Google Translate says children are Bambini


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
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  • 2534

Google Translate is not an authority on this matter. Never trust machine translation. A bambino is a very young child, like baby and toddler. A ragazzo is a school-age child.


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

I agree that Google Translate isn't reliable, but I also agree that "bambino" is a good translation for "child". Native speaker f.formica says:

Generally speaking, bambino is a child and ragazzo is a teenager; however, children tend to protest that name, and young men often don't want to feel too grown up, so the term "ragazzo" can refer to any male from 12 to 40 :P


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

I would like to know why "Che cosa leggono i ragazzi" was marked as incorrect. Thank you


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RodolfoRod969975

Yeah me too everyone ignores this


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/bfrankie80

perchè "cosa leggono i ragazzi" ma "quanti caffè bevi"? it seems one sentence is question word, verb, niun, and the other is question word, noun verb?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
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  • 2534

It matters what question is being asked.

Cosa leggono i ragazzi = What are the boys reading = The boys are reading what?

Quanti caffè bevi = How many coffees are you drinking = You are drinking how many coffees?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/tu.8zPhLySD9eGoy

Perhaps I breezed through too fast, but it seemed to me that (in the multiple choice) this was asked not long ago, and the answer had to do with "bambini"...and it was accepted...I thought.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
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  • 2534

That's a little vague and not much to go on. There are other factors involved that determine whether your answer should have been accepted or not.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/tu.8zPhLySD9eGoy

Yup. You're most likely right :)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/acocitom19

why not "le ragazze"?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
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  • 2534

The grammatical masculine is the default here. "ragazzi" can mean either "boys" or "children", but "ragazze" can only mean "girls".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/T2LoN

Yes, but previously we had "le gatte" as the only possible answer in a context where nothing suggested the cats were female. What gives? Shouldn't consistency be important?

As a learner of both French and Italian, I suggest to the Italian developers to take a look at how inclusive, precise, and consistent the French developers are. They leave nothing to chance or the learners' ability to guess. I never have these problems with the French course.


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

The French course has many volunteer contributors AND paid staff. The Italian course has maybe 3 volunteer contributors. A course becomes "consistent" through user error reports and contributors approving those error reports. I think our Italian contributors are doing the best they can with their limited numbers.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/T2LoN

Thank you for clarifying the logistical aspect. I didn't know the French course had paid staff (it shows). As a volunteer who enjoys helping others, I am grateful for the time people donate. So, I'll say "thank you" to the Italian contributors and I'll continue to flag inconsistencies to help make the course better.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DouglasWin6

I now know that "Cosa i ragazzi leggono?" isn't accepted, merely because I tried it and got my hand slapped; never mind that the last time I read the tips for questions, they said that questions tend to be indicated more by intonation and punctuation (and of course by interrogative words) than by reordering of words. It's all right with me that I lost a mere point, learning the lesson the hard way, but I can just imagine the resentment of people who are penalized by the "hearts system" when testing what they've read.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RJMCE1
  • 1740

Why is this not right? 'I ragazzi leggono cosa' grazie!


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

I think cosa is supposed to go in front of questions.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/maddiie31

I've put Cosa leggono figli, why is that wrong? figli is children as well, right?


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

figli is sons


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

Is figli not also daughters and sons collectively?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
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  • 2534

Yes. But this does not refer to someone's offspring. It's children in general.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/knitnw10

I put 'quale leggono i ragazzi?' Why is this wrong when quale= what/which?


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

Your phrase has more of an inclination to ask "which", rather than "what" (cosa)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Donny465006

Why is figli bad here? :O


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
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  • 2534

That's "sons".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Anita388049

Thank you. That helps.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Eduardo12730

My problem with this translation excercise, is that when you click on the word "children" the words that come up are "bambini" and not ragazzi, which is "little boys". Sexist AND incorrect.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
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  • 2534

Grammatical gender is not sexist. "Bambini" and "ragazzi" can mean "boys" or "children".


[deactivated user]

    Please explain the use of i ragazzi


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
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    • 2534

    il ragazzo = the boy/the child
    i ragazzi = the boys/the children
    la ragazza = the girl
    le ragazze = the girls


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AoDes216

    I'm confused. Why is "Cosa leggono le ragazze?" wrong?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
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    • 2534

    "Le ragazze" can only mean "the girls", so you need "i ragazzi" for "children" in general.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Eddy704812

    What is wrong with "cosa leggono i figli"?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
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    • 2534

    "Figli" is specifically "sons/offspring", not boys/children in general.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JIS9E

    Can someone please clarify the differences between "ragazzi", "bambini", and "figli" which can all seem to indicate various children?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
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    • 2534

    Bambino - young child

    Ragazzo - child

    Figlio - son


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JIS9E

    so figli was accepted in previous lessons as children but it isn't really proper? And is there a general rule of thumb about age . . . are bambini more like babies and toddlers and ragazzi are more like school age children?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
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    • 2534

    are bambini more like babies and toddlers and ragazzi are more like school age children?

    Something like that.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JIS9E

    Thank you, I think I understand now


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

    Why does this syntax (word order) only sometimes work?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
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    • 2534

    Do you mean why are the subject, verb, and object moved around when asking questions?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RodolfoRod969975

    Is che leggono i ragazzi wrong?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/yarden4080

    why is it ragazzi and not bambini?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
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    • 2534

    They're not perfectly synonymous. "Bambini" are younger children and "ragazzi" are school-aged children. You are unlikely to ask what the toddlers are reading.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/yarden4080

    oh i see..thank you!


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
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    • 2534

    "il" is singular and "ragazzi" is plural.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ali547500

    Perché non 'cosa leggono le ragazze'?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
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    • 2534

    "Le ragazze" can only mean "the girls", and "the children" is more general, so it needs to be "i ragazzi".


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

    Why is "Cosa leggono i figli?" marked wrong?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
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    • 2534

    That's "What are the offspring reading?"

    figli/figlia is son/daughter, not "child".


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

    That makes sense, thank you!


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mira913860

    My answer is correct


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
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    • 2534

    Sorry, but "my answer" is "la mia risposta". A better translation of "Cosa leggono i ragazzi?" is "What are the children reading?"


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mato5555

    Can someone explain difference between che and cosa?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
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    • 2534

    che -- what
    cosa -- thing

    In Italian, the question is "che cosa?" or just "cosa?" for short. Yes, they're treating "thing" like it's a question word. French uses the word "step" for negation. Languages can do funny things.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PeterHalla5

    I wrote « Quale leggono i bambini? ». Why is quale not acceptable? Who said the children weren’t young? The image is of a very young child (without hair).


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
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    • 2534

    "Quale" is more like "which". That's the reason you were marked wrong.

    The cartoon characters are just to keep our younger students entertained. You shouldn't read anything into which one shows up where. Bears don't speak Italian.


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

    I thought le regazze was acceptable for children as well...


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

    le regazze would be correct for a group of only girls. A mixture of boys and girls or only boys would be i ragazzi. This example doesn't specify exclusively girls in the group which in turn led to your answer being incorrect.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Donci14

    For me this is not the right translate because ragazzi are boys not children.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
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    • 2534

    It is the right translation. "Ragazzi" can mean either "boys" or "children". In both Italian and Spanish, the default grammatical gender is masculine, so any mixed group takes the masculine form.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MaryMcCoy14

    Ragazzi means Boys NOT children!!


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
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    • 2534

    It can mean either.

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