"What do the children read?"

Translation:Cosa leggono i ragazzi?

March 23, 2013

94 Comments
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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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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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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/ivan802653

'I bambini cosa leggono' accepted in August 2021.


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/Enethion

That would translate to something like: "What kind of do boys read?", so no. You shouldn't use "che" here. I believe closest proper use of "che" would be "Che libro leggono i ragazzi?" ("What book do boys read?").


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/691.+1Xrhd27+oZB

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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"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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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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"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/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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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/Rose480467

An object-noun in one sentence, a subject-noun in the other


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/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/acocitom19

why not "le ragazze"?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
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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/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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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/Jim878622

Two questions ago everyone is saying, COSA=thing. Duolingo immediately says in their choose from the list, cosa = what. The examples are all, cosa = what. WHAT the hell?


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

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.


[deactivated user]

    Please explain the use of i ragazzi


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
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    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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    "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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    • 3233

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


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


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jaxus1

    I think for "children" we should use "bambini" and for "ragazzi" for "boys"


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/691.+1Xrhd27+oZB

    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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    Bambino - young child

    Ragazzo - child

    Figlio - son


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/691.+1Xrhd27+oZB

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

    Something like that.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/691.+1Xrhd27+oZB

    Thank you, I think I understand now


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


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/333.3tjRvLFJqYcT

    Perché non 'cosa leggono le ragazze'?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
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    "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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    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/mato5555

    Can someone explain difference between che and cosa?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
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    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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    "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/EvelynBanna

    Why do we lose hearts for small typos. Surely at this stage it is the grammar that is important. My typo was leaving out a 'g' in leggono.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jim878622

    This program is frustrating with all it's mistakes.


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

    It corrected me to ragazzi even tho it says children which mean bambini


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

    It corrected me to ragazzi even tho bambini means children


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ayram111623

    My answer has been correct, but it is been counted as a mistake!


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Dorothy174141

    I used i figli which was, I suppose out of context.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ThomasH.137928

    Why not: Che cosa leggono i bimbi?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Beady5831

    This word order is similar to the one in German:

    "Was lesen die Kinder?" Was = what lesen = to read die Kinder = the children German does not use auxiliary verbs (or Hilfsverben).


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AlexRafa85

    This is definitely a glitch in the system, I provided the correct answer "Cosa legonno i ragazzi" and the system marked it as incorrect while suggesting that the correct answer is "Cosa legonno i ragazzi" which is the same to what I provided. Does anyone look to adress these?


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

    It's "leggono" not legonno.


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

    Can't we write 'cosa i ragazzi leggono?'


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AlessandraP22

    When should I use cosa and when should I use che cosa"?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Choice382835

    You asked me to translate"what do the children read?"i wrote"Cosa leggono i raggazi?..and it was marked wrong ho can i do it now


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

    ragazzi - 1 g 2 z


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Steve558443

    Why "cosa" and not "cose"?


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

    The noun "cosa" meaning "thing" changes to "cose" for the plural "things", but "cosa" as a pronoun meaning "what" does not change forms. Here we're asking "what do the children read?", so we know it has to be "cosa".

    (Dictionary: https://www.wordreference.com/iten/cosa)

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