i dunno "It is an..." sounds kinda strange and impersonal in the family context. "they are an ..." sounds more, well, familiar.
It's all about context. "Who is staying at the bed and breakfast next Friday?" "Let me look. It's an Italian family."
Yes to all of us who feel that the use of "it is... " de-humanizes the Italian family. That said, the example sentence is simply an example ... and the translation, although a bit too literal for most of our tastes, as in "It is an Italian family..." perhaps the authors of this example, were considering a "family" of cars... say "Lamborgini's," or of motorcycles... "Ducati's"..., or even Robots as in "Comau"... . hence, "it is an italian family" may feel a little less inhuman. It's just an example sentence to help us (errhhh its) learn the language... please don't get too hung up on the de-humanizing language... " it is " after all a family of languages..
I don't see how it's necessarily dehumanizing. Any group of people can be called "it". See that platoon of soldiers? Yes, it's advancing on its enemy. See the volleyball team? It will win the finals, I'm sure. See that family? It's a happy one.
Ask medical professionals who help deliver babies how often new parents exclaim with joy, either "it's a girl" or "it's a boy!"
I agree just 'an' italian family should be allowed as sometime direct translations doing in correct. It is not proper English.
"They are an Italian family" should be accepted and I have reported it. Here is a useful definition of a collective noun and its gramatical usage, American commenters please note: Examples of collective nouns include group, crowd, family, committee, class, crew, and the like. In the US, collective nouns are usually followed by a singular verb ( the crowd was nervous), while in Britain it is more common to follow a collective noun with a plural verb ( the band were late for their own concert).
I'm confused by what you're trying to say. If it was 'they are an Italian family' shouldn't it be 'son una familia Italiana,' and not 'es una familia Italiana.'
You are correct the other person probably doesnt understand that there is an actual way to say "they are an itallian family " but in this case it is actually it is an itallian family.
So I assume you would translate "mi ropa está sucia" as "my clothes is dirty".
Sorry, CiudadQuesada, but you picked the wrong way to reply to Jazzybabe1 and Nancy692704.
One problem with this reply is that you deny the use of "clothing" as a synonym of "clothes"; and by doing that, you contradict your own argument for including the synonymous use of "they" as an alternative for "it".
You should have stuck with your other, correct explanation of "they" as a British alternative for "it". You could even have noted that in recent years "they" has gained wide acceptance in the US as a singular pronoun.
I was not denying that “my clothing is dirty” was correct, simply trying to emphasise the fact that because the verb is singular in Spanish it doesn’t have to remain singular in translation. And incidentally Duolingo now accepts “they are an Italian family”.
Im also confused here....I would refer to my family as they....not It.........
Think of a situation like this one: "What is this bunch of people on the poster?" "It is an Italian family".
And nobody speaks of "your" family here.
As I have said several times on this thread, American Engliish speakers seem to treat the collective noun "family" as singular, as in Spanish, whereas UK English speakers generally treat collective nouns as plural. Duolingo accepts both American and UK English elsewhere, but not here as yet.
True enough, so it is strange that it was reported 8 months ago and not added. Maybe they want to emphasize that Spanish does not have this metonymic shift. I still think the singular is valid in BrE, so maybe they want to stick with this translation so people don't make an error in the other direction, translating "They are an Italian family." to "Son una familia italiana.", especially at this stage in the course where people may still be learning their conjugations.
"Es" means "he/she/it is". Verbs in Spanish (and similar romance languages) conjugate with their subjects, often making the subjects unnecessary to say explicitly.
In Spanish you can leave out the subject personal pronoun, because it is already contained in the verb. "es" can mean "he is/she is/it is" (and even "you are" in a polite address using "usted").
Your explanation is better than mine, but I have to ask, is my post in this thread not visible to jean and others?
sure it is. But there are people who don't seem to read comments before posing the same questions again and again :-(
The male speaker clearly said, "fam-EEL-ya," both on fast and slow speeds. I thought, "I didn't think that needed an accent there," but put one in, and was told to "pay attention to the accents." (That's what made me mark it incorrectly.) Oh, well ... this is just in case anyone else didn't trust his/her memory, & was confused.
You're right about that being were the stress is, but it doesn't need the accent because it's assumed based on some rules about pronunciation that the Spanish language has. In this case it's that words that end in a vowel (or the consonants s or n) put the stress on the second to last syllable (remembering that the "-ia" at the end of "familia" is a diphthong and so is only one syllable). Following this we know that the pronunciation is "fa'milja" (IPA), or more simply "fa-MEEL-ya," without needing any tildes/accent marks.
If you're interested in learning the other pronunciation rules about where to put the stress, then here's a handy link!
The rule applies to the grammatical/spelling of the word, not the way it's pronounced/said. If you think about it, we "mush" words and syllables together all the time in English. If you're a native speaker and this is your first time learning another language, you probably haven't thought about it much.
You can, but you need not. In Spanish you can leave out the subject pronouns, because they are already included in the verb form. So e.g. for "I eat/I am eating" you can say "Como" or "Yo como".
are you talking about "italiana"? This is not a noun, but an adjective.
In Spanish proper names are capitalized, but (unlike in English) not the adjectives derived from them.
Here's a guide on this for further reference: https://www.spanishdict.com/guide/capitalization-in-spanish
Second response to JWbd3d: I did just check the link you posted. It was very clarifying. Thanks for the response. Have a lingot!
Point well taken. And you are so right about it being an adjective, not a noun. I have, however noticed that they do not capitalize proper nouns. Examples are days of the week, countries, titles to names like Señor Perez, etc.
Well, countries are capitalized (as are other proper nouns). Days of the week and the like are not counted as proper nouns.
The two languages do not have the exact same set of proper nouns. English (inglés) treats the names of languages as proper nouns, while Spanish (español) does not.
It depends, doesn't it? I was thinking of it in terms of a response to a question like "¿Quién es este grupo?". If the referent is "familia", I totally agree, but I don't think that's always the case. Now that I think about it, the first case might be "esto", right?
You don't need the word "it" in Spanish here, because you can leave out the subject pronoun. "es" can mean "he/she/it is". If you want to stress the "it", you can say "eso" ("that").
Loosely speaking, estar is used for states someone/something can be in (e.g. happy, working, also used for locations), and ser (es, in this case) is used for permanent properties (tall, intelligent, metallic).
There are some situations where either can be used, but the meaning is usually different, e.g., "Estoy aburrido" (I am bored) vs. "Soy aburrido" (I am boring).
Then how would you translate "no es una familia italiana "? See how "pluralizing" it doesn't work now?
That would be "La familia es italiana." It's a similar idea, but not the same sentence, and certainly a different translation.
In English we would not say "It is an Italian family", no. "They are an Italian family", is correct.
actually, depending on context, it is wrong. you would use "it is" because "family" is a cumulative noun. even though it is made up of several people, it is one body. kind of like how you would say "a team".
I think AE and BE differ oncumulative nouns. I was taught that if they act differently, use a plural verb, like the family disagree on where to go, but the Galilee likes going to the moves together. But personally I just use singular with the actual collective noun, but could see using they here.