Still, regardless of it being literal or not, it's still a colloquial way of speaking. The sentence is technically correct.
I don't actually think they are exactly the same. If you say "these are very old books" you are talking about some undefined objects and you are providing two pieces of information: 1) these (objects) are books 2) these (objects) are very old
That sentence aims to define what the object is. It answer to the questions "what are these?". "These are very old books!"
If you say "these books are very old", it sounds to me that the person you are talking to already knows what they are... they are books (so he/she does already know information #1 ), and you are just going to provide information #2. The sentence answers to the question "how are these books?". "These books are very old".
I can make a better example; let's say that a friend shows you a weird box and says "this is a very old telephone". Your first reaction will probably be "WOW". Your friend has just defined to you what that mysterious object is.
If your friend shows you the box and says "this telephone is very old", your first reaction would probably be "is that a telephone???". Your friend is assuming you already knew that weird object was a telephone. His/her goal was actually to provide you a description of that object, he/she was not going to tell you what that object is, but how it is.
Liz5112; I put "these books are very old" as well. To me it means the same thing.
Molto has two meanings. It can mean
many (an adjective), in which case, like all other adjectives, it changes its ending, as in
Ci sono molti animali. It can also mean
very (an adverb), in which case it does not change its ending, as in
Gli animali sono molto belli.
It's a bit confusing, but the way I remember this is by thinking of which word
molto is modifying - adjectives don't have gender/number by themselves, so
molto doesn't change.
Ok…. after thinking this over again… I think i have come up with the answer myself: In this case "molto" is used as an adverb (meaning: "very,") and as a result…. it doesn't change its ending in agreement with the word it is describing (here the adjective "vecchi"). Think that should be the reason WHY.
Get a life DL These books are very old should be allowed We are not United Nations translators!!
They are often quite interchangeable (in informal, spoken American English), but I think in this case it's important to note that
davvero is a much more direct translation of
Hmm...I think both answers should be usable. Since, many of learners are not native speakers and they might miss that slight difference which was mentioned by dear itastudent. As he explained, both answers are usable (remember, context and meaning differs). In addition, it must be stressed that we are learning Italian, thus these slight differencies should not be put into account. The situation would change if Italian speaker is learning English. Just my 2cents. Peace
I agree that "these books are very old" is also a correct translation into English.
Hi all, isastudent has described the English Grammer perfectly which I found very interesting in the way he explained the difference.(I awarded him a Lingot,) as I also answered "These books are very old" and was marked wrong. (BTW I'm English) But I also think, it is a bit too critical of DL to mark this translation wrong. Can someone write the sentence " These books are very old" in Italian please, so I can see the difference in written Italian. Thanks in advance.
- Questi libri
sonomolto vecchi = These books
sonolibri molto vecchi = These (ones)
arevery old books
"These books are very old" has the same meaning and should be a correct translation. There may be some esoteric grammatical difference, but from a practical standpoint this is correct..
Stupid phrase - constructed and artificial - give us some useful everyday phrases