As far as I can tell, it goes like this. Mancare means "to be left" not "to leave".
Its like piaccere (to like). But actually, piaccere doesn't mean "to like" but instead "to be pleasing". So, in a direct translation, "A lei piaccono gli animale" literally means "The animals are pleasing to her" not "She likes the animals"
So, with mancare, "Manca un coltello in cucina" doesn't mean "(he, she, it) LEFT a knife in the kitchen", but instead "A knife is left in the kitchen" which would make more sense to say "A knife is missing in the kitchen".
There really aren't perfect word-to-word translations, especially with these kinds of verbs. I was just trying to explain how one got from "(he/she/it) left" to "it is missing." The actual way of saying "A knife is being left in the kitchen" would be "Qualcuno sta lasciando un coltello in cucina," or 'Someone is leaving a knife in the kitchen," which is more correct in modern-day talk. If you were to go to someone and say "A knife is left in the kitchen," they'll have no clue what you're talking about.
Again, I was just trying to show how to get from "mancare" to "is missing." Neither of the sentences imply anything - they're just sentences with no context.
I can explain. Here, you can think of "manca" as being "left out," as if the knife were "left out of the kitchen," i.e. missing. Mancare means "to be lacking" or "to be missing." Note too that in Italian, "missing" works differently from English. Instead of saying "You miss me" (when we mean "you miss me'), we say "I am missing to you" ("(io) ti manco" or "io manco a te"). "You are missing a knife" is ""ti manca un coltello." (Note that in English, "you" is the sentence's subject, but not in Italian.) Hope this helps.
Amici Italiani: What does this MEAN? Did someone STEAL or LOSE one of our knives? In that case, we would say "A knife is missing FROM the kitchen". Or is the meaning that we don't have ANY knives at ALL and never did? In that case, we would say (although this would be a rather formal and stiff sentence): "The kitchen lacks a knife".
I think it means what it says it means: "a knife is missing in the kitchen". Presumably there were a bunch of knives in the kitchen when one of them went missing. (From) where did it go missing? It went missing from/in the kitchen.
Here's a discussion about missing from/in where everyone seems to agree that both forms are acceptable: http://forum.wordreference.com/showthread.php?t=2033626
Yea - it annoyed me as well - this made me translate it as "he leaves a knife ...".
Now with the explanations, and the correct translation it would seam that because it's a passive voice in English - it's like "A knife is missing ...", so it's not the direct translation, but the next best thing. The way I could understand it is
"Manca un coltello" in this case means that SOMEONE is missing a knife, an unspecified 3rd party. So the passive voice in English fits for this meaning, as it doesn't specify WHO is missing a knife. Any translation as "he/she misses" would be incorrect than.
But there's been tons of sentences with just that - 3rd person, where he/she could be picked at random, and were correct. I guess this could be some special case. On one hand - annoying as hell, but on the other - I guess we have to learn even those annoying special cases :)
There is a very good explanation on how to use Mancare & Piacere at: http://italian.about.com/od/verbs/a/italian-verb-piacere.htm
Can I ask, is it just me or does "in" constantly sound like "ina" with the synthetic voice? I just listened to it slow and it still sounds like it's saying "inna" which is throwing me off a lot. I usually understand this voice a LOT better but little things like this are causing a lot of errors :P
Shouldn't "there isn't a knife in the kitchen" be accepted here? I know another way of saying that is non c'è un coltello in cucina, but isn't "manca un coltello in cucina" another way of saying that? Or does mancare specifically imply something that was once there and is now missing?
While I'm not certain if this is true for Italian, in German we would also use this construction if we sat down for a meal and realized there weren't enough knives for everybody. So, even though that missing knife wasn't there to begin with, it 'is missed/missing/being missed'. (Uns fehlt ein Messer - a knife is missing/being missed by us)
mancare works like piacere, so the subject is the knife
The trick here is with the order of words in Italian sentence. If the sentence were phrased like "Un coltello manca in cucina", one would translate it pretty straightforwardly. While the sentence begins with MANCA it misleads many of us. So at this stage it would be better presenting the material in the straightforward manner ("Un coltello manca in cucina") and 'navigating' to the Italian way of building sentences gradually with some explanation...
Correct me if I'm wrong but I don't think I learned "manca" yet (I've learned up to verb present tense 2 and adverbs). I searched in my words list and couldn't find it. This was in my strengthen skills pool, but do we learn this in a later lesson or is the word "coltello" I am trying to strengthen?
This is a sentence I have never heard used in English, and from the way it looks in Italian, I would say: "Missing a knife in the kitchen..." which is obviously an incomplete sentence in English. So why not: C'é mancando un coltello in cucina"? or "Un coltello mancare in cucina"?
"A knife is missing in the kitchen." "He does not miss me." "She does not miss me."
I am really started to not like this word 'miss'. It makes no sense to me, how does it translate? I know the question has probably been asked like a hundred times but still, I'm confused.
So even though we didn't learn this yet and I had to find it on another site, if we want to say that He is missing one of his knives, we'd use GLI in place of LUI. It certainly kills your progress and learning when you hover your mouse over Manca, and it says "He misses" Then you choose "he misses" (not because you make it up, but because DL itself tells you it's the answer!), and it's wrong.
He/she misses a knife in the kitchen. When did "miss" become "missing"? And why not "nella cucina"? I suppose nella implies placing something inside something else, while in means that it is already in? Could it be, if you translate backward, "in the kitchen a knife it misses", in which case "missing" almost makes sense?
I was initially confused, too. The question has been answered previously, but let me take a shot at it.
I called the Italians and asked them to change their language so that it would make more sense to me, here's how the part of conversation went:
Me: "Perché? Perché? Perché?" Them: "Perché, ci piace la nostra lingua così com'è."
(As you can see above, piacere doesn't make much sense when literally translated into English as "to like" [but will make more sense when treated as "is pleasing to"]. Mancare and several other Italian verbs function in exactly the same way, taking an indirect object for the thing that in the nearly equivalent English verb would be the sentence's subject. "I like it" vs "It is pleasing to me".
Here's the link that was posted previously by another commenter: http://italian.about.com/od/verbs/a/italian-verb-piacere.htm)
"he/she/it left a knife in the kitchen" is incorrect, because there is no "he/she/it" in the sentence to leave the knife.
The sentence goes something more along these lines if you attempt a word-for-word translation to English: "It is missing, a knife, in the kitchen." It sounds very awkward, but it might be helpful to think of it in that sense.
Hope this helps.
That makes logical sense, and for most situations you are correct; Unfortunately, you can't always apply logic to the way languages accomplish things. (Often, you'll find it to be more helpful to think of how a language communicates a complete concept/idea, instead of breaking a sentence down word-by-word.)
This sentence does, however, have a subject (il coltello), it just happens to normally be placed after this particular verb (instead of before it). I have no better explanation for you other than this is just the way it is done in Italian.
Really like your explanation, BUT if manca is never used to mean he/she/it left then why does Duolingo put that as the first option for help!! The idea is for the hints to help us, not willfully mislead us. This is the bit that annoys me. It's tough enough for my older brain to get around the language without the "teacher" tripping me up just to laugh when I fall. Come on Duolingo, play fair!!!