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  5. "Manca un coltello in cucina."

"Manca un coltello in cucina."

Translation:A knife is missing in the kitchen.

March 29, 2013



why not "he left a knife in the kitchen". The first definition of Manca with the mouse-over is "he, she, it, LEFT"


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".


Hmm those last 2 translations are not the same. One is saying someone left behind a knife as they left the kitchen, whilst the other translation implies someone is searching for a knife in the kitchen. Care to explain?



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.


It seems to me, based on the previous piacere and mancare examples that the sentence meaning would be "The kitchen is missing a knife."


Well there's a knife missing, and it should be in the kitchen. Close enough I guess.


I find the most most helpful definition of mancare is " to be lacking". with that translation, its easier to figure out what is meant


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.


As I could find out, "manca" only means "left" for "left hand" and is used only in the expression "a destra e a manca", which means ~ "everywhere".
The hints may be wrong.


Left as in left vs. right is sinistra.


Manca definition is, missing, is missing, is lacking, it lacks, don't have, without, etc.


I was confused also. But it the he/she/it for of the verb mancare.


Why not" he misses a knife in the kitchen?


You are using the wrong subject. Its not he that is missing but the knife. Plus that would mean we could say she or it misses a knife in the kitchen, which also are both incorrect


Il coltello è nello stivale


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 am italian. When we say manca un...... We want to say that in general there are 10 and today are only 9


Thanks Simone. That's as good as rule as I've heard so far - have a lingot!


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


"A knife is missing from the kitchen " is accepted. 28.03.2015


Agree with this entirely


I would be very worried if a knife is missing in the kitchen, call 911, there's a killer in the house


Duolingo forums... the absolute best place to be telling jokes.


Why does the sentence seem like it is out of order? Shouldn't the verb be after the noun and turn out like "Un cotello manca in cucina." or if you want to go more ahead, 'Un cotello sta mancando in cucina."


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 :)


Check the boot.


It seems that mancare is similar to piacere so he misses a knife is: a lui manca un coltello, literally: a knife is missing to him.


thanks. Looki at the construction that way helps!


There is a very good explanation on how to use Mancare & Piacere at: http://italian.about.com/od/verbs/a/italian-verb-piacere.htm


Why "in cucina" instead of "nella cucina"?


I'm fairly certain that it's one of the idiomatic location phrases that does not require the article.


I think it was because Mustard stole it and murdered Peacock in the living room!

  • 1122

I said "A knife is missing from the kitchen" and got it right. This is confusing!


I put a knife is missing from the kitchen and it was apparently wrong :/


It is accepted now--10 Nov. 14


This is definitely more idiomatic! If the knife is missing, then you wouldn't know whether it was still in the kitchen or not!


...And there is a rabid killer in the mansion.


È dentro il stivale?


Would "Un coltello manca in cucina" be an acceptable word order?


Why not "in LA cucina" the sparing of articles confuses me sometimes


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


Like in french "manquer"


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?


In my opinion the intended meaning is that there were a certain number of knives in the kitchen, and now there is one less. Therefore: One knife is missing.

I think that the last alternative you suggested is the correct one.


Agreed. "There isn't a knife in the kitchen" means, in English, that there are no knives in the kitchen at all.

"A knife is missing" says that one knife that should be in the kitchen is not there now.


I tried "A kitchen knife is missing" and lost a heart.


Well, a kitchen knife is a type of knife. The kitchen is where it's intended to be used, but that isn't necessarily where it is.


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)


To help me please. "Manca un coltello" means "the knife is missing"? Or as I thought, "he/she/it is missing a knife"? I can't see the signal here that makes me think the knife is the subject.


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...


My native tongue is Spanish. Since i started to use "Manca(Mancare)" the same way we use "Falta" this word has been so easy now. Same with "Piace(Piacere)" with "Placer".


A knife misses in the kitchen? Is someone throwing it?


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?


A knife's - is ok for a knife is


There is knife missing in the kitchen


Why doesn't the system accept " It's missing a knife in the kitchen" ?


This sentence is bogus.


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"?


Okay, I'm curious. Is this right? "Un coltello manca nella cucina"?


Interestingly, Google Translate says this wording means "Missing a knife in the kitchen" where as "Un coltello manca in cucina" comes up as "A knife is missing in the kitchen." Is it both? Either? Regional?


"He/she misses a knife in the kitchen", why is that wrong?


It's OK! We can all relax! I've found the knife and put it back in the kitchen! ;)


Sad! It did not accept "A knife is missing in the kitchen" and instead required "there is one knife missing in the kitchen." Does anyone know if this is correctly translated or if this is a bug?


"A knife is lacking in the kitchen." should be accepted.


I wrote "The knife is missing in the kitchen" and was corrected to "One knife is missing in the kitchen." Why is "manca" indefinite: "one" vs. definite "the"?


He is missing a knife in the kitchen , should be correct


"Piacere" was simple; my current feeling about "mancare" is: "AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARGH!"

[deactivated user]

    I got this right after "She does not miss her grandchildren" :S


    Not surprised. Stop throwing them!!


    "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.


    Look in your boot...


    A knife is missing in the kitchen because it was used for murder in the bedroom. Makes perfect sense.


    i put "a knife is missing in the kitchen ', it was marked wrong the correct solution was "A knife is missing in the kitchen" ?????


    Normal idiomatic English would be "A knife is missing from the kitchen." DL continues to madden native speakers with overly literal translations.




    i think english translation doesn't make sense at all


    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.


    I'm sure he says "manco"! That would surely be perfectly correct too, just having the meaning "I lack a knife in the kitchen"


    How about "A knife from the kitchen is missing"? More idiomatic in English.


    In English it would be "A knife is missing from the kitchen."


    In English "from the kitchen" makes more sense.


    "A kitchen knife is missing" marked wrong? Have I completely miss understood this?


    Is it wrong if I answer " A knife is short at the kitchen" ?


    Perché è nel mio stivale.


    I read that as "she left a knife in the kitchen" :/


    I also thought it was 'she left a knife in the kitchen' Left was an option for 'Manca' How do you know whether to use 'left' or 'missing'?


    This was also what i thought. How do we know if it is "missing" of "left"?


    missing a knife in the kitchen is the same as you suggest as a correct answer


    damn the word manca to hell...I vow never to have anything be missed while I am in rome.


    I understood that the verb ''mancare'' gramatically behaves like ''piacere'', but which is the personal pronoun here?, lui, lei, Lei?. The translation ''seems'' te be in passive voice.


    If I understood correctly, in "Manca un coltello in cucina." the subject is "un coltello".

    The structure of the sentence is different than in English, because the verb mancare doesn't have a direct equivalent in English.


    Sería como el verbo "faltar" en Español. Falta un cuchillo en la cocina. El sujeto es "un cuchillo".


    Muchas gracias. Por fin alguien me explica algo en español (jajaja). De donde sos?.


    Comodoro Rivadavia, Argentina.


    Saludos. Yo de Tucumán capital.


    I still say it is possible to say 'He misses a knife in the kitchen'. In context you can say: "Hey, what's wrong with the cook? He looks nervous." "He misses (is missing) a knife in the kitchen, someone must have stolen it yesterday..." "Let's hope he finds it soon."


    What about "there lacks a knife in the kitchen"?


    Why not "a knife was left in the kitchen"?


    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?


    From my understanding (and I see I'm showing up late to the show), miss and missing would be translated the same, since the simple present tense and the present continuous are the same in Italian, unlike in English.


    Why isn't 'He left a knife in the kitchen' right? No one has answered this. It seems like a legitimate translation.


    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)


    Thank you. I just got piacere down, sort of, but with these sentences, it just kind of threw me a curveball.


    I understand why the use of mancare like piacare is correct, but i still dont understand why 'he/she/it left a knife in the kitchen' is incorrect?? If 'manca' can mean both 'he left' and 'it is missing', why are not both translations accepted?


    "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.


    but i thought the use of the actual pronoun is usually implied in the verb, so that 'manca' and 'lui manca' are interchangeable? in which case there wouldnt be a pronoun in the sentence...


    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!!!


    lascia = he leaves behind ..

    lascia un coltello in cucina = he leaves a knife in the kitchen

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