I don't quite understand. What do you mean by, "define with a later word what you're asking about?" Do you mean the possessive pronoun attached to "cognome"?
Is vostro plural? If so why is surname not plural too? (in English for asking a question to lots of people you'd say 'what are your surnames?')
I think you are thinking of the people being asked this question... vostro is from voi... plural 'your' (as siebolt clarified for you).
I suppose you could ask two siblings this question, for example.
vostro: masc. sing; vostra: fem. sing; vostri: masc. plural; vostre: fem plural. Surname is singular, cognome is singular, vostro cognome is singular. Yes in English "names" is common in these situations, but in Italian not, certainly when you ask siblings for their surname..
Thanks. Now another question... how is la vostra translated into English? (I thought masculine sing . was il tuo)
If you are talking to a group of family members who share the same last name... use the possesive of you (plural), but a single last name. If you were talking to a group of people from different families who did not share the same last name, you would use "vostri cognomi" (what are your last names?)
I am not sure to what you refer with "it". In my case the sentence disapears in italian and I have to traslate it into english. Duolingos sentence is "Qual è il vostro cognome?". So the sentence is nearly the same, only the >'< seams to be the problem. I am not sure if there is any case were you use qual + ' + è, so perhaps that is where AdiYankovich was refering to?
I meant that E' can't be united with the word before unless the last letter of it is a vowel..." like dove e' = dov'e', cosa e' = cos'e'. since Qual ends with 'l' it's not right :) basically two vowels together does not sound as nice. hope I made myself clear! :)
Thank you very much AdiYankovich, for your answer. It was very helpful :) Appreciate it!
Qual'è è sbagliato! ‧ "Qual'è" is wrong! ‧ Qual is a Quale apocoped version [ no apostrophe ] ‧ forum.duolingo.com/comment/359297/Qual-è-il-tuo-gatto ‧
‧ [ Ci Cosa Come Da Di Dove Quando Quanto elide ‧ C'è Cos'è Com'è D'ora D’oro Dov'è Quand'è Quant’è ]. ‧ Elision ‧ omit an unaccented final vowel before a word beginning with a vowel. An apostrophe replaces the elided vowel in written Italian. ‧ www.thoughtco.com/italian-elision-2011588 ‧
‧ Qual'è è sbagliato! Il motivo? Qual è è un'apocope vocalica e non un'elisione. ‧ www.studenti.it/foto/i-23-errori-piu-comuni-d-italiano/quale.html ‧ Perché è ‧ Qual è ‧ Quale ‧
Salve! ‧ books.google.com/books?isbn=1413015166 ‧
Possessives link two entities, so they have a two-way agreement:
Agreement with the owner/possessor
- person (1st, 2nd, 3rd)
- number (singular, plural)
Agreement with the object/possession
- gender (masculine, feminine)
- number (singular, plural)
- i tuoi, le tue (second person singular owner with plural object)
- il vostro, la vostra (second person plural owner with singular object)
You could interpret is as asking which, out of a multitude of possible surnames, is YOUR surname. Thinking of it like that (though obviously not expressing it like that in English) helps me to remember to use "qual" as opposed to "cosa" in these type of questions. Bazza 9 explained it above.
Quale ‧ Adjective, Adverb & Pronoun ‧ en.wiktionary.org/wiki/quale#Italian
Qual is a Quale apocoped version [ no apostrophe ] ‧ forum.duolingo.com/comment/359297/Qual-è-il-tuo-gatto ‧
If this is the first time the question is being asked it is more likely an English speaker would just say 'what is you name'. If you replied with your first name, then they might repeat it specifically with 'surname' if that's what they really want.
I also thought of Vostro as plural so used the plural verb "are" not singular "is". This is confusing.
the system is broken yoiu ask the question in english ask for an italian transalation and if wrong you give the correct version but in english
clearly the system has a glitch no point in using duolingo until it is fixed
you are crazy. my pronunciation is at least as good as the lady who provides the original statement!!!!!!!!