"Loro vogliono che tu mangi pesce."

Translation:They want you to eat fish.

April 11, 2013

This discussion is locked.


I don't understand why the 'che' is necessary in this sentence. Can someone explain please?


If I think of it literally as "They want that you eat fish", the "che" makes sense to me.


In English, desires, needs and preferences can be phrased in a variety of ways: I wish you would eat, I want you to go, I wish that you would move your car... but here is a structure you will often see in Italian:

Desire/need/preference/wish... + che + usually subjunctive

  • Voglio che tu mi dica la verità/I want you to tell me the truth
  • Spero che la volpe vada via/I hope the wolf goes away
  • Pensiamo che non sia giusto/We think it isn't right

Think of che as a marker. That doesn't always show up in the English equivalents, but in Italian that is how you know something uncertain and most likely the subjunctive will follow.

This che business does change if the hopes and desires are for yourself...

  • Lui vuole andarsene/He wants to go
  • Io spero di vincere/I hope I win
  • Noi pensiamo di essere i migliori/We think we are the best
  • Mia madre preferisce bere caffè/My mother prefers drinking coffee


@ mukkapazza , Thank you very much for the comment! (Vielen Dank für den Kommentar!)


You are correct. But you should also mention that che is used in many cases before another subject/clause. While it can indicate a subjunctive, it is the verb that is the other important factor there. Many sentences use che in a quite similar way that are indicative.


That was very helpful, thanks


I put that answer and it was wrong


I write "They want that you eat fish" and it is accepted. 01.07.2020


That is EXACTLY how i translated it and also why I'd left "che" out when it first popped up as "Translate English to Italian"


And if that is the LITERAL meaning, why is it wrong when I put it down? 'They want that you eat the fish.' Sometimes the utterly inconsistent nature of DUO and its malleable rules, just irks me. In this sentence, you cannot idiomatically translate it in English, but in this sentence, you can? Oy.


DL have slipped in the subjunctive tense here. Not for the first time. An easy explanation is that, if the subject of the first verb is different to the second, then "che" must be used. I could go on but let's just leave it at that!


why isn't the subjunctive used here?


IS there a subjunctive in italian?


Yes. But It turns out that the second-person for "mangiare" is the same in subjunctive and normal present tense. So in this case it doesn't make a difference to what you write.


Indeed there is and very important it is too. Crops up in English too but very rarely.


I'm hoping to see an answer to this question.


In my opinion DL has caused a great deal of confusion here by giving students a sentence that requires the subjunctive long before there is a clear explanation of this structure. They should change this sentence And while I'm at it,, they are also sowing confusion by mixing the use of e and ed with no explanation or rule to guide the students.. In both cases the discussions show considerable bewilderment..


I put "they would like you to eat fish." Why is this wrong? Is there a separate phrase for "would like"?


Yes it is: they would like= loro vorrebbero


I keep putting "would like" instead of "want" and getting marked wrong - it seems more polite to my English ears!


"want" is an active verb, "would like" is subjunctive. It's a different grammatical structure


I think you are not correct in saying that 'Would like' is subjunctive. 'They would like' is translated as Vorrebbero which is the 3rd person plural of the verb Volere (Conditional).


It should be noted that the conditional mood changes the present subjunctive into the imperfect subjunctive:

Loro vorrebbero che tu mangassi pesce.


The subjunctive is being used here! It is called Congiuntivo, and the conjugation is Mangi for TU, just the same as it would be in the present. http://www.italian-verbs.com/verbi-italiani/coniugazione.php?id=5931


Thanks for that link, very useful! I'm happy because I see the subjunctive in Italian is similar to Catalan, my language. :D If you're curious:

Ita: Tu vuoi che io canti. Cat: Tu vols que jo canti.


but i don't wana eat fish :I


One of the definitions of "voglio" is to wish. I don't know why I got that sentence wrong.


this is a clunky sentence in english. even more confusing in italian


Good Lord!! I took grammar in grade school. What is all this subjunctive, 3rd person imperitive etc............ so confusing. Im doomed to have poor italian grammar and be thought of as backward.


People don't really need much grammar for their own language. If you grow up in a household that uses the standard dialect (whatever that may be) well, you know all the rules before your first grammar class, even if you couldn't verbalize them. But when you are studying another language you need at least the basic vocabulary to discuss the differences in the rules. In the scheme of the world's 1600+ languages, Italian and English are rather closely related as languages on close branches of the same tree, but there are striking differences. To the extent you can dissect and categorize the differences, you will find them easier to internalize. Of course nothing replaced lots of exposure in making what is right sound right.

If you make good use of Google or whatever search engine you like, it should help you. I am going to run down the basic definitions of the terms you identified, but googling simply "The Italian subjunctive" or "Italian imperative" most of the links would provide a simple definition of the term in general before looking at Italian examples. If you can phrase a query, you can gets lots of different approaches to the answer.

The subjunctive mood has only a small vestige in English, so your English grammar wouldn't have helped here much. The easiest place to see the subjunctive is with the verb wish. I wish there were more. The past subjunctive often talks about a contrary to fact situation. If I were rich... You know I am not from this. The present subjunctive just introduced doubt.

In Italian, the formal you uses capitalized versions of third person forms for the formal you. Third person pronouns are generally he/she/it (singular) and they (plural). So you can have essentially a third person imperative (command) for the formal you. But it is my impression that Modern Italian uses its formal address much less than other European languages, depending on where you are in Italy.


in a way, the "they want that you eat fish" kinda makes sense in a way, atleast to me


This really doesn't make that much sense to me how awkward this sentence is translated back to English. Why "che" anyways? wouldn't it be more formal to put "the" instead of "that"!! im shook.


why is the infinitive version mangiare not used in this case?


others have pointed it out, but i thought i'd reply to you. romance languages do not use the same sentence structure as English in this case. what you'd say as "i want you to do something" (do being infinitive) in Romance would normally be "i want that you do something" (do being subjunctive). only in this case it happens the subjunctive is similar to simple present.


Again, DL does not accept the definitions which it has given, in this case, "They would like" as opposed to they want. The former would seem to fit more comfortably with the use of che.


"Ne" was listed as one of the terms to be studied but didn't appear in the lessons except as a wrong answer in the multiple choice. How is "ne" used in Italian?


I'm confused by this word 'che' which appears to have three separate meanings (that / and / what). Specifically, in which instance would you use 'che' for 'and' instead of 'e' or 'ed'? Are they completely interchangeable?


When do we decide whether we interpret "che" as what or that?


It's just a matter of what comes after it, really. This happens in all of French, Portuguese, Spanish, etc. In Italian, we can add a degree of separation to the expressions, however. If you wanted to say "I want what you want" you'd use "ciò che" or "quello che." Ask a native Italophone and they will often they you that you can use whichever sounds best for you or in the sentence, but that they mean the same and can thus be used interchangeably.


I was wondering, do Italians have shorthand / texting abbreviations or such?


This che has the same function, and also very similar pronunciation, as the ki in Persian, Turkish, Urdu and Hindi. Interesting.


Could the sentence work without ''che''?


Ei vor ca tu sa mananci peste.


I translated into English -They want for you to eat fish.- And it was correct. 06/2018

[deactivated user]

    Heads up: mangi is a subjunctive form verb here, and its form happens to be the same as its indicative form.


    I wrote down exactly what the answer is and I got it wrong?? I think this app has some glitches sometimes


    Why have che in this sentence?


    So, can someone give me an example of where this phrase would be used? And please use easy words that are already taught by Duolingo till' now. Thanks!


    This is not a set expression. Whatever situation you might imagine for the English sentence, it would be the same. The scenario I just came up with

    Tutti i miei dottori mi dicono che mangio troppa carne rossa. Ovviamente. (Loro) vogliono che tu mangi pesce. All my doctors tell me that I eat too much red meat. Of course. They want you to eat fish.

    But as I said the point is not the actual "message" itself. It's how all the individual elements form together to carry that message that Duo is trying to teach. With this pattern you can construct many sentences. My husband wants me to get a job. His boss wants them to move.


    weird sentence but ok duo


    It marks red despite it's correct


    I put, they want that you eat fish. It was correct?


    If this is not 'a fish' then why is it pesce and not pesci?


    The fish you eat, like meat or bread and many other foods, is uncountable. That's true in both languages. When you are talking about food it is frequently true that you need to specify a unit to use either the indefinite article or a number. John gorged himself on fish yesterday. He ate two whole fish and three fillets.


    The above examples work in English because they can be singular or plural in English. If you were talking about a food which changes for plural you would use the plural. In the above you would say John gorged himself on apples because there is a plural for apple. In Italian there is a word for the plural.


    If you are talking about a food that changes in the plural, it does use the plural if there is a unit or other indication of a plural. But just saying you eat fish is uncountable. I have changed the first sentence to "ate a lot of fish' in Italian. You will notice it uses molto pesce, not molti pesci.
    Ha mangiato molto pesce ieri. Ha mangiato due pesci interi e tre filetti

    But when I added the countable unit two (whole), it becomes pesci. When meat, fish and some other foods are prepared for eating, the logical unit of one whole animal is not assumed. You have to assign the unit


    Il ragazzo come is false


    I think that's just mixing Italian with the Spanish verb to eat. Most Italian infinitives just have an e on the end of the same verb in Spanish and the conjugations. But mangiare and parlare is like the French, while Spanish and Portuguese go a different a different route.


    I said "the" fish and it didnt accept it!


    The Italian didn't say il pesce. This sentence isn't about them wanting you to eat a specific fish, but to include fish in your diet.


    Would the infinitive of the verb to eat "mangiare" work? "Loro vogliono mangiare pesce."


    No. This is the subjunctive in Italian, although the Italian subjunctive is almost as invisible as the English one. In English we often use the infinitive in this construction. I've even seen it called the infinitive subjunctive. But that doesn't work in Italian.


    Thank you. I did forget to add the "tu" before mangiare, but it sounds like it would not make any difference in Italian.


    So the literal translation of the sentence is "They want that you eat fish"? Why not "Loro vogliono tu magiare pesce"? for the intended translation "They want you to eat fish"?


    English and Italian work differently here. In Italian, two different subjects and verbs can't be in one clause. So they want has to be separated from you eat. It's obviously different from I want to eat, since that has the same subject. This sentence is also subjunctive as well, although the Italian subjunctive is often as invisible as the English. It's just there but invisible more frequently.


    An elongated version in english where 'that' would make sense would be "it is a wish of theirs that you eat the fish" another example could be "its important that you eat the fish" etc. Have i got that right? Kinda how its gone in my brain lol

    Learn Italian in just 5 minutes a day. For free.