alcune (meaning some) are always used in the plural.
Ci sono posti liberi? – Sì, alcuni. Are there any empty seats? – yes, some.
UK, Collins (2011-10-31). Collins Easy Learning Italian Grammar (Italian Edition) (Kindle Locations 2767-2771). HarperCollins UK. Kindle Edition.
But actually the singular
alcuna do exist but are rarely used and then in negative constructions.
No ho alcuna idea (I have no idea) and
Non venne alcuno degli invitati (None of the guests came). Maiden Rombustelli 'A Reference Grammar of Modern Italian' p153.
Just to really muddy the waters "Can you give me a few examples?" and "Can you give me any examples?" really mean just the same in English!
Nice posting Peter. This looks to be well-researched but your last point, to me, detracts from the validity of your statements. How can you justify the equating of "a few examples" with "any examples?"
Yeah, answering with one example would be sufficient for someone asking for 'any examples', but not if they were asking for 'a few examples'
I may be wrong, but doesn't Italian use double negatives? Wouldn't "None of the guests came" be "Non venne nessuni degli invitati"? Am I wrong, or can it be either?
I don't understand why fare equates to give. Any thoughts? I thought it would translate to "can you do me a few examples". many thanks,
Well, yes but in English we use give in this kind of situations. We are able to understand the sentence with do, but it's not exactly what one would say, is it?
"Will you do some examples for me?" is quite common English when referring to math or science problems.
OK, but it is a limited usage and are you sure the Italian sentence can also be used in such a way? Besides, I think it is more beneficial to acknowledge our mistakes – because although it may be a valid sentence, it's not the original meaning – that's how we learn. And after all, it's not a test, a lost heart does not mean anything.
Why has duo included 'can' in the translation? Normally it would require the word 'potere' to be used
can is just an artefact of making an English question.
You give me some examples turned into a question by
Do you give me some examples?,
Can you give me some examples? or
Will you give me some examples?
Yeah, but half the time it dings you for that - including a word they didn't specify. One of the maddening things about this program.
I agree that "Will you...." would be a reasonable translation but it wasn't accepted. :(
The first word when you hover over "fai" is "do" so I wrote, "Do a few examples for me?" and lost a heart. Perché???
DL does that a lot! Don't trust those hover clues! "Do a few examples for me?" is apparently perfectly good Italian, but we don't say it that way in US English.
But that would be a very common sentence said in any British school or laboratory
American English speaker from PA. I wrote 'show me some examples'. The correct answer given was 'make me some examples'. You'd never hear anyone say this. Granted fare = make/do, neither of those work correctly here.
The only time you'd use 'make' and 'example' together is when you 'make an example OF' someone (usually very negative) and that doesn't seem like what this sentence is asking.
An indicator should be added to signal for non literal translations, because sometimes non literal translations are accepted and sometimes they're not
I think this is an excellent suggestion...perhaps an amber marker to alert our partcipants that the translation is idiomatic?
I struggle with whether this would be good or bad. For passing a lesson in DL, it would help, but in a real life discussion, you wouldn't be given a warning by the Italian speaker that it is not a literal translation to English (they may not even know the translation in English). With that in mind, perhaps after answering it (right or wrong), DL could indicate a non literal translation.
In British English it's just as natural to say 'Can you show me a few examples' or 'Could you show me a few examples'. Fare here has the sense of 'making clear' to someone.
Why use fare as give when Italian for give is dare? And where is potere ? If DL is going to throw in the occasional idiom I agree with all the others who have suggested DL use some sort of warning tag to alert the struggling student rather than further confusing us.
What kind of Italian verb tense is this? Is there any rule to be apply to this sentence