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  5. "Non ho niente in cucina."

"Non ho niente in cucina."

Translation:I have nothing in the kitchen.

April 22, 2013



Where is "the" or "my" in this sentence? The is not la cucina or in mia cucina. Which word implies "the" or "my" as in i have nothing in "the kitchen or I have nothing in "my" kitchen??? Just wondering so I don't make the same mistake again.... It makes more sense to say it that way but I don't know where it came from.



It is the 'ho' word. This is used when refering to yourself. Likewise, if you are refering to her or him you would use the 'ha' form. You do not have to include Io as it is implied by the use of 'ho'.


It's implicit, because it's obvious which kitchen you are referring to (you probably have only one kitchen). A similar thing happens in English: "at home" is perfectly acceptable, instead of at the home.


If it is implicit, why do we have to use the article "the" in the translation?


I think he's saying it's implicit in Italian, not necessarily in English. It's one of the things which makes the two languages unique :)


Thank you. That reply makes sense to me. I still feel a more literal translation would be: "I don't have nothing in kitchen". But I can see how awkward that is in English. If you translate to other languages, it would work, but not in English.


"I don't have nothing" is very bad English. Unlike other languages we don't use double negatives.


Well, kitchen is not home, right? It's quite possible to have several of them, especially if you, say, sell kitchens (: In any case the example should have "mia cucina" to demand the translation "my kitchen" and "la cucina" for "the kitchen". That is just how this site normally works.


Yes, but you could also argue that if you were to say, "I'm going home." You don't know if the speaker sells homes, so you can't know for sure. Still, it makes sense to just say "go home" or "in cucina" because that's just how people talk, and it's not likely to confuse anyone.


I do not think so, and if the person who says that it's a chef, and say something like that to me, I'd ask him "In which kitchen? at your home or at your work"?


thank you! that makes sense! is this particular to the use of "in"(italian), parts of the home, or more idiosyncratic?


There's a few nouns it happens with. I couldn't tell you off the top of my head which ones. It's one of those things you learn as you go.


@CarmeloFarruggia You can't say "in mia cucina", you have to say "nella mia cucina". In the English sentence there's "in the kitchen", so you can use "nella cucina" or "in cucina". If it was "in my kitchen", you use "nella mia cucina". I'm sorry, I know how to say, but I'm bad to explain.


Your explanation is perfect


(American English speaker) I learned that there are a lots of phrases like this: "in cucina," "in macchina," and many others that I forget. Maybe someone could provide a link.


"In tasca" is another.

I think we use this type of idiomatic expression in English too, at times. Like "he has cash on hand." We don't say "he has cash on his hand."


this threw me for a loop also. almost always, i can translate from spanish to italian and it fits. but in this case, not even spanish works! in spanish the article la is always used. guess, it's just another case, where you just have to memorize the expression.


I think at least the English translation "in kitchen" should not be marked wrong!

  • 2672

No, you need the article there. It sounds off without it.


It may be dialectal, But I've never heard "In kitchen", And as "Kitchen" is not a proper noun, It requires an article.


Could this also be translated as 'I don't have anything in the kitchen'?


But it was marked wrong....Sep18


Certainly a better translation than the accepted one AND it aviods the problem of the double negative. Still not accepted 2 Nov 2018.


It is accepted March 2019


Why "in" rather than "nella"?


Because you have only one kitchen, so the article can be omitted.


Can you explain that better? I mean, I think i got it but can you give some other examples?


It's complicated... You have to omit the article when you are referring to the purpose of the place, rather than the place itself... Sono in ospedale (hospital), in cucina, in macchina (car), in chiesa (church), in ufficio (in the office), in autostrada (on the highway/motorway)... But it's not a general rule, because in other cases you use the preposition A... As in "sono a casa", "a scuola" (school)... I guess you'll have to learn them by heart... Italian is messed up, I know


... is messed up... is cliché in any language. Ye gotta accept it or leave it.


I thought I read somewhere that the owner of the object of the sentance is presumed to be the subject of the sentance, so if the subject is 'I' then the possessive 'my' would be presumed. If the subject is 'he' then the possesive 'his' would be presumed. Is that correct?


Phew... Easy if you're Greek, its exactly the same...


so far double negations are not normal only for Germanic language, we in Slavic language and romance languages have them as well :)


In fact, (though I haven't researched this) English used to use them, but then some linguists in the 1800's decided it didn't make sense logically, and pushed for a change, so that "I don't have nothing in the kitchen" now means "I do have something in the kitchen" if you follow the rules of math, where a negative negative is a positive.

Personally I don't know quite how I feel about this. I partly think language doesn't need to follow the rules of math, but I also think it makes more sense for double negatives to be positives.


i thought the same when i first saw this question....


Interesting thoughts. I think it's easier if language follows the logic of other areas of thought when possible.


I agree with you. Sometimes I confused myself when I had to switch from Eng/Ger to Croatian and vice versa.


At any rate, a double negative should be translated as such. I know that American English uses double (or tripple) negatives anyhow, for example: "No way dawg! I ain't got no piece nowhere, bro."


the natural thing is to use as many negates as possible to express your thoughts. In Turkish multiple negates are also used.


I see how your example works; people who talk that way seem to believe the more negatives they use in a sentence, the stronger they feel about their denial. But please dont attribute that as a defining quality of American English. That is uneducated street slang, and as an American, i must say... it hurts my eyes. :/


"No, I don't" is a double negative no English teacher would dream of correcting.


That's not really a double negative, just two negatives in the same sentence.


That is not a double negative. It is a negative, affirming another negative. The comma that separates them distinguishes it. You could turn them into two sentences. "No. I do not." A double negative would be like "I don't not have any."


Two negatives that are negativing the same thing. Q: "Did you leave the door open?" A: "No, I didn't." Correct English should be "Yes, I didn't." (being facetious. you lot are uptight)


Hmm, so it's kind of a double negative equaling a positive?


Double negatives are totally okay in Italian, in fact negatives will even pop up in places you think the meaning is positive. You won't hear "ho niente in cucina" (but you may hear "Hai niente in cucina?" meaning "Have you got anything in the kitchen?")


Whoops, I meant to say that it's a double negative equaling a negative, but thanks. So... I guess this means "niente" usually translates to "anything", right?


It all depends:

  • Non ho niente nella borsa. I don't have anything in my bag/I have got nothing in my bag.
  • Non c'è niente che mi fa paura. There is nothing that scares me/There isn't anything that scares me.
  • Non c'è niente che mi può far male. There's nothing that can hurt me/There isn't anything that can hurt me.
  • Non sai niente di me. You know nothing about me/You don't know anything about me.


These examples are very helpful! I've noticed that double negative in other places too.


(American English speaker) As a lifelong English speaker, I have had the "no double negative" drilled into me since childhood. But I think this is a whole different issue: the "non," if it doesn't just mean "not," is to set up for us a more complicated negative: for instance non...mai, non...niente, etc.


So would it be fair to say that "non...niente" kind of means "no anything" like "I have no anything in my bag."? I know that's never something you'd say in English, but if "Ho niente in cucina?" "do you have anything in the kitchen" and "Non ho niente in cucina" means "I don't have anything in the kitchen" thinking about it that way makes sense to me.


Top me that would translate as "Have you nothing in the kitchen?"


@mukkapazza But people could find "nulla" instead of "niente", so they could be confused... using your examples... "non ho nulla nella borsa", "non c'è nulla che mi faccia paura", "non c'è nulla che mi possa far male", "non sai nulla di me". We can notice that using nulla instead of niente, in two examples you have to change a bit the verbs.


that's funny, it doesn't mean anything but it means anything


Think of niente as mean "anything" and not "nothing" and the English makes much more sense.

  • 2672

It's called negative concord. The way English stigmatizes it as the "double negative" is very recent. Language is not math. Many languages require negative concord. Think of it as kind of like how adjectives need to agree with nouns. It's not quite the same thing, but it's similar.


I speak Spanish as a second language and they too use double negatives. In fact it sounds weird not to. Italian is the same way. Eventually it'll feel natural to you!


If 'niente' also means 'nothing', could you also say 'Ho niente in cucina'?


Double negatives are only optional in English. They're mandatory in Italian.


double negation = single negation, just like in russian


just like English too.


It shouldn't be - Non ho niente nella cucina?


I heard "ina" instead of "in" (when I listened to the sentence slowly). Is that a common Italian pronunciation?


Why is "I do not have anything in the kitchen" wrong……?

  • 2672

It's a good translation. Next time it comes up, flag it and report "My answer should be accepted."


So i typed "i dont have anything in the kitchen" that was the correct answer and was marked wrong. Was it a glitch or a because i didnt use proper punctuation?


Likely not due to punctuation, as the only punctuation Duo requires is the '


I read this as "no i have nothing in the kitchen" which was wrong. Is there a reason or rule behind the double negative? Or something we just have to accept and try to use correctly?


Non is never really no. It is not, making the verb negative


Niente - important word


I did not see the definite article in this sentence.


That's because they don't use the definite article in this case in Italian, but they do in English. Think of it like the word "hospital". In British "He's in hospital." (like "in cucina") and American "He's in the hospital." (like "in the kitchen"), but they both mean the same thing.


they always used it up until this point. This is the first time they did not use it. I thought it is important not to use it in this sentence.


Can anybody explain difference between "nel" and "in"?


'Nel' is the contraction of 'in il'. So 'nel' means 'in the'. 'In' just means 'in'.


So double negatives are single in Italian.

  • 2672

It's called negative concord and you can think of it as kind of like the way adjectives agree with nouns. It's only relatively recently in English that negative concord was stigmatized as a "double negative".


"I don't have anything in kitchen" Why is this wrong?

  • 2672

Because in English, we need an article before a singular noun. "I don't have anything in the kitchen."


"I have nothing in the kitchen" is the same as "I don't have anything in the kitchen" both should be accepted.


Italian is harder than anyone would think. I am Croatian. In Croatian we have a gender and prepositions as well, but in Italian it is hard for me to guess where some prepositions go and where don't. One have to learn by heart what word, expresion goes with what preposition. I can learn every irregular verb and conjugations, but I am stuck with prepositions. I sometimes can't guess where "di" goes and where "da" goes. Italians themselves say that "di" and "da" both mean from.

  • 2672

Prepositions above all else do not map one-to-one between languages. It helps to stop thinking in terms of "da = from" and more in terms of usage. "Di" is closer to "of" and is often used in genitive constructions that can be rendered in English as either "of" or "from".


"I don't have anything in the kitchen" can also be right. It doesn't accept the sentence..


I dont have anything in the kitchen


Why "I don't have anything in the kitchen" is wrong?

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