"I prefer that black one."

Translation:Preferisco quella nera.

April 23, 2013

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I used quel before nero, because I thought we only use quello before a masculine singular word that begins with z or s+consonant. Is the difference that nero is only an adjective, rather than a noun?


Demonstrative pronouns (in this case "quello") can be used either as adjectives or as nouns; in the latter case they behave a little differently. It would have been "quel gioiello nero" (that black jewel) if used as an adjective. Besides the difference in truncation, "quello" also has different plurals in the two forms: it's "voglio quei gioielli" (I want those jewels, adjective) and "voglio quegli pneumatici" (I want those tires, still adjective), but "voglio quelli" (I want those, noun). Hope it helps.


oh dear, now I'm really confused! Why is it "queGLI pneumatici and not QUEI pneumatici. this word does not begin with Z, ps,gn, S+consonant or a vowel right? I thought the rule was like this: male: quel (singular) quei (plural) before consonants - quel quadro quei quadri quell' quegli before vowels - quell'olandese - quegli olandesi quello quegli before z, ps, gn and - quello zio s+ consonant - quegli zii - quello straniero - quegli stranieri female: quella quelle before consonants - quella belga - quelle belghe quell' quelle before vowels - quell'amica - quelle amiche

Please correct me if I am wrong


No, you're more or less right, but the rule for quello/quegli (and lo/gli) is a little more complicated; besides z, ps, gn and s+consonant there is also pn (lo pneumatico/gli pneumatici), i+vowel (lo ione/gli ioni), x (lo xilofono/gli xilofoni), and some more obscure and rare cases. There are also some historical exceptions, like "gli dei" (irregular plural of "il dio").

In the specific case of pneumatico, although the lo/gli form is preferred, the usage of il/i is considered colloquial: http://www.accademiadellacrusca.it/it/lingua-italiana/consulenza-linguistica/domande-risposte/pneumatico-pneumatico


Thank you so much, you are again a great help. I'll try to learn all this by head... Pfffff....


As always, f.formica, incredibly helpful.


Grazie, formica.


When quello substitutes a noun, like in the sentence we are trying to formulate, quello acts as a pronoun and has only 4 forms (quello, quella, quelli & quelle), just like questo.

Because "that black one" is singular, only

"preferisco quello nero" and

"preferisco quella nera"

are valid translations.

When quello modifies a noun, that is when it acts as an adjective (as e.g. in "Preferisco quello maglione nero."), it takes on a plethora of forms. These forms however mimic the forms of the definite article and thererefore are rather easy to remember:

il -> quel

lo -> quello

l' -> quell'

la -> quella

i -> quei

gli -> quegli

le -> quelle

Ci ho messo un po' a verderlo così chiaro. Spero che aiuta. (= It took me a while to see it this clear. I hope it helps.)


This is so helpful, thank you!


why is "quella nera" marked wrong?


It shouldn't be wrong. I tried it. And it worked, now.

Ugh, simply past and "now" in one phrase. All this duolingo makes me so tenses aware.


Preferisco quella nero was wrong for some reason. I thought you could point out to a female word in this way? For example: preferisco quella seggiola nero


It would be: "quella nerA" I think


That's correct. I thought that colours didn't change in sex, but I was mistaken. Thanks


There is more exceptions.
blue, purple and pink doesn't change according to sex or number. It is always blu, viola and rosa.
orange, brown and green doesn't change according to sex, but it changes according to number. arancione/arancioni, marrone/marroni and verde/verdi


yes, but there are two exceptions. Rosa (pink) and Blu (blue) don't change. So: quelle scarpe rosa/blu (I would love to have those;) !)


Thanks I overlooked that, thought it was an undefined object and used quella for a change..


Is it any possibility for this "preferisco quelle nere"?


No, both "that" and "one" are only singular:

  • I prefer that black one = Preferisco quello/a nero/a
  • I prefer those black ones = Preferisco quelli/e neri/e


It would seem to me that Preferisco quello nero would literally translate to "I prefer that black". A little wierd, but maybe one would say this referring to a shade or sheen of a paint or dye. Refering to the color black, not a thing that IS black. Where is it implied in this sentence that "I prefer that black ONE"?


"Quello" is used as a pronoun here, otherwise it should have been "quel". This also means that "nero" is used as an adjective, not as a noun. Thus the meaning of "quello nero" is "that black one". You could skip "one", but only if "that" alone is used as a pronoun and black is used as an adjective. In other words the speaker is talking about an object, not about a colour.


in the word 'quello'


Interesting that you're bringing this up. I'm still trying to grasp the difference of 'quello', 'quel', 'quelli', 'quei', 'quella', etc. I'm German and we have something similar to 'that black' you mentioned and maybe that's the reason I have such a hard time following these explanations and getting it right in Italian!

For example, let's say I'm shopping for a black car, "ein schwarzes Auto" (una macchina nera.) If the sales person asks me what kind of car I'm looking for, I would say
"Ich bevorzuge ein Schwarzes" - I prefer a black. (Preferico una nera???)
If we are outside looking at a whole lot full of cars I could point at
'this black' - "Ich bevorzuge dieses Schwarze" or point at
'that black' - "Ich bevorzuge jenes Schwarze."
The color black becomes the noun (it's a 'substantiviertes Adjektiv' and with that has to be capitalized in German) while 'this' and 'that' are pointing out the position of the car relative to the speaker.
'This black' (one over here) or 'that black' (one over there.)

So, is "Preferisco quella nera" just simply 'the black one' (as this lesson suggests) or is it more like in German 'THAT black' (one) also pointing out a position relative to the speaker? Maybe it's different yet from both?

Are these all proper Italian sentences? If so what is the difference between them and if not where are the mistakes?
Preferisco quella nera.
Preferisco questa nera.
Preferisco la nera.
Preferisco una nera.

Thank you!!!


I don't understand why the answer isn't quel instead of quello


Mi preferisco quello nero. Marked wrong?

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