Translation:I want the red boots, not those black ones.
Shouldn't we be able to say "not the black", without the "ones"? (Especially if that's improper English, as I was taught?)
In English, you could say "not the black" or "not the black ones", but in this sentence, since they use "quelli", which means "those", you have to say, "not those black ones".
I disagree. Colloquial and very proper English accepts "not the black" in this case. It's a perfectly good translation, and means precisely the same as the Italian.
Why is it quelli here instead of quelgli? I would assume that "those" is referring to another pair of boots. I'm sure that I am missing something here, thanks for any help.
Because... for masculine words that start with an S + a consonant you use the article "lo" in its singular form, and "gli" in the plural. "Lo stivale" becomes "gli stivali"
So why was I marked wrong for saying 'voglio gli stivali rossi, no quegli neri' and told it should have been 'quelli neri' - any ideas?
Because to use different forms of "gli" it's the word that immediately follows it that matters, which isn't always the one it refers to. So in this example, though you refer to "quegli stivali" you really say "quelli neri" because (those black ones) is what's being translated. And "neri" doesn't begin with a Z or an S+ consonant. Hope you understand now :)
I thought it was impolite in a store to use voglio; instead one should use vorrei. Why doesn't that apply here?
When I asked our exchange student she replied that it is in the tone and it can be taken as rude to use voglio, especially around people you don't know that well...
Then she told me of an old Italian proverb: l erba voglio cresce solo nel giardino del re! I read the story and got the gist... http://chimera.roma1.infn.it/GIORGIO/favole/erba_voglio.html
You see? Not even the Italians know all the rules! Voglio is not polite in a shop or elsewhere. That you hear it said is another matter. The same in English.