"What is important for him?"

Translation:Cos'è importante per lui?

April 25, 2013

This discussion is locked.


When do you use qual'e rather than cos'e


Strictly speaking "quale" means "which" rather than "what". But Italian and English usage do not exactly correspond.

In English, strictly speaking, you use "which" when you are asking about a specific item from a list of items. This "list" may be implicit rather than explicitly specified. For example, "Which tie should I wear today?" because I am choosing from among the list or set of ties that I own.

But in English, it is commonly acceptable in that situation to also say "What tie should I wear today".

More generally, English uses "what" when there is no list, and you are asking about the existence or nature of something. For example, "What is the meaning of life?"

The Italian "quale" and "che" can be used as pronouns or as adjectives/determiners before a singular or plural noun. In contrast, "che cosa" (or just "cosa") = "what" is used only as a pronoun. Compare "What is a necktie?"(pronoun) with "What necktie should I wear?" (adjective).

Note that if there is a plural noun immediately following, English can use either "which" or "what". For example, "what ties" or "which ties". But Italian will (almost?) always use "quale" before a following plural noun: What foods are tasty? = Quali cibi sono gustosi? That is because use of a plural noun almost always implies an underlying list or set.

Compare also:
What is the next question? = Qual è la prossima domanda?
In the English given first here, the "next" makes it clear that we are contemplating an underlying list or set of questions.

In the DL exercise here, we are given the English first. As usual with DL sentences, we are given no context, but I would say that "What is important for him?" is a general inquiry rather than a question about what he has chosen from a list. So "cosa" would be a good choice for the Italian translation.

On the other hand, if we had more context, and knew, for example, that we had given him a list of goals to accomplish in the new year, then we might well use "quale" in our Italian translation.

See also:


Why "cosa" instead of "qual"?

"Qual è importante per lui"

This is incorrect but I don't understand why. Help!


4 or 5 questions back it used.... qual e (sorry but I can't figure how to put the dash over the top when I'm typing in the comments/discussion screen)... but it used..... qual e for the answer to ... what is So Why did they tell us to use that then... and cos'e Now?


Can anybody tell when to use "quale" and when "cosa" ?

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I'm wondering why the cosa elides when it's alone (cos'e) but not when it's in the phrase che cosa e. Is there a logic or rule or is this just the way it is?


Why is "Qual e'" not accepted. For example, if you asked "what is your telephone number", you would say..."Qual e' il tuo numero di telefono".


Why is "cosa è" right but "cos' è" is wrong? Cos' è was used in an earlier sentence referring to "lei" instead of "lui," does that change it? Or is there something else I'm missing?


Nevermind, after re-reading my post I see that my phone is autocorrecting a space after the cos'...I'm guessing that's my problem


When do you use 'glielo' then?


Instead of cos'è , why not qual è


Why is ch'è instead of cos'è wrong? Do they mean the same thing?


I put "che cos'è importante per lui?" and got it wrong. why doesn't this work?


Fixed! Thanks for pointing it out :)


I think that your answer is correct. You should use the "Report problem" button.

For me: "Che cosa...?" = "Cosa...?" = "Che...?"


If I said (other than on duolingo.com) "Cos'e' importante a lui?" As in, "what is important to him?", would that also be correct. I mean in standard Italian speaking.


Interesting! I see where you are coming from however: "What is important FOR him" is different to "what is important TO him" wherever you speak it.


Would "Cosa gli è importante?" work here? Is that a correct use of "gli"?


I thought "per di lui" meant "for him".


Adesso basta altrimenti finisco di studiare. Vorrei capire il perché mi date errore, quando in realtà le risposte sono esatte. Datemi una risposta grazie.


Per di lui is wrong?


It gave me the answer "Cos'è importante per lui" it said I had a typo, the answer is "Cos'è importante per lui" and said "Another translation: Cos'è importante per lui?"


the accent on my computer is what it is.


I did the same. My answer was correct but told I had a typo


Cose e is wrong and cos'e is right Wow!!!!!!!!!!!


cos'e is also wrong. Correct is cos'è.

cosa + è = cos'è

Remember to distinguish between "e" and "è" in Italian. They are spelled differently and also pronounced differently!

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