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"What is the date of your birthday?"

Translation:Qual è la data del tuo compleanno?

April 26, 2013



Why isn't it 'che' instead of 'qual'?

  • 2674

Italian uses "quale" in many instances where English would use "what" or "how"; I still haven't found the best way to explain this, but the assumption here is that there are several dates, and I know what they are, but I don't know which one is associated to your birthday. Using "Che è", "Che cos'è" or "Cos'è" here would ask what that thing means or what's its nature, and it'd be nonsense.


Can you explain why it is del and not di


Because when using the possessive pronouns the article is used unless, you are saying his, hers yours, mine etc.

Per esempio

Il mio gatto --> My cat

Il gatto è mio --> the cat is mine

In addition "di" is just "of" without the article so (of + article) is used ie ( di + il) in this case


Thanks for your comment! It makes a lot more sense to me now. Am I right if I conclude from your answer that: - when used to refer to a 'thing', wich is defined (like 'what's that', when you know where you are talking about), you use 'che' - 'quale' is used when it isn't clear what object we are talking about (when you're asking for a date like a birthday).


Hasn't 'quale' been translated as 'which' before? So it'd be like "which date is your birthday"


That's how I do it. If you could replace it with "which", instead of what, then I think "quale" is usually better. So you use "quale" when there's a selection of different possibilities (such as different dates it could be), and "cosa" when you're asking what something is, or what the nature of something is (eg What is that? It's a turtle). Can a native speaker please verify this?


"Quantify" and "Qualify" are words that comes to mind. These are used generally, sometimes rather loosely, to to be more specific as well as to establish numerals. A translation of the above could be "Qualify your date of birth" or even "Quantify your date of birth" (I would take a bet that the derivation of the Italian and English words are similar as well!)


Like quando is how much, right? A matter of quantity.


Quando is 'when' quanto is 'how much'


If only the translation hint also contained quale...


You are the best! You always give the best explanations. 2018


so is it not like, 'which' date is your birthday as it could be any of the 365 days?


I think I understood what you are saying. A different way to explain this is by thinking about what is the question. We are not asking "what is a date" but rather "when is your birthday". The subject of the question is the birthday, not the date. I think the sentence should have been "which date is your birthday on".


Agreed so basically use which (Qual, quale, qual è) when you have a variety of options to choose from, right?


I think what you are saying really is that "what is the date .." in Italian is substituting the word "what" for the word "which" before translating the sentence. "what ( = "which of all possible dates") is your birthday", so you must use quale.


From what I understand Quale can be used to ask for precise information about people or things.


Why "del" and not "dal"? Differences between the two wreck my head! When I think I finally get it, suddenly I'm wrong lol


Why not "qual'è"? (This was accepted for me but I am curios about why qual è is the preferred translation.

  • 2674

The reason is the same as for the masculine indeterminate article "uno" being truncated to un instead of elided to un' like its femine counterpart: if the truncated form exists, it must be used where applicable. The truncated form "qual" used to be very common, but nowadays it only survives in some very limited contexts, "qual è", "qual era" and a few idioms like "qual buon vento [ti porta]" (what auspicious wind [brings you here], i.e. to what do I owe the pleasure of your visit).

Incidentally, writing "qual'è" is considered one of the worst mistakes in school, and yet the percentage of native Italian speakers making the mistake is astonishing, including famous writers. We were kind of getting tired of explaining Italian to Italians, and that's the main reason why "qual'è" is now accepted as a typo.


Why doesn't the same thing apply to dov'è and cos'è? I'm just curious to know.

  • 2674

In those cases there is no truncated form, i.e. cos and dov don't exist; elision (indicated by the apostrophe) only happens when followed by a word starting with a vowel, while truncation is just the shortening of a word, and it could happen for any reason. Notably "un cane" and "qual buon vento" are followed by a consonant (so they couldn't be elided anyway), and words like "amor" (from amore) and "castel" (from castello) could even be used at the end of a sentence (mainly in poetry though).


Oh gosh, I don't get it. Btw on 29.04.2020 I got "qual'è" wrong.


it is like which date is your bithday?


Not sure why this should be "del tuo compleanno" rather than "di tuo compleanno". Any ideas?


"Di tuo compleanno" would sound like a caveman talking :) it pretty simple, "of your birthday" is "di il tuo compleanno", and di+il always contracts to DEL :)

  • 1391

Why is "Cosa è la data del tuo compleanno?" not accepted?


From f.formica above:

Italian uses "quale" in many instances where English would use "what" or "how"; I still haven't found the best way to explain this, but the assumption here is that there are several dates, and I know what they are, but I don't know which one is associated to your birthday. Using "Che è", "Che cos'è" or "Cos'è" here would ask what that thing means or what's its nature, and it'd be nonsense.

  • 1391

Thank you Stephen! I think you explained it really well. :)


I said "quando è il tuo compleanno" wouldnt that be used more?


I give up on all these prepositions.


This is not 'quale' it is qual. Quale will always mean which but qual means what? Use qual when the "what" implies that there is a choice. In this case there is a choice of dates.


Why is it "Qual data è" for the date, but for time it's "Che ora è" ?


If I ask someone 'quand'è il tuo compleanno?', is it wrong Italian?


Why is it not il tuo?


Because you already have "del" before the word "tuo".

di + il = Del = of the


Warum ist das schlecht


Apparently I'm the only one who's confused as to why "What is" is to be translated to "qual è" rather than "cos'è", when "qual è" so far (for me anyway), has consistently been written in English as "which is". Maybe a distinction I'll understand, as Italian begins to sound more natural to me.


Che giorno e il tuo compleanno means exactly the same to me ...


Why isn't it cos' è?


Getting sick of misleading or incorrect hints....make it crystal clear or I'm moving on to another laguage app!


Yet another wrong hint....I'm done with you guys....


Can I also say Qual è la data di tuo compleanno? They said it was wrong.


Qual e means which cos e means what duo lingo is wrong


The problem is the English sentence we translate the english words to italian as we have been taught, but if the italian translated back to english is totally different


Del de di da I AM LOST!!!!!!


I have written the correct answer but u have marked wrong


why is it wrong to say "di+il" instead of "del"?Duo didn't accept my answer


Why isnt it Cosa


Why it cannot be "Qual'e"?


Why isn't cosa acceptable?


Why not dello vostros compleanno?


Vostros isn't italian-


I still don't understand why it's "del" and not "di".

"Del tuo compleanno" would be literally translated as "of the (di + il) your birthday", and I know that direct translations are a somewhat a waste of time, but what I'm asking is this: what is the context here that requires the use of "the" (the "il" in "del")?


Italian uses articles with possessive, except with singular family members. Since compleanno is not a family member, you need di+il del


Not any random days but "the" day of your birth.


Is it wrong to say "Qual è la data della tua nascita"?


Just because i did not put the accent on e, they said it was wrong. They should not accept, then, when we put the same


It's more than a misspelling, è and e are two different words, that's why they didn't accept it.


ok, but if they didn't accept it, they should never accept it. not when they want they accept it, and when they don't want, they don't accept it. I usually don't use it with accent and they're just telling me :be patient to the accents". Ok. but don't allow it, if it's wrong.


It's because in some sentences, the "e" withoud the accent, can be considered a simple typing error, but in other sentences, it can have sense withoud the accent but it's not the right translation. I hope that I explained.. ._.


I picked the correct one and you marked it wrong

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