"Non si scrivono mai cose a penna."

Translation:One never writes things in pen.

5 years ago

23 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/SeamusCoon
  • 11
  • 10
  • 10
  • 9
  • 5
  • 2

Putting aside the falsity of the generalization, why isn't the passive equally acceptable? I put "Things are never written in pen" -- wrong!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/gregers212
  • 25
  • 24
  • 21
  • 14
  • 11
  • 8
  • 5
  • 4
  • 3
  • 2
  • 2

Why is the word for "one"=si paired with the verb form for loro?

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Nitram.
  • 25
  • 16
  • 16
  • 11
  • 7
  • 6
  • 6
  • 6
  • 5

This is the so-called "impersonal pronoun". Si can be used to form passive-like sentences easily. Using this formula, "si" must be followed by either a third-person singular, or a third-person plural form of the verb (in this case, either "scrive" or "scrivono" and nothing else). The verb must agree with the plurality of the subject (if the subject is singular -> si scrive, but if the subject is plural -> si scrivono)

An example:

In Inghilterra, si beve il thè con del latte.

this means:

In England, tea is drunk (--> people drink it) with milk.

"Thè" is the subject, "si beve" is the predicate, and since thè is singular, the predicate has to be the third-person singular form of the verb.


In Duo's example, the subject is "cose", which is the plural form of "cosa", so the predicate "si scrivono" is a third-person plural form of the verb. (if it was "cosa", in singular, the predicate would have to be "si scrive", not "si scrivono".)

I gave quite a long answer, but I hope I could help everyone confused about this.

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/siebolt
  • 22
  • 21
  • 16
  • 15
  • 7

Applause for a very good explanation!!!

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Tongue-twisted
  • 25
  • 13
  • 7
  • 3
  • 3
  • 3
  • 77

Your explanation might have been long in your opinion… but it was definitely a useful and helpful one… thanks :)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/NickFlynn
  • 21
  • 20
  • 11
  • 7
  • 7
  • 6
  • 6
  • 4
  • 2

Thank you

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Natasha597268

Grazie! Adesso questo è chiaro per me.

1 month ago

https://www.duolingo.com/AnthPalm
  • 25
  • 13
  • 10
  • 4
  • 7

Sorry but I think the English is fine here. It's just that very rarely does anyone in English use the pronoun "one". We might say something most along the lines of "Nobody ever writes in pen"

9 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/JoolsStone
  • 18
  • 6
  • 4
  • 3
  • 2
  • 45

surely 'by hand' is a better English translation?

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/JoshVentura

Now I don't know what the Italian means; when I hear that someone doesn't write in pen, I assume they instead write in pencil. When I hear they don't write by hand, I assume that they instead type it up. I don't know which of these the Italian implies....

10 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Nonna602151

...or perhaps "in ink"?

6 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/siebolt
  • 22
  • 21
  • 16
  • 15
  • 7

The impersonal construction "si scrive" >> one writes/we write. The plural "si scrivono" >> one writes. I have another problem: Does one write IN PEN? I wouldn't >> with a pen.

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Chris123456

If Italians can talk about things being "nel piatto" (in the plate, when they mean on the plate) then we Brits can say "IN pen" One does indeed write "IN pen" or "IN pencil" or "IN crayon" or "IN biro" or even IN quill-tipped feathers from the duolingo owl, but it would be equally correct to say "One writes with a pen." :)

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/siebolt
  • 22
  • 21
  • 16
  • 15
  • 7

Okay, thanks, I learned something.:))

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/godomihaela
  • 19
  • 13
  • 12
  • 10
  • 4

it sounds so weird. "one never writes things in pen". I know English, but what exactly does it mean?

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Mel_italian

"one never writes things in pen" - this so doesn't sound like English

10 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/jan114056
Plus
  • 25
  • 15
  • 8
  • 3
  • 463

This brings back memories of primary school. We were required to write with pencils until our penmanship was judged good enough to "write in pen" at which time we were formally presented with a pen formed with the 'proper' grip to encourage continued excellence. All very formal. All very 1950s America.

7 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/RichardWil528737

Similar in 1960s Britain. I think "in pen" is OK, and "One never writes" is correct (one (!) hears things like this from time to time) if a little stilted. But I think "Things are never written in pen" should also be considered a correct translation.

2 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ward.cn

What does this English sentence mean???

2 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/IsabellaMaria164
  • 20
  • 17
  • 15
  • 14
  • 13
  • 9
  • 9
  • 9
  • 3

definitely no good English, sorry, but please adapt it, no one says "in pen"

10 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/carolfair

I thought scrivono meant they write??

5 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/dfjacobs
  • 25
  • 20
  • 14
  • 8
  • 6
  • 373

Could this mean that one doesn't write in ink? Some people use a pencil when they do crossword puzzles.

3 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/MariaIramendy

Is it wrong to say: "things are never written with a pen"?

1 month ago
Learn Italian in just 5 minutes a day. For free.