"Opposite us is a tall building."

Translation:Di fronte a noi c'è un edificio alto.

April 28, 2013

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c'è means there is and this is not in the meaning. why is it c'è in the italian meaning??


There are two verbs that can be used to describe the position of objects or people: essere and esserci. The rule says, if the position comes first in a sentence you need esserci and if the person/object comes first you need essere. With "di fronte a noi" at the beginning of the sentence you therefore have to use esserci and in the 3rd person singular the right form is c'è.


I appreciate your helpful reply and yet I think the original comment meant to_that the English sentence would be easier to translate if it said "opposite us there is..."


I take Izay77's post to be asking us to reflect on the difference between "Opposite us is a tall building" and "A tall building is opposite us". The former declares that something exists and so is equivalent to a "there is" sentence, while the second simply records a fact about location. It's a subtle difference which in Italian is expressed by that between esserci and essere respectively.


I understand what you write but when nobody explains that rule than it's difficult to understand why we get marked incorrect when we don't put the c' in the translation.


2019-08-12 Agreed. When given the English sentence to translate into Italian, how are we to know they want c'è rather than simply è, unless the English has the phrase "there is" rather than simply "is"?

Timor mortis conturbat me.



"Opposite us is a tall building." Translation:Di fronte a noi c'è un edificio alto.

I put "è" and not "c'è." If "there is" is what you mean to ask for, say so.


Why not "un alto edificio"?


Good question, to which I don't have the complete answer. Usually adjectives follow the nouns they modify. But some adjectives--e.g., "grande, piccolo, lungo"--usually precede their nouns. I, like you, thought "alto" was one of those. We seem to have been wrong. But I wonder if there's a better way to get this right than to simply memorize which adjectives work this way.


Sandrabruck - Thank you !


In English "Opposite us is a tall building" and "Opposite us there is a tall building" are equivalent. But my translation davanti a noi è un edificio alto was an error. Is Duo right, or should the answer have been accepted?


That would sound unnatural in Italian; "un edificio alto è davanti a noi" would be fine, but the meaning would be slightly different, just like in English.


Such meaning could be “a tall building is before us“ ?
Isn't the sentence ungrammatical without a subject like “there“ or “it“ ? “opposite us“ can be the subject, but “in front of us“ cannot?, or doesn't it sound natural, the same way that “davanti a noi“ doesn't at the beginning of the sentence?
I want to understand it better, thanks.


Yes, the emphasis changes from what is in front of us to a tall building that happens to be there. The subject should always be the building in both languages, it's just that in Italian it sounds unnatural omitting "ci" when putting the location first; I'm not sure about English, because omitting "there" isn't rare at all, e.g. "In front of you are three light switches"


I think that "davanti a noi" means "in front of us" which is not necessarily the same as "opposite us". Depends on context.

[deactivated user]

    What word makes " Opposite " ?


    Completely without confirmation or otherwise, I have formed the opinion that "Di fronte a" (meaning opposite in this sentence), more literally means "facing" but is used as "opposite", which is after all, nearly an identical idea.


    In a previous sentence "di fronte" was used to mean "in front of". Now it is being used to mean "opposite". Can someone help me make sense of this? I don't think "opposite" and "in front of" always indicate the same thing.


    In Italian it is. Think of 'it faces us' as the same as 'it is opposite of us'.


    That's a helpful way to look at it..thanks for the reframe.


    Your welcome. Thank you for the compliment.


    is a tall building =E un edificio alto . c'e= there is


    "Fronte di noi c'è un edificio alto." really wrong?


    "di fronte a noi " is right you can say "fronte mare" overlooking the sea "fronte" alone means "forehead" "fronte di noi" is wrong :-( "a fronte di ciò" " as a consequence of what I have just said"


    Italian has proven to be harder than I though, but that's fun actually. :) Grazie per la spiegazione!


    Why is "Di fronte a noi c'è un palazzo alto" wrong?


    a building is not necessarily a palace (not even in Italian :) )


    The translation doesn't seem correcto to me... I know Spanish as native language and sometimes Italian is more like Spanish... Opposite to me means contrary, inverse or even "facing the other way"... Di fronte in Spanish menas de frente literally "in front" or "right in front of us"... I think "opposto" or "inverso" would be a more accurate translation... My opinion..


    Alto seems common enough to precede the noun, no?


    Grazie sandrabruck!


    What is the differance between c'e and è


    "c'è" is a contraction of "ci è" = "there is". And "ci sono" = "there are".

    "è" = "is" and, as the first word in a sentence, in Italian often implies the subject "it" or "he" or "she", depending on context. "È un gatto." = "It is a cat." "È una professoressa." - "She is a professor."


    But why is c'è necessary here? Or can you also use just è instead?


    It has to do with the rythm of the language. You can't always just translate directly but you need to follow the flow of the language Here is an explanation from a web page https://www.italymadeeasy.com/ask004/


    Great explanation, but I haven't seen this on Duolingo anywhere, and don't know how in the world they'd ever expect us to intuit such a subtle difference.


    Secondo me, il traduzione è perfetto, però c'è errore nella frase principale " opposite us is a tall building" Forse Duolingo ha voluto dire che " In front of us, there is a tall building.


    For it to be c'e, shouldn't the English be "there is" instead of "is"?


    A DL non piace dirimpetto.


    I, too, got confused, because there is a line in a song "D'avanti a te," which literally means "in front of you," but since I got what lumna presented it seems to make sense, "Fronte Mare." I guess it has to be seen in a geographical perspective.


    I got it right, but still having trouble with "un" and "una". Thanks if you want to respond.


    How is opposite fronte?


    Why can't opposto be used? To me opposite, means directly across (usually a road) not in front of.


    The English "In front of" is ambiguous. If someone is in front of me in a queue (AE line), facing the same way as I am, s/he is davanti a me. If someone is in front of me in the sense of directly opposite me and facing me, she is di fronte a me.

    opposto, on the other hand, is opposite in the sense of contrary, and is used only as an adjective, not a preposition. (la direzione opposta = the opposite direction, all'opposto = on the contrary)


    Using palazzo, not edificio, is marked wrong. Is palazzo incorrect here?


    I think this would have been easier to translate if the english sentence has included there is and not just is.


    This isn't a proper way to say this in english.


    To me, this reads as 'In front of us (there) is a tall building'. This could mean that you are looking at a tall building across a road, plaza or from somewhere, or even standing in front of a tall building. You may be lost and seeking directions, or waiting for someone, or you may be with a tour guide who is describing the area. Without more sentence context I understand it may confuse some learners, but I understand what is meant. (Native Australian English speaker).


    it doesn't say 'Opposite us there is a tall building'


    Why "c'e" when there is no "there is a tall building"!? It is so frustrating. I can't seem to give a correct answer to half of the sentences. Duolingo has a bad concept.


    Opposite us there is ... is more apt rather than opposite us is. (DL's program confuses learners even though it is not intentional)


    I believe the English is out of place here. I would say 'opposite us there is a tall building'. Because that was not how the question was presented I assumed that DL did not want the 'c'e in the translation. Should have known DL would not be so helpful.


    I may be giving DL too much credit, but I suspect that here they are encouraging us to consider the differences between the usage of the English "to be" and the Italian "essere". Izay77 and f.formica have each posted some interesting things about this above.

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