"La tua famiglia è a tavola."

Translation:Your family is at the table.

April 30, 2013

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I initially read this as "Your family is a table"


Yer a table, Harry


Yeah, me, too! Shouldn't this sentence be: "La tua famiglia è alla tavola"?


Mmm from what I've seen, it seems to be a peculiarity of the words "at" and "in". For instance, a casa, a scuola, a cena, a Milano, a teatro, in Italia, in banca, in mare, in vacanza, etc. None of those use prepositional articles, they stick solely with their plain prepositions. I have no idea why. The only thing I have figured out is that you should use a for cities and in for countries.


According to my Italian textbook, when the word "in" is used to designate location, you omit the article when the following noun is doesn't have an adjective. I forget whether you include it in all cases where an adjective describes the noun, or if it's something more precise, like when the adjective helps to specify the location or specifies which scuola or teatro etc. you're talking about. I remember that the example given was "in Italia" vs "nell'Italia Centrale." One might include "in Italia" vs "negli Stati Uniti." Another example: "in mare" vs "nel mar Mediterraneo."

If I don't forget, I'll try to lookup the rule and edit this comment.


In my experience as an American teaching English abroad, Americans would always say "my family is" and British people (at least the British friends I have had here in Austria) say "my family are", which sounds very wrong to American ears :)


Americans consider a family to be a single unit, while other "English speaking" people consider a family to be a group which is why Americans use the singular verb and the "others" use the plural form. It is not a matter of using "correct" English; it is a matter of perception.


Peeception is not governed by geographical location. Many British people, including me, would regard a family as a single unit sitting at (the) table. Note, the definite article is not necessary.


Tavolo = table tavola = table Which is the correct form, feminine or masculine? or can we use one or the other?


Tavolo is the piece of furniture. Tavola is a ready table, or it's a table in the sense of a chart, or it's a snowboard... just has many more meanings. More info at http://forum.wordreference.com/threads/tavola-vs-tavolo.6038/


It make me think of the French "nous sommes à table", where "à table" doesn't exactly defines the furniture, but more the fact that we're seated and eating, kind of like a saying...


I love how a lot of the Italian phrases are for restaurant staff! Ha ha.


But table is "tavola" or "tavolo"?

  • tavolo = a piece of furniture
  • tavola = the place where eating happens, hence the pronouns (a, in) and the missing article (a/in tavola vs del/dal/sul tavolo)


Does "La tua famiglia è a tavola" imply that they are having lunch, dinner or whatever? Could be understood as "Your family's at dinner." or "Your family's at lunch" or "Your family is having their lunch/dinner." or in German "Deine Familie ist zu Tisch."?


Unfortunately I cannot answer your question. I just would like to tell you that the German "Deine Familie ist zu Tisch." is not commonly used in Germany. It is used in writing only.


That's something Hannibal Lecter would say if he was Italian, right?


Why isn't it Alla tavola and instead just a tavola? if it's "at the"?


Why is it e instead of sono? a family is more than one person


I like how you answered your own question. "a family IS"


Remember that grammatical number and actual number are not necessarily the same thing. The Italian noun is la famiglia. Grammatically, this noun is singular, as indicated by the definite article la. Singular nouns must take singular verbs, and therefore you get "la famiglia è" and not "la famiglia sono". Grammatical number (and grammatical gender) need not be the same as actual number (or actual gender).


Although what you say is absolutely correct, it is not surprising that when people see it in the newspaper, or see highly paid TV presenters using incorrect grammar, that they think it must be alright for them to use it as well.


Isn't tavola masculine as in other examples? Does the feminine in this sentence have to do with the feminine word family???


The Italian sentence begins La tua famiglia ..., and I don't have an issue with that. In another lesson I had to translate an English sentence into Italian. The English began, My mother .... My translation was, La mia madre .... It was marked as incorrect and the correct solution was Mia madre .... So, I am totally confused now as to when I can put the definite article before a possessive.


Having just been marked wrong for writing "la tavola" as a translation of the table, because it should have been "il tavolo" - here I wrote "dining table" to be clear of the distinction between tavolo and tavola - I was again marked wrong...


Why is "in tavola" uncorrect?


.. because in neither Italian or English would you say that a family is 'in the table'.


...it's correct in another exercise...


Perhaps, but I doubt that other exercise is saying that about a family. More likely it refers to foods that are "in tavola" (which, in Italian, is a correct way of saying "on the table"). You can use either one, but they mean different things. "At (the) table" or "a tavola" usually means sitting down with the table right in front of you, whereas "on the table" or "in tavola" or "su tavola" means the table is physically supporting your weight. When translating, you should always use whatever has the same meaning, so if the sentence says "at the table," you should translate it "a tavola" rather than "in tavola".

Remember also that which preposition we use when is often inconsistent across languages. For example, although we say that "a" is "at" or "to" and "in" is "in" or "into", Italians will say "a Roma" while Americans will say "in Rome" rather than "at Rome". Even within a language, preposition usage is inconsistent; notice how we say, "I'm in the car" or "She's in an airplane", but we say, "He's on the bus." Unfortunately you sometimes just have to memorize how prepositions are used in different cases.


This is the exercise: https://forum.duolingo.com/comment/1389900

The sentence is on the table (dinner, food, etc) Someone replied this: "I'm no expert, but as far as I have been able to research it, this is what I got. (Any corrections would be great)

Italian "in" is used as English "on" when the related noun is an abstract noun. And I'm guessing since the word "tavola" is not just a plain old "tavolo", it might count as an abstract noun in this case."

In tavola - on the table (food) a tavola - at the table (people)


Why is it sometimes a tavola and sometimes il tavolo?


I found this:


"Il tavolo is ‘the table’, in the sense of a piece of furniture. However if ‘the table’ is prepared for a meal, it becomes la tavola.

At home, when food is ready and you want to call your friends and family to the table to eat, you would say a tavola or è pronto in tavola. However, when calling to book a table at a restaurant, you would say vorrei prenotare un tavolo."


In English you can say "Your family is at table" to mean they are sitting around the table having a meal. Is this what the Italian means?


Yes, it's the same meaning.


In this translation, there is no specificity regarding the table so the article "the" is not articulated but is implied. If the translation spoke to "the red table," the article would be articulated for specificity (la tavola rossa). Using the word "tavola" reflects a table for a meal while "tavolo" is a piece of furniture.


Tavola here is a furniture , the guy told on the other exercise that " tavolo is used for furniture" ... God save the Queen !


Yes, "tavolo" usually refers to a table as a piece of furniture, while "tavola" refers to a set table. "Etichetta da tavola" Is "table etiquette" while you would, "mettere il piatto sul tavolo."


This is another example of the failure of the Duolingo system, where the lack of explanation of context (furniture v. Family activity) makes it impossible to tease out the difference between tavolo and tavola.


Just a few moments ago my english was marked wrong when i wrote My family are...,corrected to is. Inconsistent or what!!!


Completely consistent ! Although a family , a team, or a crowd can consist of many people, each one is a single entity. That is why your error was corrected. Several earlier comments have made the same point.


Is tavola and tavolo interchangeable?


No, they have different meanings - masculin is the piece of furniture, feminine is the prepared table for a meal


So "a tavola" is "at THE table". Would "alla tavola" be good Italian also, be bad Italian or just mean something different? I am getting no nearer understanding when you must include a definite article, when you must not, and when it doesn't matter.


Why is it "è" and not "sono"? They are a group


I wrote the exact translation and got it wrong


nobody invited them tho kick em out (except my brother)

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