"La chiave è sul mobile."

Translation:The key is on the piece of furniture.

May 5, 2013

94 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/MangeshMandlik

It's funny because in English 'mobile' is something that moves. It is very counter-intuitive that it means 'furniture' in Italian, which actually doesn't move!

December 2, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/olefattguy

Think of it this way: when you move to a new house, you are moving all the (moveable) furniture to that house ( which in turn is immobile, unmoveable)

December 2, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/alvaro1944

To olefattguy: in fact, since its origin, 'mobile' means something that can be moved, or something movable, e.g., something that can be taken out of a place and put in another one.. I hope I have helped. Greetings. February 19, 2016.

February 19, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/ajitirj

In my everyday language (Indonesian) "mobil" is the word for "car" so it made perfect sense to me to put keys on a car... I had no idea.

July 28, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/canlyhansen

Hey, i am indonesian too, looks like i am not the only one :')

August 26, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/pablogc2000

Actually you can "move" the furniture, but you cannot move the house itself or the appliances (like the toilet or bathtub). That's the difference between furniture and everything else and that's why the root "mobi-" is used :)

August 20, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/judy.scholar

I think it might go back to ancient Roman law. Items that were immovable (for example, land) were governed by different rules of ownership than items that could be moved. It is rather nice that knowledge of Roman law might help with modern Italian vocabulary. Of course, I could be wrong.

February 17, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/ItalianGirl1969

In Spanish (which i learned first) furniture translates to "muebles" so i had a small clue. I assume it's similar in other romance languages. It's very frustrating though when a word looks similar to something completely different and I mess up every time.

August 2, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/jhtrindade

"Móveis" in portuguese. :-)

April 24, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Diegovsky

Pero no nos habían enseñado esta palabra antes de este ejercicio, o si??? creo que por eso es la discusión en este momento. A penas conocimos la palabra mobile, y que significa mueble.

Diego de México.

February 15, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/MarkLerno

The problem is that it really is impossible to translate this sentence into English without mentioning the particular piece of furniture the key was left on. The logical solution to this problem is for Duolingo to accept whatever piece of furniture the student wishes to nominate, such as cabinet, chair, sofa, etc. Duolingo's own translation does not make sense in English. One would never say this.

December 24, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Katzenperson

The problem is that it really is impossible to translate
this sentence into English without mentioning the particular
piece of furniture the key was left on.

I agree with you. No native speaker would say, "I left it on the piece of furniture" -- (unless for some reason they didn't really know what to call that particular piece of furniture, I suppose, but hardly likely.)

May 9, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/BiddyT

I also agree - I opted to translate it as sideboard and got it wrong, of course. I realise the exercise here is to learn Italian, but in English furniture is a collective noun and we tend to name items of furniture. Duolingo needs to recognise this when providing translations if it is to be truly useful for all learners i.e. in Italian you might say 'mobile' but in English we would not say 'on the piece of furniture' unless there were only one piece in the room and you didn't know what it was called!

June 9, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Rae.F
  • 1947

The problem there, though, is that since "mobile" means the broad category "furniture", you can't translate it as "sideboard" any more than you can translate "cibo" as "strawberry".

June 9, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/BiddyT

Agreed, which is why I knew it would be wrong as I wrote. However, I find it difficult to write something that is clearly not reasonable English so I am willing to be marked wrong from time to time just to see what DL will accept. Of course, keys on the furniture would be quite acceptable .

June 9, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/jesslc

But the Italian sentence has the exact same problem - il mobile doesn't indicate what piece of furniture it is. Italian also has specific words for chair/table/couch/etc... So Duolingo shouldn't accept chair or sofa here because that's not a correct translation for il mobile.

I agree it is a bit of a useless sentence but so are many of the other sentences we get (I am never going to use - for example - gli elefanti sono i tuoi, or chi è l'uomo nella vasca? among many others)

July 22, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/olefattguy

It is confusing because in English furniture refers to the entire meublement, every chair,sofa etc in the room( or even house). In italian un mobile is one of the chairs, sofas etc. Luckily (for me) it is the same pattern as in Swedish, but I too was confused(albeit in the other direction) when I was learning this in English, way back when...

July 15, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Eluzie

What an elegant word - meublement! Grazie.

February 8, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Katzenperson

Ah, but the word is amueblement.
http://www.wordreference.com/fren/ameublement

May 9, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Diegovsky

BUt this word, mobile, until here wasn´t been taught, was it? That´s why, the discussion over here is about this particular word. I heard Mobile in the audio, but i didn´t know that word yet. Only as all you say, like the mobile, the cellphone, or something that can be moved. but not this concept in italian.

February 15, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/ackworth

in this sentence wouldn't there be reference a specific piece of furniture?

May 5, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/mikevir

In the old days in the old county, as I remember, furniture was very sparse, so, saying "sul mobile" made perfect sense if there was only one (or two) pieces in a room.

July 5, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/SaintUrsula

Very interesting.

December 23, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/GergelyTri

We are in 2014 :)

August 4, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/jesslc

Clearly it's a very empty room...

July 22, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/muerdeelpolvo

María... la chiave!!

July 31, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Kelirya

Native Russian and Ukrainian speaker here. In my languages real estate also means literally "The Unmovable" :)

And now I understand where the word for furniture ("mebel'") has come from. ;)

October 29, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/VikingBoat

I don't believe DUO is trying to teach the word "furniture", SherryShel, they are actually trying to teach the word "mobile", because Italian is spoken here.

December 5, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Eluzie

GRAZIE!! Qua se parla l'italiano.

February 8, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/bjojoe

La donna è mobile. Qual piuma al vento, muta d'accento e di pensiero.

May 29, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/MarkLerno

In English, we would never say, "The key is on the furniture." or, "The key is on the piece of furniture.", so I put, "The key is on the cabinet.", which is something we could say in English. However, this was rejected.

November 4, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Marion_Giu

I also wrote cabinet... Is it wrong?

February 3, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Rae.F
  • 1947

"Cabinet" is a specific piece of furniture. "Furniture" is a broad category. They are not interchangeable.

August 14, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/Rockall

Interestingly, French takes the opposite approach by using immeuble - immobile.

January 31, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/FrancAngelo

Usually a sing. noun ends with 'a', so is 'chiave' an exception or am I missing something?
i would think it to be 'la chiave"/le chiave if it is an exception what would it be like in the Pl?

May 29, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Rae.F
  • 1947

Yes, it's one of the exceptions. Some words are -e in the singular and -i in the plural, and you just need to memorize whether they're masculine or feminine.

May 30, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/FrancAngelo

Thanks(=!

May 30, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/pierugofoz

1) singular nouns with the ending "a" are feminine nouns, and form their plural with the ending "e"
2) singular nouns with the ending "o" are masculine nouns, and form their plural with the ending "i"
3) singular nouns with the ending "e" are feminine/masculine nouns and form their plural with the ending "i"
4) irregular nouns

you can consider the (3) "irregular nouns", but in reality there are a lot of nouns in that category
1) 35% - 2) 35% - 3) 25% - 4) 5%

January 28, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/mangoHero1

It's confusing but I just say furniture for mobile or mobili

June 5, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/CraigPickering

Yes it allowed me 'furniture' but we'd never say it.

February 4, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/AnthonyAnt1

In English "Keys" is often used for a singular set of keys. I.e my car key and house key are on the same chain and I refer to it collectively as "keys". Is this the same in Italian or would a set of keys be "la chiave"?

January 11, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/gmcolletti

Le chiavi

June 24, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/eisalehi

I know that a cell phone is a "cellulare," but could "mobile" also refer to a phone, following the British usage?

August 23, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/s84606
  • 1818

You can say "telefono mobile" or "terminale mobile" but they are both technical terms. "Telefonino" is a popular synonym.

January 26, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/ZDanielle

Notice that chiave is unique in that it is feminine and ends in -e and then plural ends in - i , which is usually how a masculine noun works. This has tripped me up a few times.

January 10, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/rhind

Every singular noun that ends with -e ends in -i when turned into plural, regardless of the gender...at least, that's what my Italian teacher said.

June 15, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/FransOjala

I don't see anyone saying 'on the furniture'. That's just silly, since 'furniture' is most often said in referring to multiple items. The translation doesn't reflect an actual sentence in this respect.

November 13, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/Billzorelli

I still can't find my key! which piece of furniture? the couch. the table?

April 29, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Michaelwah20

In arabic, "mobilia" which meens furniture

October 27, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/_Almazik_

I have written "The key is the piece of furniture" x)

May 4, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Gary940011

Who refers to a piece of furniture in normal speaking?

June 13, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/ualler

"La chiave è sul mobile" for "mobile" there are three solutions in the help: piece of furniture, moving and mobile. But Duolingo accepts only "piece of furniture" or "furniture". Why?

January 12, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/olefattguy

Because the meanings "moving" and "mobile" are in turn a verb and an adjective, both of which would be hard to place a key on...

February 4, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/J__l
  • 129

No, a mobile can be an object which hands from the ceiling and revolves, used particularly to hang over cots. So mobile would make sense, in a weird way..

May 1, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/jesslc

Yes but mobile in Italian means mobile the adjective (ie. she is mobile) it doesn't necessarily mean mobile (the object that hangs from the ceiling) in English.

July 22, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/J__l
  • 129

Very true :)

July 22, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/LivingInPuglia

I'd like to know the answer to that too ... the english translation of the sentence is clumsy and would not be used

July 26, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/SandraSilva17

this one has me confused-i put a piece of furniture -wrong but i ask my self which piece of furniture- the piece of furniture- wouldn't piece suggest more than one-help

September 30, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/jaim2

Got it wrong too. I am guessing Duolingo is just pushing my buttons and making me think about the words here. Like some of the other sentences, you wouldn't usually say this in English or Italian, or any other language!

July 18, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Kerflumpy

I get that this is not a useful piece of English, but if I were to hear this in Italy, where should I go to find the key? To a dining chair, armchair, sofa, table... what?

November 14, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/LucaD123456789

"piece of furniture" has a general meaning (table, sofa, bed, fridge, ... are pieces of furniture), therefore in this case it is wrong to translate "... è sul mobile" with "... is on the piece of furniture" because if I tell you "La chiave è sul mobile" I mean a definite piece of furniture. So I would translate "mobile" with "cabinet", that is a more appropiate word in this type of sentence.

July 9, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/Cangurina777

La chiave è sul mobile pezzo.

September 15, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/CainJ

in german it is möbil so it was sort of familiar to me!

January 8, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/ZedNZ

mobilia موبيليا is also furniture is Egyptian Arabic.

May 13, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Rae.F
  • 1947

It's pretty clearly a loanword, though.

May 13, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/DanteCorbo

How do you get that long of a streak!?!?!? Amazing!

December 7, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Rae.F
  • 1947

One day at a time. Use up the occasional streak freeze.

December 7, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/DanteCorbo

Thanks!

December 7, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Tracie279235

Every now and then I run a word through Google Translate. "Mobile" translates to English "Mobile." "Furniture" translates to "Mobilia". Piece of furniture translates to "Pezzo di mobili". When I use some other apps they sometimes have typos and things. And since I don't speak Italian, if resources don't agree, it's hard for me to know if I'm learning something incorrectly. :(

August 1, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/s84606
  • 1818

I don't think Google Translate is a good resource for lerners: it often gives very odd translations, and it gives no grammar information in its "definitions". My suggestion is to choose a good dictionary, and if you want to investigate further on some expressions, use online resource (e.g. http://dictionary.reverso.net gives a number example sentences that are translated by humans).

Now, regarding your examples: "mobile" translates to "mobile" only when used as an adjective, not as a noun. "Mobilia" is a quite accurate translation of furniture because it is a collective noun (it is singular), while "mobili" is just the plural of "mobile". On the other hand "mobili" is more frequent, both in spoken and written Italian. "Pezzo di mobili" is completely wrong: no italian speaker would use this expression, that almost sounds like an insult.

August 2, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Tracie279235

Thank you for the explanation.

August 2, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Arkadios200

Yeah, I remember that "mobile" and others (French: meuble, Swedish: möbel, Danish & Norwegian: møbel, German: Möbel(stück), Romanian: mobilă, Portuguese: móvel) precisely because it doesn't move, so the contradiction sticks in my mind. :D

January 28, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/tantibaci

Where in the Italian phrase does it say "the piece"? I am not sure "mobile" includes "the piece".

March 13, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Rae.F
  • 1947

Different languages say things in different ways. Italian is not just a word-for-word cipher of English. We say "piece of furniture", they say "mobile".

March 13, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/tantibaci

Yes, I agree. However, the translation is not incorrect to just say on the furniture since the Italian sentence did not specify what the piece of furniture is or that it is "a piece". I think both translations should be accepted that's all.

March 13, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/ado125900

Can't understand speaker

June 9, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/KaitlinMuro

I just find this sentence annoying because if you were going to say this sentence, wouldn't you normally specify what piece of furniture it was instead of just saying furniture?

February 1, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Michael250419

Duolingo should correct this answer. It's wrong as no one world wide says "I put my keys on this piece of furniture"! As well they should correct the three suggestions for 'mobile'!

February 6, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/CamilAAA183867

THE KEY IS ON THE FURNITURE shows wrong why?

May 28, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/PHN04

First of all, we have a "new" concept in English: our mobile. To be fair in current Italian this is called "il mobilo". However "The key is on the piece of furniture" is just ridiculous in English and would never be said. I propose replacing this question with "La chiave e sul mobilo" meaning "The key is on the smartphone".

May 30, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Rae.F
  • 1947

That would only be a valid translation if actual native Italian speakers meant it that way when they said this.

May 30, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Frantz234201

I can say :The key is on the furniture.

June 13, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/crown_of_legends

Cosa mobile?

August 18, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/PeteProgrammer

That is a very odd sentence.

July 14, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Amerigo3101

perchè mettete 3 soluzioni sbagliate?

August 28, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Nancy53656

Quali mobili? Dimmi solo dove è la chiave!

October 6, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/emmaborges19

Mobile could be a cell phone in this case, or a car. The english translation in inaccurate.

May 25, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/livion3

No logical sentence

July 2, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/akarimy

In The sentence before it was without peace, that's why I used sui mobili and o faild, how stupid

December 26, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/SherryShei

For god's sake, who on earth says "the key is on the furniture " furniture is not a piece! It is not a distictive noun and it implys plural! if you want to teach the word furniture put it in different sentence.

August 8, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/LatecomerLaurie

(American English speaker) We need to learn to think in Italian. I was taught this word "mobile" in another course also, to mean "a piece of furniture," i.e., something that can be moved. BTW when I visited Italy I'm pretty sure I saw a sign that said "Immobili" to mean how we would say "Real Estate," something that cannot be moved.

August 20, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Sputni

Another sensible reply - it is a different language and we need to remember that it can't all translate back into our own language perfectly. Have a lingot.

March 19, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Heidijan

I think they're trying to teach Italian, since this is an Italian course. Hence trying to teach "mobile" and what it means.

March 15, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Sputni

Have a lingot for stating the obvious. Somebody has to say it.

March 19, 2015
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