Would "La donna e sul cavallo" also be correct? Is there a difference in meaning between sopra and sul/sulla?
I am curious about this as well. I thought "sopra" meant "over" and "in cima a" meant "on top of".
so, would "la donna sta sopra il cavallo" and "la donna sta sul cavallo" also be identical translations? any reason to use sta versus è or sopra versus sul?
Italians don't use «stare» and «essere» like the Portuguese and Spanish do. «stare» = «quedarse»/"to stay" and, even in cases where you would use «estar» in Portuguese and Spanish (e.g. "to be" in a place, or, in this case, on an animal), Italians use «essere»
"Sopra" and "sul", in this context have the same meaning... usually you can use "sopra" or "su" as you like more... in Italian, many times we use "su" instead of "sopra" because it's shorter. I'm downstairs, "vado di sopra" (I'm going upstairs), "vado su" (I'm going upstairs), same meaning. "Dove sei?" (Where are you?), "sono di sopra/sono su" (I'm upstairs). "Dove hai messo il quadro?" (Where did you put the painting?). "Il quadro è sopra la sedia" (the painting is over the chair). In this case we're saying that the painting doesn't touch the chair. "Il quadro è sulla sedia" (the painting is on the chair). It means that the painting touches the chair. Hope it's helpful.
Doesn't "sopra" mean above as well? The woman is above the horse should work right?
It sounds a bit weird in English, though. Almost like she is floating above the horse. "Over" would perhaps be better.
The word horse wasn't given with the words we should select from and when i answered it the question, it marked as wrong.
"The woman is on top of the horse" sounds strange. In the right context, it could work as noted by rogercchristie but it would practically never be used to say that "the woman is on the horse" or "the woman is riding the horse," etc. "The woman is atop the horse" would also sound better.
I realize that we're learning that sopra means above, over, or on top of, so rather than correcting the translation for this sentence, a new example should be created.