"La donna scrive ai ragazzi."

Translation:The woman writes to the boys.

May 9, 2013



Can "i ragazzi" refer to a group of children composed of girls and boys and not just a group of boys (similar, I think, to the Spanish use of "los ninos" referring to either boys or a general group of children)?

May 9, 2013

  • 2089

Yes; in general, for a mixed group Italian defaults to the male plural, although it's sometimes more polite to repeat (ai ragazzi e alle ragazze).

May 9, 2013


Great explanation!!!

July 7, 2017


So "ai" is plural form of "to the" ?

June 27, 2013

  • 2089

Don't think of the English meaning, or you're going to be in trouble when you meet other uses of the preposition "a"; "ai" is the compound form you have to use when the preposition "a" is followed by the plural masculine article "i".

June 27, 2013


Thanks for clearing that up, I was momentarily confused by that. :) I should have remembered that from "nel" and "nello."

January 2, 2014


Is ai clearly pronounced like hai?

I actually "corrected" ai the first time and made it hai because the normal audio version was not intelligible and the slow version was pronounced hai. The ai in three more slightly different sentences also was pronounced like that.

July 27, 2017


When did we learn that

September 29, 2016


I'm not a native English speaker.. So you have to use 'to' here? I put 'The woman writes the boys' and it was incorrect according to DL

April 12, 2016


Actually, 'to' is mandatory in this case, as it is a preposition and is explaining where she was writing. I am a native English Speaker and can tell you that the phrases 'The woman writes the boys' and 'The woman writes to the boys' are completely different because of the preposition 'to'

March 6, 2017


I'm afraid I would have to disagree with ReillyNoll0. In my experience, "The woman writes the boys" would be a common way to say this, it sounds natural to me, and I see no difference in meaning between that and "The woman writes to the boys." The preposition "to" is implied/understood. One frequently hears things like "It's time to write your congressman." The "to" is implied/understood. It's the form of expression that many people use.
Leaving out the "to" is not natural-sounding with some other verbs of communication, however, such as: XXShe reads ( ) the boys.XX; XXShe talks ( ) the boys.XX; XXShe yells ( ) the boys.XX

September 7, 2017


From your example of writing to your congressman I assume you are in the United States, where this may well be true. In Britain, however, the "to" is obligatory, saying "it's time to write your Member of Parliament" would not make sense.

November 28, 2017


Australians also consider the 'to' mandatory.

July 7, 2018


Pronunciation wise is ai one syllable such as eye, or more of a two syllable ah-E?

July 11, 2014


It's like eye.

August 19, 2014


I agree with bubba...why isn't children right???

November 20, 2013


Because "children" translates to "bambini"

January 24, 2014


Is there a difference in meaning between "kids" and "childeren" (or ragazzi and bambini) that I am not aware of? Sorry english is not my native language either so it is a bit more difficult for me.

May 4, 2016


usually "bambini" reffers to younger children. "ragazzi" if also for older children, teenagers and young adults.

October 13, 2018


Ragazze and ragazzi sound too similar on this recording

February 15, 2014


I thought we are learning plurals...

March 23, 2014


I'm pretty sure there are teachers going to prison for this.

August 8, 2016


what is wrong with 'lady'? it has always work for 'donna'

August 10, 2013

  • lady = signora
  • woman = donna
  • signorina = young lady , Miss
August 26, 2013


Ciao: If I may kindly suggest: "...it has always worked....".

October 31, 2013


If Italians always use the definite article here, how do they know if she writes to children in general, for example she's a writer or if she writes to the children, specific children, for example her sons?

February 15, 2014


Well, there are a lot of languages without articles at all. Despite that fact people understand each other

April 6, 2014


Good question. I don't know in Italian but in English we know because we have a specific preposition. I write 'for' children if I am a children's author and 'to the children' if I am writing a letter to specific children. So it's not just about the definite article.

April 24, 2014


In your example if she was an author writing for the children in Italian it should've been 'per i bambini' instead of 'ai (a+i) bambini'.

August 19, 2014


Why "the woman writes to boys" is not correct? How would you say that (without 'the') if 'ai' includes 'the' already?

June 22, 2014


'To the' is one word in the Italian but when translating into English write it as two words: 'to the boys'.

June 22, 2014


I see. So, is it not possible to say "to boys" in Italian - considering we want to make a general statement?

June 23, 2014


Sorry cankoseoglu, I thought you were asking about the English. I'm not Italian so I can't help you with that. My guess is that 'She writes to boys' it would be 'Scrive i ragazzi' Or maybe just 'scrive ragazzi'.

June 23, 2014


Thanks for the help stsmi. I guess we'll find out the answer in future chapters..

June 23, 2014


I don't hear the "ai" in the pronunciation. Does it typically blend together with the verb or is it just the way this lady pronounces it?

January 7, 2016


How do you know what tense its in i put the woman wrote to the boys...but it says it has to be writes but that sounds wrong translation wise

July 30, 2017


The ending of the verb (scrivere in this case) will tell you. Scrive means third person singular (lui, lei, Lei) in the present tense (presente). Look if this table is of any help for you. It shows you all flections of scrivere


July 30, 2017


thank you for the link grazie

February 19, 2018


Sorry, that link was broken, I replaced it with one that works.

July 30, 2017


She either will write to , is writing to, or wrote but in italian are there special tenses?

July 30, 2017


I accidentally put "The women wine to the boys

January 29, 2018


I responded, "the woman writes to the boys" and got the 'oops! that's wrong' response

June 13, 2018


I put what the aswer said and they said it was wrong

August 1, 2018


Please highlight the difference between "ai" and "al" as both have been used for to in this apo

April 24, 2019
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