"How do we write her surname?"

Translation:Come scriviamo il suo cognome?

May 17, 2013

48 Comments
This discussion is locked.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Wichito390

Why sometimes Duolingo uses "il" and some others not?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MDL421

What's wrong with come NOI scriviamo il suo cognome? I want my heart back!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Muttley_

Italian 101:
Verbs already contain the subject in them so that io, tu, lui, lei... don't need to be expressed.
This implies that when you use the personal pronoun as a subject, then you put extra emphasis on it.
So adding noi here would be like saying 'how do we, and not you, write ...'


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Michael804044

Indeed that is true, but by no means is it wrong grammatically to say noi. Something should not be condemned as wrong if it is an alternate or somewhat more emphatic way of saying something. Really one of the weaknesses of this program is this ridiculous restriction.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DustinWenk

Wth is it suo and not sua.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Muttley_

Because cognome is a masculine word.
"Suo/sua/suoi/sue" refers to the gender of the things that is possessed, not to the gender of the possessor.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/VicAnnells

cognome is masculine?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jessica_chant

yes. some words ending in 'e' are masculine and some are feminine. In this case it's masculine, so when it's plural it becomes i cognomi


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/stevefowler50

How would you ensure "she" was made clear


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Muttley_

You would need to rework the sentence. Suo does not carry any info about the gender of the possessor.
Ex. Come scriviamo il cognome di Maria?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Roman.sc

can I write: "come scriviamo il suo cognome di lei?"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Muttley_

only (and I strongly underline 'only') if you really really really want to emphasise that it's hers. In a real life situation you will not say suo... di lei.
Even in that case, you'd probably omit suo (come scriviamo il cognome di lei).


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/tikidog

Why does this use a different structure from "Come si scrive"? I would think the answer should be "Come ci scriviamo..."


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mukkapazza

Come si scrive = how does one write (this word, the famous person's name...)

Come scriviamo = how do we write (this word, the famous person's name...)

Come ci scriviamo = how do we write (to one another, for one another...)

Pronouns are pretty complex because they rarely follow one single rule. Sometimes just getting used to the way they work is more effective than memorizing lists of rules.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/tikidog

Ah, I think I understand now. Thanks so much for the useful explanation!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Muttley_

In this case "si" is not a reflexive pronoun (eg "lui si lava"; "lei si veste") but an indefinite pronoun which means "one", "you" (ex "qui non si parla di politica", one does not talk about politics here).


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KatherineK536469

Is there anyone who can help me with the question"Come scriviamo il suo cognome" if i translate it into english, it can be his surname or her surname?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Muttley_

Only context will tell.
The gender of Suo/sua/suoi/sue matches the thing possessed, not the owner


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AndersonMarian

Why do we need to write "Il suo cognome" in this sentence instead "suo cognome without "il"?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
Mod
Plus
  • 3177

All possessive noun phrases must have the definite article, unless it's a singular close family member.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ChrissyCurbPL

Oh, now that makes Sense! I have been baffled by this because I did not use il mio figlio or il mia sorella and git it correct, but this called for a 'il" because it belongs to many people (cognome), not singular, but more like a plural. Is my reasoning correct??? But how about "il mio nome"; would that be correct as well?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
Mod
Plus
  • 3177

No, it doesn't apply to the word for "name", just singular unmodified family members, like madre, padre, sorella, fratello, etc. And the fact that more than one person uses it does not make it plural. Many people can share one single thing. It is still one name.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DerrickTizzard

Can "come" mean "how" and "like"?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
Mod
Plus
  • 3177

Only in the sense of "Do it like this" and never in the sense of "I like your shirt."


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/OlderThanRome

In what kind of situation would you ask this question? Why would "we" write a someone's surname differently than someone else?

To put it differently, is this just another quirky Duolingo sentence, or is there a meaning that I've missed?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Muttley_

Well, there are countless situations where the spelling of a word can be difficult, especially with names. English speaking countries have spelling bee contests for that reason :-)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/OlderThanRome

Alright, thanks for your reply. So the question asks for the correct spelling? Does it mean the same as "Come si scrive..."?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Muttley_

yes, you're correct. The meaning is the same (more or less) :-)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Einzelheiten

How do we know when to put "suo" and when to put "il suo". I have been losing hearts both ways- for putting in "il" and for leaving out "il". What's the rule?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/myrois

Generally, when using possesive adjectives you need to use the article unless refering to direct family.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/eric.verdi45

Why is il used here?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Angel509

Where is her in this sentence?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
Mod
Plus
  • 3177

Come scriviamo il suo cognome?

It's the il suo. The possessive needs to agree with the thing possessed, just like any other adjective. It's irrelevant whether the owner is male or female.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/CoomberEric

I decided to specify that it's, "her," surname by writing out: Come scriviamo il suo cognome di lei

And that was marked incorrect. Is it outright wrong or just unnecessary because in context you'd probably know that you're talking about, "her," whoever she is?

Thank you!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Muttley_

That would translate as 'How do we write her surname of her'. Quite awkward.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
Mod
Plus
  • 3177

It's either "il suo cognome" or "il cognome di lei", but not "il suo cognome di lei".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MaryFenech1

why il suo becomes Her and His?????


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/hugogirl1026

Not clear why noi scriviamo is not accepted. It's use seems optional but not wrong!? Duolingo is very inconsistent


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/hiro934956

Ho scritto: "Come si scrive il suo cognome?"

I wonder if someone came to the front to tell me if it is wrong because I did not translate "we write" literally into Italian? I took "we" as a general term to suggest anyone, you, I and so on. Come si fa?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/hiro934956

Eight years ago! I was not there. Now you came all the way back to show me the way. Thank you very much.

Learn Italian in just 5 minutes a day. For free.