The point is not the meaning of "finché non"; a glance at the Collins dictionary makes that clear (http://www.wordreference.com/iten/finch%C3%A9%20non). The point is that people struggle to find meaning by creating contexts. If duolingo provided even a simple context (in English or Italian) no one would have had to waste time writing these comments. Read the comments again: notice the number of times "mean" and "sense" occur. Then people make up little scenarios to find meaning. It astonishes me that this sentence is still being used after so many people have made this obvious point.
I don't use the hints. Read this ten times, read my answer twenty times, as it made no sense whatsoever. Pressed enter, was correct. Who comes up with such stuff?? At least something like "you won't eat until you cook them" would make some sort of sense.... there's way too much un-pruned nonsense in here... which makes learning much more difficult.
Yes ..to read 'to them' makes 'them' an indirect object, which would be a different sentence
non mangi finchè non gli leggi
.. or ..
non mangi finchè non leggi a loro
This is from my recent understanding from clitics. So, when this sentence says 'read them', them is a direct object. It does not answer to whom are you reading, it answers what you are reading. So, a your context makes sense, the kids must read 'some things' before they can eat. ;-)
A philosophical musing on the sentences that seem weird: Yes, context is nice sometimes to help one figure out a sentence, but it can also be a bit of a crutch. I think having sentences that don't seem to make much sense as part of the mix is good, because it forces you to translate without any contextual clues.
And pronouns often don't make sense as they are substituting for a person or other noun from earlier in the conversation, so they're prime candidates for this.
Ah I see, thanks for the explanation!
So I can kind of think of "finché non" in this context to mean "as long as you don't read the book," while also remembering the meaning of "finché non" being "until."
Double negatives, although incorrect grammatically in English, are used in common speech, although a bit yokelish ;) "You ain't done nothing!"
Thanks again! :)
It's not really a matter of double negative. The use of non is parallel with French ne in such constructions. The technical term is pléonastique. A French translation of the sentence here could be "tu ne manges pas à moins que tu ne les lises...ne is "elegant" but optional, cf. J'ai peur qu'il ne revienne 'I am afraid that he will return.'
As noted throughout this discussion, there are many problems with the translation. I think that the Italian sentence is in the present tense, so "You do not eat until you you read them" should be an acceptable translation into English. Furthermore, if DL wanted to create an Italian sentence that would translate into a future tense in English, it should have presented a sentence something like "non mangerai finche' non li leggi."
I'm pretty sure Hungarian is harder, but we'd need an impartial judge :) In this specific case I'm not so sure: the Italian imperative is a weird conjugation, sometimes different in positive and negative commands.
- (Tu) mangia! Non mangiare!
- (Lei/lui) mangi! Non mangi!
- (Noi) mangiamo! Non mangiamo!
- (Voi) mangiate! Non mangiate!
- (Loro) mangino! Non mangino!
The "tu" form is the only proper imperative, the "voi" form is the same as the indicative and the other ones are actually subjunctive and sometimes called "exhortative" because they are more a wish than an order.
Another point is that finché usually introduces an indicative verb, but can introduce a subjunctive, although in modern Italian in that case it's usually split into "fino a che". So the fact that both verbs agree in tense isn't a general rule :)
Finché usually is followed by non when it expresses the meaning of ‘until something happens.’ I would translate this sentence more as an order: You don't eat until you read them. 'Won't' is the English contraction for 'would not' which would require the verb mangiare to be in the conditional tense.
Yikes! This is what happens when I multi-task and type too fast. Hai ragione f. formica! I meant to write won't is the contraction of will not; and I should have written future not conditional tense. Future tense = Non mangerai (you won't eat). Thanks for catching my error. Grazie!
I don't understand when to add in the extra "non". I understand, "non mangi", but if "finché" means 'until', it does not make sense in English. But IF "finché means 'if', THEN, the sentence makes sense with the extra "non". I think "finché" must have an implied 'if' in it. How do I figure out when to add in another negative.
Duolingo often throws curve balls; too often for my liking. Learning a new language is difficult enough without unexplained idiomatic phrases and nonsense sentences being presented to the learner. Context is everything, and we all deserve better than the dross that Duolingo chucks in. The fact that we see so many complaints about the same problems carrying on for years indicates that Duolingo does not care as long as it is raking in the cash.