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  5. "I pesci vivono nell'acqua."

"I pesci vivono nell'acqua."

Translation:Fish live in water.

May 30, 2013



Would a native speaker of Italian always include the articles in this sentence? Could one correctly say, "Pesci vivono in acqua?"


No, the articles MUST always be used


Nope, we don't say "pesci vivono in acqua" but pay attention: for us (Italian people) the word "pesci" is plural and countable, while in English is uncountable and the verb "live" is required. Anyway, the Duo translation is not good, if not wrong ...I am studying English language, by the way... I'm Italian


in english 'fish' can be plural and countable. it can also be singular and countable. it isn't an abstract idea nor a liquid or powder, nor cut up pieces of (which aren't alive). because it lacks an 's' or 'es' doesn't make it uncountable. that isn't the test. the verb 'live is only required when you are talking about multiple fish. 'a fish lives..." "the fish live/lives..." here is a page on usage. https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/fish

there is another equivalent countable word in English--'fishes'.


Thank you...


'in acqua' is used in some expressions such as 'in acqua fino alle ginocchie' 'knee deep in water', 'in acqua cattiva' 'in deep water' (in trouble). I think I have seen 'in acqua' in a post on the performance of a boat performance hydrodynamically. I don't remember the quote.

  • 1110

I am a bit puzzled by sentences like this - it seems both 'Fish live in water' and 'The fish live in the water' would be correct - ? What if you want to say the latter as distinct from the former? Is there any way to do this in Italian?


I believe you would use "these/those fish live in water" to make the distinction between fish in general and some specific fish. So "Questi / quei pesci vivono nell'acqua"

The same would I suppose apply to the water, this/that water? Can a native speaker confirm?


100% correct. This ambiguity exists and you can remove it by using something like "quel/quello/quella/quei/quelle" (those). Normally, however, the context suffices. So in summary I can think of:

  • I pesci vivono nell'acqua => [The] fish live in [the] water
  • Quei pesci vivono nell'acqua => The fish live in [the] water
  • Quei pesci vivono in quell'acqua => The fish live in the water


I am just guessing, but I think in Italian you cannot express this distinction.

"Fish live in water" is a general statement about the species 'fish'.

When we say "The fish live in the water", we are talking about specific fish which we have talked about before or which we have seen before. The same way "the water" refers to water we have already talked about or that we have seen.

However, I find it strange to have "the" both in front of fish and in front of water.


Why live not lives?


Because 'fish' is in plural.

  • 1110

Would "The fish live in the water" also be a correct translation?


Yes. That was accepted.


I wrote 'the fish are living in the water' it was incorrect, but why?


It's because, the sentence is in present tense and not present continuous tense

  • 1458

The Italian present tense (presente) is used for both the English present and present continuous tenses.

So, yes, that should be correct.


Phillip, it's incorrect because you wrote "the fish". It should just be "fish". The Italian sentence is talking about fish in general, not specific fish. Read the comment I wrote to MikeGGP1 for a more in depth answer.

  • 1458

The Italian sentence can be either a general statement or a specific statement. One would need to tell by context. In the English, both "the" words could be there or not (and the verb could be "live" or "are living").


No, not so based upon how Duolingo chose to translate the sentence. "The" completely changes the meaning of the sentence in English from a general statement that all fish live in water to the fish we are talking about live in water. Adding "are" also changes the meaning in English from fish in general live in water, as opposed to living somewhere else, to fish are indeed living in the water, as opposed to there are no fish in the water at all. However, the Italian sentence can be translated into either the simple present tense or the present continuous.

  • 1458

If one translated "Fish live in water" to Italian, it would be the one given. If one translated "The fish live in the water" to Italian it could be the same Italian sentence. The Italian sentence is ambiguous as to general or specific. If one didn't have clues through context and wanted to remove the ambiguity that it is specific, one could use "Quei pesci vivono nell'acqua" (or "Quei pesci vivono quell'acqua"). We have no context, so translating to general or specific are both possible.


The fish live in the water is marked incorrect?


I thought that vivono was wine but i knew that wouldnt make sense


If Giovanni 'vive in Messico' why don't 'pesci vivono in l'acqua'. They are both permanent states. No?


I'm not entirely sure what you're asking, but to correct your Italian, first, remember your article "i" before the noun "pesci," and second, "nell'acqua" is the (mandatory) contraction of "in l'acqua" (which is a contraction of "in la acqua").


Grazie, Maggie. My question is specifically about the word "in". Giovanni vive in Roma. Why don't fish also "vive in acqua" rather than nell'acqua?


Correct it please!!!! I pesci vivono nell'acqua - The fish lives in (the) water or just in water. DOT


Kinna dumb if someone does not know that fish


I PESCHI is many fishes?!?!?!?! Il pesche vivono nell'acqua. Non capisco niente perkele vittu saatana.

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