Would a native speaker of Italian always include the articles in this sentence? Could one correctly say, "Pesci vivono in acqua?"
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'.
'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.
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.
I wrote 'the fish are living in the water' it was incorrect, but why?
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.
It's because, the sentence is in present tense and not present continuous tense
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").
First lesson with the word nell' in it. In all the other lessons, it was just "nel" with one L and no apostrophe. Both seem to mean "in the," so why use nell' sometimes and nel all other times before?? thanks!
Maggie answered your question correctly. The answer does not have anything to do with "a permanent state of being". (You might be thinking of the verbs for "to be": "essere" and "stare" reference "permanance".) In Italian, as opposed to English, the article "the" ( l' in front of "aqua") is necessary when speaking about water (or other things) in general. In English, it's the opposite. We use "the" to be specific (the water) and leave it out to be general (water). The same goes for "fish". "In" = "in" but in + l' becomes nell' . If you are doing Duolingo on a computer, as opposed to a cellphone, these explanations are included in the lesson. So, "Fish live in water" is correctly "I pesce vivono nell'acqua." Hope this helps.
Gli uccelli vivono nell'alberi. I thought birds lived in clouds or somethin lol
I don't think that the another translation that Duolingo gives is correct: Fish live in water. "Pesci" is in plural" and it said fish.
Fish is a mass noun - it can be singular or plural in English. Fish would be the most appropriate translation for both pesce and pesci.
If you were talking about different types of fish, then yes, this would be correct. Otherwise.. no.
"The fish lives in the water" was wrong for me - but I don't understand why.
You wrote 'lives', which corresponds to a singular subject of the sentence but the subject is actually plural: pesci
"fish" is kind of a weird word in English... we use the same word for both singular and plural. In this case, the italian "pesci" is plural, so you need a plural form of the verb "to live" (so "[they] live").