"Quanto costa?"

Translation:How much does it cost?

May 30, 2013

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I hope the person is asking how much IT costs...


Would an Italian ever ask "what does it cost" using another phrase? For a native English speaker, there is no difference between "what" does it cost and "how much" does it cost. Also, the answer should be the same for either question.


"How much does he/she cost" should be correct as well. I can see this used in slave markets :).


Nah, they had fixed prices in the good ol' Roman empire. You would sound like a barbarian asking that.


The Romans spoke Latin...


Does "Quantus cōnstat?" seem different enough to deserve such a note?


Fair point, but I gotta defend the language I teach! Can't have people assuming that by learning Italian they can read Vergil & Caesar. Tamen, nunc intellego te doctum esse. ;)


Why does quanto in the masculine form go with costa which ends in an 'a'?


"Costa" is a verb, the third person singular of the verb costare, so its ending has nothing to do with inflection; "quanto" is used as a subject pronoun, so it can't be inflected. It would if it were used as an adjective.


Not sure I understand how "quanto" is a subject pronoun. Quanto translates to "how much" which is adverb phrase modifying the verb "costa".?


How about "What is the cost"


"How much is it" should be correct as well.


At school my italian teacher learnt us "cosa costa?" is it correct?


Nope, as long as you're talking about its worth in money; it could work when talking about bartering (although "che/cosa vuoi/vuole in cambio" is more natural) or effort (but then it needs an indirect object, e.g. "che ti costa?").

"Cosa costa?" literally means "what thing costs?", e.g. "cosa costa di più?" (what costs more/the most?).

P.S. learnt -> taught


Does anyone know why you don't have to put a direct pronoun here? (i.e. quanto lo costa), the way you have to write something like 'non lo so'?


I'll try to explain.

"Quanto costa?" Subject - (implied - it). Verb - costa = costs. Question words function as Adverbs - Quanto - How much? If you were diagramming the sentence: (it) costs how much?
There is no direct object so no direct object pronoun is needed.
"Quanto costa la macchina?" The car costs how much? OR How much does the car cost? Again, no direct object.

"Non lo so" Subject - (implied - I). Verb - so - know or do know. Direct object - lo - it. Non - negates the sentence. I do not know (it). Idiomatically used for "I don't know".




Why doesn't "How much do you cost?" work? When I hover over "costa", the first definition is "(you) cost", which I assume is the formal second person ... and Duolingo likes funny sentences :)


Well that's technically true, but... what scenario did you have in mind exactly? :P I can think of a couple but I doubt the formal you would be used...


I can not translate this to my native language and somehow I don't understand this how to use, same with the verb succedere. Can please someone explain it to me?


Not knowing what your 'native language' is and what exactly you don't understand about this example.. it's a bit hard to 'explain' it to you? Maybe you can help us by explaining what you don't understand first?


My native language is Dutch but like in English you can not say: i cost, you cost, he costs except for it, these, those. Same for succedere: I happen, you happen, he happens etc. Although I avoid as much as possible to translate literally, I can't see now how to use it. Maybe later in the course??? I asked my father who is an Italian, but he is not able to explain it to me.


I don't think I understand what you are trying to say. The Italian sentence is very straight forward - Quanto = how much; Costa = it costs. Besides, why can't you say 'I cost' or 'you cost'? E.g., Person A: "I am looking for a lawyer.". Person B: "I am one, but I cost more than you can afford.".


If you put it that way, I understand but still these two verbs I still have troubles with. Hopefully it will get it to me, one day. According to your status you are learning Dutch as well, and we rarely use these verbs in the way Italians do. Thanks for your effort and time to explain.


It’s just that Italian verbs, unlike English or Dutch ones, have different endings for every possible person. So for this verb you’ll need to learn: io costo, tu costi, lui/lei costa, noi costiamo, voi costate, loro costano. Lots of effort in comparison, though I’m grateful modern Italian got rid of the Latin declinations for nouns ;)


Would I use "quanto costa?" if I wanted to ask: How much do you charge? To, for example, hire a car or boat; clean my windows, etc.

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