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  5. "My grandparents are farmers."

"My grandparents are farmers."

Translation:I miei nonni sono contadini.

June 2, 2013



Why do you need to use the definite article here? Why can't you say miei nonni?

  • 2615

The article must be omitted only for singular unmodified close family members: "nonni" is plural, so the article is needed. For the same reason it's "il mio nonnino" (diminutive, as affectionate form), and "il mio nonno inglese" (my English grandfather) as the noun is modified internally or externally.


How could we do without you, Mr Ant!


How come you can't/shouldn't say "fanno i" for they are farmers?


You can, and in this case is probably preferable since you typically use fare to indicate your current occupation, and essere for the profession that you're trained in but not necessarily working in at the present time.


I need help with the distinction between "agricoltori" (which I thought meant "farmers") and "contadini," which I believed meant "peasants'). I answered "agricoltori," and was marked incorrect.


they both mean farmers, but I believe the whole sentence with "agricoltori" was marked wrong since it says "gli miei nonni sono..." when it should be "i miei nonni sono..."


Well... I can't comment much on the Italian side, but for English, agriculturalists and farmers are two different words. I would say a farmer is a subset of agriculture. So if Italian takes a similar pretext, then I would say that's why it was marked wrong.


Why is it "i miei nonni" in this sentence while before I had a sentence in which "il mio zio" had to be without "il"?


You don't use "il" or "la" for a singular immediate family member, but you need "i" and "le" for plural. E.g. sing. "mia sorella", pl. "le mie sorelle"


My answer was "i miei nonni sono i contadini "but it is marked wrong plz can anyone explain why?

  • 2475

You're describing your grandparents as farmers, so you don't need the article. It should be just "i miei nonni sono contadini".


Don't need the article, and wrong if you add it are two different things, Why is it wrong to add it? I can't seem to wrap my head around the times when an article is wrong in front of the object of a sentence.

  • 2475

There is no object here. "To be/essere" is a verb of state, not a verb of action. The predicate is describing the subject, it is not receiving the action of the verb.

And perhaps "don't need" was imprecise phrasing. The article is not used with professions when you use "essere", but it is used with professions when you use "fare".

I miei nonni sono contadini.
I miei nonni fanno i contadini.


Well, I learned something new today. Have a lingot. Thanks for the lesson. Now if I could only tell which verbs are state verbs, I'll get somewhere.

  • 2475

Verbs of state, as in what is the status of the subject? They don't show any action. Nothing is happening. They simply describe the subject.

Some verbs can function as verbs of action or verbs of state. You need to pay attention to what comes after.

Alice is a teacher. (state--describes Alice)
Bob is tall. (state--describes Bob)

Carol looks tired. (state--describes Carol)
Carol looks at the wall. (action--something is being looked at)

Dave feels happy. (state--describes Dave)
Dave feels the desk. (action--something is being felt)

Eucalyptus smells like mint. (state--describes eucalyptus)
Edna smells the eucalyptus. (action--something is being smelled)

Frank seems calm. (state--describes Frank)

This is not a comprehensive list, but hopefully you get the idea.


Why can’t I say “I miei nonni sono dei contadini”? I thought “dei” was the plural of the indefinite articles “un” and “una”. I have also encountered other sentences in these occupation lessons where the sentence has used the format “essere + dei + occupation (plural)”.


Why the first choice "gli" is wrong

  • 2475

Because lo/gli is only for when the next word starts with a consonant cluster (squalo, stivali), z (zucchero), or a vowel or glide (yogurt, uomini).


Presumably 'I miei nonni fanno i contadini' would also be an acceptable translation?


Apparently "i contadini" is wrong, or at least the "i" part.


"I nonni sono contadini" should be accepted too, I think, because in italian the possessive adjective is often unspoken. Ex : "Vengo colla moglie", rather than "Vengo colla mia moglie". Shouldn't it ?


Last time i wrote "i miei nonni" it was marked wrong and i said durely i have two sets of grandparents so you should use the "i". This time I didn't use it and I was again marked wrong. Still confused.

  • 2475

Unmodified singular family members do not take the definite article with the possessive.


Does Sono mean am or are? Just got two wrong. Getting real confused now!

  • 2475

"Essere" is irregular.
io sono
tu sei
lui/lei è
noi siamo
voi siete
loro sono

But since it means "to be", there should never be any confusion because the predicate always reflects the subject. "Loro" is plural and "io" is singular.


I read somewhere in the comments that you don't use "i" before the names of people in the family ( hence "mio marito" , "mia moglie" without the article) so why is it " i miei nonni"?

  • 2475

That rule is only for singular, unmodified family members. As soon as there's an adjective or it's plural, you need the definite article.


Why not " i cintadini" ? We seems to be using the implied "the" in other sentences

  • 2475

As explained above, the article is not used with professions when you use "essere", but it is used with professions when you use "fare".

I miei nonni sono contadini.
I miei nonni fanno i contadini.

  • 391

this template contradicts the question and correct response for this question in this lesson: "My nephew is a fisherman." Translation:Mio nipote lavora come pescatore.

  • 2475

Languages can have more than one way of saying something. It doesn't have to be a contradiction.

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