"I am a boy."
Translation:Io sono un ragazzo.
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I don't know if you spelled it wrong accidentally in your comment, but it isn't "sonno," it is "sono." Maybe you spelled it wrong in Duolingo and that is why it said you were wrong? And whether you said "io sono un ragazzo" or "sono un ragazzo," it doesn't matter, it takes both answers.
I know what is correct in English, this unfortunately has no bearing on what is correct in Italian. Italian does not always use articles when describing what people ARE, e.g. 'sono Siciliano' - I am a Sicilian. Hence I still think 'sono ragazzo' is correct. If you are Italian or a fluent Italian speaker and can say what is correct in Italian I would be grateful for your guidance.
LO is one of the definite articles ("the"). And Italian lets you drop the subject pronoun unless it's unclear.
Even though the verb conjugates both
io sono and
loro sono, because it's a linking verb, the predicate must agree with the subject, so it will be obvious:
Sono un ragazzo = I am a boy.
Sono ragazzi = They are boys.
It doesn't need it. Just "Sono ragazzo" is fine. If that's what you wrote, go ahead and flag it and report "My answer should be accepted." If you had a multiple choice, you need to select all of the valid responses, not just one of them. If it's write what you hear, you need to transcribe everything the voice says.
Neither the English nor the Italian has the letter e anywhere in this sentence.
However, Italian has accented letters. Using them right is part of spelling words correctly.
This is a grave accent on an e:
This is an acute accent on an e:
A grave accent makes the difference between "and" (
e) and "is" (
The rule of thumb in Italian for whether a noun is masculine or feminine. What letter does it end in?
-o singular masculine
-i plural masculine
-a singular feminine
-e plural feminine.
ragazzo - boy/child
ragazzi - boys/children
ragazza - girl
ragazze - girls
fratello - brother
fratelli - brothers
sorella - sister
sorelle - sisters
Some nouns will end in
-e in the singular and
-i in the plural, and you need to memorize whether they're masculine or feminine on a case-by-case basis. Foreign loanwords will end in different letters (usually consonants) and are masculine.
There are other exceptions, but you don't have to worry about those for now.
Impeccable explanation, as usual.
Just one note: foreign loanwords are not masculine by default. There are some (very inconsistent, TBH) rules, like assigning the gender of the corresponding Italian noun. For example: la mail/l'email (from la posta elettronica), la t-shirt (from la maglietta), la password (from la parola d'ordine/chiave), la boutique (already feminine in French, also matching la bottega).
Since the verb already has the subject in itself, the subject pronouns (io, tu, lui, lei, Lei, noi, voi, essi, esse, loro) are usually dropped.
They are used for emphasis or contrast. For example:
sono un ragazzo: this is a neutral sentence. io sono un ragazzo: here there is emphasis on io. 'I am a boy (but my sister is not)'. In English you would pronounce the 'I' with more emphasis. In Italian you would add io.
Dutch has a similar feature, but in that case, different pronouns altogether are used: ex. you (singular) can be rendered by je (neutral) or jij (stressed form). Ex. Ik ben tien. En jij? 'I am ten y.o. And you?".
In French, you would use moi, toi... + subject. Ex. Moi, je suis un garçon