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  5. "Una nipote è la figlia di tu…

"Una nipote è la figlia di tuo fratello o sorella."

Translation:A niece is the daughter of your brother or sister.

June 8, 2013



"di tuo fratello o sorella" -- is this correct in literary Italian? I mean, "tuo" only agrees with "fratello" and not with :"sorella"? Anyone know for sure? (I would have said "di tuo fratello o di tua sorella".


It's simple as someone said. It happens in other latin languages like Portuguese. You use the possessive pronoun to the first person mentioned - in this case "tuo" fratello (masc.). The second pessossive pronoun is just omitted, you dont need to add "tua" fratella.


I'm a bit confused by this as well. Is there some particular rule in Italian about this situation?

[deactivated user]

    It changes to whichever comes first. Meanining had "sorella" come before "fratello" in this sentence, it would be "tua."


    I think in cases like this it defaults to the masculine form

    [deactivated user]

      Nay. It defaults to simply whichever comes first. If "sorella" had come first, it would have used "tua" in stead.


      is nipote not granddaughter as well?


      yes it is. Actually it also means nephew and grandson. It depends on which article is preceding nipote and on the context.


      Well then they should tell us that it means both!


      If everyone would direct their eyes to the LIGHT BULB now called TIPS section at the beginning of each lesson, a lot of your repeatedly repeated questions would be answered...look at what's in front of you!!!


      Yes, but this sentence clearly explains which definition of "nipote" they are looking for, because it says "is the daughter of your brother or sister". Therefore, it can only be niece here.


      Can 'i fratelli' mean siblings? As in brothers and sisters.


      ''una nipote''... one would expect ''un nipote'' - a nephew and ''una nipota'' - a niece. Wrong?


      Wrong :-) Words ending in -e in the singular are gender invariant.


      Thanks. But how does this relate to e.g. "insegnante" and "principiante"? I thought I had encountered these both as "un" and "una", depending on whether the teacher or beginner is a he or a she. Wrong again ? :-)


      Not at all; gender invariant means that the word doesn't change with gender, not that it can only have one gender. So "un insegnante" is a male teacher, and "un'insegnante" a female one. For some nouns there is actually a distinct feminine form (e.g. un leone / una leonessa), but those are the exception, like the masculine or invariant nouns in -a (e.g. un artista / un'artista).


      I find it strange yet funny that nipote is gender invariant when it would make more sense to me that it should change, and colors are gender variant. Or are they? Now im not sure but I know the endings certainly change


      The words for colors only change endings if the color word is not also an object. "Rosa" is "(a) rose" and also "pink," so its ending does not change with gender.


      Thanks again for your swift and very clear explanation.


      So an apostrophe after un (un') rather than using "una" indicates a feminine forn if the word?


      Yep, but only if the proceeding word has an article.

      For example:

      "Una nave", but "un'automobile"; both are feminine words but they take different articles because of the vowel in "automobile".


      Nipota non esiste in italiano


      I wrote "a niece" because of "una."


      My question is on the use of tuo rather than tua. I am pretty sure the objects are brother and sister but is the distinction of which gender to use based of of what you list first or is it when there are both genders listed you go with the masculine or is it choice? long question but I wish to understand not just memorize.


      My professors have told me that if there is a question on gender, you go with masculine. Hope that helps.


      As I understand English a dughter of my brother or sister is "nephew", but not "niece". Am i correct?


      It's the opposite: the daughter of your brother or sister is your "niece", their son is your "nephew".


      Thank you. Just English is not my native...


      In the Italian sentence I feel the suggestion that there is only one brother and one sister. So "Una nipote è la figlia di un fratello o una sorella." would sound more natural to me. Do others feel the same or I am splitting hairs? :):)


      and what about: "A niece is your brother's or sister's daughter"?


      and what about: " A niece is your brother's or sister's daughter"?


      Why is it wrong to say "o tua sorella". After all sorella is feminine ?


      it's not wrong, it's just not what she says. (i also wrote that.)


      Since the Italian voice isn't so great, I couldn't understand if they wanted me to write "Un" or "Una"!


      happens to me all the time! buona fortuna!


      How it can mean both nephew/niece and grandson/daughter?? It is two completely different characteristics. When i say "la mia nipote fa tardi" for example it is not clear to whom i am referring...to my niece or to my granddaughter??


      Look at it this way: you can only unequivocally say "my nephew" or "my grandchild" when you only have one, which wasn't such a common case, as families used to be large. The Middle English "neve" had the same ambiguity as Italian and the Latin "nepos", and in current Dutch "neef" means both cousin and nephew.

      P.S. You normally don't need an article before "mia nipote".


      (Native Dutch speaker) I am really impressed by your Dutch example. You are absolutely right. You are really amazing.


      If the first comment has to do with english, i disagree my friend..when you only have one, you use apparently the word "only"..e.g My only son/child etc..Appart from this, i still cannot understand (in Italian) how somenone can clarify to whom exactly is referring...For example, is there something else to be added before the word "nipote"?


      You missed my point :) If you say "my son is coming to pick me up", the listener has to interpret it as "one of my sons" unless they know you only have one son: thus it is still not clear who you are referring to. In rural societies a family could easily have one hundred members (in China there are still many villages where everyone shares the same surname); in those times the only important relationships were those to the head of the family and first-degree relations (with their spouses). So, in many languages, English included, the rest of the family were just generically "relatives". Nephews, cousins and grandsons indicated a second-degree relationship who had some chance to inherit, and thus were somehow more noteworthy, but not enough to be picky about it. Many languages have evolved some distinction, but in Italian the only way to avoid the ambiguity is still to go the long way and say "my brother/sister/son/daughter's son".


      Impressed with your anthropological/historical knowledge. Well done.

      In Maltese, we have the same issue: nephews/nieces/grandchildren are referred to with the same words: "neputi" (m) or "neputija" (f), which, I'm very sure, have been inherited from the Italian (we are neighbours after all).

      And, yes, there are languages that make distinctions between nieces/nephews/grandchildren depending on which side of the family they are, that is, whether they are paternal or maternal relations. This largely depends on the lineage 'system' of the society in question.


      Thanks for the immediate response! So, in Italian there is not a unique word to distinguish the relationship sometimes and you have to describe it. It sounds me a little strange but i will get used to it..;)


      Languages have lots of different ways to distinguish or group family member terms. Italian's is close to English, but not perfectly so.

      Consider that your mother's brother and your father's sister's husband are both "uncle" in English, but they're pretty distinct relationships: you share genes with only one of them. Surely it would be reasonable in some language to make this distinction.

      Here's a cool video describing how Kinship Systems in a few different languages work: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YOi2c2d3_Lk


      If you though Nipote was confusing, we have it easy!

      In Cantonese there are specific names for family relationships depending exclusively on whether the relationship is on the paternal or maternal side (for the most part).


      Grandfather: Gung gung (maternal) / Yah yeh (paternal)

      Grandmother: Ngoi poh (maternal) / Poh poh (paternal)

      Aunt: Ah yee (maternal) / Gu jeh (paternal)

      Uncle: Kou fu (maternal) / Ah sook (paternal)


      No distinction between maternal/paternal lines

      Nephew: Zhat jai (maternal) / Zhat jai (paternal)

      Neice: Zhat lui (maternal) / Zhat lui (paternal)


      No distinction between maternal/paternal lines. You will call them different things depending on whether they are older or younger than you and depending on their gender.

      Cousin (Female): Piu mui (younger) / Piu joh (older)

      Cousin (male): Piu dai (younger) / Piu gor (older)

      And you don't even want me to get into siblings, which are named by gender, by age relevance and by order of birth!


      This should be accepted in the short phrases as nipote means both granddaughter and niece


      I answered "A niece is the child of... " which should be accepted since figlia means both daughter and child(f) and niece makes it unambiguous that it is a female child.


      Would this be correct? Would "A niece is the daughter of your sister or brother" be "Una nipote è la figlia di tua sorella o fratello"? (Or does fratello have to come first?)


      Why is it wrong to say sister and brother rather than brother and sister


      It's just following the word order of the original sentence.


      That sure puts things into perspective! Thanks Pye Have a lingot.


      Hey, thank you very much. Glad I could help!


      For me 'tua' is missing before 'sorella'.


      I've just checked it on Google Translate, it is written: "Una nipote è la figlia di tuo fratello o di tua sorella"


      Google Translate is not always reliable enough in precise translations.


      I couldn't remember which family member "nipote" was, thank goodness for context clues!


      The slow audio definitely says "un" not "una" nipote


      A cousin in still a daughter of a brother or sister


      A cousin is the child of an aunt or uncle. Except centuries ago when almost every relative beyond immediate famiky were called cousin - I think! At least in Shakespeare!


      The audio says una, however to be sure I listened to the slow one, and it says "un", very clearly, however given it's a niece, it is in fact una. Unfortunately when reporting the audio, it's not possible to say what is actually wrong...


      the slow version does not say "Una nipote" rather "Un nipote" I have found that pronunciation needs to be more exacting in order to be understood.


      As previously, "Un nipote" should be "una nipote"


      i think the correct answer must be.... di tua sorella o di tuo fratello


      The program isssssss ssssssllllloooowwwwee


      It is dictionary in my phone.bye


      Is nephew and niece are not similar???


      Again another exception the definitive article before a singular family noun. There are no rules!


      why use di tuo and not di vostro?


      And now I know where nepotism comes from!


      Why is the di not repeated before sorella as it was in the previous question? Is it because of the 'tuo'?


      " A niece is the daughter of your brother or your sister." This is also correct.


      It did not have nephew as an option only niece


      Can't figlia be child. In the drop down translation they list child also


      The answer I put was one you just had in an example!


      nice instead of niece was a typo,not wrong word


      I put exactly that answer and it give me an error ??????


      My last answer is exactly as it appears here above. I do not understand why it was announced as wrong?


      I thought in this way it's a cousin, not a niece. Nieces and nephews are -as far as I know- the children of your cousins?


      No, they are the children of your siblings.


      The children of your cousins are your 2nd cousins, and their children are 3rd cousins. Cousins remain cousins never elevated to any other category, but only change their degree. Sometimes also refered to by such terms as "My cousin once removed" or "twice removed" as the generations pass


      Nephews and nieces have the same identification as grandchildren in Italian, nipotes.The term "removed" refers to the number of generations separating the cousins themselves. So your first cousin once removed is the child (or parent) of your first cousin. Your second cousin once removed is the child (or parent) of your second cousin. And your first cousin twice removed is the grandchild (or grandparent) of your first cousin.


      Seems to me that "Removed" goes only downward. One of the grandparents of your first cousin may be your own grandparent ( your aunt or uncle's parent). Clarification would be welcomed.


      :) I was vague on this for years - I guess I'm from a family where the terms weren't used much - we knew who folks were - used their names

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