"They are on good terms with their neighbors."
Translation:Sono in buoni rapporti con i loro vicini.
"su" is more in the sense of position, eg. "The orange is on the table" = "l'arancia è sul tavolo" Also, it can mean concerning eg. "a book on physics" = "un libro sulla fisica" As I understand, in Italian, when 'in' is used to mean 'on', it is part of a set phrase/idiom eg. "in treno, in vacanza"
Pescevendolo, you are spot on and thank you for the reply. I asked a native speaker today and found that "su" is literal for something like "the keys are ON the table", me using su in this instance literally had me ON my neighbors... Which I assume would get me into some trouble. :)
I wrote "Hanno rapporti buoni con i loro vicini", which you suggested should be correct (though I left out the first loro), but I was marked wrong. I don't know if it should actually be correct or not.
What does 'dei' do here? Is there a literal translation for that sentence?
It's a partitive, meaning "some". http://italian.about.com/library/fare/blfare125a.htm
Is it always "rapporti" in Italian because of "they" or "vicini" or between groups? In English (American), the "rapport" can be both a plural item and a singular object even when it's between two groups because the rapport itself can be thought of as a set which is singular or as individual per person which would be plural.
I had, at first, chosen from the word tiles and translated "They are on good terms with their neighbors" to "loro sono in rapporti buoni con i vicini".
I thought the phrase "sono in rapporti buoni con i loro vicini" means "I am in good terms with their neighbours".
Alas, DUO rejected my translation.
Oh well... another phrase that I have to remember what DUO accepts in order to get pass this exercise.
"Hanno un rapporto buono con i loro vicini"
was marked wrong, and the suggested right answer was
"Hanno dei rapporti buoni con i loro vicini"
So my question is this: Could the "neighbors" in the question not just signify one entity/household/family ? (They are on good terms with the Smiths). And would the Rapporto/Relationship just be "one good relationship" in that case?
I do understand that the formulation "Sono in rapporti buoni...." would be in plural regardless, more or less like in the English sentence. (e.g Sono in rapporti amichevoli con mio fratello)
To translate was the sentence "They are on good terms with their neighbors."
Duolingo's correction of my translation was "Loro hanno dei rapporti buoni con loro vicini." That seems to me more honest and better than the official solution of this exercise "Sono in buoni rapporti con i loro vicini." Then I think "they are" ist not "there are"