"Our cats are not white."
Translation:Le nostre gatte non sono bianche.
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Given this exercise, we confront a bizarre situation that, without knowing anything else about the cats except that all are non-white, there is no gender-neutral way to refer to them. The translator may be compelled to make an arbitrary choice of gender.
Why? For the translation of "Our cats are not white", DL accepts either "i nostri gatti non sono bianchi" or "Le nostre gatte non sono bianche." Accordingly, it is acceptable and in fact required to refer to cats as male or female even if in reality they are the opposite gender. Why do I conclude so?
Because the Italian sentence DL composed for this exercise does not specify the gender of these cats (but only that they are not white), one can conclude DL teaches that either of these two translations is acceptable regardless of the gender of the cats whether they be male, female, or mixed gender.
Putting all of the foregoing observations together, it follows that, to translate "Our cats are not white", they are both true that "i nostri gatti non sono bianchi" is an acceptable translation even if the cats are all female, and ""Le nostre gatte non sono bianche" is acceptable EVEN IF THE CATS ARE ALL MALE. Gender doesn't matter here.
Am I wrong? Can anyone here confirm or deny (with reason) that this puzzling situation is a reality of the Italian language?
I don't know about Italian, but in French, according to my daughter who lived and studied in France, 'la chatte' exists (as opposed to 'le chat') but nobody uses it (it is a bad word). In French classes I learned that if you don't know the actual sex of the animal, use the male form.
yes, but as @dnovinc said, some animals (perhaps most) have only one grammatical gender.
if you want to specify its physical gender you have to say:
- Lo squalo maschio/Lo squalo femmina (" ̶L̶a̶ ̶s̶q̶u̶a̶l̶a̶" doesn't exist)
- il serpente maschio/il serpente femmina (L̶a̶ ̶s̶e̶r̶p̶e̶n̶t̶e̶)
- La tigre maschio/La tigre femmina (i̶l̶ ̶t̶i̶g̶r̶e̶)
the two correct answers would be "i nostri gatti non sono bianchi" or "le nostre gatte non sono bianche".
Your choice in answering this is arbitrary. I believe the general rules are if you know the cats are all male use "i nostri" if you know the cats are all female use "le nostre" if they are mixed or you're not sure use "i nostri" as a default
This is something! How can " I nostri gatti non sono bianchi" be considered wrong? And the gender of the cats was not specified in the above question? I thought you could choose to write " the cats[ gatti/gatte]" in what ever form you chosed but you have to conjugate everything in that same gender? If that is the case why was my above answer consider as WRONG? Can someone clerify this for me?
I typed ( as I didn't know if the cats were male or female ) i nosti gatti non sono bianchi
This was accepted but I was told I had a typo.
The given answer was in the above female form but I can't spot my typo in the male form. Is there a typo or is DL just being pedantic because I wasn't psychic enough to realise it wanted girl cats in stead of boy cats? :D
"I nostri gatti sono bianchi" means "our cats ARE white" you're asked to translate "our cats are NOT white" so the answer would be "I nostri gatti NON sono bianchi"
also Le nostre gatte non sono bianche is correct ( and the given answer here ) because cats can also be female.
"Le gatte" means The cats when all of the cats are female. i gatti is used for multiple male cats or for a mix of both male and female cats. Yes, the color does usually match singular/plural as well as the gender. Le gatte sono bianche is correct (so long as all the cats are female)
The word "sono" is used with both io and loro. "Io sono" (English - I am) , "loro sono" (they are). The word "sei" is the conjugation used with tu, 2nd person singular informal in Italian. "Tu sei" (English - you are). To further complicate matters, the pronoun is usually left out in Italian unless you are emphasizing the person doing the action. So, I am = sono and also they are = sono, you are = sei. Sorry this is so long! :)
If you know they are all female cats then you can say "le nostre gatte non sono bianche" if they are all male or there are mixed gender or it's not known which gender then default to the male form "i nostri gatti non sono bianchi
Whether duo will accept the female form is a different question. This course is not maintained by anyone and answers that should be accepted ( or even corrected ) have gone unmodified for years.