"Our cats are not white."

Translation:Le nostre gatte non sono bianche.

June 20, 2013

This discussion is locked.


I never saw 'le gatte'. I do know that 'i gatti' is the plural form of 'il gatto'. Is 'le gatte' the plural form of 'la gatta', a feminine cat?


So just to be super clear about this, (I have a male and a female cat) would I say

when I see my male cat, il mio gatto,

and when I see my female cat, la mia gatta?

Also, following convention, if I have a bunch of cats female and male, must I say, i miei gatti?


Yes, everything you wrote is correct. :)


I think you ought to accept ' i miei gatti ' if for my part I have male cats.


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.


Can you change the gender of all animals?


No, there are some that have only one gender:

  • il serpente = the snake
  • la tigre = the tiger


Sorry to revive an old thread but, as a general rule, does this mean most animals can be written in masculine and feminine depending on the actual physical gender of the animal in question?

i.e. Squalo/Squala


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)


Grammatical gender may apply to sharks and tigers, but NOT TO CATS. (See my analysis above, responding to MarieJose.)


In italiano, no


I was translating "our cats", which could be either I gatti, or me gatte!


I don't get have you are supposed to know that these cats are female? Generally, "the cat" is translated as "il gatto"


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


There were two correct answers to this one. The above answer and "I nostri gatti non sono bianchi". We had to be careful to match the gatte or gatti with the corresponding bianche or bianchi. I get caught by this and am learning to be more aware of it.


I nostri gatti non sono bianchi, was my first answer, and marked wrong.


It is accepted by DL on 7 Aug 2021.


Surely there is nothing in this phrase to indicate the sex of the cats,so why am I incorrect in I nostri gatti?


See my explanation and analysis above, replying to MarieJose. You are not wrong if there is nothing else wrong in your sentence beyond this phrase. The phrase by itself is not wrong.


'Le nostre gatte non sono bianche' is accepted. 19 Oct. 2014


Why does "I" have to precede "nostri"?


Unlike English, you still need an article for the nouns even if there is a possessive adjective.


I selected both "le gatte…" and "i gatti…" It was marked wrong, and "i gatti" was said to be the only correct answer. Now, at the top of this comments page, it shows "le gatte" as correct. I still think either is ok.


Either is NOT accepted. I used the "i gatti" and was marked wrong. Grrrr.


Well, either would be OK if everything else in your answer is correct. Neither of you two quoted your full answer. See my reply to MarieJose above.


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?


Ok, my mistake. Le gatte had another error which I missed. So it appears both forms are correct.


Well, I haven't come across anything saying both genders are correct in Italian.


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


You forgot the 'r' in "nostri". That's the only typo I can see. Also, I agree that it should, of course, accept the masculine form of the sentence, as well. Hope this has been fixed by now. :)


If cat is gatto why isn't plural gatti, in this case.. I said "I nostri gatti sono bianchi?" It seems the "correct" response interprets "cat" or "gatte"as feminine.


"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.


It does not tell you the cats are female!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


How are both correct when gatto is masc?


Because la gatta means a female cat. The default is masculine if its undefined, however.


So why then did I get I gatti wrong, if I don't know the gender of the cats, and it is still correct otherwise?


If you meant that literally then the answer is because:
our cats = i nostri gatti (or le nostre gatte if you were specifically talking about all female cats)


If it's more than one cat, how can gatte be correct? And I thought the color had to match singular or plural, as well as gender.


"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)


I mean le gatte sono bianche is an example of a grammatically correct sentence (not that it's the correct answer to this question)


How are you supposed to know from the sentence if we are talking about male or female cats?


Don't get it! I marked...i nostri gatti non sono bianche ... I was wrong?! Anyone?


i nostri gatti non sono bianchi - the adjective changes form to the plural as well.


Just one small error, Crash: "I nostri gatti" is masculine plural, but "bianche" is feminine plural. :)


Why is de male form counted in correct?


When do you use sono and sei?


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! :)


I like the part of your explanation when you said, to further complicate matters.. ^_^ but, nonetheless, thank you for helping me understand.


(our cats) are they not male and female?????? I'm confused with duo lingo


I expected only one right answer :(


Why le gatte when the singular is il gatto and in the question the gender of the cat is not specified. This is extremely confusing.


I typed I bistro get to sink bianchi, and it was marked incorrect! There are two ways of saying the plural of cats- I get to or or gatte! My answer should have been accepted!


I entered I nostri gatti non soon bianci, instead of letting nostre gatte non sono bianche! My answer should have been accepted


How am I supposed to know the gender? Usually its i gatti.


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.


I used the male form and Duolingo said its wrong... How was I to know, that the cats are female?


My head is going to explode because almost every word is changing based on masculine and feminine subjects...


Why are there masculine and feminine cats, yet no masculine or feminine dogs, lions, tigers or bears. Oh my.


Once again you did not specify male or female.. your own rule says if not specified..consider it male!!!

  • 1915

Bianchi non è celeste -- boggles the mind


How is that? Under a certain cloud cover, might the sky color be white?


Why i nostri gatti non sono bianchi wrong


"I nostri gatti non sono bianchi" was accepted as correct

Learn Italian in just 5 minutes a day. For free.