LOL!! and i'm sorry i know i'm not supposed to "chat" in the discussion, but i just had to say it!
How would you say, instead, "What eats the plumber?"
I realize that would be a nonsense statement (except perhaps in a sci fi movie) but I'm really asking about the plumber. For example, how would you say "What eats the chicken" versus "What is the chicken eating"?
looking at google translate, "Cosa mangia l'idraulico" should be "What eats the plumber." And "What does the plumber eat" is "Cosa fa l'idraulico mangia.." I'm curious to know the answer as well!
OK. I just talked to my friend from Italia and she says that in Italian, the two are equal. You just know from the context what you're trying to say. and in regards to my other suggestion "...all'idraulico", that is totally wrong and, in her words, "sbagliatissimo".. So forget that one. haha
Thank you. That's interesting. Still, I'm wondering how you'd know the difference when it isn't as readily inferred. For instance, looking out into your backyard at your suburban chicken pen, "what is the chicken eating?" versus "what is eating the chicken?"
In that case, you'd have to use extra language to clear up any ambiguity: "No! Ti dicco che c'è qualcosa che sta mangiando il pollo!"
That's why Google translate is unreliable... "Cosa fa l'idraulico mangia" makes no sense in Italian.. I think it's either an intonation difference, a context situation, or it could be that you have to add a personal "a" before l'idraulico:
Cosa mangia all'idraulico?! = What is eating the plumber?!
HOWEVER, I'm not sure.. I'm going to research it and get back to you..
This is a great question!!
Does anyone else hear "cosa DA mangia ........" I'm starting to doubt my ears!
I do hear damangia and I know it is just a duolingo failure. You can report it and/or just deal with it as there are so many failures in that voice. It's still better than nothing though :)
What's eating Gilbert Grape? What is Gilbert Grape eating? Lol...we are supposed to magically know by the way it is inferred. Interestingly inefficient linguistically. Hmmm???
Is this a common form to arrange words in this case? My problem is that I percieve sometimes as a literal sense,,, " what eats the plumber?"
what the plumber eats- that should be accepted I guess but it is not
No, that's not a correct translation.
The Italian sentence is a question, not an affirmation while the English "what the plumber eats" that you wrote is more like a affirmative clause, which corresponds to "la cosa che l'idraulico mangia", the thing that the plumber eats.
DL - please change-up the noun and verb to make this more interesting. Yes, add an adjective too; and change the nouns and verbs to plural. Grazie.
Thr alusive plumber's diet consists of caviar; steak tartar; and Ahi ceviche.
But "eat" is for plurals and "eats" is for singular, so why does plumber uses "eat"?
No, because "l'idraulico" is singular. "What do plumbers eat?" = "Cosa mangiano gli idraulici?"
Ha ha ha, a good candidate for a Duolingo t-shirt. "Cosa mangia l'idraulico?" I guess we are considering offering him lunch. He's taking so long to fix the faucet.
Wow, you are taking like every language course there is. I would get confused as hell oO
That's normal. The brain tends to categorize language into "mother tongue" and "foreign languages." I often have a hard time with Italian and Spanish. But practice makes perfect.