"Does he prefer meat or fish?"
Translation:Preferisce carne o pesce?
So this is a statement that fish is not meat?
Or maybe carne means red meat?
Isn't it the same in English? Carne usually refers to poultry, cow, pork etc. There is also a saying in Italian "Non essere né carne né pesce" (= "neither meat nor fish") referring to something ambiguous, a grey area.
We have a similar phrase in English: "Neither fish nor fowl nor good red meat."
Menus in some restaurants also have separate listings for fish, poultry, and meat--meaning red meat.
How do you know when the articles are needed? It accepted Preferisce la carne o il pesce; but I see they are not needed. But I have been wrong for leaving them out before.
I' ve lost my share of hearts for missing articles too so I add them. I have not figured out when it's okay to leave them out. Hopefully someone can help us out.
Accepted alternative translation: Preferisce la carne o il pesce?
Not sure why fish has to be singular rather then "i pesci." The logic goes either way; suppose there are both cod and trout on the menu. Any enlightenment?
I think it is the same as in Russian. If we speak about food - it is always singular. We use plural form only for living fish in sea/river
"Preferisce lui carne o pesce" was marked wrong - can anyone explain why?
(I know that personal pronouns can often be omitted, but sometimes you need them - for example, if you need to specify him rather than her.)
Although it was marked incorrect a good translation is: Preferisce o la carne o il pesce?
The "o . . . o" is "either . . . or." I suppose that is possible, but that "either" leaves me hanging. "Does he want either meat or fish, or something else." At best, the first "o" is unnecessary.
You are absolutely correct - when translating the sentence into English. However, it is not incorrect in Italian. The same as the example '...né carne né pesce...' given by 'giuliap' above.
As I said, it may be possible Italian, but it is not good Italian. Both "either...or" and "neither...nor" imply a third thing (what giuliap calls "a gray area"), just as "o...o" and "né...né" do. That implication is stronger in the negative form than the positive, but it is still there.
And as I said: in English, yes, in Italian, no. It seems you are still trying to translate word-for-word, which doesn’t work between any languages.
Whilst in Italy recently, a travel agent told me, “Può andare o in treno o in pullman.’ I’m afraid I don’t understand why you feel there MUST be a third option using ‘either’ and ‘or,’ in either language. It’s not precluded, but certainly not an absolute necessity.
Here’s another example. The slogan for the Italian snack ‘Crik Crok’ is ‘o fanno crik o fanno crok.’ I saw the advert in many shops and on many hoardings. [The article spells it ‘crick’ and ‘crock’ but that is irrelevant] The point is the use of ‘o’ as ‘either’ and/or ‘or.’ Here is a link to the site. http://www.dooyoo.it/piatto-pronto/crick-crock/551086/
As for what comprises good Italian, I think I’ll stick with an Italian travel agent and an Italian advertising company!
It can be really annoying, when you ask in restaurant for something without meat and then they offer you a fish. And they are so surprised when I try to explain that fish isn't a plant :D
"Fish" is both singular and plural in english... i was wrong for using "pesci" ... why?