"Does he prefer meat or fish?"

Translation:Preferisce carne o pesce?

July 12, 2013

This discussion is locked.


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.


Strangely enough, the definite article is used when you are talking about a specific item, one that would require 'the' in English, and also to refer non-specifically to a category of items in general, where English would not employ 'the', eg (the) meat, (the) fish. Not being a native speaker, I don't whether the definite article is actually mandatory in Italian for the latter.


Agreed. Another way of putting this is that you can omit the article when there is in implicit "some" or "any". For example, "Do you want (some) meat?" (Vuoi carne?) vs "Do you eat meat?" (Mangi il carne?).

So, here, I would have expected Preferisce il carne o il pesce, but clearly the article is not mandatory. (It may even depend on whether you are asking "In general, do you prefer meat or fish" or "Would you now like some meat or some fish").


Having done some French since I was last here, I've noticed that French uses the definite article with verbs of liking, which includes preferring, so maybe Italian does this too.


"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.)


The subject must cone begore the verb:

Lui preferisce carne o pesce?


Are you sure? I'm a beginner but I've seen lessons where using the personal pronoun after the verb indicates a stress. For example, "guido io" translates to "I (with a stress!!!) drive". This doesn't answer dwarkentin's question but merely just questions RenatoSSTradutor's reply. Thanks.


I have the same question. Do you know th answer now?


Why is oppure not used? You're getting a choice between 2 options, right?

"Preferisce carne oppure pesce?"


I agree - this is just the kind of phrase where oppure can be used. I tried Preferisce il carne oppure il pesce and it was marked incorrect. I have reported it.


it is accepted now (May 2021). :)


Cosa preferisci, il riso o il pane? How come we need articles here and not in the sentence Preferisce carne o pesce?


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


this sentence has been used several times before with lui, il and il left in and said to be correct. Now it is marked as wrong, why? Inconsistency is hugely annoying when trying to learn a language!


Now you tell me it is not necessary to use the definite article as in the previous question. The mind "boggles"


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.


Or 'Neither fish nor flesh nor good red herring'


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!


Don't agree. Either ..or and neither .. nor in English suggest just 2 things being offered, i.e one or the other. If more things are being offered you just use 'or' as many times as necessary


Why isn't "Fa lui preferisce carne o pesce" accepted?


"Fish" is both singular and plural in english... i was wrong for using "pesci" ... why?


Looks like fish grow on trees :|


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


Perché non entrambi? Forse non ha una preferenza.


I flukily got it right but if i read it back i would have no idea that it said "he" prefers. Can someone explain?


how come that Duolingo gives as a correct answer this: "Preferisce carne o pesce?" and they do with other sentences of this type. In question we have "he" ("lui"), if we do omit "lui" then the sentence might mean "she prefers" as well.


One prefers something/somebody TO something/somebody. One does not prefer something OR something else.

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