https://www.duolingo.com/profile/CarterPryor

Che cosa or cosa?

I've learned on Duolingo that cosa is Italian for what. However, on a couple of reference sheets I've been taught that che cosa should be used instead. Are there certain situations when I should use the two, or is it a matter of preference?

December 19, 2014

9 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/sandrabruck

che cosa and cosa and che sometimes are synonyms.

  • Che cosa stai facendo?

  • Cosa stai facendo?

  • Che stai facendo?

You can use them all, if in the question "what" asks for context or a concrete noun.

Together with a noun instead you can only use "che" (or "quale"):

Che lavoro fai? Quale lavoro fai?

"che" and "cosa" are more colloquial ("cosa" is more used in north Italy, "che" in south Italy)

December 19, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/VanPaz610

'quale lavoro fai?' sounds quite unnatural to me... I would say that in usage 'quale' is approx 'which' and 'che/cosa' is approx what. Of course, nuances are possible. Ex: what's your job --> che lavoro fai; what do you want? --> cosa vuoi, which one do you want? -- quale vuoi?

December 19, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/sandrabruck

You are right, "che" is more used, (the Corriere della Sera" says that "quale" is more used in literature); but both forms are grammatically correct.

http://www.treccani.it/enciclopedia/che-o-quale_(La_grammatica_italiana)/

December 19, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/VanPaz610

Technically, 'che cosa', 'che', and 'cosa' are all correct (at least in daily language, they may not be grammatically, but who cares ;) Regional differences and personal preferences make you choose which one you use... I would say that I go about 80% of the times on 'cosa', and I am originally from Rome, if that helps

December 19, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/psionpete

This has worried me, because:

Che Cosa Che cosa

All can mean what.

I think cosa means thing so che cosa must mean what thing.

December 19, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/silvietta7991

as a self-taught person I always came across "che cosa" standing for what in books and exercises, so I think it´s formal way; when I was in Rome, most often I heard "cosa vuoi"

December 19, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/connorhay12

I think that one might be formal while the other one is informal, but I am not sure.

December 19, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MadRad2

I think they are equal .. Che cosa fai ? = Cosa fai ?

December 19, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/kyekat

I think che cosa is more like it's what? while cosa is just what?

December 19, 2014
Learn Italian in just 5 minutes a day. For free.