"Che cos'è popolare?"

Translation:What is popular?

July 19, 2013



From "A Reference Grammar of Modern Italian" (Maiden and Robusttelli, 2000, p. 143) "che" and "cosa" and "che cosa" all three mean "what" in English. You see "cosa" more in the north and "che" more in the south, but there's little difference between them.

So you can think of "che cosa" as a single word that means "what" and think of "che" or "cosa" as abbreviations of that. (Che actually has a few restrictions when used alone, but let's not go there.)

January 24, 2014


Grazie mille !

January 26, 2014


Wow, this is a very, very excellent thing to have stumbled upon. Thanks!

March 28, 2014


I still like to think of it (correctly or otherwise) as literally "what thing," and shortenings of that.

August 11, 2015


4 years later. . . . Thank you, my friend!

April 19, 2018


Great explanation!

September 13, 2014


Thank you so much that helps a lot.

June 13, 2018


thank you so much! Have a lingot for a great explanation.

September 15, 2018


Vi ringrazio molto!

October 10, 2018


Grazie mille, mio amico.

This has been bothering me for a while. Thank you again!

January 1, 2019


This is incredibly helpful. Grazie!

May 11, 2019


"what-d’yer-call-it" is an AWESOME translation...

December 17, 2013


Why are che and cosa used together here?

July 19, 2013


I think it literally means "what thing is popular'. Please correct me anyone if I'm wrong.

January 26, 2014


I also think that, because in spanish we say "que cosa es importante"

August 9, 2014


But in Spanish "cosa" means "thing" in Italian both words "che cosa" means "what".

September 1, 2014


cosa is thing in Italian as well :P

August 15, 2017


"What thing is popular?" was incorrect to duolingo.

August 25, 2014


That's because it's incorrect in English. (It's not grammatically or syntactically incorrect, it's just never, ever said.)

August 11, 2015


unless someone says "this such-and-such thing is popular" and someone else can't hear it very well and says "what thing is popular?" just for clarification.

September 15, 2018


Good point

June 1, 2018


It didn't accept that, though :P

August 28, 2014


Believe me, i am the WRONG person to ask

May 24, 2018


Okay, if this isn't how you say "What thing is popular", how on earth would you say that?

August 28, 2014


According to google translate (not the best source to use) "cosa" as a noun means "thing". However, I think "what thing" is apart of "che cosa" and "che cos'è". Thing is omitted because it's already assumed that you're asking about a something. So in essence "che cos'è populare" should really be "what (known or unknown 'thing') is popular"

Of course I could be wrong because my command of the Italian language is between novice and intermediate at best, yet It does make sense though.

September 1, 2014


How come "(che) cos' e poplare" translates to "what is popular", but on the previous question of translating "what is popular now", I got marked off for "Cos' e (populare ora)" and it told me to use "cosa e"?

November 16, 2014


The Flash tv series is popular.

December 21, 2018


What is the gender and number for populare? At first blush, it looks like a plural feminine, but I am guessing it is singular, either masculine or feminine?

December 5, 2014


"Popolare" is one of those adjectives which are the same for masculine and feminine. The plural is always "popolari":

  • il popolare
  • la popolare
  • i popolari
  • le popolari

If you didn't know that, there's another hint in this sentence: "è" is singular, so no doubts about that. The sentence is actually asking "What does the word popolare mean?", so it has no semantic gender either. It's not about a specific thing which could be described with a word having its gender.

September 24, 2016


In this context, how can you tell if the subject is singular or plural?

November 30, 2018


popolare applies to singular nouns

è is singular as well

A plural form would be - che cose sono popolari?

November 30, 2018


Why "What does popular mean?" Could not be accepted?

October 12, 2014


That would be "Che cosa vuol dire populare?" There's an old expression "to mean to say" that simply turned into "mean" in English ("What does antidisestablishmentarianism mean to say?" --> "What does antidisestablishmentarianism mean?") but in many other languages (Italian among them), they still use the full "to mean to say" (volere dire).

Another way of saying it "What does popular mean?" would be "Cosa significa populare?" or "Cosa populare significa?" which is related to the English word "signify" and may be more commonly used for inferences from known facts than for meanings of words, though I couldn't say for sure. An example might be: "Mario non vuole giocare con te." "Significa non gli piaccio?" (Translation: "Mario doesn't want to play with you." "Does that mean he doesn't like me?")

August 11, 2015


I guessed "Is that what is popular" but it was marked wrong. I'm frustrated at having to guess at these sentences.

October 27, 2013


Take heart. Getting them wrong actually makes them stand out more in your memory.

June 14, 2014



October 27, 2013


Che cos'è popolare? - What is popular ? Сos'è popolare? - What is popular ?

April 22, 2016
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