1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Italian
  4. >
  5. "The woman writes to the boys…

"The woman writes to the boys."

Translation:La donna scrive ai ragazzi.

July 21, 2013



"Ai: is plural, since "ragazzi" is plural. It's short for "a i ragazzi."


To be more specific: "al"=a+il, while "ai"=a+i

You use "ai" on "ragazzi" because it takes the "i" definite article.

"zii" (uncles), for example, is also plural, but you use "agli"(=a+gli) on it as a prepositional article.

Similarly, you say "allo zucchero", "all'uovo" (both singular), etc.


The same goes for all other prepositional articles:

• nel=in+il, nella=in+la, nello=in+lo, negli=in+gli..

• del=di+il, delle=di+le, degli=di+gli..

• sul=su+il, sull'=su+l', sui=su+i..


I don't understand why "gli zii" is correct, since zii doesn't start with a vowel. Is it an exception?


"Gli" is also used before plural nouns that begin with "z", "s + a consonant", "ps", "gn" and "y" because it is the plural form of "Lo".


I wrote "alle" instead of "ai" and got it wrong. Is "alle" a feminine plural?


Yes, "alle" is "a" + "le". "I" is the plural article for masculine words, so it's "a"+"i"


what is the difference between 'ai' and 'al'?


ai is used for words that go with the article i, and al is for those that go with il


I got tripped up on this, too, but figured out the problem. The example sentence was 'They are chocolate cookies.' Why was the correct answer using 'al' vs 'ai'? Then it occurred to me, chocolate is not plural, but cookies is. So the correct answer is 'Sono i biscotti al cioccolato'.


So when do you know when they mean "children" or "boys"


In Italian when you have a group of all girls, you use ragazze. If it's all boys or a mix of boys and girls you use ragazzi.

This goes for all group words in Italian. A group of 5 women and 1 man is grammatically masculine. Without context you wouldn't immediately know whether there are girls in the group or not.


Why is it not scriva?


Because it's not a verb that ends in -are


I just want to let everyone know that i accidentally said "la donna scrive ai panini." It pays to watch what youre doing, kids! Hahaha


whys is 'la donna scrive ai i ragazzi' wrong?


"ai" means "a + i" so you if you put "ai i ragazzi" that is like saying "a i i ragazzi" or "to the the boys". Hope this helps! :)


lets hope the woman writing to the boys is not some creep


I don't why but I I hoping the woman knows those kids she's writing tho. xD


I just translated ragazzi as boys and was corrected from boys to children . Now boys is correct!

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