"The water is in the sugar."

Translation:L'acqua è nello zucchero.

July 24, 2013



Still trying to hide that water in the sugar, I see ...

February 4, 2014


Thats so funny!! Hahahaha youre funny!!! =]

April 11, 2018


How do I know when to use "nel" and when to use "nello"?

July 24, 2013


nello is used in front of special words, the same ones you use "lo" instead of "il". Such words begin with z, or s(consonant); there's a few more exceptions.

July 24, 2013


like you can't have ONE sugar in the water, but SOME suger. So, it always plural :) The same with a scale (stair), you must have a lot of steps, not only ONE... You cant count as ONE bite of suger, I am sorry

August 9, 2013


Mi dispiace, piccono, ma non hai ragione. Sorry, piccono, but it doesn't work like that. Both in English and Italian, sugar is considered an "uncountable noun," along with coffee, salt, flour, and things like that. They are always singular.

November 5, 2018


Are sugar cubes considered "uncountable" as well? (serious question).

December 27, 2018


I think so, because unless you say "I have five sugar cubes" you would never think at it as a uncountable matter. The same in italian. When you say "Ho tre zollette di zucchero" you're actually counting them. But here the subject is the sugar cube, no more just the sugar. I hope I could explain it

January 18, 2019


Errata corrige I misread the question, so I reformulate my answer Just sugar is an uncountable noun, since you can count the number of cubes you have (I think the subject becomes "cube(s)" whem you talk about sugar cubes, not "sugar") I'm sorry for I misread

January 18, 2019


Actually it is because nello is (in + lo) you use "Lo" before any word beginning with either Z or S+any other consonat, Nel is (in + il) which is used before any other consonat not meeting rule above.

Nel libro Nello zuccharo / sport

August 11, 2013


Nice explanation

March 14, 2018


Yes. Btw, it's "zucchero," not "zuccharo." If the second vowel were an 'a' it would be spelled "zuccaro."

November 5, 2018


Nello is a contraction for "in" + "lo", so it would be "in LO zucchero", while nel is a contraction for "in" + "il", and it wouldn't be "in IL zucchero."

June 25, 2015


To those saying the sentence is weird:

  1. Having slightly "off" sentences keeps us from guessing the right answer from context.

  2. Anyone who makes candy knows you need to mix sugar and water. :)

October 13, 2013


The irony is, and everybody knows this, that as soon as you add water to sugar, the sugar ceases to exist. I guess you could say this if you were talking about that one drop of water that you added to a kilo of sugar, but that's a stretch! :)

November 5, 2018


is there an explanation of the accents somewhere?

November 10, 2013


e with that accent means 'he is'/'she is'/'it is' (depending on the context), e with no accent means 'and.'

February 2, 2014


` upon the last letter puts the accent here, otherwise it goes most frequently on the second vowel from behind.

May 1, 2019


How to place the accent for "is" on Android phone.

March 4, 2014


I have TouchPal keyboard, I long press (or long touch) the e letter to select the appropriate accent.

April 26, 2014


Why use essere instead of stare?

February 28, 2014


You could. In northern Italy it's quite common.

November 5, 2018


I wrote: L'acqua è nello lo zucchero? When I use lo?

April 19, 2014


Nello is a contraction of nel +lo. Nello lo is redundant.

April 20, 2014


Thank you! :)

April 20, 2014


What does dentro mean?

December 31, 2014



March 14, 2018


I have a question. One of my options started with l'donna & l'ragazza. But don't you use l' only when the word starts with a vowel?

August 26, 2015


That is correct. It's "la donna," "la ragazza," "l'acqua," "l'amore."

November 5, 2018


When and when not is it permissable to omit l' in front of acqua. I got scolded sometimes and sometimes not. I mean of course l' just means the

September 12, 2018


There are some situations when we would not use the article (the) in English, but in Italian it would be used. Usually it's when you are making a generalized statement about something, for example, "Water is good for your health." In Italian we'd say, "L'acqua è buona per la salute" even though we are not talking about any certain source of water.

November 5, 2018


Esta frase é extremanente estranha. Como é possível isso? A água está no acúcar? Não seria o contrário?

September 28, 2018


Sim, eles apenas fazem frases estranhas, então vamos praticar nossas habilidades na tradução.

November 5, 2018


I guess I am a bit confused. It doesn't make sense to me to say in English "the water is in the sugar". Rather wouldn't it translate more accurately to "the water is sweet"? or something like that?

January 4, 2014


Yes, it's a completely nonsensical sentence. They just write things like that to allow us to hone our skills at translating. "The sugar is in the water" is more plausible and useful. But it's all just for fun. :)

November 5, 2018


When would I ever say this? It does not make sense in English.

March 24, 2014


Trust me when i say that even though you might not say these exact sentences, the vocabulary is what is being engraved in your mind as you learn so lets say someone asks you to pass the sugar in italian.. you would know what to do. I am also in the learning process of French, and my teacher uses the corniest stories about cats wanting iphones and swag but i realized that now when we watch movies in french i understand more vocabulary than i would have at the beginning of the year. Im only in french 1 and i know the basics because of those words i thought i would never need to learn but are used in everyday life. Like water. Thought i would put my input on this one lol

April 26, 2014


...shouldn't it be the other way around? Lo zucchero è nell'acqua?

June 25, 2018


Absolutely. But then less people would open up the discussion page!

November 5, 2018


And perhaps more importantly, it would force you to spell it "nell'acqua" in order to be correct, and that's not something that the people at the Basics 2 level know yet. :)

February 11, 2019


ha più senso scrivere che lo zucchero è nell'acqua

February 19, 2019


thanks for the answer.. then how will i say in+la? (in la pena)

August 11, 2013



August 11, 2013


In Greek we use the exact same phrase to mean "the water is full of sugar". I am wondering if the Italian phrase can have the same meaning...

November 12, 2013


Oh, that's cool! Unfortunately, in Italian we only mean that water is in the sugar (quite unlikely to happen, maybe sugar would be in water but whatever). The only instance that reminds me of your observation is that it could be a joke if you show me a glass full of sugar with really little water and say "Lo zucchero è nell'acqua", because I can respond "No, l'acqua è nello zucchero!"... but it works better in other circumstances where amounts are completely disproportionated. (:

October 5, 2015


Is there a difference between "L'acqua" and "La acqua" and how do you know the difference?

June 2, 2014


L'acqua is the only proper way to say it because acqua begins with a vowel. All words beginning with vowels use l' instead of la or lo.

June 25, 2014


I don't understand the "nello" :/ why "nello"?

June 25, 2015


Shouldn't it be the other way around?

June 27, 2015


One of my opyions started with l'donna & another one with l'ragazza. But don't you use l' only when the word starts with a vowel?

August 26, 2015


Strange, didn't you already ask that? Or was it somebody else? Read the comments above -- it's been answered.

November 5, 2018


"L, acqua essere nello zucchero" is right??

August 30, 2015


No. The word "essere" is the root name of the verb. This has to be conjugated to fit the subject. i.e:

io sono

tu sei

lui/lei è ……….( L'acqua è )

noi siamo

voi siete

loro sono


June 30, 2018


Root name? Essere is the infinitive form of the verb. In English this translates to "to be." You wouldn't say, "the water to be in the sugar." Btw, wow, epac, you must have been doing Duolingo since, what, 2012? Nice formatting of your comment too.

November 5, 2018


Thank you. I try. :)

November 8, 2018


How do u know which way the accent mark goes? Also, i wouldve liked a better lesson on how to conjugate verbs. I'm doing okay because I take Spanish lessons, and they gave me a rough idea of italian conjugations, but i would like to know how to conjugate verbs better.

February 4, 2018


Good question. Usually they are "grave" accents, the ones slanting to the left, for example the word "is" = è. Accents on the vowels a, i, o, and u are always grave. Sometimes the accent on the letter e can be "acute," that is, slanting to the right. An example would be "perché."

November 5, 2018


God, enough of this! When to use nel and when to use nello? I will go mad!

May 12, 2018


I'll recapitulate. They both mean "in the" when a singular masculine noun follows. Nello is used if the word starts with a z or an s+consonant (sc, sl, sm, sp str, etc.), nel is used for singular masculine words starting with any other consonant. For words starting with a vowel, you'd use nell'. Examples: Il libro è nello zaino. Lo zucchero è nell'armadietto. La pasta è nel piatto. Just google "Italian articulated prepositions."

November 5, 2018


How do I know when "è" is used before "nello"? I put L'acqua nello è zucchero and got it wrong. Does "è" come before "nello/nel" always? Thanks

June 2, 2018


Just use the same syntax (word order) as you would in English. You wouldn't say "The water in the is sugar," would you?

November 5, 2018


Yes, I would. If I were to spill a glass of water into a barrel of sugar, then the water would be in the sugar.

November 5, 2018


No "lo" here? Perche?

October 23, 2018


While trying to make sense of this sentence I wonder - is this an Italian proverb or simply an easter egg laid by the authors?


"Lo zucchero è nell'acqua." / "The sugar is in the water."

make somewhat more sense?

February 22, 2019


absolutely not. That makes sense grammaticaly, and that's all. Exactly as is the English language.

March 24, 2019


whats the diffrance between nel land nello?

July 31, 2013


Nel = in + il

Nello = in + lo

For an explanation on the difference between "il" and "lo", see this link:


To see how more prepositions are formed, consult the table in this link:


August 1, 2013


Read other comments before posting

May 8, 2014


I feel like most people who speak English (or at least Americans) would say this the other way around.

October 3, 2015


Thanks a lot!

February 16, 2017


Nello was corrected to dentro for me but i dont know why...

February 6, 2018


My answer should have been accepted.

March 3, 2018


What does this even mean? hahah

June 13, 2018


That's right, hide those water atoms into the sugar's cover

April 9, 2019


Confused me lol

May 22, 2019


i thought since it had is it ment i say e' and it mark me as wrong

March 28, 2016


if I dont use è will it okey ?

May 22, 2016


i can not put the accent over the e with this phone.

March 19, 2014


What a stupid phrase.. Water can't be in the sugar.

May 10, 2014
Learn Italian in just 5 minutes a day. For free.